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Infosys denies US visa fraud claims

Bangalore, Oct 29  (IANS) Indian IT bellwether Infosys Ltd Tuesday denied claims of systemic visa fraud, misuse of visas for competitive advantage or immigration abuse in the US, which accounts for over 60 percent of its export revenue.

“Claims of visa fraud or misuse of visas are untrue and only unproven assertions. The use of B-1 visas was for legitimate business purposes and not in any way intended to circumvent the requirements of the H-1B programme.

“No criminal charges have been filed against the company and no court rulings have been issued,” the global software major said in a statement to IANS here.

Reiterating its policy of adhering to all laws, rules and regulations where ever it operates, the company said it took compliance obligations seriously.

“In response to reports attributed to (US) Justice Department officials, we are in the process of completing a civil resolution with the government regarding its investigation of visa issues and I-9 documentation errors. The resolution has not been finalised,” the statement noted.

The company’s response came in light of media reports that the justice department was on the verge of slapping a fine of $35 million (Rs.215 crore) on it for allegedly violating visa norms.

Infosys earmarked $35 million from its reserve during second quarter of fiscal 2013-14 to battle a legal case in the US on its alleged misuse of B-1 visas in past.

The US’ justice and homeland security departments carried a joint investigation after a district court in Texas served a legal notice May 23, 2011 on the company, alleging misuse of B-1 visa rules by it in past.

The US immigration authorities issues B-1 visas for short-term visits to attend business seminars and restrict employees from engaging in gainful employment during their stay.

In a regulatory filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission in June 2011, the company admitted that any action by the US government against it in this regard would seriously affect its business in the North American market, which accounts for about 60 percent of its export revenue.

In a media advisory Monday, the office of US Attorney John M. Bales for the Eastern District of Texas said the department of homeland security and the state Department would Wednesday “announce the settlement of systemic visa fraud and immigration abuse allegations with an international corporation”.

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