Monday, July 6, 2009

... And You Thought Getting an H1B Visa Is Great

The H1B visa is the most popular way of getting into the USA aside from coming in on an F1 visa. Every year hundreds of thousands of tech professionals are lining up for the H1B visa allocation every April 1st. Most of whom are filing their H1B visas under "consulting" companies who are said to have jobs ready for them when they arrived in the US. At least on paper, that is what some of these consulting companies tell the USCIS on their LCA.

When I got my H1B visa, I was very happy. I thought this could be a start of a new life for me. A lot of my relatives and friends wished me well. I thought that my life in the USA was already paved. And then 6 months later, I am still on bench. No salary. No project. All the rosy talk that I got from the employer that I will be working right away when I arrive is nothing but bull.

Good thing, I was able to get into status just in time.

I know I am not the only one experiencing this right now. I am pretty sure that a lot of H1B workers are either unpaid and underpaid, have awful living conditions and scrambling to get a job.

Many of the H1B workers are not beginners and we have tons of experience under our belt. Although a few bad apples or maybe alot more, are putting up a bad rep for the others who really worked their way.

Here is what I learned so far from H1B Program especially for TECH workers:
  • Some "employers" ask for a security deposit from H1B applicant just for their company to sponsor the applicants. Usually it ranges from $1000 to $5000, while some asked for $10000 or more.
  • No projects when you arrived in the US. Don't believe the rosy picture they are trying to paint. They just want the money.
  • No BENCH Pay. No project no pay policy is enforced in many "employers/consulting" companies.
  • Loose evaluation and lack of fraud detection from USCIS. A lot of "H1B applicants" tend to put up fraudulent claims of employment history, educational background and special skills. Just CLICK HERE