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When your H1B Visa is Rejected - Next Steps
April 1, 2022
4 mins
Vector illustration shows a rejected H1B visa stamp on a US map with a United States flag background.

In this article, you will learn about:

  • What constitutes an H1B Visa rejection?
  • Understanding reasons for H1B Visa rejection?
  • Steps to take after H1B Visa rejection?

According to US law, H1B visa applicants are generally required to attend an interview with a consular officer at a US Embassy or consulate office. Once they have reviewed all the relevant information according to the standards set by US law, the officer decides to either reject or approve the visa.

So, what happens if H1B visa is rejected?

When a US consular officer rejects your non-immigrant H1B visa application, it amounts to a formal denial of your application, based on stipulations in the Immigration and Nationality Act. In most rejection cases, the applicant is notified about which section of the law they failed to meet to prove their eligibility to visit the US. At this stage, consulate officers will also give applicants advice about their chances to apply for a waiver of ineligibility.

H1B Denied. Can I Apply Again?

Yes. Re-application is definitely a next step you can consider if your visa application has been denied. Suppose your visa was denied due to insufficient documentation. In that case, you have the opportunity to submit the required documents within one year of receiving a denial without having to pay for a new application. Following this, your application will be further processed to conclusion. If you are unable to act within this period, you have to start the process over again and pay a new processing fee. You have unlimited opportunities to apply for a visa.

H1B Visa Rejected: Understanding Visa Rejection Reasons

In many cases, H1B visa refusal (221g) has to do with incomplete documentation proof or additional information required by the consulate.

One of the most common reasons for H1B visa denial remains the inability of the applicant to provide sufficient evidence of strong and long-term family, social, and economic ties outside the US, which makes them depart after a temporary stay.

It is also important to remember that an H1B application involves both an employee and a beneficiary, and rejection can result from errors or ineligibility from either side. The following are some of the top visa rejection reasons involving the employer and beneficiary employee:

  • The employer petitioning for the visa failed to prove that the position offered meets the criteria for a specialty occupation.
  • Failure to provide concrete proof of the employer-employee relationship is another top reason for rejection of H1B visas.
  • Issues may arise if the right processing fee amount has not been paid along with the petition.
  • An employer's inability to respond to the immigration authority's Request For Evidence (RFE) petition within the stipulated deadline will result in denial.
  • If the applicant has a previous record of not maintaining the visa properly or authorities find evidence of questionable activities during the current or previous stay, a visa application can be denied outright.

Also Read:  All You Need to Know About H1B Rejection and Denial

Steps to be Taken if Your Visa has Been Rejected

It is important to note the difference between a "rejection" and a "denial" of an H1B visa application. A rejection indicates an error with your filing or fee application. It can be corrected. On the other hand, a denial means that either you or your employer were considered ineligible for an H1B.

After an H1B visa denial, a Re-application usually involves filing a new application with a processing fee. Exceptions to this rule include the ruling of ineligibility based on sections 221(g) and 214(b) of the INA. In this case, the applicant can submit evidence of significant changes in circumstances since the last application.

With most cases of H1B visa rejection, you can follow any of the following steps, depending on where you are applying from:

Reapplying while you are outside the US

If you received an H1B visa rejection from the USCIS while you were outside the US, your employer could likely file a second I-129 petition on your behalf, making amends for the shortcomings found in your first application.

This may, however, not always be a viable option. The limitations on the number of H1B visa petitions USCIS can approve over a single year for first-time applicants will mean that re-application after an "H1B visa rejected" response will have to be done before that number is reached. Failure to do so means that a new application will only be possible in the following year.

Reapplying while you are in the US

When your employer applies for an I-129, they are making two requests on your behalf:

  • To change your current immigration status to a new one or continue within the same status but under a different employer.
  • To extend your legal status in the US.

Re-application, in this case, must also be done, keeping in mind that the limitations on the number of visas being approved will affect how your re-application will proceed.

If your status cannot be extended and the USCIS denies you a change in status, you will be required to leave the US when your status expires.

The final note

H1B visa denial rates have soared over the past few years. Denial rates grew from 6% in FY 2015 to 33% in the second quarter of FY 2019. The viability of reapplying after your H1B has been denied and whether you can apply with the same employer depends on the cause for rejection. If it were simply a case of not getting selected in the H1B lottery, reapplying with the same employer would make sense. If there were shortcomings in your original application, you have to make sure that these have been remedied before you file a fresh application.

The TechFetch H1B Advantage

Getting the right job and the right employer is the first step to getting your H1B visa approved. Come to TechFetch H1B for legitimate, certified H1B jobs that will give you an edge in the H1B visa application process.

**Disclaimer: H1B rules and regulations keep changing from time to time. For the latest information, always refer to the USCIS official website.**

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