Indian IT services supplier Infosys has agreed to pay $35m to settle a visa dispute with US authorities.
The company is expected to settle with US Department of Justice today. The settlement is expected to include the largest ever fine in a case like this and will send a message to offshore suppliers that rely on transferring staff to the US.
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Infosys said in its financial statement earlier this month that it has set aside $35m in relation to the case that alleges abuse of visa requirements when offshore staff are brought to the US. The money will go towards fines and other costs.
In its results the company said: “Infosys is engaged in discussions with the US Attorney's office and other government departments regarding a civil resolution of the government's investigation into the company's compliance with Form I-9 requirements and past use of B-1 visas. Based on the status of those discussions, Infosys has set aside a reserve of $35m.”
Read more about IT immigration in the UK
India based IT services companies rely on supplying workers from India to customers in the US and UK to help transfer knowledge when processes are outsourced. It is unpopular with IT professionals in the US and UK who cannot compete on price.
As a result, governments attempt to crack down on the practice. In the UK the Intra Company Transfer (ICT) allows offshore companies, with a UK office, to bring staff in. This is used as a loophole by suppliers that want to bring staff in without going through strict visa requirements.