H1B Visa Holders in USA: An Overview

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • The H1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa allowing US companies to hire graduate-level workers in fields such as finance, IT, architecture, engineering, and medicine.
  • Available to individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher in a relevant field, the application process is employer-sponsored, with a limited number of visas available annually.
  • The top countries for H1B visa holders in the US include India, China, Canada, South Korea, Philippines, UK, Taiwan, Mexico, France, and Pakistan.
  • Top companies hiring H1B visa holders include Ernst and Young, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Deloitte Consulting, HCL America, Apple, Qualcomm Technologies, Tata Consultancy Services, Amazon Fulfillment Services, Kforce, and Mphasis Corporation.

The number of H1B visa holders in the USA is quite noteworthy. As a matter of fact, many companies have been founded with the help of first or second-generation immigrants. This makes this type of visa quite popular among non-US citizens. With that in mind, on a yearly basis, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) gets a staggering total of 85,000 such as visa applications. In this article, we will assess this topic in more detail.

What Is an H1B Visa?

Let’s start with the basics, and see the main characteristics of this type of visa. For one thing, the US H1B visa stands for a nonimmigrant visa. This enables US companies to hire graduate-level workers.

Essentially, these workers usually occupy positions that imply both theoretical and technical expertise in fields including financing, IT, architecture, accounting, mathematics, engineering, medicine, and so on and so forth.

Simply put, any job that would require you to have a bachelor’s degree or a higher degree in a given field or expertise would qualify you to get an H1B visa. In case you don’t have a bachelor’s degree in that given field, you will be required to facilitate degree equivalence. Usually, you do this by supplying additional qualifications and work experience.

The application process for the H1B visa is time-efficient, which makes this a popular option for many companies looking to hire proficient staff. It’s also worth outlining that you, as an individual, don’t have the possibility of applying directly for an H1B visa.

The law requires an employer to file the petition on behalf of the employee. Before doing that, though, the employer must submit a labor condition application to the Department of labor. An employer can proceed with the petition for this visa only after getting a certificate from the Department of labor.

And while the application process is, indeed, time-effective, there are only a given number of applications that are selected. So, we might say that we are dealing with a sort of H1B visa lottery. For instance, as stated by the law, 85,000 new H1B visas are made available to immigrants.

The reason why a lottery is used in order to select the petitions that are processed is the high number of applicants. In other words, the number of applications is higher than the number of available visas.

How many Indian H1B Visa Holders are in the U.S.?

There are close to 3 million H1B visa holders in the U.S. Of those 3 million, more than 65,000 are Indian H1

Top Countries Where US H1B Visa Holders Come from

It is interesting to point out that there are so many qualified immigrants that choose to practice their profession in the US. In view of H1B visa holders in the USA, you might have questions regarding the countries of residence of most immigrants.

According to the USCIS, in the last year, there were no less than 419,637 foreign nationals working in the US under the H1B visa. But what are the nationalities that remain prevalent? Let’s have a look.


First of all, at the very top of the list of H1B visa holders in the USA, Indians are present in the highest numbers. With that in mind, in the fiscal year of 2017, the total number of beneficiaries was 276,423.

In view of initial employment, a number of 67,815 Indian workers were monitored in the fiscal year of 2017. Namely 208,608 Indians continued their employment in 2017.

It is interesting to point out that there seems to be a gender disparity when it comes to Indian H1B visa holders in the USA. More specifically, only 20.4 percent out of the total number of visa holders are female. The rest of 80 percent are males.

Statistically speaking, Indians account for 73.9 percent out of the total number of H1B visa holders in the USA.


Moving on, the Indian demographic is followed by the Chinese. In this view, the gender discrepancy is not as significant. In fact, 45.2 percent of the Chinese H1B visa holders in the USA are female, whereas 54.5 are males.

To that end, in 2016, roughly 21,657 H1B visas were issued to Chinese nationals.


Next on the list is Canada. You’ll notice that the numbers start to diminish, in comparison with the first two countries on the list – namely India and China. Therefore, in the fiscal year of 2017, the total number of Canadian beneficiaries was of 3,758.

Furthermore, in view of the initial employment situation, 2,226 Canadians were noted in the fiscal year of 2017. And 1,532 continued their employment.

South Korea

Moreover, it appears that South Korea follows Canada, in view of H1B visa holders in the USA. The number of South Korean visa beneficiaries in 2017 was of 3,307.

This is followed by about 1,442 South Koreans that pursued initial employment in the fiscal year of 2017. 1865 applied for continuing employment in 2017.


It would seem that qualified workers from the Philippines also come to the US in order to practice their profession. Some consider coming to the US via a visa sponsor. You should note that this is an option, as well, and there are several ways in which you can find visa sponsorship.

Leaving this aside, in 2016, the number of H1B visa holders in the USA from the Philippines was higher than in 2017. Namely, in the fiscal year of 2016, there were 3,882 beneficiaries, whilst in 2017 there were 3,735.

Moving on to initial employment, 1,295 H1B visa holders in the USA from the Philippines were noted. In terms of continuing employment, 2,440 immigrants from this country were monitored in the fiscal year of 2017.

