by Riya Handa
As you might have heard about the H-1B visa, it is the most popular long-term work visa for professionals around the world. There are a myriad of perks associated with applying for an H-1B visa, such as these visa holders are granted to stay for three years, which can be extended, and it is open to the citizens of every country. But, it does not come without its downside. In reality, it has created a new world of slavery.
How? Today, in this post, we will discuss main reasons why an H-1B visa is not worth applying for. So, wasting no time, let us get on with it.
- Cheap labor: One of the most overlooked drawbacks of working on an H-1B visa is that the payscale under this program is not on par with the salary of US workers. Even the top companies in the US underpay their H-1B visa employees. These firms take advantage of the law to pay most of the H-1B workers lower than the prevailing wages. This program has allowed companies to fire US workers to bring in cheap foreign labor.
- No payment for overtime: There is no cap on how many hours a company can make its employees on H-1B visas work. While most companies do not pay for more than 40 hours a week, the workers are forced to work for 50 to 55 hours per week. But, unlike US workers, professionals on H-1B visas do not get paid for the overtime.
- Extreme work pressure: Forcing employees to work for more than 40 hours a week generates extreme work pressure, but still the workers cannot protest for fear of losing their jobs. Hence, they work tirelessly, day and night, without any complaints.
- If you are terminated: Another major shortcoming associated with an H-1B visa is about the scenario of losing your job. In that case, you will be given a 60-day grace period to find another employer, who will have to file a new petition on your behalf. Before that, you need to look for a job, and for that you have to look for a consultant. If you get hired through a consultant, the company will not pay you directly. Instead, they would let the consultant take care of your salary. Usually, consultants would pay the candidates after deductions. You might not raise a voice even if you notice it because, without a job, your visa will get terminated.
- You can’t make money with side-gig: Despite extreme work pressure, if you think of doing a second job to make extra money, you cannot do so as you are not allowed to take up a side-gig with an H-1B visa. If you still do so, they would term it H-1B violation, leading eventually to serious consequences, even deportation back to your country.
So, the ball is in your court, consider all the pros and cons before deciding. Share your experience as an H-1B visa holder with us.