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H1-B: Some Important clarifications before final decision

Karan Sinha
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 05, 2006
Posts: 19
Hello friends,

I have been approached by couple of H1-B consulting companies for US opportunities. I�m working now (IT exp. of 6yrs) and aspiring a career 2 US. The offer is through pure consultants who are in US.....now I know MOST of my fellow forum buddies will go mad at me for going with these consulting firms (I know that.. .someone called them blood-suckers, fraud, cheats, body-shoppers, abusing professionals...illegally getting people on board...etc). But believe me I�m no IIT, IIM, REC or Infosys...so that an US onsite offer will knock at my door. So, I need to get myself landed in there through these so-called consulting firms through fees, bonds, guarantee etc etc..

I believe this forum has mix of all � people who are in US, who went through company (the lucky one�s.. ..), the one who went through consultants (possibly like me), and some who got cheated by such betrayers....I�m new to this kinda recruitment, so can the forum members throw at me ALL the valid queries which I need to get clarified with my employer/consulting firm before I make the final decision with them, so that I�m almost sure that I have done all required clarifications which all the fellow people here have gone through. I�m sort of avoiding falling in a ditch, where the lesson learnt from all the people here can help me out.

I hope I�ll surely get some help/feedback from all my buddies here...let it be like a brain-storming...so that every1 in forum get some info out of this and be cautious while they decide on this option...thanks... ..Karan.
Jay Shin
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 14, 2004
Posts: 169


before I make the final decision with them



Make a wise decision.

Think of your family in India and your career prospect in India vs. the U.S.A.

Accept the H-1B offer only if you desperately want to migrate to the United States of America.

Once you get off boat, you will become an illegal alien and make $30,000 per year with no health insurance.
Geoffrey Chu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 25, 2004
Posts: 70
If you lose your job, you will have a hard time finding a new one. The "Consulting firm" will not care much about you. The H1B is good only for 3 years and if they do not have a client for you, they might not renew it.

If you are hoping to get a Green Card -you will need to be sponsored-. It will take you a lifetime. You will be working for the same employer for the next 7 or 8 years. Forget about asking for salary raises.


Geoffrey Chu<br />----------------------<br />- SCEA<br />- IBM UML OOAD<br />- SCJP 1.4
Amit Saini
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 20, 2004
Posts: 280
I feel the most important consideration is: How old are you? Do you have a family? Do you have kids?

If you're 20-25, just out of college, what the heck, take the risk. You're young, you can save money by sharing accomodation and enjoy whatever USA has to offer - even if you work through a consultant. Being single really makes you resistant to a lot of jolts. Even if you make $50k, its more than what your counterparts would make in India. Let's say you have to go back after two years, you atleast have the experience that you're carrying back with you! (and possibly some dollars!)

On the other hand, if you're married/have kids, you definitely have to look at stability and peace of mind. You can't bring in your wife/kids when your own job is not secured. You might be in one city for a month and then in another city. What if there is no project? Where are you gonna keep your family? What if the consultant doesn't pay you when you're on bench, how are you going to pay the rent etc? I'm not saying all this will happen, but I'm just saying what the worst case could be.

You'll have to address all these issues before taking the plunge..and have clear answers for yourself.

And if you're really serious about migrating to USA and getting a top job, think of getting higher education (MS or MBA) from a good university. That will make it easier for companies to hire you as a full time employee and a lot more doors will open up. Just my $0.02!

All the best in whichever path you choose!
Amit
Rithesh Nair
Greenhorn

Joined: May 03, 2006
Posts: 13
Initial Salary offered-
Name of the co-
no. of employees-
benefits offered- (health/dental)-Its a Must have in US- not like India-
Relocation expense - if they gonna move u around for projects...
and Impt- bench salary ? when u are not in projects-make sure all these are in the contract they are sending and u will be safe.
Karan Sinha
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 05, 2006
Posts: 19
Thanks Jay, Geoffrey, Amit and Rithesh..

ne1 wonder what flourishes this forum so much�this is it...so many frank, critical and useful suggestions..this is what I wanted to hear seriously, since plenty of them have gone through this or already going thru..

