The report inflates H-1B visa numbers as it includes thousands of Indians stuck in green card line.
There are about 583,420 H-1B visa holders working in the US including thousands of Indian professionals stuck in decades long green card waiting lines due to per country caps, according to a new official report.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) first official estimate of skilled H-1B workers as of Sep 30, 2019 comes days after President Donald Trump suspended issue of new H-1B and several other work visas until yearend.
An analysis of the report suggests the USCIS report presents an inflated picture of H-1B visa holders as it does not exclude those stuck in green card limbo due to per country caps, which stands at seven per cent for India.
Using a complicated methodology, USCIS concludes that as of September 30, 2019 Total Authorized Unique Beneficiaries (AUBs) numbered 619,327.
READ: H-1B, H4 and L1 visa banned till the end of the year (June 22, 2020)
Excluding consular Denials, Change of Status and Adjustment of Status cases, the H-1B authorized-to-work (ATW) population was put at 583,420.
“The ATW population in the first two quarters of Fiscal Year 2020 is expected to be approximately 10% higher than this estimate,” USCIS said expecting it “to follow the same cyclical pattern as the AUB population.”
The USCIS estimate “does not remove from the final estimate aliens who held a valid H-1B visa/status but have abandoned their visa/status.”
“Nor does it remove from the final estimate H-1B visa holders or returning H-1B workers who were denied entry by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the ports of entry,” it said.
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Meanwhile, Infosys CEO Salil Parekh told shareholders as reported by the Times of India, the company’s dependence on H-1B visas has reduced significantly, given its local hiring in America.
The company hired over 10,000 Americans in the US in the last two years, and will hire even more locally to deal with the growing visa challenges, he said at the company annual general meeting (AGM) held virtually on Saturday.
Responding to shareholders’ questions around the US suspension of work visas, Parekh said over 60% of Infosys employees in the US are now visa independent.
Infosys had 17,709 employees in the Americas at the end of 2019-20.