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tech workers using Day 1 CPT in the U.S.
PhilMar 25, 2024 9:40:59 AM12 min read

ICC and Day 1 CPT Secure Your Career in the U.S.

At a Glance

Navigating the H1B lottery and securing legal employment in the United States can be a daunting task for many foreign workers, including those from India. Desi consultancies have emerged as critical support systems, offering visa guidance, job placement, and employment-based training. However, some Desi consultancies have faced criticism for unethical practices such as exploiting the H1B lottery system, visa fraud, underpayment, and resume falsification. Nonetheless, reputable consultancies can provide invaluable assistance, helping Indian nationals bridge cultural gaps and secure employment in the competitive U.S. job market. Proper research into Desi consultancies can lead to beneficial partnerships and help foreign workers achieve success in the United States. Today's we are going to talk about:

  • What are Desi Consultancies (ICCs)
  • Desi Consultancies in the News and Where the Bad Names Come From
  • Common Ethical Concerns with ICCs
  • The Importance of Desi Consultancies 
  • Problem with Using H1B in ICCs
  • Our Final Verdict: Does it Worth it to Join an ICCs
  • Reference: ICCs in Bay Area

What are Desi Consultancies

Gaining legal employment in the United States–including navigating the H1B lottery–can be challenging for foreign workers seeking work authorization in the United States. Many such workers, particularly those hailing from India, have sought assistance from an Indian Consulting Company (ICC), also known as Desi consultancies.

Largest H1B Sponsor for Indian IT works since the 2000s

Desi consultancies are staffing agencies operated by individuals from the Indian diaspora, offering specialized assistance to international students. They provide comprehensive services including visa application guidance, job placement in various industries, and tailored training programs to improve candidates’ skills and employability in a competitive U.S. job market.

Desi Consultancies have existed for several decades, gaining significant prominence in the early 2000s alongside the rising popularity of the H-1B visa program.

Indian IT professionals, who constitute a large segment of H-1B visa recipients, began to depend on these consultancies for assistance with the intricate visa application process and to find employment opportunities in the US. For a considerable period, this arrangement worked quite well.

However, as more individuals aspired to the American dream, the demand for such consultancies surged. While there's nothing inherently wrong with pursuing these dreams, the increased demand led to a rise in opportunistic behaviors, with some exploiting the system's loopholes to their advantage.

By understanding how to avoid common red flags, a foreign worker can significantly benefit from reputable Desi consultancies, which represent a viable and valuable pathway to work authorization in the United States, particularly within the tech industry.

The Pros of Having ICCs in the Industry

The primary function of Desi consultancies is to offer support to international students and workers pursuing opportunities in the U.S. job market. Their benefits include vital services such as visa application assistance, job placement, and technical training programs. For many, these services make ICCs indispensable allies in navigating employment in the United States.

One notable benefit of Desi consultancies lies in their familiarity with both Indian and American cultures, allowing them to serve as a bridge between the international students they serve and the professional and social landscape of the United States. From advising on appropriate dress for job interviews to providing insights into new cultural norms, Desi consultancies can facilitate smoother transitions into U.S. employment. Such guidance can substantially enhance a foreign worker’s confidence and adaptability, positioning them more competitively in the job market.

Moreover, a good ICC brings a wealth of industry experience to the table, capable of offering specialized guidance in areas like resume preparation and interview techniques. In addition to basic job placement, many ICCs invest in comprehensive training programs to sharpen candidates’ skills and equip them for success in their chosen fields. 

Furthermore, the ability of a reputable Desi consultancy to facilitate access to job opportunities ensures international students have a robust support system even during challenging times like layoffs. In fact, many larger ICCs sponsor H1B visas for international workers, and if you are laid off from your job while on an H1B visa, you may be able to transfer your H1B to a Desi consultancy, allowing you to maintain legal status.

Common Ethical Concerns with ICCs

While a reputable Desi consultancy can provide support and guidance for foreign workers, many consultancies face criticism for unethical practices. These practices can include exploiting the H1B lottery, underpaying employees, and engaging in resume fraud. Such practices both harm the general workforce and tarnish the reputation of legitimate consultancies.

Resume Fraud

While many ICCs offer services to help individuals strengthen their resumes, some Desi consultancies may encourage candidates to falsify or exaggerate information on their resume to appear more qualified for a job than they actually are. This could include lying about educational qualifications, fabricating work experiences, inflating job responsibilities, claiming proficiency in skills they don’t possess, or providing false references.