Jay �n Geoffry: I�m aware of the consequences and I was following both of ur threads on similar issues very closely�as I said, I have decided abt the switch and I think nothing better than US at this moment. Not saying opportunities aren�t there in India, but its competitive and w.r.t the yr of exp. one cant better the same compensation of US for that matter.

As Amit rightly pointed out�nothing works out without a risk and I�m 28. Not saying that I�m young but if its not now, then for sure it�ll just remain as a plan and dream for me for ever.

Amit: Suppose I come through a consulting firm and try for a change to for example a better sponsor company after 1 or 1 � yr. Are there any hurdles involved? Will the current firm/consulting firm make a problem for my career hop? Is there any specific rule existing in H1-B which will allow/disallow me from doing this?

Is H1-B transfer a smooth process and a normal stuff?

The offers which I have, in that One is salary based, which is purely fixed salary per month based defined by them during the initial contract (and appraised periodically based on assignment).
Second is hourly based where I�ll be charged 70-30 basis but no benefits what so ever. But the earning per month is much higher compared to first one (salaried). Which one do you think is better option considering the living and security of job?

I�m no desperate to make to US, but yes do like to have career growth, earn money and eager for being in the market. I realize it�s a gamble to leave a secured and stable job but one have to make this by keeping in mind a long term goal. I know there are a BIG bad experiences and LOT�s of good experiences also in this kinda endeavor...But I�m sure lots of IT prof�s are surviving and have come out of this tough phase...and I�ll love to hear from them in this thread�since that will set so many things to individuals like me who wants to excel in this direction. Its easy to swim with the flow of water...but what�s hard is swim against the flow of river.

But I�m sure with more success stories and right directions from the ranchers in this thread guys will conquer in this rough phase of career decision...so pls. speak up guys...share whatever you have gone through (good OR bad) during your H1 initial phase, so that some fellow buddies or professional don�t do same mistake and come out triumph in this process...thanks 2 all in anticipation.
Deepika Pereira
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 20, 2006
Posts: 25
Hey Karan,

I would suggest the same things as Rithesh.Please be very careful with the company you choose.

Recently one of my friends has had a bad experience in this regard.She was working for a consulting company which put her in a project telling her that it was a 6 month project.She relocated to a new city (new state) went through the trouble of finding an apartment and all the set-up related things.
During the time she worked for this client she had been putting more that 14 hrs of work, working weekends,working from home etc.The project had been behind schedule since 2 developpers had previously quit.But the hiring company told her none of this and neither did they tell her that the contract with them was expiring in 3 months.
The client did not renew the contract and she had to begin her search all over again.
The company did not pay her relocation the first time.Neither did they assist her in finding a new project this time.During the time she was not working she received no salary i.e. abt a month.
She has done MS and it took her a month to find a company giving her a decent rate and the promise of a long term project.And by the way one cannot prolong one's search since there are status issues.

She finally found a new company,transferred her Visa to them and guess what?
The client that they found for her was even more demanding.She has been working 18 hrs a day for the last week,travelling alone in the morning at 3 AM and asked to report back at 8:30 sharp.

Although I dont think has a stint of bad luck as hers still it is better to be safe than sorry
Hence do check out if they would help you find project or you would have to search and about the relocation expenses.Also many of the companies dont pay regularly.

Hope this helps in your decision making
Deepika
Rajan Chinna
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 01, 2004
Posts: 320
Karan, let me tell you my friends story.....
He made late entry to USA, had in same boat u r a year back. Came here thru a body shopper who pay very little with no benefits and no bench salary. If he is on project he gets pay else nothing. He got a job within a month and tolerated that unprofessional employer for 6 months and finally quite and joined a new employer with more pay and benefits with long term assignment.

All I can say is different people will have different experience either good or bad. There r good body shoppers too, the best thing is find out from the current employees how they treat them. Initial 6 months might be difficult in settling down, If u have good technical skills & experience its easy to get a job.

H1b transfer is not an issue if u have couple of recent paystubs. Salary depends on location/experience/position factors.

