The Infosys campus in Bangalore. Photo: Reuters

With the new US administration moving toward a stricter visa regime and software companies increasingly relying on cloud computing and artificial intelligence, the top seven Indian information technology (IT) companies experienced a steep 37% drop in approved H-1B visa petitions in 2016 as compared to the previous year.

A report by National Foundation for American Policy, a US-based non-profit think-tank, has revealed that in 2016 9,356 H1B visas were issued to these seven companies, compared with 14,792 in the previous year, reports PTI.

The report comes after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order in April for tightening the rules of the H-1B visa program to stop “visa abuses”.

According to the report, the number of approved new H-1B petitions for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) declined 56% to 2040 in FY 2016 from 4,874 in 2015. For Wipro, the petitions declined 52% to 1,474 in FY 2016 from 3,079 in FY 2015. In case of Infosys, it declined 16% to 2,376 from 2,830 in FY 2015.

Among the top companies with new H-1B petitions approved in 2016 were Cognizant (3,949), Infosys (2,376), TCS (2,040), Accenture (1,889), IBM (1,608) and Wipro (1,474).

The report said the drop in new H-1B visas for India-based companies is expected to continue as the industry moves toward digital services such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence, which require fewer workers, and companies can build up their domestic workforce in the US.

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