Because Desi consultancies receive a percentage of each employee’s salary once they’ve landed a job, they can be motivated to help you gain a competitive advantage in the job market, secure a higher salary, or secure a position that you’re not truly qualified for.

However, the implications of resume fraud can be significant. For an employee whose falsified resume is discovered, it can lead to job loss and damage to their professional reputation. Additionally, if an unqualified employee fails in critical job functions or causes harm, legal consequences may result.

Proxy Interviews

Many Desi consultancies can help you prepare for a job interview. However, some engage in the unethical practice of having trained professionals undergo the interviews on behalf of the job candidate. This can include screening calls, assessment tests, video calls, or even in-person interviews.

This practice raises ethical concerns due to misrepresentation and deception. By substituting interviewees, these ICCs deceive potential employers, undermining trust in the hiring process and jeopardizing professional relationships.

As with resume fraud, the practice of interviewing in place of the actual candidate can lead to a mismatch between the perceived and actual abilities of the hired candidate, leading to poor job performance or a disruption of team dynamics. Furthermore, candidates who engage in such deceit compromise their professional integrity, raising broader concerns about their accountability and reliability in professional settings.

Pay-to-Play Scandals

Some Desi consultancies charge candidates fees for job placement services or H1B visa filing, branding these charges as “training” or “placement” fees. These costs can vary widely, from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

In some instances, candidates may be enticed with guarantees of job offers or visas upon payment. However, the ICC might not always honor these guarantees. This practice not only breaches ethical standards but also violates U.S. law, putting the consultancy at risk of severe repercussions.

Falsifying Visa Information

Some Desi consultancies have circumvented the H1B lottery system by submitting several applications for the same individual under varied names or addresses. This practice violates the regulations of the H1B lottery, which mandates that each employer can file only one application per candidate.

Engaging in such practices exposes both the consultancies and the visa candidates to severe repercussions, including the possibility of being charged with visa fraud. Moreover, foreign workers found guilty of participating in such schemes risk being permanently barred from submitting future visa applications.

Salary Inflation

To the detriment of foreign workers, some ICCs have been implicated in inflating the salaries on H1B applications to meet the required legal minimum, a practice that risks charges of visa fraud. This manipulation is intended to make candidates appear to comply with salary thresholds mandated by U.S. immigration law and to potentially deceive authorities for visa approval.

However, these salary figures do not reflect the actual earnings of the candidates, as these consultancies deduct a portion for themselves. This discrepancy between reported and actual income not only misleads immigration officials but also undermines the financial expectations and stability of the candidates involved, making them vulnerable to exploitation.

Misrepresenting Jobs

A few Desi consultancies have been known to distort job-related information, such as exaggerating duties or falsifying job location and duration, to secure positions for their clients. This manipulation aims to increase the candidate’s appeal but often strays significantly from the specifics of the actual job. Such deceptive practices can mislead both employers and job seekers, setting unrealistic expectations and compromising the employment process.

The repercussions of these auctions can be severe for all parties involved. Candidates may face job termination if the truth surfaces, while employers could incur fines and legal challenges due to the discrepancies. This unethical approach undermines trust in the recruitment process and jeopardizes the future of the candidates using the services of these ICCs.

Desi Consultancies in the News

In 2016, a New York man and two consultancies he partly owned, along with a company employee, were arrested and charged with fraudulently exploiting the H1B visa program to reduce labor costs. The charges included conspiracy to commit visa fraud, obstruct justice, and harbor aliens. They were accused of falsely claiming to offer full-time positions to foreign workers, thereby manipulating the visa system for financial benefit.

The scheme involved sponsoring H1B visas for foreign workers under false pretenses, only paying these workers when they were placed with a client, contrary to the claims made in their visa applications. To appear compliant with visa requirements, they allegedly produced fraudulent payroll records and misled the Department of Labor during audits.

More recently, in San Jose, three individuals were indicted by a federal grand jury for their involvement in a sophisticated visa fraud scheme leveraging an ICC firm to submit false H1B visa applications. This was aimed at securing a competitive advantage by having a ready pool of foreign workers for local placements, despite these workers not having guaranteed employment. The fraudulent activities included submitting falsified documentation and collaborating with third parties to obscure the deceit.

