The next fiscal year that is yet to begin from 1st October will witness a huge demand for H1-B visas from the US government. USCIS started accepting H-1B visa applications from 1st April, and it is expected that these category of visas may be exhausted within a week’s time.
H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US employers to recruit foreign nationals to work for them. Figures from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reveal that the majority of H-1B visas are used by offshore outsourcing companies, particularly those operating from India.
Under its general cap, USCIS fixes it at 65,000 for each fiscal year. An extra 20,000 visas are reserved for students pursuing higher or advanced degree graduates from US universities. H-1B visas are issued for a time period of six years.
Those IT companies which comprise those users who avail of H-1B services and which are in the top 20 companies as for as number of H-1B visas used up goes, take up more than 50% of the annual cap of 65,000. This quota is for initial visas that are approved for the fiscal year 2013 and do not include any renewals. This percentage includes some of the top 20 H-1B users such as IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Google, Amazon and Oracle.
Two largest users of H1-B visas are the two largest IT companies based in India. Tata Consultancy Services, Ltd, India’s largest IT services company with 6,258 visas and Infosys, which is India's 3rd largest IT services company with 6,2998 visas. The next largest user of H-1B visas is Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation that is headquartered in New Jersey, but has many offshore branches.
These above mentioned IT companies dominated the percentage of users of H-1B visas. The tech industry in the United States argues that there is a skilled workforce deficit in the country and thus justifies the need for H-1B visas. However, the argument of a shortage of skilled workforce is disputed.