50% of H-1B visas in 2013 went to offshore companies, mostly in India

Infosys, TCS top the list.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: As the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) opened its doors to this year’s round of H-1B visa applications, data show that about 50% of last year’s H-1B visas were granted to offshore companies, and the top two of those are based in India – Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services.

That 50% number, though large, excludes some of the biggest companies that get H-1B visas, such as Microsoft and Google. Those companies are based on US soil, and therefore don’t factor into the percentage for offshore companies. But several Indian and Indian-related companies made big splashes in 2013. The numbers also only reflect new visa applications and petitions, not renewals

The numbers from the USCIS indicate that Indian companies have been doing very well overall in getting H-1B visas for their employees. Last year, Infosys was able to secure 6,298 H-1Bs, while Tata got just 40 less – 6,258. At number three was Cognizant, which is technically based in New Jersey but has several offices in India and hires a large number of employees from the subcontinent; it managed to obtain 5,185 H-1B visas in Fiscal Year 2013.

That Infosys got the highest number of visas is worth noting, as the company was forced to settle a case with the US Department of Justice last year for close to $35 million under allegations that it was using improper tactics to secure visas for foreign workers.

Wipro had the fifth-highest number of H-1Bs in 2013, at 2,644. IBM – which also hires a large number of Indian workers – placed seventh with 1,624 visas, and Mahindra Group obtained 1,589 H-1Bs, making them #8. Other big Indian and India-related firms making the list are: Birlasoft Inc., Yash and Lujan Consulting, Inc., and Yash Technologies, Inc.

Several of the big-hitters in the IT sector also had a large number of H-1B visas, even though they didn’t factor into the 50% number because they’re based on US soil. Deloitte got 1,491 H-1B visas last year, Microsoft got just over 1,000, Google obtained 753, and Oracle – which is in the middle of a lawsuit for allegedly underpaying Indian workers because of their national origin – got 475.

The US makes available 65,000 H-1B visas per year, and begins accepting applications on April 1. This year, the number of slots is expected to fill up very rapidly, most likely by the end of the week, which means that all applicants – even the ones who got their paperwork in before the quota was reached – are going to be in a lottery to determine who will receive visas.

The H-1B system may undergo drastic changes, however, if the immigration reform bill ever comes to pass (and, at this point, it doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon). The bill calls for huge fees to be levied on companies that apply for H-1B and/or L-1 visas for their workers, thereby encouraging them to hire domestically and boost the US economy. Several of the companies mentioned in this article, as well as countries like India, have lobbied hard against the bill.

The full USCIS chart of H-1B visas given to companies in 2013 can be found below (courtesy of Computer World):

Top H-1b visa approvals in FY 2013

Applicant Visas
INFOSYS 6298
TATA 6258
COGNIZANT 5186
ACCENTURE 3346
WIPRO 2644
HCL AMERICA 1766
IBM 1624
MAHINDRA GROUP 1589
LARSEN & TOUBRO 1580
DELOITTE 1491
IGATE 1157
MICROSOFT 1048
SYNTEL 1041
QUALCOMM 909
AMAZON 881
INTEL 772
GOOGLE INC 753
MPHASIS 556
CAPGEMINI 500
ORACLE 475
UST 475
PRICEWATERCOOPERS 449
CISCO SYSTEMS 379
ERNST & YOUNG 373
NTT DATA 350
FACEBOOK 337
MINDTREE LTD 302
ZENSAR TECHNOLOGIES 288
APPLE INC 262
POLARIS SOFTWARE LAB 262
HEXAWARE TECHNOLOGIES INC 250
JP MORGAN CHASE & CO 213
GOLDMAN SACHS & CO 185
BIRLASOFT INC 159
DELL MARKETING LLP 157
NIIT TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED 152
HEADSTRONG SERVICES LLC 144
THE MATHWORKS INC 144
INFOTECH ENTERPRISES AMERICA INC 142
CUMMINS INC 141
PERSISTENT SYSTEMS INC 140
SMARTPLAY INC 139
EXPERIS US INC 138
KPMG LLP 133
HITACHI CONSULTING CORPORATION 132
EBAY INC 128
GLOBALFOUNDRIES U S INC 124
NETAPP INC 123
HEWLETT-PACKARD 117
FUJITSU AMERICA INC 115
ITC INFOTECH (USA) INC 115
YAHOO INC 111
UNIV OF MICHIGAN 110
VMWARE INC 110
BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE 107
CERNER CORP 106
BANK OF AMERICA N A 103
CERNER CORPORATION 101
EMC CORPORATION 98
MU SIGMA INC 97
AGILITY TECHNOLOGIES LLC 96
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV 96
BLOOMBERG LP 92
CSC COVANSYS CORPORATION 92
MARVELL SEMICONDUCTOR INC 90
MORGAN STANLEY 90
MAYO CLINIC 88
RELIABLE SOFTWARE RESOURCES INC 87
NESS USA INC 86
SCHLUMBERGER TECHNOLOGY CORP 86
SYSTIME COMPUTER CORPORATION 86
SAMSUNG TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMERICA 85
CIBER INC 84
COLLABERA INC PREVIOUSLY KNOWN AS 84
YASH & LUJAN CONSULTING INC 84
HCL GLOBAL SYSTEMS INC 82
CGI TECHNOLOGIES AND SOLUTIONS INC 81
CALSOFT LABS INC 80
BUSINESS INTELLI SOLUTIONS INC 79
GRANDISON MANAGEMENT INC 78
CLEVELAND CLINIC FOUNDATION 77
RS SOFTWARE INDIA LTD 77
UNIV OF MINNESOTA 77
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN 77
NVIDIA CORPORATION 76
ERICSSON INC 75
SYNECHRON INC 75
FIDELITY INVESTMENTS 73
JUNIPER NETWORKS INC 73
YASH TECHNOLOGIES INC 73
NVIDIA CORP 72
KPIT INFOSYSTEMS INC 71
MCKINSEY & COMPANY INC U S 71
NYU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE 71
UNIV OF PENNSYLVANIA 71
COLUMBIA UNIV 70
CSC COVANSYS CORP 70
MERRILL LYNCH 70
COMPETENT SYSTEMS INC 69
HEALTH CAROUSEL II LLC 68

To contact the author, email to deepakchitnis@americanbazaaronline.com

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