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Indian outsourcing firm faces $35m US fine

US newspaper says Infosys undercut competitors in bids by putting workers on cheaper visitor visas instead of work visas

Last Modified: 29 Oct 2013 07:30
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A probe by the Department of Homeland Security concluded that Infosys used easy-to-get B1 visas [EPA]

The US government plans to punish Indian outsourcing giant Infosys Ltd with the largest immigration fine ever for seeking visas fraudulently for workers at big clients in America, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Infosys is accused of putting workers on visitor visas rather than work visas. The former are much easier and cheaper to obtain than the latter.

The fine is expected to be about $35m, the paper said on Tuesday, quoting people familiar with the matter.

A probe by the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department concluded that Infosys used easy-to-get B1 visas, which are meant for short business visits, to bring an unknown number of its workers to the US for long-term stays, the people were quoted as saying.

The fine will be announced on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal said.

It said a company spokesman confirmed a resolution will be announced on Wednesday and said Infosys had set aside $35m to settle the case and cover legal costs.

With its alleged practice Infosys could undercut competitors in bids for programming, accounting and other work performed for clients, the Journal said.

Infosys clients have included Goldman Sachs Group, Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Cisco Systems Inc.

Infosys is known as an outsourcing company that does India-based computing and other technology services for Western clients.

But it also features thousands of US-based employees who develop and install software for accounting, logistics and supply-chain management in the retailing, finance and manufacturing sectors, the Wall Street Journal said.

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