1. H1B visas: Nasscom shows US error in its maths, says Indian IT firms take up under 20% of these visas

H1B visas: Nasscom shows US error in its maths, says Indian IT firms take up under 20% of these visas

Nasscom on Monday rebutted claims made by a US official that Indian IT companies were cornering the majority of H-1B visas.

By: | Bengaluru | Updated: April 25, 2017 7:55 AM
The number of applicants seeking H-1B visas dropped by 16% for 2017-18, with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receiving 199,000 petitions for the year; applications are received in April to be processed for the current year. (PTI)

Nasscom on Monday rebutted claims made by a US official that Indian IT companies were cornering the majority of H-1B visas. Contesting the numbers, the IT trade body pointed out Indian software firms accounted for less than 20% of the 65,000 work permits issued annually. Nasscom president R Chandrasekhar told FE that the trend was likely to continue. “In FY16 and FY17 too, the number of visas granted to Indian IT firms was below 20% of the total,” Chandrasekhar said.

The recent restrictive policies of the US government on the H-1B visa programme has impacted the number of applications. The number of applicants seeking H-1B visas dropped by 16% for 2017-18, with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receiving 199,000 petitions for the year; applications are received in April to be processed for the current year. In 2016-17, the number of applications was higher at 236,000 and this is the first time since 2013 that the number of H-1B applications has fallen.

The USCIS — which has a fiscal year running from October to September — has temporarily suspended the premium processing of H-1B visas and it also clarified that an entry-level computer programmer would not generally qualify as a position in a speciality occupation.

A White House official had cited Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) as examples of companies using a large share of H-1B visas through the lottery system. Nasscom said in a statement that these companies accounted for only 8.8% of the H-1B visas in FY15.

“In FY 2015, only six of the top 20 H-1B recipients were Indian companies. Further, among the companies named, the two Indian companies namely TCS and Infosys together received 7,504 approved H-1B visas, which is only 8.8% of the total approved H-1B visas,” the lobbying body stated.

US President Donald Trump has already issued an executive order seeking to review the immigration laws, especially the H-1B visa system. There are also indications that the US may discontinue the current lottery system in deciding the H-1B visas so that the only technically qualified personnel are selected on higher wages.

You May Also Want To Watch:

Nasscom said Indian IT companies paid wages higher than the minimum prescribed in the US. The average wage for visa holders is over $82,000 apart from a fixed cost of about $15,000 incurred for each visa issued, which includes visa cost and related expenses, Nasscom said. “This is over 35% higher than the minimum prescribed exempt wage of $60,000.”

According to Nasscom, there is a growing shortfall between the supply of and demand for computer science majors in the US workforce, especially in cutting-edge fields such as cloud, big data and mobile computing. The US Department of Labor estimates that there will be 2.4 million unfilled STEM jobs by 2018, with over 50% of these vacancies in IT-related positions.

However, Indian nationals get over 71% of the H-1B visas. “This is a testimony to the high skill levels of Indian-origin professionals, especially in the very coveted STEM skills category. The annual number of Indian IT specialists working on temporary visas for Indian IT service companies is about 0.009% of the 158-million-member US workforce,” Nasscom said.

The consistent stance of Indian IT companies has been that they hire locally in the US and they only employ the H-1B visas temporarily only where there is a skill gap. According to them, the global delivery business model of Indian IT companies enables significant number of American corporations to be globally competitive.

“Indian IT Industry is a ‘net creator’ of jobs in the US and supports nearly half a million jobs directly and indirectly,” Nasscom said.

  1. S
    sk
    Apr 26, 2017 at 3:13 am
    Since so few jobs are taken by Indians in the USA, then India companies can easily afford to send back to Mother India the few remaining Indian IT staff that are now in the USA.
    Reply
    1. A
      America First
      Apr 25, 2017 at 6:02 pm
      Indian companies have absolutely zero integrity. 80 percent of h1bs are Indian nationals. They come through these outsourcing shops. This w h1b scam needs to end. Now. They will lie, scream, and whine all the way to the end of this ponze illegal immigration scheme (under the guise of so-called skilled labor) which i hope will be soon.
      Reply
      1. Chandrasekaran Venkataraman
        Apr 25, 2017 at 12:27 pm
        Naascom is talking about the number of H1B visas issued to Infosys and TCS in particular. What Naascom is giving out are (a) How many H1B applications were filed by the two companies during the last 3 years, year-wise and the number of visas issued against each; (b) what were the actual requirement of these two companies (meaning thereby, did the two companies apply multiple times the actual requirement) and (c) what was the median ry actually paid by these two companies (is it lower than the median ry pointed out by the US administration).
        Reply
        1. Chandrasekaran Venkataraman
          Apr 25, 2017 at 12:35 pm
          Naascom is talking about the number of H1B visas issued to Infosys and TCS in particular. What Naascom is NOT giving out are (a) How many H1B applications were filed by the two companies during the last 3 years, year-wise and the number of visas issued against each; (b) what were the actual requirement of these two companies (meaning thereby, did the two companies apply multiple times the actual requirement) and (c) what was the median ry actually paid by these two companies (is it lower than the median ry pointed out by the US administration).
          Reply
        2. S
          Shashank
          Apr 25, 2017 at 10:47 am
          There is no error! what the is wrong with you guys! US said that the "largest share" goes to Indian companies, not "majority of visas". To give an example, TCS uses around 7000 of the 65000 visas i.e. around 10 share. No other company gets as big a share as this. This is what US is talking about. Its because of these "chindi bodyshoppers" that the future of people like me who want to pursue masters in the USA and then work there is in darkness. These s are spoiling it for us.
          Reply

          Go to Top