Navigating the H-1B Visa Landscape: Insights from FY 2023

2 min readMar 2, 2024


A recent analysis conducted by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) sheds light on the trends surrounding H-1B visa denials in fiscal year 2023. While the numbers remained low compared to the stringent policies of the Trump administration, there was a noticeable uptick from the previous fiscal year, indicating a shifting landscape for high-skilled foreign nationals seeking employment in the United States.

A closer examination reveals that the increased denial rates in FY 2023 were primarily concentrated among medium-sized filers, accounting for approximately two-thirds of the overall rise. This suggests that while larger companies with substantial resources may have weathered the changes relatively unscathed, smaller and medium-sized enterprises faced heightened scrutiny and obstacles in securing H-1B visas for their prospective employees.

Furthermore, the analysis highlights the enduring significance of the H-1B visa program as a vital pathway for international students and high-skilled foreign nationals to pursue long-term employment opportunities in the United States.

With an annual limit of 85,000 new H-1B petitions for high-skilled workers, representing a mere 0.05% of the U.S. labor force, the program’s constraints continue to pose challenges for both employers and prospective employees alike. Tech companies, in particular, remain heavily reliant on the H-1B visa program to fill critical talent gaps, making the annual cap a persistent concern.

Additionally, the restrictive per-country limits for employment-based green cards exacerbate the challenges faced by foreign-born professionals seeking permanent residency in the United States. It’s important to contextualize these trends within the broader narrative of U.S. immigration policy, particularly in light of the significant policy changes implemented during the Trump administration. While subsequent legal settlements have mitigated some of the adverse effects, the legacy of those policies continues to reverberate within the H-1B visa landscape.

Looking ahead, stakeholders must advocate for reforms that address the systemic shortcomings of the H-1B visa program and ensure that the United States remains a competitive destination for global talent. As the demand for high-skilled workers persists, policymakers must strive to strike a balance between safeguarding domestic interests and fostering innovation and economic growth through immigration.


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