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Employer Bonds for H1 Visa Petition

When a U.S. employer brings an employee from a foreign country to the U.S. on an H1B visa, the employer often puts all sorts of restrictions, bonds, rules, penalty fees, etc., on the person if they leave the sponsoring employer within a certain duration of arrival into the U.S., such as one year. The employer may put a condition, such as if the employee leaves within 1 year of hiring, the H1B employee must pay a pro rated amount of their expenses (mentioned in the contract) back to the employer.

Even though individual circumstances may vary, in many cases, the court has ruled that those bonds are not legal and are in violation of the law. The DOL may choose to impose civil penalties against the company for its willful failure to meet a condition of a Labor Condition Application (LCA) and for its willful misrepresentation of a material fact on the LCA attestation.

The company may claim that it had invested considerable time, effort, and financial resources of $10,000 per employee in organizing, assisting, and transitioning these employees to life in the United States. In these cases, the employees never actually received $10,000 or any portion in liquid funds. The company should be able to document expenditures of $10,000 for each employee to the DOL. 

Many H1B workers work at a client’s site as a contractor, not actually at the site of sponsoring employer. It is possible that the client may directly make a full time job offer. Many H1B sponsoring employers try to put restrictions in the contract, such as conflict of interest, demand to pay unusual amounts of finder fee, etc. There have been instances in which the court has ruled that such demands and restrictions were illegal. Again, it really depends upon your unique case.

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