With 2.47 lakh applications, Indians are top H-1B visa applicants till July

MUMBAI: With 2.47 lakh applications, Indians continued to be the largest group of H-1B visa aspirants during the first nine months of the current US financial year. The number works out to 74% of the total applications between October 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017. The US financial year begins from October 1 and ends on September 30. During 20152016 financial year, Indians had filed three lakh applications.
Though the number of Chinese H1-B aspirants is much lower by comparison, their visa applications till June 30 stands at 36,362 -their highest-ever over the past 10 financial years. A total of 35,720 applications were filed by the Chinese during 2015-16. Canada came third with 3,551 applications till June 30,2017.
The US received 3.36 lakh applications for H-1B visas till June 30, of which 1.97 lakh have been approved. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services, which released this data, said many applications were still pending approval.
While a breakup of the applications approved based on the country of birth is not available till June 30, 2017, the USCIS report for 2015-16 shows that of 3.45 lakh approved applications, 74% -or 2.56 lakh – were from India. China was at a distant second with 9% or 31,995 approvals. A section of US senators has pointed out that with Indians flooding the application pool, they do stand to benefit in terms of the number of visa approvals granted.
From October 1, 2006, to June 30, 2017, Indian applications stood at 21.83 lakh, the Chinese at 2.96 lakh and those from the Philippines at 85,918. Applications from the Philippines have shown a decline of 70%. Canada came fifth in the list with 68,228 applications. The number of Indians applying for H-1B has increased by 80.6% since 2006-07 to stand at three lakh in 2015-16.
The technology sector continues to dominate H-1B visa applications. The top five firms to whom the visas were granted till June-end included Cognizant (US Corp), Infosys, TCS, Accenture and Wipro. The average salaries of these firms were well below the minimum salary for H-1B visa holders of $130,000 that was proposed in a reform bill.

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