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Nasscom Concerned Over US Visa Probe

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India's IT services industry body Nasscom has expressed concern over recent probe by the US against some Indian companies, including country's second largest software exporter Infosys, on allegations of violating visa norms.

"Nasscom is concerned over recent investigation in the US involving some Indian companies. However, we need to understand that the parameters governing H1B/L1 visas are not clearly defined," National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), Vice-President (Global trade and Development) Ameet Nivsarkar said Monday.

Nivsarkar, who is in Melbourne to attend a three-day-long mega business event - CeBIT Australia 2012 - commencing in Sydney on Tuesday, said, "Indian industry has added significantly to the US competitiveness and have been good citizens, contributing to social security, local taxes, creating local employment, and contributing to the community".

He said Nasscom was focussed on building open markets, global trade and working with key stakeholders highlighting the benefits of employing IT.

"Nasscom is working with the governments, administration, policy makers to find ways that can help mitigate the impact upon the IT industry of visa restrictions, often based on flawed logic," Nivsarkar said.

"The election related rhetoric has historically targeted the industry; this is not a new phenomenon," he said, adding that officials need to also understand the role that the Indian IT industry has played in enhancing global business competitiveness.

Infosys, India's second-largest outsourcing firm, had recently revealed that US authorities were probing alleged irregularities in its business visas.

The US Department of Homeland Security was said to have found a "significant percentage" of errors in the company's verifications of US work visa applications. Infosys and some of its employees had already been facing allegations of misuse of business visas in Texas.

However, Infosys has denied accusations of abusing the US visa process while stating that in its disclosure to the US market watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), that it could face "fines and penalties" if US authorities find the company at fault.

Nivsarkar said, "Indian companies have been doing very well to boost partnerships/associations with the Australian companies."

He added the global MNCs were present in the market for a longer duration as compared to Indian companies.

"Keeping this in mind, the Indian companies have done remarkably well to strengthen their presence in Australia, over this short span of time," he said.