Top IT firms used only 14% of H-1B petitions in 2006: US study

Via The Hindu




The 10 most cited outsourcing firms are Wipro, Infosys, TCS, Satyam Computer, Patni Computer, Cognizant Tech Solutions US, HCL America, Deloitte and Touche LLP, Accenture, and MphasiS.






Moumita Bakshi Chatterjee



New Delhi, Dec. 16 Countering claims by some critics that Indian IT industry was depriving US firms of H-1B visas, the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) has said that the top 10 outsourcing entities that are cited most by critics — including Indian vendors like Wipro, Infosys, and TCS — used up less than 14 per cent of new H-1B petitions approved in 2006.


In its latest study titled ‘The impact of high-skill immigration restrictions on America’, NFAP, a non-profit policy research group, said that “in 2007, critics started arguing that most H-1B visas were used by companies headquartered in India and that this deprived US companies of the visas. However, the top 10 outsourcing companies cited most by the critics, used less than 14 per cent of the new H-1B petitions approved in 2006 for initial employment.” The “vast majority of H-1B visas go to US high-tech companies, financial institutions, and US Universities.”


NFAP pointed out that employers had snapped up all the H-1B visas the first day the applications were submitted in FY 2008, meaning that about 15,000 petitions used by the 10 companies had no major impact on the overall availability of H-1Bs. The list of 10 most cited outsourcing firms are Wipro, Infosys, TCS, Satyam Computer Services, Patni Computer Systems, Cognizant Tech Solutions US, HCL America, Deloitte and Touche LLP, Accenture, and MphasiS, according to NFAP.


When contacted, the NFAP Executive Director, Mr Stuart Anderson, told Business Line from Arlington, Virginia, that against the total visa pool (65,000 cap for H-1B visa; 20,000 H-1B visas for foreign workers with Master’s or higher level degree from US institution; and visas available for those working with varsities or research institutions), the companies together used only 14 per cent of the total available numbers.


Mr Anderson said H-1B cap needed to be hiked to reflect the market demand for skilled professionals. “Any new restriction on high-skill immigration will hurt the US industry, as much as Indian firms. For US firms, it means that either they would not be able to grow for the lack of skilled professionals or they would have to pursue offshore alternatives,” he added.

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