The top 7 India-based IT companies received only 9,356 approved H-1B visa petitions in 2016, a drop of 37 per cent from the previous year, according to a report by Washington-based Think Tank National Foundation for American Policy.
The decline is not linked to US President Donald Trump’s move to restrict foreign workers’ entry, said the report.
The drop in new H-1B visas for India-based companies, which is expected to continue when data are released for FY 2018, is due to industry trends toward digital services, such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence, which require fewer workers, as well as a choice by companies to rely less on visas and build up local workforces in the US, the report said.
Among the top 10 companies with new H-1B petitions approved in 2016, there were only four Indian companies — Infosys, TCS, Wipro and Tech Mahindra, the report said. Others included American companies such as Cognizant, Accenture, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon and French IT services firm Capgemini.
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order in April to tighten the rules of the H-1B visa programme to stop visa abuses. .
According to Code.org, US Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate there will be “1.4 million more software development jobs than applicants who can fill them by 2020…and there are more than 500,000 open computing jobs nationwide.” An analysis by Glassdoor shows 9 of the 10 highest paying majors for US students five years out of college are in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.
These figures are in contrast to the figures of the Trump administration that say about 80 per cent of the H-1B workers are paid less than the median wage in their fields. “This statistic is misleading as it relies on a Department of Labour database that includes multiple applications for the same individuals, since a new filing is generally required when an H-1B professional moves to a new area,” the report said.