Top 10 H1B visa users outsource jobs overseas: report

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Washington:

The Top 10 companies benefitting from H-1B visas are offshore outsourcers, a US publication reported on Tuesday, prompting an eminent American engineering organisation to seek a review of the ongoing immigration reforms.

"The data shows: Top H-1B users are offshore outsourcers," and Computerworld found that, "based on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data analysed, the major beneficiaries of the proposed increase in the cap would be pure offshore outsourcing firms".

"The analysis comes at a time when a bill before Congress, the "Immigration Innovation Act," would expand the H-1B visa programme from 85,000 visas to more than 4,00,000 annually," Computerworld said.

"This confirms that H-1B visas facilitate the transfer of high-skill, high-paying American jobs to other countries. Congress should pass laws that create US jobs, not destroy them," said Marc Apter, president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA (IEEE-US).

Most of the largest H-1B users easily account for more than 35,000 H-1B visas under the "initial" visa plan, which includes new H-1B visa holders or those who work second concurrent jobs with a different employer, Computerworld said.

"This is just affirmation that H-1B has become the outsourcing visa," Ron Hira, a public policy professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology and researcher of tech immigration issues, was quoted as saying.

Among the top companies to have received the H-1B visas in 2012 visas are Cognizant (9,281 H-1B visas), Tata (7469), Infosys (5600), Wipro (4304), Accenture (4037), HCL America( 2070), Mahindra Group (1963), IBM (1846), Larsen and Tourbo (1832), Deloitte (1668), Microsoft (1497), Patni Americas (1260) and Syntel (1161), the report said.

"The failure of Congress and the Obama Administration to close loopholes in the H-1B programme is reducing job opportunities for American high-tech workers and undermining their wages," Hira said.

"If that bill were to be passed we'd see a major hemorrhaging of American jobs and it would discourage American kids from studying high-tech fields," Hira was quoted as saying by Computerworld.

The Top 10 H-1B users received 40,170 H-1B visas in fiscal 2012 and applied for just 1,167 employment-based (EB) green cards.  This is an immigration yield of 2.9 percent, IEEE-US said, adding that it supports additional EB green cards for skilled immigrants.

These visas allow immigrants to start their own companies and create US wealth and jobs.

"Any plan to increase skilled immigration should be based on green cards," Apter said.

Story first published on: February 20, 2013 13:01 (IST)

Tags: H1B visa, Infosys, Cognizant, Wipro, HCL Tech

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