Desi Consultancies are Necessary Evil in the Job Market – Agree or Disagree?

Raghuram Sukumar H1B Visa 19 Comments


h1b visa sponsors desi consultants

It’s H-1B Visa time and people going bonkers trying to find Desi consultancies who can apply for H1B Visa.

People are very well aware of consequence of getting H-1B Visa via Desi consultancies. But, in-spite of that  why do think thousands of people that want to pay money to Desi Consultants to apply for H1B Visa?

Listen to the Show:


That’s  the topic for  this Podcast Episode.

H-1B visa season is here. Which means, it’s  DESPERATION Mode.

Desperation Mode for people trying to find H-1B Visa consultants to process and apply for H1B Visa visa so called Desi Consultants (IT Body Shops).

Who applies via Desi Consultancies?

People who apply by paying for H-1B are of essentially from following backgrounds

  1. F-1 Students who are running out of time on OPT ( 90 days unemployment period).
  2. F-1 Students who are unable to get a Full time job (direct hire).
  3. F-1 Students who think DESI Consultants are the ONLY way to get a Job. AKA, they never heard about searching and applying for jobs.
  4. H-4 visa holders who can’t get direct full time job ( employer’s don’t wait for 6 months to hire after offering them the job).
  5. Workers from Outside U.S.A. workers who are located outside U.S.A (mostly from India) want to work in U.S.A.

One common theme among them is Desperation.

  • F-1 Students (after investing some $40,000 in education via loan, need to earn that back)
  • H-4 Spouses – Educated, probably had career back in their home country and looking for a career.
  • Others – Paying $5000 is easier than $40,000 for Education, then going through lottery again.

You may know or may not know this when you decide to work with Desi Consultants

  • DESI Consultants = Extreme Fake Resume, Pay Cash for Visa, Harsh Contracts and Proxy Interviews

Sometimes people don’t know what they are getting into. Some are very well aware of what they are getting into.

h1b workers unpaid desi consultants


American Immigration System is Broken. These Consultancies provide a way out for those who trying so hard to make it work within the existing framework.

These companies help people get a job, which in turn it gives them a career, life and income to feed their families. But, there’s moral and ethical issue involved here.  Still, people are taking the risk. Why?

I think it comes down again to one thing  – DESPERATION.

I have two questions for you

  1. Do you think Desi Consultants are Necessary EVIL to the Society?
  2. What kind of Relationship do you have with them?
    • LOVE – LOVE
    • LOVE – HATE
    • HATE – HATE

I like to hear from REAL experience from real people. Can you share your experience in the comments section below this blog post.

If you are listening via iTunes, you can come to Happy and look for  Episode HSB 008 and post a comment below about Desi Consultants.


  1. Hi, I am a F-1 student here. And I came here for a quality education and in my opinion consultancies are a no- no thing because I do not basically find so exciting about it. I strongly feel that if you are here for a education and a dream career. You probably would have tried in your own ways for getting a job. I do not really get what people benefit from the consultancy, might be some money issues. Then why study ?! Do what you love and get paid for it. It gives satisfaction and happiness. Money comes along! There’s a long way to go. Be genuine be original.

  2. Hello,

    Great post raghu. Enjoying the podcast more than the articles! 🙂 Thanx.

    Regarding, people coming to US, as a route to find jobs. i would it is a horrible Investment.(Financially & Time wise)…My bet would beAlways follow Saraswati, Lakshmi will follow.

    P.S: Interesting fact for tomorrow’s world cup match:

    World cup Coincidence:

    Srilanka has never defeated Pakistan,
    Pakistan has never defeated India,
    India has never defeated South Africa
    And South Africa never won any World Cup

    1. Author

      Thanks for the insights on Word Cup.

      I’m glad you are enjoying the podcast better then blog posts 🙂

  3. So long as the Indian vendors like TCS, Infy, Wipro, HCL, CTS etc underpay their Indian employees deputed to US in H1B or L1 visas (well below the US standard) and don’t file Green Cards, their employees don’t have a choice (who ever wants to settle in US), except to resign those companies and do visa transfer to Consulting firms (for relatively much better pay in hourly) to file Green card in EB2.

