Cognizant, TCS and Infosys face maximum denials of H-1B visa requests

Data given out by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services suggests that there has been sharp increase in the scrutiny of H-1B applications under the Trump administration. 

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According to data published by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), India-based tech outsourcing companies including Tata Consultancy Services, Cognizant and Infosys have seen the most number of denials for US H-1B visa extension applications during the financial year 2018.

Six Indian companies including TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant, and the US divisions of Tech Mahindra and HCL Technologies together had approximately two-thirds of all application denials among the top 30 companies. 

The data suggests there has been an expected increase in the scrutiny of H-1B applications under the Trump administration, with the highest impact on outsourcing companies as they are the largest users of H-1B Non-Immigrant Visa program for their prospective employees. 

“An analysis of approval rates for the main 30 H-1B American enterprise users in FY 2018 demonstrates that tech organizations (e.g., Cognizant, Tata, and Infosys) that provide outsourcing to other US firms have a lower probability of getting H-1B visa approvals, compared to US tech companies that hire foreign workers directly, such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple.”

Cognizant is at the top of the list with 13,584 H-1B applicants, of which 32 percent got denied. TCS, the second biggest user of H-1B in the US had a total of 10,656 applications, of which 18 percent got denied. For Bengaluru-based Infosys, out of 8,088 H-1B applications, 26 percent were rejected. 

In comparison to the outsourcing companies, top US tech firms such Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and Google have great approval rates of H-1B visa applications with not less than 98 percent, according to USCIS data. 

An analysis of the approval rates for the main 30 H-1B American enterprise users in the financial year 2018 demonstrates that technological organizations (e.g., Cognizant, Tata, and Infosys) that provide outsourcing to other US firms have a lower probability of getting H-1B visa approvals compared to US tech companies that hire foreign workers directly, such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple.

As an example, Cognizant, which is the biggest user of H-1B applications in the US, had an approval rate of just 68 percent compared to Microsoft, the largest US firm to directly employ H-1B visa workers, which got 99 percent of applicants approved. 

As reported by Center for Immigration Studies in the US, so far in 2019, H-1B visa approval rates have fallen while requests for evidence (RFE) regarding H-1B applications have risen dramatically.

Compared to 2018, the overall H-1B visa approval rate has come down from 84.5 percent to 75.4 percent, and the requests for evidence have risen from 38 percent in 2018 to 60 percent in 2019.