My father applied for a carpenter position in Miami, FL, for major ship construction company. He cannot speak english at all and send the resume in italian, he got a reply a few days later by someone from the HR (email was automatically translated into Italian) and the HR person said his resume was impressive and they were interested, they sent instructions regarding the documents they needed to get him a working visa in the US. He replied simply by saying he was interested in the job and he wanted to know more, and they replied by sending him a signed employment contract!

I have read it twice, it looks legit, it's a 3 years contract paid 5600 usd per month, with a 30 day test period where the company will pay the flight tickets, accomodation, and any other expenses.

I thought it was a scam at first, but the company exists, it's a big one, he does not have to pay anything except for the visa application in Italy (small amount), nobody interviewed him or called him, it's so weird to me!

I am considering taking an unpaid 30 days leave from my job to go with him since he would not go by himself, since it could be a chance to move the whole family later on if they confirm the contract after the first month of work.

What do you think about all of this? I don't even know if this is the right place but it's happening all so quickly, he should be there in about 35 days and it takes at least a couple of weeks to get a visa.

Thank you!

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    This is almost certainly a scam - US work visas don't work that way. Is he supposed to apply for this visa through some agency in Italy?
    – brhans
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 20:15
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    Your father applied to the company. How did he learn about the company, does he know it being legitimate? Or was the position advertised to him in some way and he never heard of it before?
    – Helena
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 20:21
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    While the visa application fee might be small, the U.S.A visa application process itself, isn't that simple even when dealing with a country like Italy. "it takes at least a couple of weeks to get a visa." - It actually can takes months. I would use caution, contact somebody local, that can interface your father with the company. The company might assume he already had authorization to work in the country.
    – Donald
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 20:26
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    Apparently he found the job listing on linkedIn and it redirected to the company website, where he applied. They sent the following instructions by email: he should send copy of passport, signed employment contract, passport size photographs, resume, ID, then they will sent the " DS-160" form, but they also mention a H1B that has some kind of "filing fee" (it's hard to understand since the email is automatically translated) of 189.94 euros, all other expenses are on the company. This is probably the scam part. Maybe I should call the actual company tomorrow by phone and ask for the HR person Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 20:29
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    If they say he needs to go to a US consulate in Italy and apply for a work visa which involves a filing fee, it may be legit. It would be odd to offer a 3 year contract with no interview or vetting of any sort. It's not likely, but possible they are so desperate for workers that they would take a risk like this. But if the "company" is asking him to send any kind of fee to them, it is a scam. They are willing to pay for an international flight, lodging and expenses, but they won't pay 190 euros for necessary work permits?
    – spuck
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 15:06

2 Answers 2


So let me see if I have this straight.

  • HR asked him for a series of documents
  • He responded to that with interest and requests for clarification
  • They responded with an offer letter.

Additionally, your father would be in the US while entirely unable to speak English, and therefore highly vulnerable.

This is highly likely to be a scam. Normal companies don't work like that. If it is not a scam, it is almost certain that the HR person in question has messed up in some way.

The first thing to be sure of... the company exists, but is the person you're talking with actually from that company? Try going online, using google, finding the actual website of that company, and trying to get in contact with their HR department through that, and verify independently. If you can't verify independently, it's probably a scam of some sort. If you can, you can get better information from them about what's going on.

Of course, it's also possible that they just intend to bring him in as an undocumented illegal alien, and exploit the fact that he has no support structure and can't really go to the police to force him to work in miserable conditions (with any of a wide variety of options on how to pay him less than they promised or pull the money right back out of him in other ways). You might be well-served to contact the Italian embassy/consulate in the US as well, to make sure that what they're asking you to do is legal. There's a difference between "visa that's adequate to enter the US briefly on vacation" and "visa that's adequate to stay for three years and work."

If the actual company confirms that he has an actual offer from them, and you're able to independently confirm that he's covered legally, then you can progress... but I'd still do so with caution. Going to live and work for multiple years in a country that doesn't speak your language is difficult, and Italian really isn't a common language in the US.

  • Hello Ben, thanks for your comment. Yes I believe this to be a scam too, but everything seemed legitimate. The company is called Lots Trading management ship construction company, and the email was received by the same email address shown on the website. They could have been hacked though, or the whole website could be a scam. I need to look further into it. Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 20:50
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    I am checking and it seems like this company only exists on their own website, I cannot find any other information on this company online. They say they have 11000+ employees but no information on this company on wikipedia or other pages, and the facebook page looks ridicolous. So the whole website of the company could be a scam! Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 21:11
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    @MassimoSpasiano I've looked them up. It's a scam. There are blocks of text on their website that were clearly written by someone who was not a native English speaker. I would bet that this company does not actually exist, except as a front for a scam.
    – Ben Barden
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 21:16
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    @MassimoSpasiano Even if the website is from a real company, faking the email domain is very simple. You can search the internet for tutorials. Do not trust emails alone!
    – Chris
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 2:07
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    @MassimoSpasiano - I think you've already figured it out, but your father could try asking them why the apprentices on their website look identical to those at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia - Including the "Walnut Street Theatre" T-shirts. Commented Jan 2, 2020 at 13:44

If any company asks you to send money to them, or to an agency that they picked, it's 99.99% a scam.

You may be tricked by the sums: Your dad was offered $5,600 a month for 36 months, that's over $200,000 they are going to pay for you, why wouldn't you pay a small fee of less than $200?

Because it's a scam. There is no job. They are not sending you flight tickets. The only thing real is the small fee of less than $200, which they will put into their pocket, laugh at you, and that's it. If it was real, they would deduct the fee from your first salary.

  • It sounds to me like the fee in question is the DS-160 fee, which is paid directly to the US Dept of State at the time of visa application, and is always paid by the employee whether or not the visa is granted. The employer must pay all other fees related to the H1-B process. The rest might well be a scam, but this part is perfectly legitimate.
    – Aidan
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 2:52

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