Why Indian IT’s reliance on H-1B work visas has plunged 56% in the last 8 years

May15,2024


Reducing reliance on H1-B visas: Over the last eight years, India's top seven IT services companies have experienced a significant 56% decline in the utilization of the H-1B visa program, the dominant US work visa.
Interestingly, the trend has been the opposite for major US technology companies like Amazon and Google. According to an ET report, experts blame decreasing dependency H-1B visa By Indian IT companies Due to their increased local recruiting efforts in the United States. Additionally, factors such as higher rejection rates and tightening of immigration policies during the Trump administration have contributed to this change.
National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) Data shows that approved H-1B visa petitions from seven Indian companies for initial employment in the US declined from 15,166 in FY2015 to 6,732 in FY2023.

H1-B visa trend

H1-B visa trend

Tata Consultancy Services, which received the highest number of approvals in FY2015, saw a decline of 75% in the eight-year period. Infosys, Wipro and HCL America (HCLTech's US arm) saw declines of 21%, 69% and 46%, respectively. The remaining three companies – LTIMindTree, Tech Mahindra and Hexaware Technologies – also reported a decline in approvals.
“The number of new H-1B petitions The decline for Indian companies came as companies built up their domestic workforce in the United States and relied less on visas. Additionally, Indian companies are following the industry trend of serving customers using more digital services like cloud computing, bots and artificial intelligence, which require fewer workers, said Stuart Anderson, executive director of NFAP.
Anderson believes that the use of the H-1B program by Indian companies is unlikely to increase significantly in the future, as these companies will certainly continue to expand local hiring in the US whenever possible and use more technology. Will follow the trend of usage.
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According to Peter Bender-Samuel, chief executive of research firm Everest Group, Indian IT services providers like Infosys are replicating their Indian talent model and hiring extensively in the US, reducing the need for H-1B visa workers.
“However, this does not eliminate the need and most Indian companies would like to increase the number of H-1Bs. The numbers are being hampered by the large number of people applying for H-1Bs and the lottery to get them,” said Bender-Samuel.
The US government has recently taken steps to tighten the work visa regime. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) earlier this year increased the H-1B registration fee from $10 to $215 and the application fee from $460 to $780. Additionally, an 'asylum fee' of $600 was added when filing H-1B and other petitions, making the process more expensive.
In April, USCIS reported that the number of eligible registrations had dropped by nearly 40% from 758,994 for fiscal year 2024 to 470,342 for fiscal year 2025. The agency attributed the decline to its new 'beneficiary-centric' approach, which aims to reduce fraud. The total number of registrations also fell from 780,884 for FY24 to 479,953 for FY25.
According to Phil Fersht, chief analyst at HFS Research, the significant influx of Indians immigrating to the US with their companies has resulted in the need to sponsor visas for junior or mid-level Indian employees.
The declining reliance on H-1B visas by Indian IT companies for initial employment in the United States has been attributed to several factors. According to Fursht, “It hurts the cost-effectiveness of the Indian service model to accelerate the immigration of more Indian tech workers.” The high cost of living in the US and growing opportunities for IT professionals within India have made moving to the US less attractive for Indian tech workers, the expert said.
In contrast, some US big tech companies have experienced the opposite trend. Amazon, for example, jumped from 10th place in terms of H-1B visas approved for initial employment in FY2015 to first place in FY2023, with a 279% increase in approvals. Similarly, Google, which was not in the top 10 in 2015, was ranked fourth in FY2023.
Shivendra Singh, vice president of global business and development at IT industry body NASSCOM, highlighted the efforts of Indian companies to localize their workforce in the US over the last decade. He said the industry has invested $1.1 billion to strengthen the STEM pipeline in the US, collaborating with more than 130 colleges and universities and upskilling 255,000 workers. Additionally, the industry has directly and indirectly created and supported more than 600,000 jobs in the US.
Singh emphasized that despite changes in H-1B visa trends, “about 70% of visas still go to Indian nationals, a large portion of whom are hired by US companies. This is based on their skill set and “A testament to the vital role it played in the making of America.” The economy is the No. 1 economy in the world.”



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