    Also, many of the Big US employers don’t have policy to file the Green card in EB2 even for the employees with Masters, but only in EB3. Though many consulting employers charge the employees (in hourly basis) for the Green card process, I would say Desi consultancies are necessary evils!

    1. Author

      Perfect and Agreed. Some companies would apply for Green Card only on 5th year of H1B or some just don’t apply. So, you would end up working for 4 to 5 years to later find out, they may not process your Green Card.

      EB3 = 10+ years of wait.
      EB2 = 4 to 5 years wait to get Green card.

    2. Jayaram I donot completely agree with you on this. If you are really well talented and know how to market yourself the top tier vendors and headhunters will come searching for you, you need to have a find a desi consultant.
      PS: i was one of the underpaid employees, thanks to social networking online and offline Im not any more.

  4. Hi Raghu,

    Excellent summary about Desi Consultants! Thank you for raising this topic.

    Me and some of my close friends fell/ fall into two categories that you highlighted in the podcast:
    1) F-1 Students who are running out of time on OPT ( 90 days unemployment period).
    2) F-1 Students who are unable to get a Full time job (direct hire).

    Hence I can relate to this topic. Regarding your question – I don’t think Desi Consultants with all their fraudulent activities are necessary AT ALL. On the other hand, due to the # of H1b visas they apply, people working in full-time jobs have a hard time getting through the lottery.

    I believe Desi Consultants are taking advantage of the broken immigration system in the US. People getting affected due to their activities include F-1 students who want to study and find a full-time job but are unable to do so because companies prefer hiring consultants from Desi IT companies.

    I sincerely hope this blog raises more awareness among people thinking about working for Desi consultants.

    1. Author

      That’s another way H1B is taken away. Hope we get a fix. Did you get your H1B ?

  5. Hi Raghu,

    I am a 38 yr old Indian who came to U.S. two yrs ago for a PhD after working for several yrs as a government consultant. I follow your posts & now podcasts since many yrs, your blog helped to connect the dots from a andhra perspective while making career choices.

    I think the likes of you – bright engineers filtered through EAMCET from Andhra coming to U.S. to study in best universities here – are increasingly scarce. Sadly, because of surplus engineers back home, the recent students coming for higher education lack the will to expose themselves to the risks (and consequently the rewards) of american life. In your podcast, you come across as an elder brother chiding an younger brother listen to him & not make mistakes in this journey to the U.S. I commend for your generosity in sharing your wisdom so selflessly, and touching so many people’s lives.

    Although your blog mainly speaks to Indian students coming for STEM programs, I think you would agree even at the masters level, students are gradually diversifying in their career choices beyond STEM, even though it is mainly something you see in students coming from well-off families. Secondly, an MS degree today in the United States as well as back home is like an undergraduate degree (Bsc/B.Tech/B.A) during the time of our parents. While it may suffice for the next 10-20 yrs – depending on how good your skills, and how job worthy your field is – the growing pressure to increase skills either through self-learning, double masters or a PhD degree, is real.

    So, I would request you to do a post sometime touching the following issues 1) EB1 category of VISAs, – advantages, how to qualify, apply for them etc. 2) the career prospects and risks of a STEM or non-STEM PhD, 3) the career merits or demerits of a PhD in the US 4) managing life as a PhD with or without family etc.


  6. Hi Raghu,

    I disagree.

