This happened on May 2015 but I still have that little bug biting on my neck as it was -for me- a dream job.

Early May 2015 I got an email from a software development company inviting me to apply as I was found in their records from when they visited our campus. At first I was skeptical but then I remembered I indeed left my information for them back when I was a Junior, so I applied, the recruiter called me 1 week later inviting me to take their screening examination, I accepted got my guide and started studying.

Three days later I take the test(by phone with a technical recruiter) everything goes well they say I'll be contacted if everything goes well. Not even 24 hours later I get the call, it was a job offer -I was so excited, after knowing the details of the position- then they mention if my OPT (Optional Practical Training) permit is still valid, I tell them it had actually expired a couple of months ago and that if that meant not getting the job I would understand; the recruiter said that she would call back in around 3 days and asked me to research about other working permits for non-citizens(information I knew then and still know by heart)

I get another call and I mention all the possibilities for work visas TN being one of them(doesn't require sponsorship) the recruiter says let me talk to my CTO and see what we can work with. Again not even 24 hours later I get the call saying we're good to go and that I should start my visa process ASAP since it was ideal to be there by the end of the month. I asked for confirmation about the permit and I was told for a second time that yes everything was good to go and I got my welcome letter, and my contract that same day, I sign it so does the recruiter. We say our see you later and let us know when your visa is ready.

By that time I had 3 offers here in Mexico(since I had to come back) I respectfully rejected all 3 of them since I had an offer to work in the U.S. I proceed to make the payment of 160 USD for my visa process that same day, which is non-refundable. The following day I get an email from the recruiter saying that they were sorry but they had to rescind the offer cause they're not really sure if they can actually work with that visa I suggested. Issue I addressed 2 times before signing the contract, and both times they told me I was good to go. I asked for a phone chat but the recruiter avoided me for the following week, under the reasons that "there was a recruiting event somewhere else"

So I ended up with no job and wasted 160 USD and that made me feel so frustrated, so bitter. I still have all the emails and the contract(I know I shouldn't hold that type of grudge, but it was one of the worst experiences in my life)

Was it correct -in any level(morally, ethically, legally)- from the company to do this? Even after I addressed the situation more than one time?

I read Are there circumstances where a company could rescind a job even after I accept their offer letter? and How frequently are offers rescinded after signing but I couldn't make an answer for my case out of these two questions.

PS I was an international student, the OPT is a permit you get after graduating so you can stay a year living as a resident.

PS2 I am not planning to sue the company for something that happened last year, I am a very un-experienced professional. I wanted to see/know the point of view from more experienced professionals.

  • Just to know the point of view of more experienced professionals @JoeStrazzere I don't plan to sue either, I guess asking here is my own way to finding closure to something I haven't learned to let go, since it was the first time I experienced it. And that money is non-refundable it's paid to the U.S. Department of State
    – Just Do It
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 17:42
  • Like I said I was and I still am a very un-experienced professional, I had no one to ask about this back then. I never thought of asking the company for a refund. @JoeStrazzere also I wasn't able to reach the recruiter after the incident
    – Just Do It
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 17:58
  • So it was legally correct to rescind the offer, although ethically incorrect to encourage me to move on with a visa process without even knowing for sure if it was okay. Right @JoeStrazzere ?
    – Just Do It
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 18:35
  • I like the conversation we had @JoeStrazzere and through your comments I was able to get an answer, if you post what we've discussed as an answer I'll accept it
    – Just Do It
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 21:39

3 Answers 3


Is this annoying and frustrating? Of course. I certainly wouldn't be happy if I was in your position.

Is it illegal? You'd have to check with a lawyer on that. My guess is no. I don't know how all the visa work, but if the company thought that you couldn't legally work there, they could get in legal trouble if they hired you, it's not surprising that they would back out. If there was confusion about whether you could legally work there, I think the company would have grounds to rescind an offer.

In the U.S., unless you have a contract that says otherwise, a company can generally fire you whenever they want for any reason. (And likewise, you can quit whenever you want. It works both ways.) So even if there was some law that said they couldn't rescind the offer, they could let you move to the U.S., work one day, and then fire you. That would surely be even more inconvenient for you.

Yes, it sucks, but I don't think there's anything you can do about it. Best to just move on.

  • I know all of this, reason for which I re addressed the point, and both times I was given the good to go thumbs up, I wouldn't have been surprised if they said you know what? we're unsure about this, let us discuss it with our lawyers first and then just tell me the no it's the order of the things what bugs me
    – Just Do It
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 17:38
  • 1
    @JustDoIt what probably happened was the junior people you were talking to all didn't think it would be a problem and answered based on their assumptions; while the issue floated up chain until it ran into someone more senior who did realize it was either a general show stopper or just more difficult than they were willing to deal with for someone at your level. Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 19:43
  • Or someone screwed up. They thought it would be no problem but then found out it would be a problem. Or someone came along who said it would be a problem even thought it real life it wouldn't be, but nobody wanted to stick their neck out for some new guy that they don't even really know.
    – Jay
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 23:50

Contracts can be broken at any time. Penalties and/or legal proceedings might follow, but they always can be broken. If you make it through all your adult life without encountering any breach of contract, I think it's safe to say your life is unusual.

In order to follow up on the penalties and legal proceedings part, you will need to consult a lawyer. Especially in the US the employer can usually fire you with very little notice, so the best you could get is the money you would have earned during your notice period, which is probably about 2 weeks salary, minus the cost of the lawyer.

That is unless the contract specified conditions that allowed them to terminate the offer, in which case you can get zero, minus the cost of the lawyer.

Also, if you paid these $160 to the recruiter, or to an entity suggested by them, then there never was a job and you've been scammed.

  • The fee is for an interview to apply for a non immigrant visa, paid to the U.S. Department of State
    – Just Do It
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 17:44

I get an email from the recruiter saying that they were sorry but they had to rescind the offer cause they're not really sure if they can actually work with that visa I suggested.

This is actually pretty common in the US. A hiring manager ask HR, who, incorrectly, says a the company can sponsor visa. You get all the way through, get an offer from the hiring manager, then HR realizes thats against company policy and revokes it.

Its almost certainly not illegal - companies in the US are generally allowed to change employment terms at will. Most states in the U.S. are whats called "at will" states, meaning they can change your salary or fire you on the first day, and its completely legal.

  • The visa I suggested didn't require sponsorship, I needed a non-sponsored visa for 10 weeks and after that training period a full time position is in place and then the new -sponsored- visa is requested. The OPT is a working permit granted to STEM graduates
    – Just Do It
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 22:03

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