Offshore IT service providers are the leading users of L-1 visas

The IEEE-USA is calling for reform of the L-1 visa program following the release of a government report that identified offshore IT service providers as the biggest users of the visa.

In the report, the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said that some of the L-1 visa program's rules are vague and the program is vulnerable to fraud and abuse.

The L-1 visa allows multinational companies to transfer foreign employees into the U.S. Unlike the H-1B visa, there is no cap or prevailing wage requirement with the L-1.

The largest users of the L-1 visa are companies either based in India or with operations there, said the report, compiled at the request of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the Senate's leading critic of H-1B visas.

From 2002 to 2011, Tata Consultancy Services and Cognizant received nearly 26,000 and 20,000 petitions, respectively, making them the top users by far. The third-largest user was IBM India, which received 5,722 L-1 petitions.

The L-1 program has become "a tool for shipping American jobs overseas," said Marc Apter, president of the IEEE-USA, a professional organization for engineers, in a statement calling for L-1 visa reform.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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