Indians got 38 percent H-1B visas in 2008; 66,000 became citizens

April 13th, 2009 - 7:55 pm ICT by IANS  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, April 13 (IANS) Indian nationals topped the list of H-1B work visas for highly skilled categories issued by the United States last year making up 38 percent of the total, according to an official report.

India also accounts for maximum number of people entering the US on L-1 visa, which is primarily used for intra-company transferees, said the Annual Flow Report released by the Office of Immigration Statistics.

The report said Indian nationals accounted for 157,726 (37.8 percent) of the 409,619 H-1B admissions in the US in 2008. In terms of numbers, this is a drop of about 3,000 as compared to 2007. In 2006 the figure was 125,717.

Canada came a distant second in terms of H-1B visa admissions. In 2008 as many as 23,312 (5.7 percent) Canadian nationals were admitted to the US on this visa category, followed by the United Kingdom (4.7 percent).

Nationals from these three countries accounted for 48 percent of H1B admissions.

A record 1,046,539 persons were naturalised in the US in 2008 with those born in Mexico 231,815 (22 percent) topping the list. India came next with 65,971(6.3 percent), followed by the Philippines (5.6 percent) with 58,792, China with 40,017 (3.8 percent) and Cuba with 39,871 (3.8 percent).

The largest number of persons naturalising lived in California (297,909), Florida (128,328), and New York (90,572).

The 10 countries with the largest number of naturalisations accounted for 57 percent of all new citizens in 2008.

The leading countries of citizenship for resident non-immigrant admissions to the United States in 2008 were Mexico (12 percent), India (12 percent), Japan (7 percent), South Korea (5.9 percent), and the United Kingdom (5.9 percent).

These five countries accounted for more than 40 percent of resident non-immigrant admissions to the United States. From 2007 to 2008, notable increases in resident non-immigrant admissions occurred among citizens from China (19 percent increase), Mexico (16 percent increase), and India (5.6 percent increase).

Increased admissions from India were concentrated among academic student (F1) and intracompany transferee (L1) classes.

Nearly half of academic student admissions (F1) were nationals of five countries: South Korea (15 percent), China (11 percent), India (9.9 percent), Japan (6.8 percent), and Mexico (6.3 percent).

Between 2006 and 2008, South Korea, China, and India showed consistent increases in F1 admissions, while admissions from Japan declined during the same period.

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