On April 1, employers will once again race to file H-1B visa petitions, hoping that their applications will be among the 85,000 randomly selected by the U.S. government, allowing the companies to hire foreign workers for fiscal 2010, beginning Oct. 1.
Last year, as was the case in other recent years, Indian outsourcing firms topped the list of employers who received approval to hire H-1B visa workers for temporary jobs in the United States.
Six Indian IT outsourcers were among the top 10 employers getting H-1B visas petitions approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for fiscal 2008, according to data analyzed by InformationWeek from the agency.
Those six Indian firms -- Infosys, Wipro, Satyam, Tata Consulting Services, Cognizant, and Larsen & Toubro -- received approval for a total of 11,617 H-1B visas. However, in addition to those Indian firms, U.S.-based IBM's Indian services business -- IBM India Private Ltd. -- ranked No. 10 on the list, having gotten approval for 381 H-1B visas.
Also among the top 10 companies were three other U.S.-based companies: Microsoft, which got approval for 1,037; Accenture, which received approval for 731; and Cisco, which received approval for 422 H-1B visas. In total, the top 10 companies received approval for 14,134 H-1B visas last year.
Nearly 24,700 firms had H-1B visa petitions approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, an agency of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, to hire foreign workers in fiscal 2008. The total H-1B visa petitions approved, however, do not reflect the actual number of H-1B visas issued by the U.S. State Department, which further scrutinizes whether an individual is eligible to enter the United States and sometimes rejects the petition.
Also, although IT professionals are among the top beneficiaries of H-1B visas, that visa classification is also used for college professors, doctors, accountants, and architects. In fact, among the top 30 H-1B visa employers last year were accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and KPMG, as well as educational institutions, including the University of Maryland, the University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, and East Baton Rouge Parish School System.
In fiscal 2008, Intel ranked No. 11, with 351 H-1B visas approved. That was a slight drop from fiscal 2007, when Intel ranked 10th with 369 H-1B visas approved. In fiscal 2007, eight Indian firms ranked among the top 10 H-1B visa employers. Some of those companies, including I-Flex, fell further down the list in fiscal 2008.
Continue to pages 2 and 3 of this article for a table of the first 100 employers with the most visas.
The H-1B visa cap fills up very fast every year. InformationWeek has published an independent analysis of this topic. Download the report here (registration required).