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H-1B Visas: Three-Fourth Visa Holders in 2018 were Indians

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

The April 18, 2017 Presidential Order of “Be American, Buy American” set the course for what was to come for the scores of Indians working in the United States on H-1B visas. Ever since the signing of the Executive Order, it has become a tough road to climb for the many Indian techies already working in the US or harbouring the American dream for the future. Even the IT companies are now finding it difficult to source skilled foreign tech talent amidst a rising STEM skills gap that exists in the country. 

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is rolling out one policy change after the other and making it difficult to get these visas. The latest being the major changes in the H-1B visas in January 2019 where the definition of “specialty occupation” itself is set to undergo a major change. 

Indian Techies are the Biggest Casualties 

The ongoing H-1B visa policy changes are impacting Indian techies the most. In fact, a recent report released by the USCIS has revealed that around three-fourths of the total H-1B visas issues in 2018 went to Indians. 

As per the USCIS report, there were 419,637 foreign national working in the US as on October 5, 2018. Out of these, there were as many as 309,986. 

Gender Disparity in H-1B Visas 

Another interesting statistic that has emerged from this USCIS report is that there exists a huge gender disparity in H-1B visa holders. It was found that only one out of every four H-1B visa holders, was a female. That is, only 106,096 or 25.3 percent females as against the total number of 419,637. When one looks at only the India-specific data then situation is even worse. The report reveals that there are only 63,220 (20.4%) female H-1B visa holders from India as against the overall tally of 309,986 Indians. 

This report comes close on the heels of the United Fall Agenda of the Trump Administration which mentioned how the term “specialty occupation” will undergo a major change right at the start of 2019.


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