The Infosys Corporation recently settled a lawsuit that alleged that the business consulting and outsourcing company engaged in a rampant abuse of federal visa and immigration processes. The company settled for $34 million and also agreed to implement an array of corporate compliance mandates that would essentially act as a sort of policy watchdog over Infosys’s immigration procedures. For companies that frequently require H-1B or B-1 visas for foreign workers, the settlement comes as a stiff warning against cutting corners when it comes to proper work visa application protocol. Many of these immigrants may be left with an uncertain future, and may need the help of an immigration attorney to help sort things out.
Infosys, like many companies in the United States, hires workers from overseas on a consistent basis for contract and temporary work. The lawsuit against them alleged that the company was bringing foreigners into the country to work with U.S. companies without having them properly documented. Specifically, it states that many workers on H-1B visas were not actually working in the cities for which their visas had received approval. It also states that the B-1 visas – which are essentially “temporary visitor” visas that are designated only for meetings and conferences – were illegally used to give workers coming in from India skilled labor jobs intended either for U.S. citizens or holders of the proper H-1B visa. The lawsuit also alleged systemic inaccuracies in the documentation required for the B-1 visas as well as the company instructing the India-based employees to give inaccurate or misleading information to consular and immigration officials regarding the type of work they would be doing while in the United States.
The case is still in the process of settling but the agreement by Infosys to pay the $34 million sum serves as a warning to other similar companies that might try and skirt immigration laws or proper immigration protocol. Contracting companies, end-users, and immigrating employees need to seek competent and reliable counsel when it comes to foreign workers being employed in the United States. Doing so ensures proper drafting of any contractual agreements and also ensures that any policies and procedures, whether internal or otherwise, prevent protocol abuse or misunderstanding. Negative publicity and litigation are the Achilles heels of corporate health and conducting an annual or semi-annual review of corporate policies and procedures in order to ensure they are being followed is something that every consulting company in America that deals with foreign workers should do.
The Infosys case has turned a spotlight on an issue that until now has gone largely unnoticed. Any consulting firm that deals heavily with foreign workers is likely to be more vigilant about their policies after learning of the news about Infosys. It is important that all U.S. embassies around the world and the visa fraud investigatory personnel who work therein make certain that all parties involved in immigration and work visa application procedures have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of U.S. immigration laws and that compliance with those laws is a priority. If you or someone you know is in need of a knowledgeable and experienced immigration law firm, please visit the Austin immigration attorney at Lyttle Law Firm, PLLC website or call their offices in Austin, Texas at 512-215-5225.