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Indians grab largest number of H-1B visas

Indian professionals took over one-third, the largest so far, of the H-1B visas in 2009, even as there was low-key response for the most coveted US work visas in the past two years.



Washington: Indian professionals took
over one-third, the largest so far, of the H-1B visas in 2009,
even as there was low-key response for the most coveted US
work visas in the past two years.

In the fiscal 2009, the Department of Homeland
Security said, as many as 123,002 Indians were issued H-1B
visas out of a total of 339,243.

Thus, India accounted for 36.3 per cent of the total
H-1B visas issued in 2009.

However, in actual terms, the number of Indians issued
H-1B visas in 2009 dropped by more than one fifth since 2007.

Coinciding with the general economic recession in the
United States, there has been a sharp drop in the number of
Indian professionals receiving the most coveted H-1B work
visas between the years 2007 and 2009, latest official figures
have revealed.

Despite the drop of over 34,000 H-1B visas in two
years, India continue to be the leading country to get the
maximum number of this category of work visas for
professionals and is way ahead of other nations of the world;
an analysis of the latest figures released by the Department
of Homeland Security reveal

In the fiscal 2007, as many as 157,613 Indians were
issued the H-1B visas, while in 2008, the number dropped to
154,725. This sharp drop has also resulted in decline in
short-term resident non-immigrants.

In 2009, 364,757 Indians were in the US in this
category, as against 425,826 the previous year in 2008.

Still India (11 per cent) is the second leading
country of citizenship for resident non-immigrant admissions
to the United States in 2009 after Mexico (12 per cent).

Other countries that follow Mexico and India are Japan
(6.6 per cent), Canada (6.4 per cent), China (5.8 per cent),
the United Kingdom (5.6 per cent), and South Korea (5.6 per
cent).

These seven countries accounted for more than 50 per
cent of resident non-immigrant admissions to the United
States.

"From 2008 to 2009, decreases in resident admissions
occurred among eight of the ten leading countries of
citizenship. The decrease in admissions from Mexico (8.2 per
cent decrease) was concentrated among seasonal
non-agricultural workers (H2B) and seasonal agricultural
workers (H2A), while the decrease from India (14 per cent
decrease) was attributable to workers in speciality
occupations (H1B)," said the Department of Homeland Security.

The leading countries of citizenship for H1B
admissions in 2009 were India (36 per cent), Canada (6.5 per
cent), the United Kingdom (4.3 per cent), and Mexico (4.2 per
cent).

Nationals from these four countries accounted for 51
percent of H1B admissions.

Though India was still the leading country in getting
the L1 visa, but it dropped significantly in 2009 against
2009.

In 2009, 54,556 Indians were issued L1 visa, while in
2008 as many as 63,156 Indians were issued this category of
work visa.

In 2009, leading source countries for L1 entries
included India (16 per cent), the United Kingdom (13 per
cent), and Japan (9.9 per cent).

Forty per cent of L1 admissions were accounted for by
nationals of these three countries.

There has also been drop in the number of Indian
students coming to the US, the Department of Homeland Security
said based on the number of students visas issued in 2008 and
2009.

While in 2008, 85,067 Indians were issued F-1 visa, in
2009, 80,251 got the F-1 visa.

The Department of Homeland Security said nearly half
of academic student admissions (F1) were nationals of five
countries: China (14 per cent), South Korea (13 per cent),
India (9 per cent), Mexico (8.2 per cent), and Japan (5.6 per
cent).

Between 2007 and 2009, admissions of Chinese academic
students increased, while F1 entries from Japan declined.

PTI

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