New Delhi: Applications for the coveted H-1B work visas saw a decline for the first time since 2014, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced amid a move to tighten rules that allow skilled workers, especially from India, to seek employment in the US.Read more ↓
This year the agency has received 199,000 applications, a drop from 2,36,000 applications last year, a CNN report said. The number had been climbing since at least 2013, the report added.
“In an atmosphere of uncertainty, I suppose it is not surprising that fewer petitions were filed this year,” Betsy Lawrence, the director of government relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told CNN.
The H1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows American firms to employ foreign workers in occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. It is highly popular among Indian techies and the technology companies depend on the programme to hire tens of thousands of employees each year.
Indian IT giants like TCS, Infosys and Wipro are among the major beneficiaries of H-1B visas.
The annual cap on H-1B visas is 85,000, of which 20,000 are reserved for Master’s degree holders.
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