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Key Points

  • H-1B denial rates were marginally higher in FY 2023 than in FY 2022
  • Denial rates were 3.5% in FY 2023
  • H-1B denial rates are still lower than they were during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Improvements to the H-1B program are credited with lower denial rates


According to a report by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), data from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) show that the denial rate for H-1B visas was slightly higher in fiscal year (FY) 2023 compared to FY 2022.

In FY 2023, the H-1B denial rate was 3.5%, higher than the FY 2022 H-1B denial rate of 2.2%.

Although the denial rate rose slightly in 2023, H-1B visa denials were still lower than in FY 2021, which had a 4% denial rate. It is also lower than the denial rates we have seen in the immediate past, e.g., 13% in 2020, 21% in 2019, and 24% in 2018.

Lower H-1B denial rates in the past few years are attributed to new guidance issued on the adjudication of H-1B visas. Additionally, USCIS has implemented changes to the H-1B program, including the FY 2025 H-1B cap season, to reduce the likelihood of fraud and other issues with the H-1B selection process.

Written by: Lucy Halse, Content Marketing Associate, Envoy Global
Edited by: Frank Fogelbach, Managing Attorney, Corporate Immigration Partners
Source: National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP)

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