Infosys, the large multi-national technology services company based in India, has agreed to pay $34 million dollars to settle charges that it mis-used the U.S. visa system in hiring and deploying foreign technology workers in the United States. The New York Times reports that this is the largest ever settlement in a visa fraud case. Infosys denied allegations of visa abuse, but agreed to make the payment, and has revised its visa practices since the case arose.
Technology jobs make up a large part of the foreign workforce applying for employment visas each year, and the total number of visas in the H-1B category is currently limited by a quota of 85,000. Although tech firms decry the small number of available visas, large-scale abuse of the employment visa system has undermined efforts to reform the quota and expand opportunities for foreign graduates.
Visa abuse by large tech firms also deprives smaller firms and start-ups from fair access to the employment visa system. Since essentially all of our technology firms in Hawaii are in this category, we are particularly disadvantaged when the system is gamed in this way. For a more complete list of Infosys's transgressions, see the Department of Justices' release.