Over 21 lakh Indians applied for H-1B visa in 11 years: Report

 PTI        Last Updated: August 1, 2017  | 18:12 IST
Over 21 lakh Indians applied for H-1B visa in 11 years: Report

Over 21 lakh Indian technology professionals have applied for H-1B work visas in the last 11 years, an official report has said.

The report of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has also refuted the impression that those who applied for the visa were not highly qualified.

On an average, their salary over the last 11 years has been USD 92,317 and an overwhelming majority of them are masters or bachelor's degree holder.

According to the report since 2007 till June this year, the USCIS received 3.4 million (34 lakh) H-1B visas applications, of which people from India accounted for 21 lakh. During the same period, the US issued H-1B visas to 26 lakh people, the USCIS said in its report, which however does not give countrywide breakdown.

In terms of number of H-1B applications between 2007 and 2017, India is followed by a distant China with 296,313 H-1B applications, Philippines (85,918), South Korea (77,359), and Canada (68,228).

The report said majority (23 lakh) of the beneficiary of H-1B visas were in the age group of 25-34, and 20 lakh came from the computer related occupation category. Computer was followed by architecture, engineering, and surveying (318,670), education (244,000), administrative specialisations (245,000), and medicine and health (185,000).

Sometimes people post their retirement age have been given H-1B visas. In all these 11 years, more than 2,000 foreign nationals of more than 65 years of age received H-1B visas. This year alone so far 122 H-1B visas have been allocated to those above 65 years.

The report said custom computer programming services industry received the maximum number of 999, 901 H-1B visas in these years. It was followed by computer systems design services (287,000) and college universities and professional schools (229,00).

Contrary to the general perception, the average salary of H-1B visas have increased significantly since 2007 when it was USD 68,159. In 2017, the average salary of H-1B visas holder foreign guest worker is USD 92,317.

The USCIS's report was first reported by Breitbart news.

"The USCIS date shows that between 2007 and 2017, the H- 1B visa, which imports foreign workers to take American jobs, the programme has grown exponentially. The vast majority of visa-holders are from India," Breitbart said, adding that roughly 70 to 80 per cent of the foreign workers imported every year are from India.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialised fields. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year.

The Trump administration is currently reviewing the H-1B visa policy as it thinks that the visa is being misused by companies to replace American workers.

Reforming the H-1B visa system was one of his major election promises.

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