25 H-1B Companies Image

What is the H-1B Program?

The H-1B visa program, which was created by Congress in 1990, allows companies in the U.S. to temporarily employ foreign workers in certain specialty occupations, such as engineering or information technology. Every fiscal year, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) makes 85,000 H-1B visas available to those individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree and are sponsored by a U.S. employer. Because the number of applications typically exceeds the annual cap, a random lottery process is used to distribute the visas, which are valid for three years. They can be extended for up to six years, and visa holders can also apply for permanent residency (i.e. a “green card”).

The intent behind the H-1B program was to create a means for companies to fill temporary skilled worker shortages. However, Rep. Bruce Morrison (D-CT), the sponsor of the legislation creating the visa program, contends that the “H-1B has been hijacked as the main highway to bring people from abroad and displace Americans.” Rather than supplementing the U.S. workforce, the program has morphed into a means by which companies can secure cheap labor at the expense of American workers.

Contrary to some employers’ claims that the program is needed to fill shortages or bring in “top talent” in specialty fields, a 2019 Atlantic Council report by scholars Ronil Hira and Bharath Gopalaswamy shows that “most H-1B workers have no more than ordinary skills, skills that are abundantly available in the U.S. labor market.”

The report’s findings are further supported by research from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) that shows that “only about one third of natives with college degrees in STEM fields actually hold STEM jobs.” In addition, the Wall Street Journal reported recently that many tech companies are passing over older American IT workers in favor of younger – and cheaper – applicants.

One of the reasons that it is difficult to pin down an exact number of H-1B employees in the U.S. is because many employers, including Google, Apple and Facebook, use contracting or staffing firms to circumvent the caps.

“If a company needs 3,000 placements, but was only awarded 1,500 visas directly from the USCIS, it might seek to fill the remaining 1,500 from subcontractors such as Tata Consultancy or Tech Mahindra, two contracting and outsourcing companies,” explained a recent Dice Insights article.

H-1B Workers: Where They Come from and Where They Work

Most of the information below, unless indicated otherwise, comes from the H-1B Employer Data Hub, which is maintained by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Another valuable source consists of statistics published by the Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification for FY 2019. The USCIS data encompasses the first three quarters of FY 2019.

The Data

Most of the information below, unless indicated otherwise, comes from the H-1B Employer Data Hub, which is maintained by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Another valuable source consists of statistics published by the Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification for FY 2019. The USCIS data encompasses the first three quarters of FY 2019.

The following is an alphabetized list of 25 well-known U.S. companies – or companies with an important U.S. presence – that utilize the H-1B guest worker program to bring in cheaper foreign labor, rather than hiring qualified Americans. Some of the companies listed below also have contracts with the United States government. In fact, the Department of Labor approved more than 2,000 H-1B workers for jobs in the federal government itself this fiscal year.

Amazon Logo
#1

Amazon.com Services

Amazon.com Services. One of the most well-known American companies, Amazon provides a range of e-commerce and retail services across the globe. Based in Seattle, Washington, Amazon is rapidly expanding and has plans to open a second headquarters outside of Washington, D.C. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post. Amazon.com Services received approximately 5,400 initial and continuing H-1B approval this fiscal year.

Apple, Inc.
#2

Apple, Inc.

Apple, Inc. The Cupertino, California-based American multinational is one of the largest technology companies in the U.S. with specializations in consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. In FY19, Apple was the beneficiary of over 2,700 initial and continuing H-1B approvals.

Bank of America Logo
#3

Bank of America

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, the multinational investment bank was ranked in 2019 as the second largest bank in the U.S. and the sixth largest globally by Business Insider. A 2016 Charlotte Observer article detailed Bank of America’s use and abuse of H-1B visas. In FY19, Bank of America received almost 550 initial and continuing approvals.

Cisco Logo
#4

Cisco Systems, Inc.

Based in San Jose, California, the multinational technology conglomerate is a leader in the production and marketing of networking hardware, telecommunications equipment, and other high-tech products. In April 2018, a DOL investigation found Cisco had discriminated against U.S. workers in favor of H-1B workers. Despite this finding, Cisco had $306.5 million in federal government contracts in 2019. In FY19, Cisco received approximately 1,600 initial and continuing approvals. 

Cognizant Technology Logo
#5

Cognizant Tech. Solutions, US Corp

Cognizant Technology Solutions, US Corp. A multinational information technology corporation based in New Jersey outside of New York City, Cognizant was sued in 2018 by former employees alleging ethno-racial discrimination against Americans in favor of Indian workers. Cognizant received almost 9,700 initial and continuing approvals in FY19.

Deloitte Logo
#6

Deloitte Consulting LLP

Founded and headquartered in the United Kingdom, the international company is best known for its professional services, including auditing, and financial risk advising. The fourth largest private company in the United States in 2019, Deloitte had $1.8 billion in federal government contracts in 2019. In FY19, the company received over 5,500 initial and continuing approvals.

Disney Logo
#7

Disney

A multinational entertainment and media conglomerate based in Burbank, California, the Walt Disney Company helped to catapult the abuse of H-1B visas into the spotlight in 2014-2015, when the corporation laid off 250 of its American workers and forced them to train their foreign H-1B replacements. While in smaller numbers, Disney continues to employ H-1B workers. In FY19, Disney received 28 initial and continuing approvals, compared with 68 in 2014 and 64 in 2015.

Ernst & Young Logo
#8

Ernst & Young

A multinational accounting, auditing, and tax preparation firm, it is based in London but is the seventh largest privately-owned company in the United States. In July 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded Ernst & Young a $49 million contract for “intelligent automation and artificial intelligence (IAAI) products and services.” In FY19, the company received well over 2,200 initial and continuing approvals.

