The top 10 US-based employers requesting H-1B visas for highly skilled foreign workers include Microsoft
, and Cognizant Technology
(CTSH), according to analysis by the Brookings Institute
. Microsoft requested more than 4,100 visas per year for foreign workers on average. The majority of the visas are for Indian and Chinese nationals.
Beginning as part of the Immigration Act of 1990, the H-1B visa program allows employers to hire foreigners to work in specialty occupations on a temporary basis. Specialty occupations are defined as “requiring theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher (or its equivalent) in the field of specialty.” [Editor's note: All H-1B visa recipients are required to have at least a bachelor's degree with the exception of fashion models.]
Not surprisingly, the bulk of the list are technology companies including Intel
(QCOM). and Google
(GOOG). Cognizant, UST Global, and Deloitte all provide consulting and outsourcing for IT services.
A bit surprising was the number of foreign-based companies requesting H-1B visas for employees to work at their US locations. This list is topped by four India-based IT services companies Tata Consultancy
(WIT), IBM India,
(INFY). Larsen & Toubro
(LT.NS), also on the list, is an India-based technology, engineering, construction, and manufacturing company.
According to Brooking's analysis, over 50% of all H-1B visa requests are for computer experts. Over 150,000 IT-related employees are working in the US under the visa. The other categories include engineers (8.6%), financial specialists (6.2%), and medical specialists (5.6%).
The New York metropolitan area had by far the highest demand for H-1Bs, almost 53,000 over 2010-2011, accounting for more than 16% of national demand. Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and Washington made up the remaining top five metro areas.
Brookings said the revenues generated by the visa fees, which can top $5,000 per application, went to "programs to address skills shortages in the US workforce." About half of the funds to to the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration.
Top 10 US Employers Requesting H-1B Workers
Deloitte Consulting (2,981)
Cognizant Technology (2,017)
UST Global (1,133)
Deloitte & Touche (1,016)
No positions in stocks mentioned.