Immigration

India Leads in the Number of H1B Applications

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With over 2.47 lakh applications, 74 per cent of US’s H1B visa applicants are from India. The numbers were recorded between October 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017, the first nine months of US financial year. The US financial year begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. During the last financial year of 2015-16, there were about three lakh applications filed.

Between 2006-07 to the financial year 2015-16, the number of Indians applying for H-1B visas has increased by 80 per cent. An overall count of H-1B visa applications in US stands at 21.83 lakh so far.

Other countries

China and Canada come next at a distant margin. According to the data released by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the number of Chinese visa applicants is at 36,362— which is the highest in last ten financial years. Last year, a total of 35,720 applications were filed by the Chinese citizens. Canada is at comparatively dismal 3,551 applications.

Until June 30 this year, the US received 3.36 lakh applications for H-1B visas. Out of which 1.97 lakh have been approved. The country wise data for visa approval is not available. From October1, 2006, to June 30, 2017, the Chinese applications for visa stands at 2.96 lakh and Philippines at 85,918, which is seeing a decline of 70 per cent.

Dominance of Technology sector

The report says that around 23 lakh beneficiary of H1B visas were in the age group of 25-34. The top five firms for whom the visas were granted for the first 9 months of the current US financial year include Cognizant, Infosys, TCS, Accenture and Wipro—- essentially, the technology sector. According to the Times of India report, the average salaries of these firms were well below the minimum salary for H-1B visa holders of $130,000 as proposed in a reform bill.

According to Pew Research Center, California (17.7%), New Jersey (14.0%), Texas (12.2%) and New York (7.2%) were the top states for H-1B visa approvals.

These states are home to large technology and finance hubs such as San Jose, Dallas, Houston and New York City. New Jersey had 9.4 visa approvals per 1,000 workers, the highest ratio in the US. Maryland had the second-highest ratio, with 4.9 H-1B approvals per 1,000 workers.

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