US tech firms dominate top 10 green card application list
US tech cos have filed more green card applications for India techies as compared to their Indian counterparts.
US-based technology companies such as Amazon, Cognizant, Cisco, Facebook and Google have together filed more green card applications, or those seeking talented immigrants with permanent residency to work in their offices in the United States, according to the US Department of Labor data.
The Department of Labor follows an October to September calendar year.
Amazon has filed 1,500 applications, the largest among the ten companies. Cognizant Technology Services, a US-headquartered IT services firm that has a large employee base in India, is second with more than 1,300 employer green card applications, followed by Cisco. TCS, with 1,009 applications comes fourth on that list, while Infosys is in seventh position, according to the data. It is as yet unclear how many of these applications will convert into permanent residency permits.
Amazon, Cisco, TCS, Infosys, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Deloitte — all of which figure in the top 10 — declined to comment.
A spokesperson for Cognizant said it consistently sponsors employees in “securing legal permanent residence in the US precisely because they are highly-skilled, highly-educated knowledge professionals who are valuable assets to our company and clients.”
The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), the industry lobby group for Indian IT, said the data supports its contention that there is a shortage of skilled talent in the US and that American companies are hiring people from where it is available the most —India. “While it is a company’s decision on how it wants to recruit and retain talent, this is a reflection of the talent shortage with low unemployment rates and an increased demand for digital skills,” said Shivendra Singh, vice-president of the global trade department at Nasscom.
US grants H-1B visas to highly skilled people for a period of three years. This can be extended for a similar term. Most workers apply for a green card or permanent resident status towards the end of their H-1B visa tenure.
The application enables them to stay and work in the US legally while it is in process.
Companies are required to pay for a worker’s H-1B visa application, but the responsibility for a green card rests with the individual. However, many companies apply for an I-140 or Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker to retain a highly valued or skilled resource.
A prospective employer submits the Form I-140 to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to petition for an alien to work in the US on a permanent basis.
Currently, it takes an Indian applicant more than eight years to receive permanent resident status. It is estimated that up to 300,000 Indians could benefit if the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act or HR 1044 is passed by the US Senate.