Limited H-1B visas may force companies to skip placement season at IITs

Visa H1 L1

Facebook may not be coming to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) this year, both for internship and final placement, according to sources from IIT placement cells, reports ET.

At least five IITs confirmed that the online social networking service, headquartered in Menlo Park, California, was not visiting them this year. Facebook had made about a dozen offers at three of these institutes last year with salaries going upwards of a crore and even touching Rs 2 crore for positions of software engineers in California.

“Visa is an issue for US based technology companies that hire from India,” said former placement manager at IIT Bombay, Mohak Mehta. The current quota for H1B visas is 65,000 which is exhausted in a matter of days of the annual allocation becoming available at the beginning of April each year. US demand for talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is estimated to go up to a million by the year 2020.

“Considering that a million of STEM workers would be needed by the US in some years, they are likely to fall short by almost 50 per cent. India has a good supply of talent in this space, which also includes the young IITians,” said Shivendra Singh, VP, NASSCOM.

Facebook declined to comment. But sources close to the company said it had visa problems last year too. It was forced to position its IIT hires at the UK for almost a year before getting visas in place for the US.

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“Facebook did not come this year for undergraduate interns at our IIT,” confirmed Atal Ashutosh Agarwal, Vice President, Technology Students’ Gymkhana at IIT Kharagpur. It is the same story at other IITs.


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