H-1B EMPLOYEE RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
As a worker with an H-1B visa status, employment and immigration laws in the U.S. ensure your rights are safeguarded as a foreign worker
- You must be paid your position’s prevailing wage, which is the expected wage paid to people employed in specific occupations. This might vary depending on the area in the U.S. you will be working. Generally, the prevailing wage in New York is substantially higher than, for example, Virginia. If an employer fails to pay the prevailing wage, the Department of Labor (DOL) must be informed as he or she must comply with wage laws.
- You must be provided with a Labor Condition Application (LCA) copy which your employer will have filed with the Department of Labor. The LCA is a record of your terms and conditions for the H-1B job you have been assigned.
- Employers are not permitted to discriminate against any H-1B worker in relation to his or her immigration status or country of origin. You must be given the same benefits in the job as a U.S. citizen.
- If your job is terminated by your employer before the expiry date of your H-1B visa, your employer is required to fund the costs of your return fare to your country of origin.
- Your family is permitted to accompany you to the U.S., but your children must be unmarried and not over the age of 21.They must be holding an H-4 visa status before entering the country.
Your Obligations as an H-1B visa status employee
- You are obligated to follow the terms and conditions outlined for your H-1B employment. One of which is working solely for the sponsoring employer and undertaking only those duties of the job that have been recorded on the LCA. You are not permitted to work for any other employer unless the person or company has also gained H-1B status for you. A single worker can have 2 H-1B employers, however both employers have to file an individual H-1B application for that worker.
- You are required at all times to maintain your immigration status so that you are legally allowed to remain in the country. This means not staying in the U.S.A. once your H-1B visa status has expired. Up to quite recently, foreign visitors were sent by mail the Form I-94, but this form is only available online where you are able to check your status and expiry date.
Note that if you find that the incorrect expiry date has been inserted onto the 1-94 form, which does occasionally happen, you should inform the UCSIC to ensure that the mistake is rectified. These mistakes are sometimes made at the entry points into the U.S. such as airports where the border official mistakenly records the wrong expiry date. Once your H-1B visa status has expired your employer has to file an application for an extension with the USCIS. USCIS has to be in receipt of the application before your status expires.
Return to “The H-1B Visa” to learn more.