US visa scrutiny set to impact Indian technology industry

- Posted in America by Visa Bureauon 26 May 2011

The scrutiny comes as United States authorities investigate whether one of India's largest technology outsourcing companies, Infosys Technologies Ltd, abused a temporary US Visa program to get Indian employees into America for longer-term assignments.

The investigation follows the introduction of new American immigration last year that significantly increased fees for skilled worker visas, a measure that was supported by senators who had determined that the visa practices of several Indian companies was misusing the American visa program.

IT companies in India generate approx. 60% of their annual revenue from clients in the United States, but most Indian companies rely on H-1B visas for their workers to enter America. However, these visas are capped at 65,000 a year, and the qualification criteria can be difficult to meet.

The investigation of Infosys focuses on whether it abused the B-1 visa category, which is only intended for short-term visits. 

Infosys released a statement earlier this week confirming that it had received a grand jury subpoena and that it intends to cooperate with the investigation. The statement also said: "At this time, we are not able to comment further on this grand jury investigation, but do want to reiterate that we take our legal-compliance obligations very seriously."

The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their ESTA application to the US Embassy.