New Delhi: Nullifying the blame game on the H1B visa holders, who were held responsible for the immense job losses in the U.S., a study shows that only seven in 10,000 civilian workers in U.S. are H1B holders. "There are over five million unemployed people in the U.S. How can 65,000 H-1B visa holders be held responsible for job losses?" said an executive of an Indian IT firm that figured among the top 10 H1-B users.
As per the report by the National Foundation for American Policy (NAFP), 1,07,686 new H-1B petitions were approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2008, reports The Economic Times. The number also includes those visas exempted from being included in the H1-B quota of 85,000 visas annually. However, in comparison, the American civilian labor force stood at 154.6 million in 2008. The report also noted that Indian IT firms utilized only 11.9 percent of new H-1B petitions issued in 2008, contrary to popular perception in the U.S. that these firms use up most of the visas.
The report comes in the wake of a recent decision in the U.S. Senate that restricts hiring of H1-B visa holders by financial services firm receiving government bailout funds. The unjustified backlash against the H1B visa holders, is seen in the fact that the usage of the H1B visas declined by 27 percent between 2006 and 2008. H-1B visas bagged by U.S. based Cognizant, which has a large presence in India, came down from 17,550, or 15.1 percent, of total H1-Bs issued in 2006 to 12,810 in 2008. A recent report by Duke University professor and Harvard researcher Vivek Wadhwa and his team found that the Indian and Chinese professionals leaving the U.S. are finding greater opportunities in their native countries.