Why H1B Visa Processing Slow in FY 2018 ? Trump Administration Impact ?

If you have noticed that many of the H1B visa petitions that were filed this year for FY 2018 quota are still in progress. Usually, in the past most of the decisions were done by early October, but this year, as per some of the attorneys only 20% of their cases are fully processed with decisions, many are stuck with RFEs. What are the reasons for the slow processing ?  Is it because of the Trump Administration ?  Let’s look at the details.

Why is H1B Regular Processing slow for FY 2018 quota ? 

H1B Regular Processing in general took anywhere from 2 to 8 months or more. But,  I believe the delays are more this year and there are few reasons for this.

  • Premium processing impact : Usually, we used to have Premium processing option so good 50% or even 40% of the applications were filed under premium, so the decisions were faster. Now, this year this was suspended. So everyone had to file in regular processing. So, this reduced the faster processing.
  • L1 Wage Issue : There was rule change in the L1 wage level and this triggered a LOT of RFEs for the users. So technically, a good 10 to 20% of the applications have ended up in the pool of RFEs
  • Tighter Adjudication Rules : USCIS has seen some tighter adjudication process with many RFEs this year. One of the reason is the Trump administration promise to fix the broken H1B Program.

Trump Administration Impact on H1B processing Time  ?

Yes, this is true that the new Trump administration policies have impacted the processing time of the applications. There are many new rules and regulations in terms of processing that were enacted like L1 wage, more strict process, New H1B Extension 2017 Rules. While, there is some progress in processing, the overall RFEs have multiplied in the new administration. Check the stats below on approvals.  There is a drop from 340,000 to 200,000 in approvals alone. So, that’s the reason. USCIS Processing Times Slow in 2018