Microsoft is the largest U.S. user of H-1B visas, study says

Microsoft was granted more H-1B visas in 2008 than any other U.S.-based company, according to a report in Computerworld. In 2008, it received approval for 1,037 visas, which was a slight increase from the number it used in 2007. Weirdly, but understandably, this is only about one-quarter of the H-1B visas granted to Indian outsourcer Infosys Technologies, who the government deemed worthy to receive 4,559 visas. In fact, Microsoft was No. 5 on the list of the top 5 users of imported talent. Outsourcers Wipro, Satyam Computer Services, and Tata Consultancy Services were all granted more visas than Microsoft (see chart). Nevertheless, Microsoft used at least twice as many H-1B visas as any other U.S. company, according to the report.

(See a searchable listing of the companies receiving H-1B visas in 2008. Here is the top five taken from that list.)

Company name

# of visas in 2008











UPDATED: 02/24/09 In somewhat related Microsoft employment news, we also bring you the strange tale of how Microsoft wanted some of the workers it laid off in January to pay back some severance money, according to TechCrunch. The company says it made an accounting error and overpaid some workers in excess of the package they were offered. It originally wanted repayment within two weeks, but the day after the TechCrunch blog post appeared, Microsoft changed its mind and said the roughly 25 workers who received the extra pay could keep it, reports The story reports that overpayments ranged from a few hundred dollars to as much as $5,000. At the same time, Microsoft reportedly underpaid other workers -- though the article doesn't say whether it promised those workers the severance they are owed within two weeks. Microsoft paid laid-off workers a minimum of 60 days salary plus other compensation based on the length of their service.

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