Visa Denials by USA Increased in 2018

The new policies and procedures by Trump administration has led to denials of Visa to the United States in the past year. A new analysis by a policy research group that scrupulously tracks immigration related issues and trade has said that there has been a large increase in the visa refusals by the U.S. State Department in fiscal year 2018, thanks to the “extreme vetting” and “public charge” changes imposed by the Trump administration, having a major impact.

The National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), based in Arlington, Va., using new data released by the State Department, said that it found “implementing ‘extreme vetting’ for visas and new ‘public charge’ eligibility requirements is increasing the number of immigrants and applicants for temporary visas denied entry to the United States.”

The NFAP noted that between FY 2016 and FY 2018 the number of temporary visas issued declined 1,353,465 or 13 percent. NFAP pointed out that the number of immigrants issued visas declined from 559,536 in FY 2017 to 533,557 in FY 2018, a decline of 5 percent, and between FY 2016 and FY 2018 the number immigrants issued visas declined 14 percent.

In comparing data for Fiscal Year 2017 to Fiscal Year 2018, the NFAP found ineligibility findings used by the State Department to refuse visa applicants increased 39 percent for immigrants and 5 percent for nonimmigrants–individuals seeking temporary visas– between FY 2017 and FY 2018.

“The trend continued in FY 2018, with F visas for Indians declining 4 percent or 2,058 visas, from FY 2017 to FY 2018,” it said. The approval rate of H-1B visas has dropped from 96 percent in 2015 to 85 percent in 2018 in new data released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and now there’s now a clearer picture as to why.

It said the number of temporary visas issued declined 7 percent from FY 2017 to FY 2018, while the number of immigrant (permanent resident) visas issued declined 5 percent, and predicted that “immigrant and temporary visas could continue to decline in FY 2019 and FY 2020 due to restrictive policies from the Trump administration.”

“The State Department data show a similar trend for immigrants seeking permanent residence, primarily family-based immigrants, since employment-based immigrants typically gain permanent residence (a green card) while adjusting from a temporary status (such as H-1B) inside the United States,” the policy group said.

That presidential memorandum stated, “I direct the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security . . . to rigorously enforce all existing grounds of inadmissibility and to ensure subsequent compliance with related laws after admission.”

The NFAP report also said that “the decline in international students from India has been significant,” pointing out that “the number of F student visas issued to India fell by 20,013 or 31 percent between FY 2016 and FY 2018.”

Immigrants with specialized skills say they are being denied visas or encountering lengthy delays because the U.S. government is increasingly asking for evidence that the job they’re seeking is visa-worthy, according to an Associated Press report on the data. The Trump administration has said it wants to crack down on work visas issued under the controversial program.

Government requests for evidence, which delay the visa process, have increased overall to 60 percent since 2015. Just three years ago, they were at 35 percent — a number considered high at the time.

Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst for Washington, D.C.-based Migration Policy Institute, said the data shows how effective the Trump administration’s efforts are in limiting applications from foreign consulting companies. Her institute supports immigration programs.

Approved petitions of H-1B visas for foreign consulting companies saw a “pretty significant” decrease between 2017 and 2018, according to Pierce. “It does look like the administration is hitting them, and that is their intention,” she said.

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