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What is H-1B visa and why is Infosys blaming it for rising attrition

After the US has tightened visa rules to give preference to applicants with master’s degrees, Indian IT companies are facing numerous administrative hurdles in both applying for new visas and extending existing ones.

Analiza Pathak Edited by: Analiza Pathak
New Delhi Updated on: April 15, 2019 16:51 IST
Representational image 

Representational image 

Tech giant Infosys has recently blamed the denial of H-1B visas by the United States for its rising attrition. To counter attrition, Infosys is all set to introduce a “new value proposition” to help retain employees.

According to US think tank Centre for Immigration Studies, Infosys faced the most visa rejections in 2018-as many as 2042.

After analysing data from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, it said that six Indian companies including Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant, and the US arms of Tech Mahindra and HCL Tech, accounted nearly two-thirds of the rejections among the top 30 companies.

After the US has tightened visa rules to give preference to applicants with master’s degrees, Indian IT companies are facing numerous administrative hurdles in both applying for new visas and extending existing ones.

What is H-1B visa?

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows the US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

A specialty occupation requires the application of specialized knowledge and a bachelor's degree or the equivalent of work experience.

Duration of stay in US for persons with H1-B Visa

The duration of stay is three years, extendable to six years; after which the visa holder may need to reapply. There are also exceptions to extend the visa for even more years depending on the type of work being performed.

Visa process of H-1B

Step 1: Find a Sponsor

The H-1B  visa requires the applicant to be sponsored by a US employer to apply. Therefore, someone who wishes to enter the US through an H1B visa needs to gain employment from a US employer who will be willing to sponsor you into the US.

Step 2: Submit a Labor Conditions Approval (LCA)

Once a US company hires you, the employer will begin the application process by submitting an LCA to the Department of Labor (DOL) which includes various factors of your job such as pay, location, and working conditions

Step 3: Submit Form I-129

Once the LCA is approved, the employer will then file the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129 which includes the employer fees, education and experience evaluation and documents, training certificates, any professional membership documents, the applicant’s resume, employment agreement, and letter of support.

Click here for Form I-129- 

Step 4: Once the petition is approved, the last step is for the applicant to process their visa at their home country’s US embassy office or consulate. This normally takes 2 to 3 days and varies depending on the location.

The final rule reverses the order by which the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selects H-1B petitions under the regular cap and the advanced degree exemption.

Among other things, it introduces an electronic registration requirement for petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.

The number of H-1B visas granted annually is capped at 65,000, and 20,000 for people who hold advanced degrees from US higher education institutions. When demand exceeds the supply as it often does a lottery system is triggered.

Earlier on 1st April, The USCIS said it has reached Congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for the fiscal year 2020.

The fiscal year begins October 1, 2019 and it the USCIS started receiving the visa petitions from April 1.

(With inputs from PTI)

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