With the tightening of the United States H1B visa rules, getting a US visa has become a distant dream for many software engineers, and Indian engineers are no exception. For the 12-month period between October 2017 and September 2018, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd got the maximum number of visa denials among Indian information technology services providers, a report has shown.
However, Cognizant — based in the US but with large delivery centres in India, and offering services in the same league as TCS, Infosys and Wipro — got more visa rejections than TCS and Infosys put together, the research report by CARE Ratings showed. Back among Indian firms, following Infosys and TCS closely in H-1B visa denials were Wipro, HCL America Inc and Tech Mahindra Americas Inc.
My country, my rules
The new visa rules, which are in line with President Donald Trump’s agenda of “Buy American, Hire American”, will slim down the chances of Indian candidates, CARE Ratings said in the report. “The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a new visa rule… the move is expected to reduce the chance of Indian software engineers getting US visas,” it said.
At 2,122 denials (26% of the applied number), Infosys recorded the highest number of non-acceptance for its H-1B visa applications, whereas Tata Consultancy Services Ltd stood at 1,896 rejections. Cognizant, on the other hand, recorded 4,338 denials of its visa applications. Wipro recorded 681 denials while HCL’s 609 and Tech Mahindra’s 501 applications were refused visas.
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Notably, TCS applied for more visas than Infosys, but Infosys got more rejections than TCS. Infosys had a rejection rate of about 26% of the applied number, while TCS got 18% denial. Cognizant witnessed a non-acceptance rate of 32% of the applications.
The high rate of rejection of H-1B visa applications has compelled Indian IT service providers to increase local hiring in the US, the report said. It has led to “an escalation in employee costs and impacting cost structures of Indian IT majors,” the report added.
The US policy may be a precautionary measure to protect the wages and job opportunities for Americans, CARE Ratings said regarding the revised rules, adding that it would also ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most skilled or highest paid.
Of those selected from India, over 70% hold a Bachelors degree and the rest have a Masters degree. The average salary offered to these candidates range from Rs 51,80,000-63,00,000.