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Why H-1B visa squeeze could hit US tech dominance

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NEW DELHI: Immigration experts believe there could be a sharp decline in the number of H-1B petitions filed by Indian IT services companies this year on the back of the tough environment created by the US administration under president Donald Trump.

Read full story: Indian H-1B filings set to drop by 50% this year

Four of six high-profile US tech companies – Amazon (2,515), Microsoft (1,479), Intel (1,230), and Google (1,213) – were among the top 10 employers for approved H-1B petitions for initial employment in FY 2017.

Read here: More H-1B visas going to US technology companies: Report

The trend reflects the strong demand for high-skilled talent in the US economy.

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Research and development is important to a country’s economic growth. It is possible some of the larger tech companies had more success gaining approvals with fewer overall applications submitted for the fiscal 2018 H-1B cap (and subsequent random selection once USCIS received more applications than the annual limit), National Foundation for American Policy said in its latest report

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Earlier this year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, on being asked to comment on US President Donald Trump’s immigration policy, advocated the case of immigrants by saying US stands for inclusion and diversity and he himself had beneficiary of its “enlighten immigration policy”.

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India accounts for one-fourth of the estimated 7.5 million bachelor in science and engineering degrees awarded across the world in 2014, a report has said.

Also read:
Who is getting the most H-1B visas?

However, it’s the US that tops the charts in research and development spending, according to the annual Science and Engineering Indicators 2018 report of the National Science Foundation has said.

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Recently, Scott FitzGerald, partner in US immigration firm Fragomen Worldwide, said the general consensus seems to be that filings of H-1B petitions by Indian IT services companies would be down this year, “possibly by as much as 50% compared to the recent years.”

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Updated: May 4, 2018 — 10:00 am

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