Indian tech-giant Infosys faces new visa fraud lawsuit

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Indian outsourcing giant, Infosys Technologies, is being investigated by federal authorities over visa fraud and is facing a second lawsuit over alleged abuse of the US work visa system.

A former Infosys account manager filed a lawsuit on 2 August in Northern California's US District Court. Satya Dev Tripuraneni claims he was punished after raising concerns with federal authorities that Infosys may be misusing US visas.

This is the second lawsuit filed against Infosys by an employee claiming they were harassed after raising concerns about the company's visa practices. Jay Palmer, a former Infosys employee, filed a lawsuit last year claiming he endured harassment and threats after he refused to help the company get B-1 visas for work requiring an H-1B work visa. The US B-1 visa allows entry of foreigners to come to the US for business visits; Frequently this is used by overseas employees when visiting the company's US office to attend meetings and to attend conferences, etc. The US believes Infosys used B-1 visas to bring over Indians to work in the US and so avoid having to apply for the H-1B work visa, which costs more and is more difficult to obtain. It is interesting to note that the B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa a variant of the B-1 visa does actually allow entry of overseas workers into the US to work on client contracts typically for six months at a time.

"We are investigating all his claims," Infosys spokeswoman Sukanya Ghosh said. "We categorically deny any allegation or assertion that there is or was a corporate policy of evading the law in connection with the B-1 Visa program. Our position is the same now as it has been from the beginning- We have not retaliated against any employee for bringing any suspected incident to the company's attention and we look forward to addressing this matter soon in open court."

In April 2012 the US Department of Homeland Security announced they were investigating Infosys for "errors in a significant percentage" of US visa applications submitted by the company. According to Infosys, the Department of Homeland Security is currently reviewing their verifications of employee work visa applications on the I-9 form. The I-9 form is used by an employer to verify an employee's identity and to certify that the worker is eligible to accept employment in the US. Every employee hired has to complete an I-9 form at the time of hire.

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