Washington: As the US is having a tough time in filling up its annual quota of 65,000 H-1B work visas for highly skilled categories, an official report here has said that the Indian nationals accounted for the 38% of the total H-1B visas issued by the United States last year.
India also accounts for maximum number of people entering the US on L-1 visa, which is primarily used for intra-company transferees, said the Annual Flow Report released by the Office of Immigration Statistics.
The report is based on the information gathered from the I-94 on the number and characteristics of non-immigrant admissions to the US in 2008.
The report said Indian nationals accounted for 157,726 (37.8%) of the 409,619 H-1B Admissions in the US in 2008. In actual figures, this is a drop of about 3,000 as compared to 2007 when 157,613 Indian citizens were admitted to the US on H-1B visas. In 2006 the figure was 125,717.
The annual report reveals that Canada is a distant second in terms of H-1B visa admissions. In 2008 as many as 23,312 Canadian nationals were admitted to the US on this visa category, followed by Britain (19,209), Mexico (16,382) and China (13,828).
”The leading countries of citizenship for H-1B admissions in 2008 were India (38%), Canada (5.7%), and the UK (4.7%). Nationals from these three countries accounted for 48% of H-1B admissions,“ the report said.
As for the L-1 visas, it said, in 2008 leading source countries in this category were India (17%), Britain (14%), and Japan (9.8%). The nationals of these three countries accounted for 40% of L1 admissions, it said.
Of the total of 382,776 L-1 Admissions in 2008, as many as 63,156 were from India. This is almost twice the 33,414 admissions in 2006.
This is for the first time that India has topped in the L-1B visa category, which so far was occupied by Britain for the past few years.
With H-1B visas becoming tough in the last few years, Indian companies had increasingly relied on L-1 visa category for sending highly skilled workers to the US.