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Your Rights as an H-1B Worker

visa application with approval checked

As we discussed in our two prior articles on H-1B visas – “Do You Qualify for an H-1B Visa?” and “Your Rights as an H-1B Worker”, an H-1B visa - Specialty Occupations, DOD Cooperative Research and Development Project Workers, and Fashion Models – is for persons working in specialty occupations requiring at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in on-the-job experience and distinguished fashion models.

It is important to be aware of your rights and the protections granted to you by your status as an H-1B worker. Here is a look at these rights and protections -

  1. Your employer is required to start paying you within thirty (30) days of your entry into the United States. If you are already in the U.S., then your employer must start paying you within sixty (60) days of your H-1B status being granted.
  1. Once you have been granted H-1B worker status, your employer is not allowed to put you on involuntary, unpaid leave.

Even if your employer is lacking in work to give you or you do not have a valid license or permit to work, you cannot be put on unpaid leave at the option of the employer.

  1. Your employer is also required to give you a copy of the Labor Condition Application filed with USCIS.
  1. Your employer is not permitted to attempt to make you pay a penalty if you are leaving your job prior to an agreed upon date.

H-1B employers may, in certain circumstances, recover reasonable costs that they spent in obtaining approval of your H-1B visa petition.

If you believe that your employer has violated your rights or treated you unfairly as an H-1B worker, please reach out to one of our knowledgeable immigration attorneys at KI Legal for help. Our immigration team is well experienced in visa matters and can provide insightful and helpful advice as to what your next steps should be. Call us at (212) 404-8644 or email to get started.




This information is the most up to date news available as of the date posted. Please be advised that any information posted on the KI Legal Blog or Social Channels is being supplied for informational purposes only and is subject to change at any time. For more information, and clarity surrounding your individual organization or current situation, contact a member of the KI Legal team.


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