Reflecting the changed ground realties in the U.S. in the wake of economic crisis, there has been a sharp drop in H1B work visas being applied for and obtained by major IT companies from India.

For instance Infosys, which got as many as 4,559 H1B visas in fiscal 2008 and was on top of the list of firms bagging the coveted scheme for professionals, received just 440 H1B visas in the fiscal 2009 (from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009), according to the latest figures released by the US Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Similarly, Wipro, which in 2008 got 2,678 H1B visas, received just 1,964 in 2009; but still topped the list in the fiscal 2009.

In 2008, four out of the top five spots for companies bagging the maximum number of H-1B visas were grabbed by Indian companies. These were Infosys (4,559), Wipro (2678), Satyam (1917) and Tata Consultancy Services (1539). Microsoft with 1037 H1B visas was the only U.S. company to figure in the top five.

However, the situation has changed dramatically in 2009 amid the global financial meltdown.