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I just recently accepted a job offer from another company and that company is in the process of finishing off a few joining formalities (namely transferring my work visa). As per their legal department, that should take another week or so, post which I plan to give my two weeks notice and leave.

My current manager has a lot of new projects whom he wants me to take up. The duration of these projects range from a month to several months. I would prefer not taking them up since that would require me to leave in the middle of the project which would be unprofessional in my opinion.

What would be the best way to handle this situation without directly telling him that I am moving (Please note I do not wish to inform him until the visa transfer is done since my current company can block the visa transfer if they learn about me moving)

marked as duplicate by user45590, IDrinkandIKnowThings, Masked Man, Lilienthal, Chris E Jun 13 '16 at 13:34

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    I wouldn't be too worried that that would be unprofessional - the notice period is there for a reason (though I'm surprised it's so short, I've only ever come across a month's required notice) - to give the management and other employees time to adjust to your leaving and you time to hand over anything you're in the middle of. It would be very difficult to plan an end date which coincided with the end of a project especially with projects several months long, unless you made a special arrangement with your new employer (which they will probably not like). – colmde Jun 7 '16 at 8:37
  • Are you sure that your old company really can "block the visa transfer"? I am working in the USA on an H1b visa which was recently transferred from my old (unprofessional/hostile) employer to my new employer. Once the paperwork was submitted to USCIS by my new employer I was free to go. If you're in a similar situation then assuming your new employer is acting in good faith (towards you as well as towards the H-class work visa system) you should have to issues... – brhans Jun 7 '16 at 14:04
  • Sorry I dont think the word block is appropriate, they can revoke my visa which could put me in no mans land if the other visa doesnt come through or my visa gets revoked before the transfer – Alexjones13131 Jun 8 '16 at 7:47
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You've looked at the situation logically and seen the solution, but rejected it for fear of appearing unprofessional. I advise you to lay those fears aside when the alternative is losing your new opportunity, and possibly being left jobless.

In your own words:

I do not wish to inform him until the visa transfer is done since my current company can block the visa transfer if they learn about me moving

This sounds like we're dealing with a hostile employer, not a reasonable party. Maybe I'm misunderstanding, so I'll explain both possibilities:

1. Reasonable Employer

You treat them honestly and ethically. You inform them that you're about to leave and it's only a matter of weeks, so handing you new projects is not a good idea. Whatever your boss decides, you still abide by his/her decision (aka take it on anyway and try like heck to finish it)

If this doesn't sound like it would have a good outcome for you then the degree of professionalism you're asking for is already no longer an option.

2. (Potentially) Hostile Employer

You play your cards close to your chest. You inform no one of your plans, and act as if you are not at all planning to switch jobs (because, frankly, until the visa transfer is complete you don't have another job). This implies participating in meetings for new projects and acting as if you fully intend to take them on.

You could suggest that another person take one of these projects on if it seems like a logical choice, but otherwise maintain your cover in order not to jeopardize your new job.

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    The problem with option 1 is - reasonable employers can quickly become hostile in the event of giving notice... – HorusKol Jun 7 '16 at 2:54
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    Also, let's say the new opportunity falls through and the OP wants to stay. Even in the case of a reasonable employer, the pre-notice given in option one now becomes a terrible decision. Never do 1. – Nathan Cooper Jun 7 '16 at 8:08
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As you more or less state yourself, your options are quite limited.

Since your primary concern is finalizing the visa process with zero risk, you will have to keep completely silent until it has been resolved.

Join the new project, go to meetings - but do the work in a way that makes sense knowing that you will leave. Most projects start with somewhat generic tasks. If such tasks exist and you would be able to finish them, that could be the way to go. Try to avoid tasks that require you spending time which will essentially be wasted when you leave.

You cannot control how the employer reacts to you giving notice - but you do have some control over your own 'legacy' at the company after you have left, by making your exit in a professional manner.

  • This seems to be the most valid option, given that employers can turn ugly. Additionally, I've had experience of a reasonably simple hire becoming really complex, leaving to a three month delay in starting work. Take small projects, and keep in mind the poor sap that has to take over whatever work you're doing, and document how you're working extensively so they can take over when it becomes necessary :) – Miller86 Jun 7 '16 at 8:21
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If you want to not let your current company know you're leaving before you're ready to tell them, you're going to need to continue to act like you're not, which means taking on a project. I wouldn't tell them early, especially when something like a visa transfer hangs in the balance and can really screw things up for you.

Since you want to make the least impact when you leave, which is respectable, if there isn't a project you can finish in the ~3 weeks before your final day, getting on to the longest-term project will likely have the lowest impact. As a manager would you rather lose 1 week on a 4 week project or a 16 week project?

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What would you do if your company said it was planning to replace you, but the replacement worker has visa issues that may/may not work out and will take an undetermined amount of time to resolve?

In the meantime, your employer is going to stop paying your salary.

If and when the visa issues get successfully resolved, you will be formally fired. If they fail to get the visa issues resolved, they will resume paying you (but no back pay) and act as if nothing happened.

This is essentially your situation reversed. What would you do?

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