If I quit my job while my H1B is pending, do I need to reimburse my company?

New ztz
Jun 20 19 Comments

Hello all. Foreign student currently working on OPT at a US consulting firm. I applied for H1B earlier this year, and was selected, however have received an RFE so currently waiting on that (no approval yet).

In the meantime, I have been having some personal family issues back home, which has caused a lot of anxiety and stress for me. I have decided that I want to leave the country and move back home - however, I'm not sure about how best to approach this with my employer. In our handbook, it states that if an employee leaves the first within a year of receiving H1B, they are responsible for reimbursing the company 50% of the associated fees.

A few questions - 1) Is this legal? I've come across a lot of materials online that seem to suggest employers cannot do so.

2) Does the policy differ in the case of a pending H1B or if you are not leaving for another US employer but are leaving the country?

3) Do you have any tips for how to approach this situation?

Any other thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you!

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TOP 19 Comments
  • Microsoft
    Tier 1

    Microsoft

    BIO
    #1 in Prestige
    Tier 1more
    I’m pretty sure this is an illegal practice
    Jun 20 1
    • New ztz
      OP
      I keep reading this but if it's illegal why would the company have it in their policy handbook?? Like I assume they consult lawyers.
      Jun 21
  • Finisar
    NNet🐊

    Finisar

    PRE
    Intel Corporation, Apple, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Broadcom Inc., Xilinx, NXP Semiconductor, AMD, Western Digital
    NNet🐊more
    Why do you worry if you’re planning to leave country .? Just get everything you need to get, leave.. that’s it
    Jun 20 1
    • New ztz
      OP
      I don't want to leave the employer on a bad note, I want to be honest with them. I might ask for a recommendation or something in the future too, so it would be important to keep a good relationship..
      Jun 21
  • Capital One
    sduadt15

    Capital One

    PRE
    WeWork
    sduadt15more
    In most cases they won’t ask you money back. If your offer letter has those words then it will be prorated which is similar to sign on bonus .
    Jun 20 1
    • New ztz
      OP
      Hmm. It's not in my offer letter but in the handbook. I've been here about a year already. This is what it says:

      In the event, an employee who holds an H-1B visa is voluntarily or involuntarily terminating employment:
      Voluntarily termination - Accepting a position with another employer: The employee is responsible for obtaining the appropriate work authorization/visa with the new employer or ensure the proper transfer is taken place. If the termination of employment happens within 12 months of receiving the H1B, they are responsible for paying 50% of the application cost.
      • Returning to school – The employee is responsible for consulting and working with the school he or she is attending Immigration Advisor to get the appropriate student visa.

      So technically, I'm not in either of those buckets since I'm not transferring to another employer or returning to school, but leaving the country. So I wonder if I would be exempt from these?
      Jun 21
  • New / Eng YMKy07
    If you talk to your manager/boss/whatever that you have family issues so you have to go back home for a while, he/she might even give you some unpaid time off or work something out and even if he doesn’t, the company doesn’t have to collect the 50% fee stated so they can let it go.

    Your boss might be more humane than you think so I suggest just being honest with him/her.

    Good luck.
    Jun 21 0
  • LeanTaaS ♥️ data
    Did you sign the contract? if yes then yes you are legally supposed to pay whatever is written in the contract
    Jun 20 2
    • New ztz
      OP
      Yes I did. If you look above I posted the exact wording of the handbook which kind of puts me in a gray area.Thanks :)
      Jun 21
    • LeanTaaS ♥️ data
      It's fair to assume that whatever is written in the contract is right and legal. They know what they are doing.

      They can also claim that they put resources in your placement.

      You can consult anyone but in most of the similar cases, you would end up paying.

      What's the name of the consultancy?
      Jun 21
  • F5 Networks bhai-log
    Get your last salary slip. Go home on leave and get your salary. Once all dues are cleared, just disappear.
    Jun 20 2
    • Yahoo / Design getAway
      When trump gets his deal with india, they will hunt you down in a remote village
      Jun 20
    • F5 Networks bhai-log
      When pigs will fly
      Jun 20
  • Nvidia pocoloco
    My best advice is to ask an immigration lawyer. It's expensive but worth it
    Jun 20 2
    • Capital One
      sduadt15

      Capital One

      PRE
      WeWork
      sduadt15more
      Murthy law firm
      Jun 20
    • New ztz
      OP
      Might do! Thanks!
      Jun 21
  • Oath Atinlay2
    Yes it’s legal and what did you sign?
    Jun 20 2
    • New ztz
      OP
      When I signed on with the firm you accept all the terms of the handbook I suppose.

      In the event, an employee who holds an H-1B visa is voluntarily or involuntarily terminating employment:
      Voluntarily termination - Accepting a position with another employer: The employee is responsible for obtaining the appropriate work authorization/visa with the new employer or ensure the proper transfer is taken place. If the termination of employment happens within 12 months of receiving the H1B, they are responsible for paying 50% of the application cost.
      • Returning to school – The employee is responsible for consulting and working with the school he or she is attending Immigration Advisor to get the appropriate student visa.
      Jun 21
    • Oath Atinlay2
      Looks like that is your answer
      Jun 21

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