The United States has approved 95.5 percent of the total H-1B visa applications filed in the third quarter of this fiscal year, The Economic Times has reported. This approval rate is the highest since President Donald Trump came to power.
The data is for the June 30-ending quarter, days after Trump suspended new non-immigrant visas, including the H-1B and L-1. Trump had suspended these categories of visas through a Presidential Proclamation citing threats to American jobs. The United States’ immigration agency follows the October-September financial year.
These approvals include applications filed in previous quarters and extension of H-1B visas for a second three-year period.
Read more: What is the actual impact of Trump’s H-1B visa ban and other questions answered
In the first two quarters, visa approval rates were at 83.4 percent and 87.1 percent, respectively.
The newspaper report cites data from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as suggesting that visa approval rates had dropped from an average 94 percent in fiscal year 2016 to around 85 percent in 2018-19.
Experts told the newspaper that there are multiple factors behind the surge in visa approvals including multiple litigation wins, the novel coronavirus pandemic and USCIS losing money.