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The top 10 H-1B visa users in the U.S.

Patrick Thibodeau and Sharon Machlis | Jan. 30, 2012
Offshore outsourcing companies continued to make up the majority of the top 10 H-1B visa users in 2011, according to new government data. These offshore firms have been adding employees by the thousands as their revenues increase.

Approvals for new H-1B visas

Company

Approvals

Cognizant

4222

Infosys

3962

Wipro

2736

Tata

1740

Accenture

1347

Larsen & Toubro

1204

HCL America

1033

Microsoft

947

IBM

853

Google

383

TOTAL

18427

   

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. Computerworld combined multiple versions of a company's name, such as Infosys Tech Ltd and Infosys Technologies Limited, as well as some separate entities under the same corporate umbrella, such as IBM Corp. and IBM India Private Ltd.

Hira believes "politicians are subsidizing the offshoring of jobs by keeping the H-1B loopholes in place, costing American workers hundreds of thousands of jobs."

Obama's attack on outsourcing has mostly been focused on manufacturing, though he has also been urging companies to in-source more work. A recent White House policy forum looked at that specific issue and included IT.

Hira said that Obama should support some of the changes being sought U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). "Closing those loopholes would create and retain hundreds of thousands of American jobs and wouldn't cost taxpayers a dime," he said.

One restriction sought by Grassley and Durbin would prohibit any firm from having more than 50% of their workforce using H-1B and L-1 visas, which are used to transfer company personnel from an overseas office to the U.S.

Microsoft is the largest H-1B user that's not an IT services company. The company has long been an advocate of increasing the number of H-1B visas. Google, too, has been critical of the cap on the H-1B program.

Indian firms have been trying to increase their hiring in the U.S. in response to their concerns that Congress may set restrictions. India-based HCL Technologies said Thursday that it plans to create 10,000 jobs in the U.S. and Europe in the next five years. HCL said its hiring plans are part of an effort to be a "socially responsible business."

HCL doesn't know what portion of those 10,000 jobs would be in the U.S. But it says that whatever that portion turns out to be, 40% will be permanent hires of U.S. workers. That is the percentage it now has in the U.S.

The company employs 7,540 in the U.S. today, which includes those on temporary worker visas, such as the H-1B; permanent resident or green card holders; and U.S. citizens. A spokesman for the company said approximately 40% of that total, or about 3,000 workers, are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

 

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