US visa over-subscription may impact Infosys at onsite


Bangalore : Oversubscription for US H1-B visas is likely to impact Indian IT bellwether Infosys Ltd as it would have to hire locally more techies for onsite projects, a top official said Friday.

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“One of the uncertainties we face this fiscal (2013-14) is due to oversubscription for US job visas. As we may not get all the visas we have applied for, local recruitment will go for onsite work,” Infosys chief executive S.D. Shibulal told reporters here.

Applications for this year’s quota of 65,000 H1-B non-immigrant visas for Indian IT workers got oversubscribed within a week of opening up early this month. As a result, visas will be allotted through lottery rather than on quota basis.

“Though we will have adequate number of visas, we may have to hire more to meet local requirements, especially in niche areas, which will increase cost of operation. We may have to also go for sub-contracting work where niche skills would be required to execute specific projects,” Shibulal pointed out.

According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (UCIS) data, of the top 12 firms which bagged more than 40,000 of the 134,740 H-1B visas in 2012 all had a strong India presence. They included Cognizant, in first place with 9,281 visas, followed by Tata Consulting Services (7,469), Infosys (5,600), Wipro (4,304), Accenture (4,037), HCL America (2,070), Mahindra Satyam (1,963).

Indian professionals also took the largest one-third piece of the H1-B visa pie in 2009 making up the second largest group of people making the US their temporary home.

Accounting for one-tenth of non-immigrant residents in the US, 364,757 Indians were only second to Mexicans who made up 11.7 percent at 403,793, but 123,002 H1-B visa holders from India gave them the largest 36.3 percent share among professionals.