    I passed out in Aug 2008. I was fooled at a full time job setup by a Indian who got few clients in the US.
    Regarding consultancies…, I will explain each of these questions:
    F-1 Students who are running out of time on OPT ( 90 days unemployment period). – Yes & No.
    F-1 Students who are unable to get a Full time job (direct hire). – I like contracting better. I know few people who were laid of at full time jobs. I have more knowledge than my peers at full time jobs because i keep changing companies even before my job at a company is done(when i get bored of doing the same things for more than 1-2 yrs). I get more respect…treated a SME.
    F-1 Students who think DESI Consultants are the ONLY way to get a Job. AKA, they never heard about searching and applying for jobs. – I got full time job. I get paid more at contract job. I got a fortune 100 company. I get to work at fortune 100 companies even on contracts.

    F-1 Students (after investing some $40,000 in education via loan, need to earn that back) – not applicable.
    Others – Paying $5000 is easier than $40,000 for Education, then going through lottery again. – I never paid for my visa. My employer pays on time. Never charges money for visa. Pay is transparent.

    Basically, if you getting same pay from a contract and full-time and you can keep changing jobs when you do not like a job, how does it matter if its a full time or a contracting job? Once a person gets green card, he earns even more in a contracting job. Even people from here pay some money for job searchers.

    I changed my it career completely once. I may probably change it again.

    Even for H1B employees from India, they will have to return back as per the interview process. Its not a never ending trip to us.

    Sorry If I spoke something wrong.

  7. Consultancies are highly unethical with F***e resume, this wrong practice will end soon and will take the unethical consultancies down with it.

    Some people have to choose consultancy because they (including myself) are unsuccessful finding a job due to sponsorship issues in their desired field that is directly related to masters degree. Maybe you have to be extremely talented/ proactive/ passionate about your field to make something on your own or to get a full-time job in that field. For some (like myself) choosing masters degree subject only depends on where their interests or passion reside rather letting job market dictate their interests. So if a person chooses his/her masters degree that is not usually in the list of typical visa sponsored job areas and he/she does not consider the job market as well for the field then pursuing PH. D or joining a consultancy or going back to his home country are the only options available.

    I don’t regret my decision to study Environmental Management because the field that I have been told has no scope couple of years ago is the need of the hour and its time we all join hands to save our natural resources and march towards sustainable development planet. That’s all i have to say on this topic.

    1. @Lakshmi – That is a BS excuse for faking a career. There are many desi consultants who have written code that works, but is buggy, unmaintainable, insecure, hard to debug and impossible to extend. These guys then, mistakenly feel that anyone can “get into IT” and be successful. That is probably what you think too.

      Lets see your thoughts about a guy faking a career in medicine because he could not make it in law and then treating you for a very important medical problem. May be that will let you see things in a different way.

  8. So much realistic speech. It reflects and summarized the scenarios happening now in US. As we are helpless with the current regulations, our people are approaching Desi consultants.

  9. Hello All,
    I recently graduated with MS in IT and I am looking for full time jobs. I have a scenario(might be same for many) if in case I don’t get a full time offer at all within my OPT unemployment period then only option I have is joining a desi consultancy. So my question is that for the sake of getting a H1b can I join desi consultancy and then after they file my H1b and if it gets approved, can I then start looking for full time jobs as we can switch employer on H1b.
    Is doing this so easy or it is very difficult to get rid of consultancies.
    Thanks in advance for your replies.

  10. Hello,
    I am currently on f1 visa and my OPT is already started and I have wasted almost 1 month of OPT unemployment period. I didnt got any full time offers.
    Now in between I joined training program of a consultancy as it was online and free. I talked with the recruiter of the consultancy and they gave me the contact numbers of the past students from univ who joined them and are currently working with them. The following are the positive points those students gave me about the consultancy:

    1. They dont have any contracts anywhere
    2. They pay on time and give payslips on time
    3. They dont have any proxy interviews and it is on us to clear client interviews
    4. I will be on their payroll directly. I will be working for the consultancy directly.
    5. Also they have their own full time company(not consultancy) where they build softwares for direct clients (I mean like Infosys,TCS)
    Now looking at all this points I think they are a good consultancy. But now comes the bad part and its the only one:
    1. They will fake some experience on my resume
    2. They market us through some prime vendors (not sure if its bad but having a direct client is much better)

    So following are my questions to you and on which I need your suggestions desperately :

    1. Should I join them in order to save my OPT unemployment period and keep looking for full time positions.
    2. In case I dont get a full time by december I stay with them let them file my H1b and then switch to full time.
    3. In case my h1b is not approved this time I will switch the company. So over here I will not be staying with them for more than 1 year.

