One out of every three workers on a temporary visa in the US is from India

Comprehensive DHS survey.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: More than one-third of the temporary workers in the US are from India, says a new report by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),

The numbers come from a survey conducted between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, making January 1 of 2012 the center point of the study’s time frame. The DHS survey examined the countries of origin for the 1.87 million resident non-immigrants in the US at that time. The data was collected from DHS Form I-94 Non-immigrant Arrival/Departure Record, provided by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

“In this report, the term resident non-immigrant refers to foreign nationals who are legally admitted into the United States for specific, temporary purposes and whose classes of admission are associated with residency (e.g., students and temporary workers, as opposed to tourists and business travelers),” the study says at the outset.

The findings show that, of the 840,000 “resident non-immigrant temporary workers” in the US at that time, 320,000 originated from India, which equals over 38% of that total. Canada came in a distant second, with just about 80,000 such temporary workers (9.5%). China registered very low on the chart, with only 30,000 temporary workers during that time period, which equates to just 3.5%.

The 840,000 temporary workers constituted about 45% of the total 1.87 million resident non-immigrant population at the time. A further 38%, or 720,000 people, were in the US as students. Of that student population, India accounted for 14%, while China dominated with 50% of the student population. South Korea came in third, with 13%, just behind India.

The remaining 16% of the resident non-immigrant population consisted of exchange visitors (12%) and foreign diplomats/ambassadorial representatives (4%).

India alone accounted for 430,000 of the entire resident non-immigrant population, equating to just over 22%, which China had roughly half that amount (210,000, or 11%). South Korea accounted for a further 8%, and Japan tallied roughly 5%, for a total count of about 980,000, or just less than 50% for the major Asian countries. Furthermore, about 80% of the resident non-immigrant population was between the ages of 18 and 44.

For Indians in the US, 74% of the total non-immigrant resident demographic is made up of temporary workers, according to the report. That’s less than Mexico (78%), but more than Canada (67%) and the UK (65%).

In terms of their destinations within the US, California topped the list, receiving close to 130,000 resident non-immigrant temporary workers. New York got 90,000, and Texas got 80,000, meaning those states alone received a whopping 300,000 temporary workers in the 2011-2012 time frame. For perspective, the 40 US states not in the top 10, when combined, only equal about 290,000 temporary workers from foreign countries.

The rest of the top ten states consisted of New Jersey (60,000), Florida (50,000), Illinois (40,000), Massachusetts and Washington (30,000 each), and Pennsylvania and Virginia (20,000 each).

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