Decline In H-1B Visa Use By Indian IT Companies: 4 Biggest Factors Behind This Change In Strategy

May 27, 2024

In the past few years, there has been a significant decline in H-1B visa utilisation by Indian IT companies in the US. Gone are the days when Indian IT companies depended heavily on H-1B visas and an increase in visa cost were even regarded as impacting their margins.

In a few years before 2015, several big Indian IT companies ranked in the top 10 H-1B visa beneficiaries. However, these numbers have drastically fallen since then. According to a report in Economic Times (ET), big Indian IT companies, except Infosys, have seen their share decline by 40%-plus. According to data from US think tank -the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), the number of approved H-1B visa applications for initial employment went down by 56% for the top seven Indian IT companies between fiscal year 2015 and 2023, from 15,166 in FY2015 to 6,732 in FY2023.

* Tata Consultancy Services: Decline of 75%
* Infosys: Decline of 21%
* Wipro: Decline of 69%
* HCL America: Decline of 46%
* Tech Mahindra: Decline of 62%
* Hexaware Technologies: Decline of 56%

What’s behind this trend huge decline

Local Hiring Focus: Indian IT giants have significantly increased their recruitment efforts within the US. As per a study by Everest Group, a research firm, companies like Infosys have even replicated their successful talent development model from India in the US, reducing their reliance on visa workers.

Automation Wave: The IT industry’s growing adoption of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) tools has streamlined tasks, potentially leading to a reduced overall workforce requirement.

Shifting US Landscape: Rising living costs in the US, as reported by various web sources, have made it a less attractive destination for IT professionals seeking to emigrate.

Filling the Talent Gap: With fewer H-1B visas available, Indian IT companies are adopting alternative strategies to bridge the talent gap.

This includes STEM pipeline investment. The Indian IT industry, according to industry body Nasscom, has invested heavily (over $1.1 billion) in strengthening the STEM talent pipeline within the US. This includes collaborations with over 130 universities, as reported by Nasscom, to develop a skilled domestic workforce and upskilling programs for existing employees.

Two, leveraging the existing talent pool. The sizable Indian diaspora residing in the US represents a readily available talent pool that companies can tap into.

Source: GWFM Research & Study

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