Argentine information technology and consulting firm, Globant, has agreed to a $1 million settlement with U.S. prosecutors over allegations of visa violation.
Globant had been accused of using travel & business visa (B-1 visa) for bringing its foreign employees into the United States to work.
According to U.S. Attorney John R. Parker of the Northern District of Texas, Globant violated the False Claims Act and the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act.
Foreign nationals carrying a B-1 visa cannot perform skilled or unskilled labor in the United States, but they can engage in certain short-term business activities like negotiating contracts, consulting with business associates, or attending conventions and conferences.
“Companies wishing to employ foreign nationals in the United States must seek proper work visas for their employees, at a higher cost and with additional requirements to protect U.S. workers,” the attorney’s office stated in a press release.
In the visa application, according to U.S. prosecutors, Globant employees stated that they would engage in “training” and “knowledge transfer” during their stay in the United States.
“But the true purpose of travel was to perform information technology work in the United States that was not permissible on a B-1 visa,” the attorney’s statement said.
The investigation was initiated after the U.S. Department of State consular officials in Argentina reported unusual visa application activity by Globant employees in that country, according to U.S. media reports.
Globant agreed to pay the fine but did not admit any wrongdoing.
With more than 5,000 workers and over $250 million in revenue, Globant is one of the fastest growing technology services firms in Latin America.