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Currently, 70% of H-1B work visas granted annually go to Indians. (Photo: HT)
Currently, 70% of H-1B work visas granted annually go to Indians. (Photo: HT)

H-1B visa denials increase for Indian IT professionals

  • Every second H-1B visa application sent by IT majors like Infosys, Wipro got rejected
  • Overall, the US government denied an H-1B visa to every fourth applicant

NEW DELHI : With the Donald Trump administration being tough on immigration rules, the US government is now rejecting every fourth H-1B visa application, according to a report. Data from the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) shows that Indian IT majors like Infosys and Wipro are amongst the worst hit by visa denials.

Almost every second H-1B visa petition sent by both Wipro (53%) and Infosys (45%) for initial employment got rejected in FY 2019 (October-June). As compared with FY 2015 (October-September), the denial rates have gone up by 46% for Wipro and 43% for Infosys, according to the report which analysed data from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The United States issues 85,000 H-1B work visas every year, out of which an estimated 70% goes to Indians.

"As a result of more restrictive Trump administration policies, denial rates for H-1B petitions have increased significantly, rising from 6% in FY 2015 to 24% through the third quarter of FY 2019 for new H-1B petitions for initial employment," the report said.

For Tech Mahindra Americas, the denial rate was as high as 41%.

"Given the time and expense involved with filing H-1B petitions, employers generally only file cases for individuals they believe qualify for H-1B status, which is why high denial rates should not be expected," the report said.

For big American companies like Amazon (6%), Microsoft (8%), Intel (7%), Google (3%), Apple (2%), Facebook (2%), and others, the rate of H-1B visa denial seem to be less harsher.

At least 12 companies that provide professional or IT services to other US companies, including Accenture, Capgemini and others, had denial rates over 30% in FY 2019 so far. Most of these companies had denial rates between 2% and 7% in FY 2015.

USCIS data reveals that in FY 2019, 88,324 H-1B visa applications for initial employment were approved while 27,707 were rejected.

For continuing employment, the denial rate was 12% as over 1.85 lakh such applications were approved.

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