Apart from Rithesh mentioned I advice not to sign any bond.
Make sure they provide you initial accomodation and transport and flight tickets. You can agree on salary base if they provide benefits.

just my 2 cents......
Wish u goodluck!
Jeroen T Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 21, 2006
Posts: 1847
Transfer of an H1 essentially means you have to go through the entire application process again, and you have a few weeks to do it.
Just a bit of the red tape will be skipped because part of the documentation will be on file already.

Remember that you have only a few weeks after loosing a job in the US to find another before you HAVE to leave the country or become an illegal job stealing alien.
Americans are NOT happy with such people, even less than they are with people coming in on (on paper) valid visa to take jobs that rightfully should have gone to Americans (which is what you're doing... there is no shortage of inexperienced programmers in the US, it's just that companies can get an Indian from some bodyshop for half the price and can then far more easily get rid of them again).

Personally I don't care if your Indian body shop leaves you out to dry once you get off that plane in the US, it's what you're asking for dealing with them.
Those companies don't deal with real professionals anyway, real professionals know better than to deal with them...

What I do care about is the local people loosing jobs to Indians and eastern Europeans all over the US and EU who abuse loopholes in the laws regulating the distribution of work permits to get into countries.

It's people like that who end up destroying the economies of their host countries by leeching vast amounts of money from the economies there and preventing locals from keeping decent jobs.
Friends and former colleagues of mine have lost their jobs to Indians and eastern Europeans. A few years ago they were well paid programmers and analysts, now they're unemployed and living on a government allowance which is just short of abject poverty.
One had to sell his dog because he could no longer afford to pay for food for both the dog and himself and still pay the rent...


42
Karan Sinha
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 05, 2006
Posts: 19
Thanks deepika, rajan

deepika: It was really agonizing to hear the faith of your friend. Yes, this brings a good point that I have to clarify with them the relocation expenses and most importantly putting me with right clients.

Also, would like to know the hour of working...isn�t the prof's charged per hourly basis. Now my consulting firm are promising a bench salary of 1 month when out of assignments but its salary based and mush lesser than the other firm which is offering me hourly basis with no benefits what so ever.

rajan: You said it right dude, it�s a mix of both good and bad experience...and what you all are sharing here is critical inputs which will allow so many ranchers for being cautious in their approach. Also a good suggestion as mentioned by rajan is to enquire from current employees abt their treatment. So please guys...if any1 here are aware of OR working with some good consulting firms, just shoot your suggestions and help...it�ll help guys from falling in wrong hands.

Also a starting salary of 60K p.a offered for a 6 yr exp in java. Is it a good offer???

Thanks all of u 4 ur feedback...rajan ur 2 cents when I earn my 1st dollar.. ..just kidding!!!
Jay Ashar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 13, 2002
Posts: 208
Originally posted by Jeroen T Wenting:

Friends and former colleagues of mine have lost their jobs to Indians and eastern Europeans. A few years ago they were well paid programmers and analysts, now they're unemployed and living on a government allowance which is just short of abject poverty.
One had to sell his dog because he could no longer afford to pay for food for both the dog and himself and still pay the rent...


Did your friends and former colleagues tried to do anything about it, like contacting their senators/congressman or whoever is in-charge, to let them know that H1Bs are affecting them and these kind of activities should be stopped? or did they sell dogs and just ran to unemployment office?


SCJP 1.4<br />SCWCD 1.3
Jeroen T Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 21, 2006
Posts: 1847
They did what they could, which over here amounts to little more than vote for someone else in the next elections.
Not that it matters, immigration policy in Europe is set by the Brussels elite who aren't accountable to anyone except themselves (they're not elected but appointed (basically) by themselves).
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41150
    
  45
A word of advice: This thread contains facts, opinions, over-generalizations, anecdotal evidence and distortions. More of some of these categories than of others, and some that's passed off as one when it's really another. Be mindful of that if you're thinking about basing important decisions on any of this. Not everyones agenda vibes with yours, and it may or may not be obvious if it does.


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subject: H1-B: Some Important clarifications before final decision
 
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