Rights & Responsibilities of a H1B visa Holder

To be compliant with your visa status, you have certain responsibilities that you should fulfil. Having said that, as a H1B visa holder you also have certain rights that protect and facilitate a fair and just work environment. Below are some of the rights and responsibilities of a H1B visa holder –

Rights

  • Possess your own passport and visa.
  • Enjoy a discrimination free environment with regards to work hours, shifts, vacation, leave of absence, etc.
  • The Labor Condition Application (LCA) specifies the wages and conditions of work specific to the visa applicant. This should be commensurate to industry standards.
  • Getting timely wages irrespective of work being at the employer’s client site and payments coming from their end.
  • Get a copy of all official documents that depict your status and position in your place of work including the I-797, I-94, etc.
  • Have a copy of any other legal document that talks of your eligibility to stay, work and receive remuneration for the work performed.
  • Have a copy of your employer’s documentation regarding their intent and role in employing you as a foreigner.
  • Right to the company’s legal counsel.
  • Own property.
  • Free to travel.
  • Free to quit work and seek another employer as long as they are able to legitimately sustain and support your H1B visa status. This is true only if your contract allows you the freedom to break the contract without penalty. Else you will be violating the terms of the contract.
  • Seek an extension of your visa once expired, if you meet continue to meet the key requirements of the visa.
  • Finally, you have the right to apply for a Green Card and request for an ‘Adjustment of Status’.

Responsibilities

  • Diligently follow the law of the land.
  • Follow all protocols of an upstanding citizen of the land.
  • File all required taxes in a timely manner. No falsifications are tolerated.
  • Never engage in any illegal practices.
  • Be truthful about eligibility and qualifications pertaining to the employment at hand.
  • Seek only legitimate and “above board” employment and H1B visa sponsors abroad,
  • Do not seek another employment on the side, either part time or contractual unless you have another H1B visa filed under that employer.
  • Always ensure you remain in status. If for whatever reason you are out of employment with your sponsored employer, you will be considered out of status and have to leave the country.