Bangalore: It is not long since the mammoth immigration reform bill found its way into U.S. senate that could prove detrimental for Indian IT firms; Washington has now trained its guns on the L-1 visa program, saying that without some changes, the bill is at risk for fraud and abuse, reports The Hindu.
Indian IT companies, which have their operations in U.S., are the largest users of the L-1 visa program.
A report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General (IG) in U.S. has listed a series of recommendations to L-1 petition, to curb potential abuse, including more rigorous consideration of new office petitions to reduce fraud and abuse and applied anti- “job-shop” provisions.The report states that, “periodic visits by visa offers and familiarization trips by senior adjudicators to the posts in India where most L-1 visas are adjudicated” may be required. In addition to this, the report has pointed out that some of the visa program rules are vague and that they are “insufficient to ensure consistent application of L-1B visa program requirements in processing petitions and visas.”
However the report about L-1 visa which was raised due to H-1B visa debate, did not mention any specific examples of L-1 visa abuse, but it clearly mentions, “provides no conclusive evidence that the L-1 visa program is being used to avoid H-1B restriction”—a common complaint U.S lawmakers make when referring to Indian IT firms.
The biggest users of the L-1 visa program are TCS and Cognizant—which received 26,000 and nearly 20,000 petitions from 2002 to 2011, as per a government body. IBM stood at third position with 5,722 L1 petitions.