Nasscom Points To Small Indian Companies As Potential H-1B Visa Abusers

Jun 28, 2007 (01:06 PM EDT)

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Nasscom, an organization that represents such offshore outsourcing giants as Tata, Wipro, and IBM India, says there's no evidence of H1-B and L visa abuse among big Indian companies. But "small, fly-by-night operators" could be another story, says the organization.

Nasscom released a statement Wednesday reiterating that it supports investigation into fraud or abuse of work visas, which it explained in a May 30 letter to Sens. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. The statement came the day after the senators released a list of the top 20 employers of L-1 workers, nearly half of which are Indian IT outsourcing firms.

Durbin and Grassley allege that foreign outsourcing companies abuse L-1s by using the visa to train their foreign employees during short stints in the United States to help facilitate the offshoring of work done by Americans. In a release, the senators also said they plan to continue investigating "blanket" L visa petitions that allow companies to transfer "limitless" numbers of workers into the United States.

Cognizant, where Nasscom Chairman Lakshmi Narayanan serves as vice chairman, was No. 2 on the list, with 3,520 L-1 visas last year. Tata, where Nasscom executive council member N. Chandrasekaran serves as executive VP of sales and operations, was ranked No. 1, with 4,887 L-1 visas.

Nasscom in its statement reiterates that companies involved in fraud or abuse should "be dealt with in the strictest possible manner," and it offered to help in that regard. However, Nasscom says, there is little evidence of this fraud, noting that most companies sponsoring a large number of visas are "publicly listed and ethically managed." Continues the statement, "Visa abuse, if any, would tend to be lesser in such organizations as compared to other small, fly-by-night operators: an area that may need more attention."

The organization also notes that it hasn't yet received an acknowledgment of its letter by the senators.