Facebook Logo
#9

Facebook

One of the faces of California’s Silicon Valley, the Menlo Park-based social media company was ranked by Investopedia as the seventh largest tech company in the nation. With approximately 2.4 billion Facebook users worldwide, its influence and reach is immense, but that does not protect it from accusations made about widespread H-1B abuse by former employees. In FY19, Facebook received approximately 2,600 initial and continuing H-1B approvals. 

Google Logo
#10

Google

The presence of this multinational technology giant based in Mountain View, California, is so large that its name is part of the common lexicon. Despite being able to select at will from a vast talent pool of tech graduates, Google still participates in the H-1B visa program. In FY19, the company received 4,700 initial and continuing H-1B approvals.

Infosys Logo
#11

Infosys Limited

One of the leading users of H-1B visas is Infosys, an Indian company headquartered in Bangalore, India, but with numerous offices throughout the United States. It provides business consulting, information technology, and outsourcing services. In 2013, Infosys was required to pay $34 million to settle allegations of visa fraud, namely of using B-1 business visitor visas to fill jobs reserved for American or H-1B workers. The corporation received over 3,800 initial and continuing approvals in FY19.

JP Morgan Chase Logo
#12

JP Morgan Chase

Headquartered in New York City, JP Morgan Chase is a multinational investment bank that ranks as the largest bank in the country, and the fifth largest worldwide. In FY19, JP Morgan Chase received over 1,200 initial and continuing approvals.

KForce Logo
#13

KForce, Inc.

KForce is a staffing services firm in the fields of accounting, technology, and finance. It is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. In FY19, KForce received approximately 600 initial and continuing approvals.

Lyft logo
#14

Lyft

Based in San Francisco, Lyft is the second largest ride-sharing company in the United States. In FY19, Lyft received 158 initial and continuing approvals.

Microsoft Logo
#15

Microsoft

The omnipresent multinational technology company is headquartered in Redmond, Washington, with a growing reliance upon foreign worker visas. In 2014, Microsoft laid off 18,000 U.S. employees while pushing for more H-1Bs. In October 2019, the U.S. Department of Defense picked Microsoft (over Amazon) for a JEDI cloud computing contract worth $10 billion over a ten-year period. It received 3,257 initial and continuing approvals in FY19.

Netflix Logo
#16

Netflix

Best known for its subscription-based streaming service, Netflix is an American company based in Los Gatos, California. In FY19, Netflix received 135 initial and continuing approvals.

Nike Logo
#17

Nike

Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Nike has a long record of dominance in athletic footwear and apparel. It also has a long history of outsourcing jobs to low-wage countries while also laying off 1,400 U.S. workers in Beaverton in 2017 alone. In addition to moving American jobs overseas, Nike also displaces U.S. workers by using the H-1B program. In FY19, Nike received 168 initial and continuing approvals.

Qualcomm Logo
#18

Qualcomm Technologies

Headquartered in San Diego, California, Qualcomm is a multinational semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company. In 2016, the San Diego Reader reported that Qualcomm had fired American engineers and required them to train their foreign replacements. In FY19, Qualcomm received over 1,000 initial and continuing H-1B approvals.

Sony Logo
#19

Sony

With its base in Tokyo, the Japanese multinational has a broad portfolio ranging from electronics through entertainment to financial services. Its subsidiary, Sony Interactive Entertainment, which produces the PlayStation gaming console, receives the lion’s share of the company’s H-1B approvals. In FY19, Sony received 171 initial and continuing approvals.

Starbucks logo
#20

Starbucks

One of the most famous coffee shop chains, Seattle-based Starbucks received 102 initial and continuing H-1B approvals in

Tata Consultancy Services Logo
#21

Tata Consultancy Services Limited

Based in Mumbai, India, Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS) is a multinational specializing in information technology services and consulting with a significant presence in the United States. In 2013, the company was ordered to pay $30 million for requiring its non-U.S.-citizen employees to hand their tax refund checks over to Tata. It received a little over 5,400 initial and continuing approvals this fiscal year.

Tesla Logo
#22

Tesla

Tesla is an American automotive and energy company based in Palo Alto, California. Tesla received 469 initial and continuing approvals in FY19.

Twitter Logo
#23

Twitter

The San-Francisco-based social networking and microblogging service received 175 initial and continuing approvals in FY19.

Uber Logo
#24

Uber

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, it is the largest ride-sharing company in the United States. Uber recently fired more than 1,000 employees over a ten-week period while also doubling the number of H-1B visa workers in management, marketing, and tech positions. In FY19, Uber had over 800 initial and continuing H-1B approvals.

Walmart Logo
#25

Walmart

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart, Inc., is known worldwide for operating a chain of hypermarkets throughout the United States. In 2015, the AFL-CIO brought attention to H-1B visa abuse by Walmart, but that has not dissuaded the company from using the H-1B visas – primarily to hire foreign workers to fill accounting and financial jobs. In FY19, Walmart received approximately 1,050 initial and continuing H-1B approvals.

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Additional Companies

Other well-known companies you may be familiar with that hire hundreds or thousands of foreign H-1B workers include: Aecom, American Airlines, American Express, AT&T, Best Buy, Bloomberg, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Boeing, Citibank, Comcast, Costco, CVS Pharmacy, Dell, FedEx, Ford Motor, General Electric, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Halliburton Energy, Home Depot, Hulu, IBM, Intel, Leidos, Mastercard, Samsung, Tech Mahindra, United Healthcare, Verizon, Walgreen Co. (aka Walgreen’s), Wells Fargo, Whole Foods, Wipro, and many more.