Getting a H-1 B visa was a dream for many Indians a couple of years ago, since it gives them the green signal to live there great American dream, by working or setting up business in the United States. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency responsible for the issuance of H-1B visas has revealed that it has experienced a cut in the number of application it used to receive for H-1B visas last year. The agency fears that this year also the trend is likely to be followed, since it has received only eighteen thousand applications until last month for the country’s financial year which starts in October.
The fewer number of applications that the USCIS is receiving definitely indicates that the US is once again going to miss the expected number of H-1B holders. Indians in regular category are entitled to a total of 65,000 H-1B visas, while in the student’s category, 20,000 are issued. When we see the 3-year old records, we would be able to notice that the cap was exhausted within one day. During that time, the US immigration agency had to perform lottery for allotments when it received about 1.5 lakh applications for H-1B visas.
There are a number of factors that are accountable for the free fall of the H-1B visa applications. Some of them include, low wage rates; and high unemployment rates ever since the recession hit the world. In particular, petitions from IT professionals have fallen in a dramatic way. In fact, professionals from India with H-1B visas are no more interested in realizing their plans to prolong their stay in the US.
In 2009, prominent IT companies in India altogether collected only 4,762 approved H-1B visas, whereas the number was 20,530 in the year 2006, where TCS alone had collected 3,046 visas. They included Tata Consultancy Services; Infosys Technologies, Wipro Technologies, as well as other arms of US-based organization, such as Cognizant. Moreover, only 4 Indian companies made to the top H-1B visa applicants in 2009, compared to 8 in 2006.