S Gopalakrishnan, CEO, Infosys Technologies
INDIAN software giant Infosys Technologies on Wednesday (May 25) said it will “co-operate fully” with a probe by US authorities into allegations it violated visa laws.Infosys, one of the leaders of India’s flagship outsourcing sector, said it received a notice late on Tuesday (May 24) from a Texas court requesting documents used to obtain visas for staff attending meetings and conferences in the US.“We have received the subpoena and are currently internally reviewing details relating to the matter,” Infosys co-chairman S Gopalakrishnan said in Bangalore.Gopalakrishnan said the company will co-operate fully.The investigation is to determine whether Infosys used cheaper and easier-to-obtain B-1 visas for business visits, instead of the correct - and more expensive - H-1B work permits.The US State Department says visitors require a B-1 visa if they are travelling for a “scientific, education, professional or business convention, or conference... (to) settle an estate, or negotiate a contract”.In contrast, an H-1B visa allows US-based firms to temporarily employ foreign workers in certain specified occupations. The US issues 65,000 H-1B visas a year, the department said on its website.The subpoena was issued after an employee filed a lawsuit in the US alleging that the Nasdaq-listed Infosys was “improperly” using B1 visas.Indian IT firms also fly thousands of employees each year to the US to work at their clients’ locations as on-site technicians and engineers in what critics charge is a violation of the “spirit” of US immigration law.
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