H-1B visa continued to witness high demand with authorities receiving 4,74,301 applications for the visa in financial year 2022, according to a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) report. This was the highest amount of applications sent in the last four financial years.
H-1B visa allows employers in United States to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations. Indian workers are one of the largest set of applicants for the special visa.
According to US government data, authorities approved 4,42,043 H-1B visas in the last financial year. Among all the approved applications, 3,09,614 requests for visas were granted for continuing employment in the country while 1,32,429 petitions were approved for initial employment.
Among all petitions, applicants who mentioned India as country of birth continued to remain largest beneficiaries under the scheme. The USCIS report said that 72.6 per cent of petitions for the visa were granted to such applicants in FY22. Applicants with China as country of birth were the second largest beneficiaries under the scheme, constituting 12.5 per cent of approved petitions.
The USCIS report informed that computer-related occupations constituted the largest share of approved applications. According to the data, 66 per cent of applications were approved under this category. Architecture, Engineering, and Surveying was the second largest category with 9.8 per cent approved applications.
For applicants who mentioned country of birth as India, 76 per cent of applications were granted to men while 24 per cent were granted to women. For all H-1B applications, the gender wise share stood at 71 per cent for men and 29 per cent for women.
It important to note that US regulations put a cap on the number of H-1B visas that can be approved in a financial year. The current H1B cap is 65,000 with a lottery determining successful applicants for a financial year. However, USCIS says in the report, “[This] does not apply to H-1B petitions filed on behalf of certain noncitizens who have previously been counted against the cap.” This exemption from the cap applies to H-1B workers looking to continue their stay in the country. For initial employment, USCIS says, “An approved petition for initial employment is also exempt from the cap if the petitioner is a public or nonprofit institution of higher education or nonprofit entity affiliated with or related to such an institution of higher education.”
Recently, USCIS had informed that the cap for FY24 has been reached and all the successful applicants were informed about the status of their applications.