Hyderabad: The anti-immigrant rhetoric of US President Donald Trump has had a telling effect on H-1B applications this year. The number of applications fell below the 2 lakh mark for the first time in the last four years.
Applications for the visa opened on April 3 and five days later, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for 2018.
However, the total number of applications stood at 1.99 lakh. This is nearly 20 per cent lower when compared to 2.36 lakh applications received in 2016.
The pointed reminders from the government that was paying close attention to stop abuse of H-1B visa programme and its decision to temporarily suspend premium processing for H-1B petitions appears to have resulted in the disinclination to work in the USA, if the figures are any indication.
US authorities’ fresh stand to increase scrutiny for computer programming jobs has led to major IT companies shying away from filing large number of applications.
NASSCOM former chairman B.V.R. Mohan Reddy said that the numbers were still high overall. “We will see later as to how large companies stack up, although the general sense is that they may have file lesser applications,” he said.
USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing....