Infy says its staff visas are under US scanner

Move may hit companys services to overseas clients

Indian IT bellwether Infosys, on Wednesday, said it has received a subpoena from a grand jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on May 23, 2011.

In a filing to the US Securities & Exchange Commission, Infosys said the subpoena requires them to provide to the grand jury certain documents and records related to their sponsorships for, and uses of, B1 business visas.

“We are complying with the subpoena. In connection with the subpoena, during a recent meeting with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas, we were advised that we and certain of our employees are targets of the investigation,” the company said.

Uncertain outcome
It also said that it intends to have further discussions with the US Attorney’s officer regarding this matter, however, cannot predict the outcome of the investigation by, or discussions with, the US Attorney’s Office.

“In addition, we are subject to other legal proceedings and claims which have arisen in the ordinary course of our business. Our management does not reasonably expect that these other legal actions, when ultimately concluded and determined, will have a material and adverse effect on the results of operations or the financial position of the company,” Infosys said in the filing.

Expressing concerns about the restrictions on immigration, Infosys said it may affect their ability to compete for and provide services to clients in the United States, Europe and other jurisdictions, which could hamper their growth or cause revenues to decline.

 The company admitted that vast majority of their employees are Indian nationals and most projects require a portion of the work to be completed at the client's location.
“The ability of our technology professionals to work in the United States, Europe and in other countries depends on the ability to obtain the necessary visas and work permits,” Infosys said.

Infosys clarified that as of December 31, 2011, the majority of their technology professionals in the US held either H-1B visas (approximately 10,211 persons, not including Infosys BPO employees or employees of our wholly owned subsidiaries), which allow the employee to remain in the United States for up to six years during the term of the work permit and work as long as he or she remains an employee of the sponsoring firm.

With regard to L-1 visas, Infosys has approximately 1,958 persons (not including Infosys BPO employees or employees of its wholly-owned subsidiaries), which allow the employee to stay in the US only temporarily.

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