Know Your Rights As An H1-B Visa Holder

As a non-immigrant to the US, coming on a temporary H1B work visa allows the foreign worker to come and work here for the duration of his visa. During this time-period, he is bound to stay with the employer until the expiration of that H1B visa. However, this relationship does not mean the H1B worker doesn’t have any regulations to protect his rights when here.

If you are looking to work in the US, have your employer go through the step-by-step guide for H1B processing

In the present political environment, it is imperative for H1B workers to understand and protect themselves with what’s due to them once they have been granted the H1B visa. This is also important so that they may comply with all requirements noted in their respective Labor Condition Application. As an H1B visa holder, you should remember the following rights that protect and facilitate a fair and just work environment:

  • Costs Related to H1B Visa Filing:

All expenses surrounding preparation and filing of H1B petitions should be borne by the employer and done by the lawyer and HR of the organization. This includes H1B filing fee, lawyer fee and other miscellaneous fees associated with the visa. The H1B visa beneficiary can however, offer to pay for dependent visa including spouse and children.

  • Records:

The employer should keep a record of your duties, work hours and you should keep all details pertaining to work schedules and responsibilities, contact details of the employer, and most importantly have access to public disclosure documents that are part of the Labor Condition Application wherein the employer attests to all compliances.

  • Wages & Benefits:

An H1B worker should be paid wages commensurate (as mentioned in the LCA) to what the employer will offer every other employer in the same position. All market rate benefits including remuneration for any non-productive time caused by the lack of a license or permit should apply to you as well.

  • Work Environment:

A conducive working environment that is offered to every other employee along with a safe, non-threatening, non-discriminated environment. This also implies that the employer should reasonably participate and cooperate in all proceeding concerning the employee’s compliance.

  • Benching:

Impermissible benching or not paying for nonproductive time caused by a lack of assigned work is prohibited. Voluntary leave of absence is applicable as for every other employee.

There are other H1B rights and responsibilities that H1B visa holders should be educated on and ensure that you are in a safe, well-respected work environment.