More to Read on ICCs in the News:

Additionally, in recent years, the narrative that H-1B workers are displacing American jobs has gained traction, leading to perceptions among some American workers and politicians that Desi Consultancies pose a threat to local employment and the US economy. They contend that these consultancies misuse the H-1B visa program to bring in foreign workers who accept lower wages, thereby undermining the job prospects of qualified American candidates.

However, such allegations remain largely unsubstantiated to date.

The Importance of Desi Consultancies

Although several Desi consultancies have engaged in unethical practices, a reputable ICC can significantly help your journey toward employment in the United States. To avoid falling victim to an unethical consultancy, watch for the following red flags:
  • The ICC asks you to exaggerate on your resume. As noted above, exaggerating or falsifying information on your resume or CV can result in significant consequences, including the loss of your job.
  • They promise you an IT job when you have no relevant experience or skills. The H1B visa is meant to fill specialty occupations and is intended for individuals with the skills and knowledge to function in these positions. If you have no relevant IT experience, you should not expect to work in an IT role as an H1B beneficiary.
  • They say they’ll handle your job interview. While reputable ICCs can adequately prepare you for a successful job interview, one that offers to “take care” of the interview process might intend to engage in unethical interview practices.
  • They charge a fee and promise you an H1B visa. Due to the nature of the H1B lottery, no organization can feasibly guarantee an H1B visa. Any ICC that promises you an H1B visa is making an unwarranted claim.

By keeping an eye out for these red flags, and by carefully evaluating online reviews of Desi consultancies, you can find a consultancy that facilitates your path to legal employment in the United States.

Moreover, ICCs are among the largest sponsors of H1B visas and significantly influence immigration regulations and advocate for changes that benefit Indian nationals. Many consultancies actively engage in lobbying efforts to adjust immigration policies to increase the availability of H1B visas.

Such efforts underscore the ongoing role of Desi consultancies in advocating for policy changes that would both benefit the tech industry and support Indian students and professionals aspiring to work in the United States. Their engagement in policy advocacy efforts demonstrates a strategic approach to influencing immigration regulations to the benefit of Indian talent.


Using H1B in ICCs

Desi consultancies have been a lifeline for many Indian students, particularly new graduates lacking work experience. Their relatively lower standards for acceptance and willingness to sponsor H-1B visas offer these newcomers an opportunity to work in the U.S. amidst the current economic climate. However, a widespread issue that ICC  employed workers encounter with the H-1B visa involves a key USCIS requirement. While ICCs can facilitate entry into the lottery and secure an H-1B visa, the candidate must have a "client" to validate this visa status. Merely being an employee of an ICC without being assigned work by a "client" does not comply with H-1B requirements.

Consequently, even after obtaining an H-1B visa, if one cannot maintain continuous engagement with a "client" or stay on a project, any period spent as an ICC member without a "client" is counted as "unemployed days" under H-1B regulations. There is a 60-day limit for such unemployment. Therefore, some individuals, upon losing a "client," approach us to switch their status from H-1B to F1 and utilize Day 1 CPT to continue legally residing and working in the U.S. within an ICC, until securing a more permanent job offer. At that point, they can undergo a COS (Change of Status) once again and reactivate the H-1B initially sponsored by the ICC.


Desi consultancies play an indispensable role for many Indian nationals seeking employment opportunities in the United States, especially for those navigating the often complicated H1B visa process. Despite the valid criticisms raised against some for unethical practice, it’s important to recognize the considerable benefits that reputable ICCs offer.

These benefits include visa assistance, job placement, cultural acclimation, and specialized training, all of which increase the employability of international students. While you should remain vigilant about the legitimate concerns regarding some Desi consultancies, careful research can help you enjoy the value and support provided by reputable consultancies.

As pathways to meaningful work in the United States, Desi consultancies both facilitate individual career aspirations and contribute to the vitality of the broader tech industry by ensuring a steady influx of skilled talent.

Desi Consultancies in the Bay Area:

  • AdoreSoft
  • Canvas InfoTech
  • Info Way Solutions
  • Mann Consulting
  • On Time Tech
  • Protiviti
  • Signature Consultants
  • SRS Consulting
  • Strategism




Phil Ortmann has years of experience researching and writing about immigration and visa issues, including employment-based and student visas. With a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree from Penn State, he has served in multiple roles related to U.S. visas, including as an immigration case manager. He understands that the visa system can be complex and seeks to provide clarity on changing and evolving issues within that system. Outside of his professional efforts, Phil enjoys cooking, literature, baseball, and his occasional attempts at making music.