Infosys to face largest ever immigration fine

by CXOtoday News Desk    Oct 29, 2013

Infosys

The US government is set to slap Infosys with the largest immigration fine ever, reports The Wall Street Journal. It is alleged that the company was illegally placing its workers on visitor visa instead of work visa to serve some of its large corporate clients in the US.

According to the report, the government will soon announce a fine of about $35 million on Infosys. “An investigation by the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department found that the Indian company used inexpensive, easy-to-obtain B-1 visas meant to cover short business visits—instead of harder-to-get H-1B work visas—to bring an unknown number of its employees for long-term stays, these people say,” says the report.

The move comes after the US government’s recent announcement where it said it would be tightening visa regulations to prevent foreign companies from misusing them. “This complaint and large settlement should be a wake-up call to all employers that the government is serious about enforcing the H-1B visa regulations,” Stephen Yale-Loehr, a Cornell University immigration-law professor was quoted as saying.

Infosys, which has always been known for its highly ethical business practices, was caught in this strom due to a complaint made by a disgruntled foreign employee.

Although Infosys has declined to comment on the details of the investigation, a company spokesperson has responded saying it is in talks for a “civil resolution of the government’s investigation into the company’s compliance” with employment-record “I-9 form” requirements and past use of the B-1 visa. A company spokesman, who confirmed a resolution will be announced Wednesday, said Infosys had set aside $35 million to settle the case and cover legal costs. He said the sum was “a good indication” of the amount involved. Employers complete an I-9 form to verify the identity and employment authorization of each new hire.

The US government has recently upped its antennae against fraudulent practices, training and other fees that have raised the price of securing an H-1B visa. The alleged practice enabled Infosys to offer competitive rates to its large clients like Goldman Sachs Group, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Cisco Systems.