Over 21 lakh Indian IT professionals have applied for H-1B work visas in the last 11 years, said an official report of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). But the report does not give any number as to how many Indian have successfully got the H-1B work visas in these years. ‘Since 2007 till June 2017, the USCIS received 34 lakh H-1B visas applications, of which 21 lakh came from India. Roughly 70 to 80 percent of the foreign workers imported every year are from India. China, Philippines, South Korea and Canada are the next Top 4 countries which together contribute about 20 percent,’ say the report.
During this 11-year period, the US issued H-1B visas to 26 lakh people but the report hasn’t provided countrywide breakdown. The USCIS report claimed that the average salary of the H-1B workers over the last 11 years has significantly increased from USD 68,159 in 2007 to USD 92,317 in 2017. An overwhelming majority (23 lakh) of the beneficiaries of H-1B visas were in the age group of 25-34. Around 2,000 people post their retirement age (65 years) have also been given H-1B visas over these 11 years, said the report.
Of the 26 lakh workers, 20 lakh came from the computer related occupation category. ‘Custom computer programming services industry received the maximum number of 999,901 H-1B visas, followed by computer systems design services (287,000) and college universities and professional schools (229,00),’ according to the report. Computer stream was followed by architecture, engineering, and surveying (318,670), education (244,000), administrative specializations (245,000), and medicine and health (185,000).
The H-1B is a visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(17)(H) allows U.S. employers to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. If a foreign worker in H-1B status quits or is dismissed from the sponsoring employer, the worker must either apply for and be granted a change of status, find another employer, or leave the United States. Effective January 17, 2017, USCIS modified the rules to allow a grace period of up to 60 days but in practice as long as a green card application is pending they are allowed to stay.