The Indian IT sector has been struggling with high denial rates for H-1B visas. A study by an immigration think tank has revealed staggering numbers. Infosys saw 59% of its fresh H-1B petitions rejected between October 2019 and March 2020 while Cognizant, Wipro, and Tech Mahindra also fared poorly. With 15%, TCS saw the least rejections, at par with Google and Amazon.
Immigration experts have argued that technology product companies get preferential treatment over IT services firms when it comes to H-1B visa approvals. Meanwhile, local IT firms have stepped up hiring in the US, with Infosys planning to induct 12,000 American workers over two years.
As per the analysis of USCIS data by the National Foundation Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), the denial rates for H-1B visas for initial employment were at 29% for the first two quarters of FY20. In FY19 and FY18, denial rates were at 21% and 24% respectively. Visa denial rates have been consistently higher under the Trump administration, with denial rates under 13% till FY17.
"The highest denial rates continue to be for companies that provide information technology or other business services to American companies. The data indicate USCIS has established a different standard for deciding cases for companies that provide information technology (IT) services. Immigration law does not have a different standard for adjudications based on the type of firm or the location work will be performed, Stuart Anderson, NFAP Executive Director, said.
Cognizant had a denial rate of 52% while Deloitte and Accenture had 41% and 31%.