US accuses Infosys and TCS of unfairly cornering the lion's share of H-1B visas

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The US has accused top Indian IT firms TCS and Infosys of unfairly cornering the lion's share of H-1B visas by putting extra tickets in the lottery system, which the Trump administration wants to replace with a more merit-based immigration policy.

At a White House briefing last week, an official in the Trump administration said a small number of giant outsourcing firms flood the system with applications which naturally ups their chances of success in the lottery draw.

You may know their names well, but like the top recipients of the H-1B visa are companies like Tata, Infosys, Cognizant -- they will apply for a very large number of visas, more than they get, by putting extra tickets in the lottery raffle, if you will, and then they'll get the lion's share of visas,'' the senior official said, according to transcript of the briefing posted on the White House website.

Responding to a follow up on why Indian companies were singled out for a mention, the White House response said Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Cognizant were the top three recipients of H-1B visas. And those three companies are companies that have an average wage for H-1B visas between USD 60,000 and USD 65,000 (a year).

By contrast, the median Silicon Valley software engineer's wage is probably around USD 150,000, the official said. He said contracting firms that are not skills employers, who oftentimes use workers for entry-level positions, capture the lion's share of H-1B visas.

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