United Kingdom

It would seem that the British are also among the qualified workers that come to the US. In 2017, there were 1,882 British beneficiaries of this type of visa.

883 British citizens were initially employed in 2017. In the same year, 1,049 continued their employment in the country.


In regards to the H1B visa holders in the USA coming from Taiwan, their numbers are noteworthy as well. In 2017, 2,144 Taiwanese benefited from an H1B visa.

1,052 had initial employment in the same fiscal year, whereas 1,092 carried out with their employment status in the US.


Evidently, Mexico couldn’t miss from this list, considering the significant number of Mexican immigrants in the US. Some might be undecided whether they should choose traveling to the US via the H1B visa or the TN visa.

As for the number of Mexicans that chose the H1B visa in favor of other options, in 2016, there were around 2,104 beneficiaries. In view of continuing employment, in 2017, there were roughly 1,164 Mexicans noted.


To continue, French citizens are also on the list of visa beneficiaries. In the fiscal year of 2017, a number of 1,542 French beneficiaries were established. In view of initial employment, the number is smaller – namely 721 in the fiscal year of 2017.

This is followed by 821 French professionals continuing their employment in the US, in the same fiscal year.


And lastly, the tenth on our list of H1B visa holders in the USA is Pakistan. In 2017, the number of total beneficiaries of this type of visa was of 1,643. As for continuing employment, there were roughly 949 Pakistani noted in the 2017 fiscal year.

Top 10 Companies Hiring H1B Visa Holders in the US

Also on the topic of H1B visa holders in the USA, it is important to realize that some of the most competitive companies in the marketplace hire foreign staff. Simply put, approximately half of the 500 Fortune companies were established with the help of immigrants.

This is primarily why one might have some expectations in this view. For instance, some assume that the American government should support this program, considering that the business sector is dependent on foreign qualified workers.

For instance, in the year of 2017, Amazon was one of the main guarantors of this type of visas, acknowledging that the contribution of qualified engineers and scientists plays a key role in the country’s development.

Usually, this visa program is considered by most people as being essential for American innovation – particularly in the most competitive domains, such as high tech, IT, technology, so on and so forth.

Still, it would seem that Donald Trump has a critical viewpoint of the program – more specifically to the fact that special work permits are issued for the spouses of H1B workers. But usually, as it is the case with most immigration policies, things are more complicated than they seem, as there are different facets to the story. For example, the application process is bound to be simplified through the implementation of technology.

This will essentially make the application process faster, not to mention that the overall costs will be reduced for the applicant. In other words, as an applicant, the law will basically require you to file the application online with the USCIS. Therefore, the employer won’t have to support the needed documentation prior to the cap selection process.

On that note, let’s see what companies hold the highest numbers of H1B visa holders in the USA. We’ll assess the official info from the fiscal year of 2018.

Ernst and Young

Ernst and Young is the first company on this list, with a staggering number of 140,766 H1B visa holders in the USA. That is to say, this accounts for roughly 12.4 percent out of all foreign certification for an H1B work visa.

Cognizant Technology Solutions

To continue, Cognizant Technology Solutions has hired namely 38,205 foreign nationals in the fiscal year of 2018.

Deloitte Consulting

Deloitte Consulting is next on the list, which received a total number of 31,988 immigrants. These immigrants essentially occupy key specialty positions.

HCL America

As pointed out in official reports, HCL America is another company that gets a significant percentage of its staff from H1B visa holders in the USA. Namely, 23,812 immigrants have been hired in the fiscal year of 2018 under this visa.


As we already pointed out, some of the most renowned companies in the marketplace hire qualified foreign nationals. Apple makes no exception to the rule.

Statistically speaking, it hired 20,168 individuals through this visa program.

Qualcomm Technologies

Moving on to another important leader in the marketplace, Qualcomm Technologies has also hired 15,612 foreign nationals in 2018. This company is a leading figure in the world of telecommunications.

Tata Consultancy Services

Next on the list is Tata Consultancy Services, another renowned name in its segment of operation. To that end, in the fiscal year of 2018, 15,581 foreigners were hired in the service of this multinational.

Amazon Fulfillment Services

We’ve briefly pointed out that Amazon is among the top leaders in the industry that gets a significant number of its qualified staff from other countries. That being said, a number of 11,644 foreign nationals entered the USA via the H1B visa program to work for Amazon.


Kforce has employed 10,553 foreign nationals through this visa program. This company is highly focused on targeting proficient foreign workers.

Mphasis Corporation

And the last on our list is Mphasis Corporation. In the fiscal year of 2018, this corporation employed 10,403 foreign nationals.

Read More


To conclude, the number of H1B visa holders in the USA is definitely considerable, as you’ve seen in the paragraphs above. Working in the US comes with numerous opportunities – opportunities for advancement, self-development, perfecting your knowledge in your expertise, and the list could go on.

Still, there are some challenges that cannot go unnoticed. For instance, you might find it difficult to get a loan that will meet your individual needs as an immigrant. This is where we, at Stilt, come in. We provide you with loan options that will most likely help you reach your goals. Contact us for more information and we’ll gladly assist you.

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