Washington: In 2016, technology professionals from India accounted for 74.2% of the total number of H-1B visas issued by the US and the next year, the figure increased to 75.6%, a government report said in Washington on Tuesday.
However, there has been a drop in the number of new H-1B beneficiaries from India, the official report has said. China, with a little over 9%, comes a distant second after India in terms of number of H-1B visas. The figures for China were 9.3% and 9.4% respectively for 2016 and 2017.
The number of beneficiaries from India approved for initial employment decreased by 4.1% in fiscal 2017, while the number of beneficiaries approved for continuing employment increased by 12.5% in fiscal 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said in its latest report titled ‘Characteristics of H-1B Specialty Occupation Workers’.
USCIS said petitions for initial employment are filed for first-time H-1B employment with an employer, only some of which are applied to the annual cap. Examples of petitions for initial employment that are exempt from the cap include petitions submitted by nonprofit research organisations or governmental research organisations.
Continuing employment petitions refer to extensions, sequential employment and concurrent employment, which are filed for foreigners already in the US. Extensions generally are filed for H-1B workers intending to work beyond the initial three-year period up to a total of six years, the maximum period generally permissible under law.
In 2016, as many as 70,737 Indians received initial H-1B visas, which dropped to 67,815. During the same period, Indians accounted for 1,85,489 visas for continuing employment, which increased to 2,08,608 in 2017. In all, there were 2,56,226 Indians on H-1B visas in 2016 and 2,76,423 in 2017.
A copy of the report, sent to US lawmakers on April 10, became public this week.
Dismantling several myths about H-1B, USCIS said the median salary of beneficiaries of approved petitions increased from $82,000 for fiscal year 2016 to $85,000 for fiscal 2017.
While the number of H-1B petitions filed increased 1.24% from 3,98,718 in 2016 to 4,03,675 in 2017, the number of H-1B petitions approved increased 5.9% from 3,45,262 in 2016 to 3,65,682 in 2017.
According to the report, the number of H-1B petitions approved in 2017 for workers between the ages of 25 and 34 was 66.2% , the number of H-1B petitions approved in 2017 for workers with a bachelor’s degree was 45.2%.
In addition, 44.5% of approved petitions were for workers with a master’s degree, 6.8% had a doctorate and 3.3% were for workers with a professional degree. The number of H-1B petitions approved in 2017 for workers in computer-related occupations was 69.8%, it said.
The number of H-1B petitions approved for workers in computer-related occupations increased by 6.6% from 2,37,837 in 2016 to 2,54,592 in 2017. The number of H-1B petitions for all other occupation groups increased by 3.4% from 1,06,418 in 2016 to 1,10,009 in 2017, the report said.