Denial rates for H-1B initial employment visas reached an all-time low of 2% in fiscal year 2022, according to a National Foundation for American Policy analysis of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data.

FY 2022 continues a now-four-year trend in H-1B denial rates dropping after peaking in FY 2018 under former President Donald Trump.

Fiscal Year New Employment H-1B Denial Rate
2022 2%
2021 4%
2020 13%
2019 21%
2018 24%
2017 13%
2016 10%

The lower denial rate in recent years is at least in part due to legal challenges that forced USCIS to issue new guidance on the adjudication of H-1B visas in June 2020.

“H-1B denial rates have returned to low levels following the Trump administration’s losses in federal court during Donald Trump’s last year in office, meaning the low annual limit for H-1B petitions is currently the main problem facing employers trying to secure foreign-born talent,” the NFAP analysis said.

The NFAP analysis is available here.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

Copyright © 2023 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact