Work Authorization for India: U.S. Companies Want More

Last Updated on March 2, 2023

In our 2018 Immigration Trends Report, we learned that demand for work permits outside the U.S. is important for more than half of American employers we surveyed. When we dug in deeper, we learned that work authorization for India is growing the fastest for U.S.-based companies.

Work authorization for India and other countries is up

Work authorization for India and other countries is up

While our immigration trends data found that Mexico is still the country that American companies deal with most often when it comes to non-U.S. immigration, the uptick in demand for work authorizations in markets outside North America is noticeable.

In fact, Canadian outbound immigration declined a couple percentage points over the past year, but work authorization in some Asian countries increased. Nineteen percent of employers told us India is the country they deal with most, up from 11 percent who told us the same last year. Employers are also working more in China, which saw growth from six to nine percent last year, and Japan, which saw a minimal increase from three to four percent.

Tech work moves to India

work authorization for India - tech work moves to India

Companies, particularly in the technology sector, have been opening up their workforce to India with increased frequency. According to the New York Times, more than a third of IBM’s 380,000-strong workforce is located in India. Other companies, like Oracle, Dell and Microsoft, also have more employees in India than ever before, highlighting the demand for a global workforce among some of America’s top tech companies.

This is further supported by our 2018 Immigration Trends Report, which found that 31 percent of technology companies deal most frequently with India when it comes to outbound immigration, whereas only 18 percent of non-tech companies responded the same.

Fewer Indian nationals are choosing to work or study in the U.S.

Fewer international students are choosing science and engineering programs at U.S. universities, too – with Indian students representing the largest drop in enrollment at 19 percent, according to PRI’s coverage of a National Science Foundation report. And this comes at a time when shifting tides of immigration have favored higher levels of scrutiny, largely aligning with a White House-issued executive order prioritizing American jobs.

Some shifts in American immigration targeted visas that many Indian workers use to work in the United States, including the popular H-1B visa. The number of H-1B visa applications went down in 2017 for the first time in five years, pointing to the possibility that many foreign nationals (including those from India) are choosing H-1B visa alternatives or settling in different destination countries.

The expansion of the global workforce and the tough-on-immigration regulatory changes in the U.S. have contributed to a shifting global landscape. Inbound immigration restraints are likely impacting the number of Indian nationals coming to the U.S. to work or study, and at the same time, interest in work authorization for India is on the rise among American employers.

Traveling to India

work authorization for India - traveling to India

Sending employees to work in India or other countries requires careful attention to international immigration policies, whether employees are relocating overseas or simply attending a meeting.

Global immigration compliance can be complicated and change often, so it’s important to keep up with the latest immigration news and policy updates and  track global employees’ international travel to ensure you maintain compliance.

If your company pursues work authorization for India, we’d love to help. Contact us to learn how technology can bring transparency to and streamline the process.