Denial rates for H-1B visa petitions were lower during the first two quarters of the 2021 federal fiscal year compared to the same period in 2020, according to research  from the National Foundation for American Policy, a nonpartisan policy research organization.
The 2021 fiscal year runs from Oct. 20, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2021.
In its report, the National Foundation for American Policy found the denial rate for new H-1B petitions for initial employment was 7.1% for the first two quarters of FY 2021. In comparison, the denial rate was 28.6% for the first two quarters of FY 2020.
The organization also noted the denial rate for the first three quarters of FY 2020 was 21%, whereas the denial rate for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 was 1.5%.
It reported US administration policies at the time resulted in the higher denial rate. “Absent significant changes in government policies, high denial rates are unusual since employers would be unlikely to apply for H-1B petitions for individuals who do not qualify given the time and expense,” according to the organization.
The denial rate for H-1B petitions for “continuing” employment (primarily for existing employees) was 3% in the first two quarters of FY 2021, compared to 7% in FY 2020 and as high as 12% in FY 2018 and FY 2019, according to the organization.