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October 31 2013

Government Imposes Record $34 Million Fine on Infosys for Visa Fraud and Abuse

By: Nathaniel R. Wolf

The Department of Homeland Security recently announced that it has imposed a $34 million fine on Infosys for alleged immigration violations.  Infosys agreed to pay the fine without admitting any wrongdoing to close the investigation and conclude the civil case.  The company acknowledged mistakes in filing the federal employment verification records, known as I-9 forms.  This case could prompt more stringent requirements for work visas as Congress proposes new immigration laws.  The complaint against Infosys stemmed from allegations regarding “invitation letters” that purportedly misrepresented the purpose of employees’ travel.  The invitation letters were in support of B-1 visas, which are relatively low in cost and have less administrative oversight.  The Department of Homeland Security alleged that Infosys should have actually applied for H-1B visas, which typically take months to be processed and cost approximately $5,000 per worker.  In a review of 6,500 B-1 visas used by Infosys employees, government investigators allegedly found hundreds of instances of the documents being used improperly.  The government also alleged that Infosys directed employees to mislead Customs & Border Protection officers at airports regarding their destinations and their intended business activities.

The fine against Infosys is another in a trend of increased enforcement to counter visa fraud and abuse.  It also demonstrates the need for periodic audits of I-9 files to make sure your files are in compliance with immigration laws.

If you have questions regarding this article or other immigration issues, please feel free to contact Nathaniel R. Wolf at 616-632-8046.