US to Hand Out Biggest Immigration Fine Ever

Infosys used visitor visas instead of work visas
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2013 2:02 PM CDT
US to Hand Out Biggest Immigration Fine Ever
Infosys Executive Chairman N. R. Narayana Murthy listens to shareholders during the company's 32th Annual General Meeting in Bangalore, India, June 15, 2013.   (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

(Newser) – The federal government is expected to slap a record $35 million immigration fine on Infosys tomorrow, after Homeland Security and State Department investigators found that the Indian outsourcing company had been sneaking workers into the country on cheap visitor visas (B-1), instead of more expensive and harder to get temporary work visas (H-1B), sources tell the Wall Street Journal. This practice would have allowed Infosys to offer cheaper workers, undercutting the competition. B-1 visas cost $160, and take just days to secure; the H-1B variety, which are limited to 65,000 a year, can total $5,000 to obtain in a months-long process.

While Infosys is mostly known for providing tech services based in India, it also provides technical employees to employers in the US. Its clients have included the likes of Goldman Sachs, Wal-Mart, and Cisco. Authorities first got wind of its visa ploy in 2011, after employee Jack "Jay" Palmer sued the company, alleging that it had retaliated against him when he brought up suspected immigration violations. (Read more Infosys stories.)

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