The demand for H1B US work visas, once a much-sought after in the IT industry, continues to be weak for the third straight year.
According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), they have received enough petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 for the 2012 fiscal. The cap reached two months ahead of the previous year, when H-1B visas remained available until late January. The Regular H1B Cap is available to people living abroad and that want to obtain a H1B visa, and to those living in the U.S that want to change their current visa to a H1B visa status.
Despite the applications reaching the cap, the software industry body, Nasscom, expects this weak demand to continue.
“This is indicative of the overall trend in the US economy. Its slow, business and trade is not picking up and going forward, next year we do not see it to be any different," said Ameet Nivsarkar, VP-global trade at Nasscom.
“We are working extensively with both the Indian and the US government to address the situation but rejection rates continues to be a concern for the Industry even today,” Nivsarkar adds.
According to a recent report, Microsoft led the list of number of H1B work petitions, followed by IBM and Infosys. Cognizant was in the 6 position, while Patni, L&T Infotech, Wipro and TCS to made it within the top 20.
1 Microsoft 2505
2 IBM 1263
3 Infosys 1058
6 Cognizant 645
7 Patni Americas 540
10 L&T Infotech 418
12 Wipro 403
20 TCS 311
But despite the high scrutiny and rejection rates, Indian IT companies are expected to the highest recipients of H1B visas for this fiscal. With election year in the US round the corner, Indian IT firms have ramped up local hiring to address any protectionist concerns.