Getting a job offer from the United States is exciting – you’ll be given the opportunity to start a new career overseas and start your journey to the USA. However, there are certain things you need to know to get started and to protect yourself in the process.
What You Need to Know
Here are a few pointers to remember when reviewing and submitting your offer letter/employment agreement:
- Go through the offer letter thoroughly. Make sure that you understand everything about your job offer. Don’t hesitate to confirm anything you are confused about the employer.
- To protect yourself, ensure that everything you discussed with the employer regarding your position is in writing and not just agreed upon verbally.
- Refrain from giving your employer original documents, including your passport, H-1 visa approval/-94, original mark list or degree certifications.
- Ask for a copy of your employment agreement and read through it carefully before signing.
- There is no legal term/policy such as a bench period. You should be paid from day one, whether you are on assignment or not. Keep an eye out for anything mentioning this in your offer letter or agreement.
- Ask for a written copy of the company’s employment policy from the HR department.
- Look for the following benefits in your offer: relocation expenses such as airfare, visa costs, accommodations when you first arrive, and local travel expenses. Additionally, medical coverage or health insurance covering health, dental and vision is ideal.
- If you don’t see the above benefits, you may want to ask the employer if these items can be added to your offer.
Medical insurance is important when living and working in the United States. Without it, it can be very difficult to afford even the most basic checkups and medication, let alone major surgeries or treatments.
Make sure your health insurance covers all of your family members, starting as soon as you arrive to the United States. If it takes time to get your health insurance set up and valid with your new company, you should opt for temporary visitors insurance to cover you until your work-sponsored insurance is valid.
Things to Ask For From Your New Employer
- Paystubs every pay period
- Your W2-form which you will need to keep on file for taxes
- Medical insurance details and card
- Your salary appraisal on due dates
If you are not receiving payment after beginning work or in a timely manner, it is recommended to first discuss this with your human resources/accounting department for clarity. If problems still exist, you may submit a complaint to The Department of Labor.
If your former employer refuses to provide you with a W2-form, you can file a complaint to the US Internal Revenue Service, or IRS.
We hope this information is helpful to start your employment journey in the USA. For more information regarding working in the United States on a work visa, visit our H1B visa guide.