H-1B approval rates ticked up in FY2020, but remained historically low

Published: 02/23/2021


Source: B.A.L

H-1B approval rates rose in the 2020 fiscal year, but remained historically low, according to new statistics released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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Key Points:​

  • H-1B approvals. The percentage of approved H-1B petitions in fiscal 2020 reached 91.4%, up from the 84% range for the previous two years, but still below the approval rates of 2015 to 2017, when approvals ranged from 92.6% to 95.7%.
  • RFE rate. The percentage of H-1B cases receiving requests for evidence (RFEs) dropped significantly to 28.8% in 2020, compared to 40.2% in 2019 and 38% in 2018, but remained high compared to the RFE rates of 2015 to 2017 (20.8% to 22.3%).
  • Approvals with RFEs. The H-1B approval rate for cases that received RFEs also rose to 73.4% in 2020, compared to the previous two years, but remained low compared to 2015 to 2017 (73.6% to 83.2%).
Fiscal YearH-1B ApprovalsRFE RateApprovals with RFE
202091.4%28.8%73.4%
201984.9%40.2%65.4%
201884.5%38.0%62.4%
201792.6%21.4%73.6%
201693.9%20.8%78.9%
201595.7%22.3%83.2%

Source: B.A.L

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