Last week Infosys founder was crying out loud in public about how US judicial system was victimizing Indian companies by suing Infosys for misusing B1 VISA. Well lets simply put it that Mr.Murthy is lying. It is a well known fact that Indian companies like TCS,Infosys,Wipro and even US based companies like IBM abuse the B1 and L1 visas.
Sending in 1-2 years experienced guys in the name of Business meetings cant be any further from truth. Most Indian companies send their resources to Onsite on B1 for short term for various reasons like implementation of a System, or a temporary vacancy or even just like a carrot to motivate employees.
In US a candidate is eligible for B1 VISA ” if the purpose for your planned travel is to consult with business associates, travel for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or conference on specific dates, settle an estate, or negotiate a contract, then a business” as defined in US Govt Travel Website. Typically Senior Managers who are negotiating contracts, Business Meetings, attending convention are eligible. Typically anyone with more than few years of management experience will qualify for this VISA, but the list of candidates our companies range from a fresher who cant communicate and some who cant even repeat what was taught as part of VISA appearance training.
In past few years the no of candidates who were getting rejected in US Consulates in India, was getting huge. And despite this most companies were still sending candidates who repeatedly mumbled infront of the irritated interviewers. And with Obama Administration tightening screws, there were more questions in Immigration for all Indians and there were cases where B1 holders were sent back after reaching US, and then started the massive investigation into all major Indian companies, and found several discrepancies.
And the increased B1 abuse is a result of multiple factors, but ultimately it points to companies margin. Many of the big companies were always reluctant to file H1B visas for their employees, considering the risk that they could leave employers anytime in US. And the increased filing costs was also another reason. Meanwhile in the last 5-6 years number of intra company transfers (L1B VISA) increased but again, it was meant for skills not available in US, and when companies started sending Mainframe and Java candidates to US through L1B, US did not like the idea. So Indian companies had to easier and faster option of B1 VISA’s.
Though Indian companies are trying maximize profits, the chain of steps US has taken over last few years is part of what Obama promised and what irked Indian Companies. US is trying to protect its Job market, keep some of its Job within US. By making off shoring costs higher and immigration difficult , US Government is well on its protectionist approach. Well more than anyone else, Indian IT companies will be hoping for a change in Republican fortunes in the upcoming elections.