    So I would like know your views that whatever I have planned is it realistic or will there be issues when I try to switch after H1b. Another thing is that I have three years of experience in India(but in some other technology) and I am a student of Computer science right from my bachelors to masters.

    I have asked these questions a lot of time on many other posts but didnt got any answers. But after reading your post I think you have a very good knowledge of this field and could provide some good suggestions.

    Many thanks in advance,

    1. Hello,

      I am currently in Canada dealing with the tough immigration system and job market here. I want to move to US either for studying or find a job. I would obviously prefer a job because an education loan is a huge investment. So I am looking for H1B sponsorship. However; I am aware this an extremely tedious process and depends on your luck. I am an IT professional with 6 years of experience, mostly as QA/BA.

      Could someone advice!

  11. You are sort trying to justify the acts of IT desi consultancies by using the word “desperation”. Further you are connecting them to highly educated lot graduating from US, or even if they come from outside.

    I have some problems with this:

    1) There are many other legal and illegal things you can do because of “Desperation” , so just because someone is “desperate” they should ?
    So just cos I am desperate for money I will go rob a bank ? That too isnt legal, but you know if you are not caught it may work.

    2) do we need a law for every thing ? just because no law exists to stop duplicate H1B’s or fake resume consultants, you think you can blame this on “broken immigration system” ?
    we are the first to complain when rules become strict and the reason that happens is because people misuse the “goodwill” or honor systems.

    3) there is nothing common between the impostors and truly eligible candidates. They cannot even speak english most of the times and they are living in an English speaking country and working for American firms. Dont even get me started on the little “Andhra” and little” whatever state” they set up wherever they live. I have known situations where they not only refuse to mingle with any one than their own language speaking crowd, but start treating the locality to a point it is so filthy that the building managements have to evict them. Who suffers here ? The others who came to US to find a better life and not the life they had back home. Now you will say that the Americans are being racist for treating everyone with the contempt only these underlings deserve ?

    Going by your logic there should be a rule for maintaining basic sanitation and cleanliness in the area you live in ? Cos it may their desperation to find a place in US that stinks like their home back in India that is driving this.

    You want to read a better article on this topic then pls go here, just because you have friends in IT doing similar things or you want to appear balanced to your target crowd doesnt mean you will connect everyone through desperation:

  12. I strongly disagree with your use of the word “desperation”.

    Desi consultancies are used mostly by people who are unemployable in IT or do not have the intelligence to be in that field. Majority of them are inept and fresh out of low quality colleges or even visa mills which offer CPT from day 1. These are the mostly the kind of people who would fail miserably, given a fair chance and plenty of learning opportunities in a good company. They often get to do only lowly, routine jobs in IT such as manual QA, routine maintenance of IT systems etc. When they get developer positions, they belch out horrible code. Often, this code needs to be refactored or completely rewritten years later, by a real developer.

    If you are skilled and intelligent, then you can easily get plenty of jobs in different companies, without resorting to the tactics of desi consultants. If not, then you go to desi consultancies, create fake resumes, use proxy for interviews, sometimes even fake references for background checks and then finally get an offshore resource or friend to do most of your work for a fee. That is what most desi consultants do. So, calling them “desperate” is a gross understatement. You should actually call them criminals, because most of them are.

    Still not convinced ? Ok. What if you needed a non-minor medical treatment ? Would you be okay if your doctor or nurse had fake credentials and/or fake experience ? Would you dismiss this person as desperate or criminal ? In many cases, lives might not be lost by the work of Desi consultants, but it leads to serious issues like poor quality software, user frustration, project delays etc.

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