H-1B visa news
Looking for H-1B visa news? Tech companies are among those that sponsor the most H-1B visas. Source: Frederic J. Brown/AFP

Looking for H-1B visa news? The H-1B is a highly coveted work visa for many international graduates in the US. It allows employers or companies in the US to hire international graduates with a specific speciality (or its equivalent) to work in the country. The H-1B visa holder can only work for the sponsoring employer and enables international graduates to work in the US for three years at least.

According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), H-1B speciality occupations may include fields such as architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialities, accounting, law, theology and the arts. 

The American Immigration Council said research shows H-1B workers fill employment gaps in many STEM occupations. Nearly two-thirds of requests for H-1B visa workers are for STEM occupations, but there is also high demand for workers in healthcare, business, finance and life sciences industries. From FY 2010 to FY 2016, the largest numbers of H-1B recipients were in the New York City metropolitan area, followed by Dallas, Washington, DC and Boston.

h-1b visa news

Here’s some welcome H-1B visa news for students: many tech companies such as Amazon and Google are among H-1B visa sponsors. Source: Tolga Akmen / AFP

H-1B visa news: Tech companies among top sponsors

Here’s some welcome H-1B visa news for international graduates in the US — tech companies are among the US companies that sponsor the most H-1B visas. According to reports, among the companies that consistently sponsor the visa include:

  • Intel
  • Amazon
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Infosys
  • Tata Consultancy Services
  • Cognizant
  • Capgemini
  • HCL America
  • IBM
  • Facebook

Former President Donald Trump’s executive order banning the visa had expired on March 31, 2021. According to USCIS data, Amazon had 3,737 initial visa approvals last year. The figure was 1,790; 1,682; 748; and 743 for Microsoft, Google, Apple and Intel respectively. It’s worth keeping in mind that the US has a lottery system for its H-1B visa and is subjected to a mandated cap of 65,000

Approximately 40% of H-1B visa holders transfer from the F-1 visa for international students. In 2019, USCIS approved 388,403 H-1B petitions, with close to 72% of successful applicants coming from India. Around half (54%) had master’s degrees and two-thirds (66%) plan to work in IT. 

From March 9 onwards, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have been prioritising high earners in the H-1B visa selection system. The selection process aims to “protect the economic interests of US workers and ensure the most highly skilled foreign workers benefit from the temporary employment programme.”