Trump administration denied almost a third of new H-1B visas last quarter

Almost a third of new applications for the high-skilled worker H-1B visa were denied in the first quarter of this fiscal year — a higher rate than any annual H-1B denial rate in at least a decade, according to a new analysis by the National Foundation for American Policy.

Data: National Foundation for American Policy; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: In addition to working to limit asylum-seekers and ramp up border security, the Trump administration has also implemented new rules and policies that are making it more difficult for even high-skilled legal immigrants to come to the U.S.

  • The last quarter also saw the highest denial rate (18%) in at least a decade for applications from U.S. employers to renew or transfer H-1B visas for current holders or amend previously denied applications.
  • That comes even as Trump says he wants the "largest numbers ever" of legal immigrants, and as Jared Kushner is reportedly drafting an immigration proposal that would allow more immigrant workers into the U.S.

Between the lines: Companies across the board that depend on foreign workers have seen their denial rates rise, but the large outsourcing companies such as Wipro, Infosys and Cognizant have been hit especially hard. All of them had denial rates of more than 50% in the first quarter of 2019, compared to new denial rates of less than 10% in FY2015.