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Protestors march and shout as they rally in New York for immigration rights. | Photograph: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff Archives
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IT biggies that got most H-1B visas

Text: George Joseph

March 5, 2009

IIndian technology majors received the maximum number of H-1B work permits, according to the statistics for 2008 published by US immigration authorities.

The figures provided more ammunition to the critics of the H-1B visa program who have opposed the dominance of Indian firms when it comes to bagging H-1B visas.

The statistics is for the fiscal year which ended September 30, 2008. In 2007 also Indian companies topped the list of H-1B recipients. Six of the top 10 visa recipients that year were based in India.

The Programmers Guild and Hire Americans First, groups that oppose H-1B visa program, always cite the dominance of Indian firms to oppose it. They advocate that only US business should be allowed to bring workers on H-1B visa.

Critics point out the difference between Indian companies and the US companies which use the visa. Most of the US companies will keep the H-1 workers and sponsor them for Permanent Residence. But the Indian companies bring them for only a brief period with low wages, critics say. They will get training in the offices of US clients, and go back after some time. With the expertise gained from the US they can work for the US companies from India.

Meanwhile, companies and job seekers are again gearing up for applying for the H-1B visas, which will become available in financial year 2010, which begins in October. The USCIS will receive application for the 65,000 visas on April 1. If they get more applications as in earlier years, winners will be selected in a lottery.

So who got the most H-1B visas in 2008? Read on to find out. . .

Image: Protestors march and shout as they rally in New York for immigration rights. | Photograph: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff Archives

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