Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is the only Indian company among the top 10 firms to get foreign labour certification for the H-1B visas for the fiscal year 2018 by receiving over 20,000 such certifications, according to official data in which Ernest and Young was ranked No 1.
The H-1B visas are the most sought-after among Indian IT professionals.
The visa programme allows employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in the US on a non-immigrant basis in specialty occupations or as fashion models of distinguished merit and ability.
This is important to note that the Trump administration has announced a new policy that makes very tough the procedure of issuing H-1B visas to those to be employed at one or more third-party worksites, a move that will hugely impact Indian IT companies and their employees.
London-headquartered Earnest and Young, a multinational professional services firm, has emerged as the top employer to have received the certification, the date from the US labour department said.
Indian IT companies, which are among the major beneficiaries of H-1B visas, has a significant number of its employees deployed at third-party worksites. A significant number of American banking, travel and commercial services depend on on-site IT workers from India to get their job done.
In fact, Ernest and Young with 151,164 H-1B specialist occupation labour certifications accounted for the 12.4 per cent of all foreign labour certification for the H-1B work visas for the fiscal year 2018 ending on September 30, according to the latest annual report released by the Department of Labour early this month.
Ernest and Young is followed by Deloitte Consulting which received 69,869 H-1B specialty occupations labour conditions programme.
Indian-American owned Cognizant Technology Corp comes at number three with 47,732 specialty occupations labour conditions programme, the Department of Labour said in its latest annual report.
Cognizant is followed by HCL America (42,820), K Force Inc (32,996), and Apple (26,833).
India's Tata Consultancy Services or TCS is the only Indian company in top 10 for the year 2018.
According to the Department of Labour in the fiscal year 2018, ending on September 30, TCS had received 20,755 H-1B specialty occupation labour certifications.
Qualcomm Technologies (20,723), Mphasis Corporation (16,671) and Capgemini America (13,517) are the other companies in top 10.
In the 2018 fiscal year the Department of Labour's Office of Foreign Labour Certification processed 654,360 applications for the H-1B specialty occupations labour conditions programme, of which 599,782 were certified, 8,627 were denied and 45,951 were withdrawn.
It received requests for 1,266,614 position of which 1,223,053 were certified.
Among the positions certified, software developers and applications accounted for nearly one-fourth with 285,963 positions being certified.
This was followed by computer systems analyst (176,025), Computer Occupations (120,736), Software developers, system software (67,262), accountants and auditors (54,2410 and computer programmers (53,727).
California with 309,205 certifications topped the list of States for getting maximum H-1B labour certification, followed by Texas (115,484), New York (95,722), New Jersey (65,232), Illinois (56,196), Washington (52,522) and Pennsylvania (51,471).
According to Department of labour, a specialty occupation requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of specialised knowledge and a bachelor's degree or the equivalent in the specific specialty (e.g. sciences, medicine, health care, education, biotechnology, and business specialties, etc.).
Congress has limited the annual number of qualifying foreign workers who may be issued a visa or otherwise be provided the H-1B status to 65,000 with an additional 20,000 under the H-1B advanced degree exemption.
Before applying for the H-1B visas the employer submits a labour condition application to the Department of labour. Companies can proceed with the H-1B petitions, only after they receive such a certification by the Department of labour.