When you get a job offer in the U.S., you should consider not only the salary but any other aspect that might affect you.
- If possible, try to learn from past/current employees or the internet on whether or not the employer processes the H1B on time and if they pay on time.
- You should get your agreed upon terms of employment in writing. Do not just accept verbal promises or assurances.
- Find out whether you will be working at a client site or at an in-house project.
- If you will be working at a client site, find out what kind of travel and lodging expenses will be reimbursed by the company, whether you are allowed to take your spouse and children with you to the place where the client is located, and whether the company will reimburse you for the same thing.
- Find out who the client is as well as the length of the project.
- Find out whether you will be able to stay at the client’s location or if you will travel weekly.
- Find out whether you are required to reimburse the employer for any visa-related expenses.
- Find out whether there is a settlement allowance. Some companies may give daily amounts, like $50/day for 30 days or just a flat $2,000.
- Find out whether they will give you a company car or a rental for two weeks to a month, until you can get your own car.
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- Find out when they will start your green card processing and whether you will have to pay any expenses for it.
- Inquire as to whether there is a bond if you leave earlier than your employment duration.
- Find out what kind of benefits the employer will provide, such as health, dental, vision, short term disability, long term disability, sick leave, vacation, 401(k), profit sharing, etc. Also find out how much you would have to contribute towards any of these benefits.
- Find out whether you will be paid during the bench period (when you are not assigned to a client project). Law requires that all employees on an H1 visa are paid their full salary whether or not they are assigned to a client project. However, some companies refuse to pay the salary when you are on bench and try to pay only minimal amounts, like a $20/day allowance.
Sometimes, you may be asked to sign a time sheet where it shows you worked for one or two hours in a day, and you will be paid accordingly. Don’t accept that. You must be paid your full salary.
- Before traveling to the U.S., make sure to get the complete contact information of the office and directions to your hotel/motel/guest house if no one comes to pick you up.
- Find out whether you will be paid overtime for hours worked over 40 hours a week. Some companies pay overtime, while most companies don’t pay overtime to salaried employees.