The Tenuous Position of IT Services Companies In the Current H-1B Setting

During Q1 of 2019, 60% of all completed H-1B cases received a Request for Evidence, according to the USCIS. As well, in FY 2018 H-1B extensions for existing employees were denied approximately 25% of the time for IT services companies, even if those employees had been approved in prior years for their initial H-1B visas. The H-1B petition denial rate for IT services companies was markedly higher than for companies not engaged in IT services (“general” companies)—even when the H-1B petition was for an IT position at the general company. For example, IT services companies Capgemini, Cognizant, and Infosys had a combined average denial rate of 65% (with Capgemini being at 80%). In contrast, Amazon, Microsoft, Intel, Google, Facebook, and Apple had a combined average denial rate of 1.2%. (These companies are clearly involved in IT, but do not provide IT services to third parties as their primary form of business.)

Interestingly, of the top 10 heaviest users of H-1B visas in FY 2018, 6 were general companies (Amazon, Microsoft, Intel, Google, Apple, and Facebook), with the remaining 4 being IT services companies (Ernst & Young, Deloitte, Tech Mahindra, and TCS). The 1.2% denial rate for the general companies was 19 times lower than the denial rate for the IT services companies (which had an average denial rate of 23.25%).

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