With the current state of US immigration policies and the prioritization of domestic workers over foreign ones, visa denials have become increasingly common for companies looking to source foreign talent. As one of the major visa sponsors in the US, Cognizant has faced a growing number of visa denials in recent years, causing significant disruptions to its operations and workforce.
In this article, we delve into the causes, consequences, and solutions to Cognizant visa denials, and provide insights that can help businesses navigate the complex landscape of US immigration policies.
- Cognizant, like other IT services companies in the US, relies heavily on H-1B visas to hire foreign talent.
- Visa denials have become more frequent and stricter in recent years due to the Trump administration’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, which prioritizes domestic workers over foreign ones.
- Cognizant has seen an increase in visa denials in the past few years, with a denial rate of 32% in FY2019, up from 1% in FY2015.
- Cognizant visa denials can result in significant disruptions to the company’s operations and workforce, including increased costs, project delays, and loss of institutional knowledge.
- To mitigate the impact of visa denials, companies like Cognizant can explore alternative visa categories, such as L-1, O-1, and EB-1, and look for talent in non-traditional regions.
- Companies can also invest in upskilling and reskilling their existing workforce to reduce their dependence on foreign talent and improve local hiring.
Understanding Cognizant Visa Denials
Cognizant, like many other IT services companies in the US, relies heavily on H-1B visas to hire foreign talent. H-1B visas are a non-immigrant visa that allows US employers to temporarily hire foreign workers in specialty occupations, such as computer programming, engineering, and science. These visas are valid for up to three years, with the option of extension for an additional three years.
However, visa denials have become more frequent and stricter in recent years due to the Trump administration’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, which directs federal agencies to prioritize domestic workers over foreign ones. This has resulted in a greater scrutiny of H-1B visa applications and an increase in the rate of denials.
Cognizant has been particularly affected by this trend, with a steep rise in visa denials in the past few years. According to a report by the National Foundation for American Policy, Cognizant had a 32% H-1B visa denial rate in FY2019, up from 1% in FY2015. This is higher than the average denial rate for all H-1B visa sponsors, which was 24% in FY2019.
Consequences of Cognizant Visa Denials
The rise of visa denials has significant consequences for companies like Cognizant, which rely heavily on foreign talent to meet their business needs. Visa denials can result in increased costs, project delays, loss of institutional knowledge, and loss of reputation.
For example, Cognizant had to pay $95 million in visa application fees alone in FY2019, according to the same report by the National Foundation for American Policy. This is a significant increase from the $8 million the company paid in FY2015. Moreover, visa denials can lead to project delays and loss of institutional knowledge, as foreign workers may have to return to their home countries and are unable to transfer their knowledge and experience to US-based workers.
Visa denials can also have a negative impact on a company’s reputation, particularly if the company is seen as a visa abuser or if the denial is due to a violation of immigration laws. This can make it harder for the company to attract and retain talent, and can result in a loss of business.
Solutions to Cognizant Visa Denials
To mitigate the impact of visa denials, companies like Cognizant can explore alternative visa categories and look for talent in non-traditional regions. For example, companies can consider the L-1 visa, which allows intra-company transferees to work in the US for up to seven years, or the O-1 visa, which is reserved for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
Companies can also invest in upskilling and reskilling their existing workforce, which can help reduce their dependence on foreign talent and improve local hiring. By investing in training, companies can create a more skilled and diverse workforce that is better equipped to meet their business needs.
Cognizant visa denials have become a growing concern for the company and other visa sponsors in the US. While there is no easy solution to this complex issue, companies can take steps to mitigate the impact of visa denials by exploring alternative visa categories, investing in training and upskilling, and looking for talent in non-traditional regions.
By taking a proactive approach to immigration policies, businesses can build a more resilient and adaptable workforce that is better equipped to navigate the challenges of a rapidly changing global economy.
Can Cognizant appeal a visa denial?
Yes, Cognizant can appeal a visa denial by filing a motion to reopen or reconsider with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). However, the success rate of appeals is generally low, and the process can take several months to resolve.
How can Cognizant reduce its dependence on foreign talent?
Cognizant can reduce its dependence on foreign talent by investing in upskilling and reskilling its existing workforce, and by looking for talent in non-traditional regions. By creating a more diverse and skilled workforce, Cognizant can reduce its reliance on H-1B visas and improve local hiring.
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