Gaming the H-1B: A shady network of interconnected tech staffing companies in Virginia is preying on foreign graduates desperate for American work visas.
Just days after Vishrut Kanoria graduated from a top American university on the East Coast this year, he thought he hit the job jackpot. The 22-year-old economics major, who had moved to the U.S. from India in 2009 on a student visa, knew he had to find a job at a company that would sponsor him for a work visa—or he’d be forced to move back to Bangalore.
He found Concepts Information Technology Inc., a tech staffing company that provides IT industry professionals to larger businesses, through his school’s on-campus recruitment program. While many of his friends struggled to find employment, Kanoria packed up his stuff and drove four hours to Vienna, Virginia, to start his new life as a “business analyst.” As a consultant for ConceptsIT, he was told his job would be to translate a client’s needs into technical language so that ConceptsIT’s tech department could “implement the solutions more effectively.”