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Shilpa Phadnis, Times of India, Apr. 4, 2018 - "Immigration experts believe there could be a sharp decline in the number of H-1B petitions filed by Indian IT services companies this year following the tough environment created by the US administration under president Donald Trump. ... The Trump administration has been gradually increasing the stringency with which it scrutinizes work visa applications. In February, it issued a policy memorandum that allowed its officers to demand more detailed documentation from applicants to determine they have specific assignments in a specialty occupation for the H-1B beneficiary, and for the entire time requested on the petition. H-1B visa rejection rates, including for renewals, have risen markedly. Stephen Yale-Loehr, professor of immigration law practice at Cornell Law School, said the number of H-1B petitions that received requests for additional evidence last year increased more than 40% over the previous year. “That trend is likely to continue this year,” he said. ... “One should expect the same sort of H-1B carnage like last year. No matter how well one responds to the request for evidence or argues the case before the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), the outcome could still be a preordained denial – as if Trump’s wall is already up,” said Cyrus Mehta, managing attorney and founder of New York-based law firm Cyrus D Mehta & Partners."
[Note: Prof. Yale-Loehr is the co-author of the 21-volume "Bible" of immigration law, Immigration Law & Procedure, published by LexisNexis. Cyrus Mehta, and Prof. Yale-Loehr, are both on the Editorial Board of Bender's Immigration Bulletin, also published by LexisNexis.]