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Finances

Why Smaller Companies and Start-ups Need A Business Plan When Filing H-1B Visa Petitions

The denial rate for H-1B petitions has increased dramatically under the Trump administration’s policies due to the hardline stance on immigration and foreign-born workers: the percentage of denied H-1B visas jumped from 5% in Fiscal Year 2015 to 21% in Fiscal Year 2019.[1]

While the 25 biggest H-1B sponsors – including Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft – accounted for approximately 38.5% of the H-1B approvals in 2019, smaller companies still accounted for about 61.5%.[2] Even though the requirements are the same for the smaller companies, there is heightened scrutiny on their petitions.

Among other things, smaller businesses and start-ups will need to prove their operational and financial viability and their ability to compensate the foreign employee during their stay – while the large company group has an easier time of demonstrating these abilities. Newer and smaller companies usually get more attention from USCIS and can be asked to prove more facts.

H-1B Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and what they typically challenge

Common language that we at Visa Business Plans have encountered when helping our clients handle the business portion of H-1B Requests for Evidence (RFEs) includes the following:

“In addition to providing evidence relating to the specialty occupation qualifying criteria discussed below, provide evidence that details the specific duties of the proffered position and the nature of your business operations. Evidence may include, but is not limited to:

A copy of a line-and-block organizational chart showing your hierarchy and staffing levels. The organizational chart should:

  • List all divisions in the organization;
  • Identify the proffered position in the chart;
  • Show the names and job titles for those persons, if any, whose work will come under the control of the proposed position; and
  • Indicate who will direct the beneficiary, by the name and job title.

Additional information about your organization, highlighting the nature, scope, and activity of your business enterprise, along with evidence to establish the beneficiary will be employed with the duties you have set forth, such as:

  • Business plans, reports, and presentations to describe your business.”

How do we help smaller companies and start-ups increase their chances of H-1B visa approval?

By creating detailed and thorough business plans that address the points above. Our business plans enable attorneys to bolster an H-1B petition by presenting a comprehensive picture of smaller companies and start-ups, including their existing and future operations, products and services, market analysis, and financial projections. Also, our business plans include a detailed staffing plan and a projected organizational chart that helps attorneys establish that the H-1B beneficiary will be relieved from performing non-qualifying duties.

Want to learn more about how our business plans can raise the chances of getting an H-1B petition approved? Contact us today for a FREE consultation in English, Spanish or Portuguese.


[1] https://nfap.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/H-1B-Denial-Rates-Analysis-of-FY-2019-Numbers.NFAP-Policy-Brief.February-2020-1.pdf

[2] https://nfap.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/H-1B-Denial-Rates-Analysis-of-FY-2019-Numbers

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