“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to become a villain.”
This line from The Dark Knight came to my mind when I was reading this news.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department have found that Infosys brought a number of its employees in US using B-1 Visa instead of the H1-B Visa. The B-1 Visa is fine for short stays and is perfect for small tours etc. It is easier to obtain and requires a fees of $160 only.
On the other hand H1-B Visa gives its owner the opportunity to work in US for 3 years and might cost an individual up to $5000. It is also not as easy to obtain and US issues a maximum of 65000 H1-B Visas per year. It is one of the most sought after Visa as well and thus a person faces fierce competition as well for it.
It is being said that Infosys brought some of its employees on B-1 Visa but these employees stayed beyond the expiration of the Visa. While Infosys maintains that they are not guilty of the charges, it seems that their erroneous hiring records gave them away.
While the actual amount of the fine will be set today (Wednesday), Infosys said that it had set aside around $35 million for the case and expenditure related to it. This would make it the most expensive fine ever levied by US on violation of immigration laws.
The investigation came into existence after a 2011 lawsuit filed by an Infosys employee named Jack Palmer, who sued the company for harassment and breach of contract. According to him, the managers of the company retaliated against him after he rose concerned against violation of immigration laws.
The biggest question from here is how does the reputation of Infosys is affected. There will obviously be greater scrutiny of Indian companies from here on and rules will have to be followed even more strenuously.
The image of the company itself will be tarnished because of this. While, it should not have a huge impact on the business incoming, spends might increase for Infosys in just following the procedures to the Tee.
I think it is time for other Indian Outsourcing giants like TCS, Wipro, Cognizant and others to check and correct their ledgers for any hiring discrepancies and malpractices.