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QUESTION NO.359 DECLINE IN H-1B VISA

July 17, 2019

LOK SABHA
STARRED QUESTION NO.359
FOR ANSWER ON 17.07.2019

DECLINE IN H-1B VISA

*359. SHRI ASADUDDIN OWAISI:
SHRI SYED IMTIAZ JALEEL:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether approval of H-1B visas by USA declined sharply in 2018 as compared to the previous year and if so, the details thereof;

(b) whether H-1B visa is popular among highly skilled Indian IT professionals;

(c) if so; the details thereof and the number of such visas issued to Indians by USA during 2017 and 2018 separately;

(d) the extent to which Indian IT professionals have been affected in getting jobs in USA under this visa; and

(e) whether the Government has taken up the matter with USA in this regard and if so, the details thereof and the response of the US Government thereto?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
(DR. SUBRAHMANYAM JAISHANKAR)

(a) to (e) A statement is laid on the table of the House.

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STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PARTS (A) to (E) OF THE LOK SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO. 359 REGARDING "DECLINE IN H-1B VISAS” FOR ANSWER ON 17.07.2019.

According to U.S. official data, the total number of H-1B visas issued by the U.S. in FY 2017 and FY 2018 was 179,049 and 179,660, respectively.

The details of the H-1B visas issued to Indian nationals, including the share in total number of H-1B visas issued by the U.S. in recent years is given below:

H-1B
Visas

FY
2012

FY
2013

FY
2014

FY
2015

FY
2016

FY
2017

FY
2018

Issued to Indian nationals

80,630

99,705

108,817

119,952

126,692

129,097

125,528

Total H-1B visas issued

135,530

153,223

161,369

172,748

180,057

179,049

179,660

% share of visas issued to Indian nationals

59.5%

65.1%

67.4%

69.4%

70.4%

72.1%

69.9%

Source: U.S. Department of State

The above statistics show that Indian nationals have received between 67% to 72% of the total H-1B visas issued by the U.S. in the last five fiscal years. H-1B visa has played an important role in facilitating the movement of talented Indian professionals.

No comprehensive changes have been made to the U.S. H-1B visa programme so far. The U.S. Government has adopted certain administrative measures with respect to the H-1B visa programme that have introduced greater scrutiny of H-1B applications and increased documentation requirements.

Government of India has closely consulted all stakeholders and engaged with the U.S. Administration and Congress on issues related to the movement of Indian professionals, including those pertaining to the H-1B programme. Most recently, issues of H-1B visa were raised during the visit of the U.S. Secretary of State, Michael R. Pompeo, to India on 26 June 2019. In our engagements, we have emphasized that this has been a mutually-beneficial partnership which should be nurtured. Indian skilled professionals have contributed to the growth and development of the U.S. economy and have helped the U.S. retain its competitive edge and innovation advantage. The U.S. side has valued the contribution made by Indian nationals in the U.S..

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