TCS, Infosys say they are fully compliant with H1-B visa rules............
Being probed for alleged visa rule violations in the US, Indian software services giants Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys today said they are "fully compliant" with the immigration rules.
Bangalore-based IT services major Infosys said it has received "no indication of any broader investigation" on its visa practices.
"The US Department of Labor (DOL) regularly selects a percentage of visa and labour condition applications for extra scrutiny in the IT industry.
"We work closely with the DOL to assist them in this activity in the ordinary course of our business. We have received no indication of any broader investigation of Infosys visa practices," Infosys said in an emailed reply to queries sent in this regard.
Expressing similar views, the country's largest software services firm TCS said it maintains rigorous controls to ensure compliance to all regulatory requirements.
"TCS maintains rigorous internal controls to ensure we are fully compliant with all regulatory requirements related to the US immigration laws including those related to H-1B visas," a TCS spokesperson said.
Often used by the IT firms, H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa, which allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in speciality occupations.
According to the US media reports, the Labour Department has opened an investigation against Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys for "possible violations of rules for visas for foreign technology workers under contracts they held with an electric utility Southern California Edison".
Infosys, in the past, has faced visa-related issues when one of its former employees, Jack Palmer filed a whistle- blower lawsuit, saying he had been punished and sidelined by company executives after he reported witnessing widespread visa fraud.
Industry body Nasscom said attempts were being made to portray the Indian IT sector negatively without paying attention to "facts and logic".
Nasscom President R Chandrashekhar said its members continue to cooperate with the US authorities in respect of any requests for information.
The US is the largest market for the over $140 billion Indian IT services industry. Exports account for over $98 billion.
Asked whether he feels the issue could be a political rhetoric ahead of the Presidential elections in the US next year, Chandrashekhar said it is "unfortunate" that attempts are being made in some quarters to portray the contribution of Indian IT companies in a negative light and "to create negative sentiments about them by appeal to emotion rather than to facts and logic".
Such efforts would have "serious detrimental impact" on the strategic and mutually beneficial economic and trade relationship that the two countries are striving to nurture, Chandrashekhar said.