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I have been working as a software developer at a startup for the past three years. I was one of the first few hires here. I have been exploring few opportunities and bagged an excellent offer at a well-funded startup last week. The new offer is exciting because it helps me grow and learn new technologies, and work amongst smart people. The money is good too..

I submitted my resignation yesterday, and my current employer is trying to match those numbers. I declined because it's not about the money, but it's about learning and growing. My current workplace is quite sterile for learning. Now my employers is trying to keep me by offering me an opportunity to immigrate to the U.S.

I'm yet to hash out all the details about the possibility of immigrating (what kind of visa etc..), but I need some advice.

Pros of immigrating to the U.S:

  1. As a developer, Bay Area is the place to be! I'm thinking of all the hackathons and networking opportunities.

Cons of immigrating:

  1. I'll be working with the same employer, and they will always know that I wanted to quit.

Pros of accepting the new offer:

  1. Exceptional smart team of people.
  2. Well funded, and good money and opportunity to learn new things and grow.

Given all these factors, I need someone to give me advice that would help me take the right step forward.

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    1. Any guarantee you'll make it to the US? 2. What's the time frame for immigration to the US? 3. Can you stand waiting that long? – Vietnhi Phuvan Apr 9 '15 at 7:02
  • I've been told it would be immediate. I've been an early employee, and have enough trust to take his word. That's not a problem. – Thilak Rao Apr 9 '15 at 8:12
  • This sounds like it's essentially a "What should I do?" question, which makes it off-topic. Is there another question buried here that is actually on-topic? – Anthony Grist Apr 9 '15 at 8:59
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    So you are currently working in the U.S. on a work visa? – Jack Apr 9 '15 at 9:11
  • @AnthonyGrist You are right. It didn't intend it to be off-topic. Let me clarify... do you think it's wise to change your mind once you have resigned. I haven't yet signed the offer from the new company, but I have orally accepted the answer. – Thilak Rao Apr 9 '15 at 9:54
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As stated in the comments, I will not try to tell you whether you should immigrate. But I have an answer to your reformulated question:

Let me clarify... do you think it's wise to change your mind once you have resigned. I haven't yet signed the offer from the new company, but I have orally accepted the answer.

From your current employer's point of view

It is usual practice to give employees a retention offer, in case they resign or express there willingness to leave in some way. It is done in every business culture I know from US, Europe and Asia.

Companies and managers invest a lot of time and money to make people productive in teams, therefore it is painful to loose old colleagues who are well integrated in the environment. Therefore managers try to keep people often offering big rewards, like a retention bonus, foreign work, new challenges and so on.

If your company wants to keep you, it just means that you are valuable. They will try to give you an offer that is in line with your priorities.

Now let's see the other side, the new company, that gave you an offer.

Every company that sends out an offer to a new employee is well aware that their current employer will probably try and retain the individual.

It is definitely not a surprise if someone says that my current employer has changed the conditions and I decided to stay with my old job. It is generally accepted to turn down a new offer if communicated openly and professionally explaining your reasons and priorities why you took that decision.

The personal side.

While this may differ with every person, I must tell you, I always felt that we could be good friends with people who wanted to hire me. Despite that I turned down their offer, managers were understanding and sympahtized with me.

I felt that, my new to-be-managers felt comfortable that they have done an excellent selection job, when they picked me, because my current company is fighting to keep me with very serious offers. So I must be valuable.

I felt sympathy, because those managers are also individuals who have to accept or reject offers, every now and then. They know how hard this is.

Conclusion:

Yes it is fine to choose the retention offer if you like it better that the new one. You have not signed the contract, legally you are safe.

Ethically and professionally it is also acceptable, everybody does that. Just make sure you communicate in a fair way and give the opportunity to your new employer to understand your reasons and the counter offer. (you may even get a counter-counter offer, it happened to me).

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A word of caution here: immigration is a long an arduous process. For most professional workers the progression would be.

  1. H1B visa
  2. Green card file (clock on H1B stocks ticking)
  3. Advanced Parole (after Green Card is approved)
  4. Permanent Residence (after Green Card is actually issued)

If you are from a US "friendly" country there may be some quicker way: i.e. you could get in immediately on TN Visa and file for H1B while already in the US.

H1B can take a lot of time. Application week is coming up and the quota is typically exhausted within less of a week. Even if you get into the time window, there is still a lottery which is frustrating and unpredictable. Getting people from, say, Europe to the US can easily take more than two years.

While you are on TN, H1B, you cannot change employers without high risk of losing your Visa or application status. So in essence you are bound to your sponsor (employer) until you have a green card in hand. You should only consider this, if you feel comfortable that you can stay with this employer (and that they will be around) for an extended period of time. I'd say 5 years or so.

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  • If this is the US office of the same employer it could be an L1 (company transfer) visa. IIRC these are limited 2 (?) years and don't lead to a green card. – NobodySpecial Apr 11 '15 at 4:40
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Once you make a decision go with it. Don't look back. and seeing the words you have written about opportunity in new startup, it looks pretty exiting. getting opportunity to learn new things and grow at work place is looking pretty hard these day's (yes, in my case :( )..you can do whatever formalities you have to do to get the immigration (and other legal thing's), notify your new start up HR if you feel that you will face any delay in joining process (related to immigration things or whatever it is) and Join the org. , work and learn all those stuffs. just suggesting

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