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I have recently received and accepted a job offer. Because I need a visa to work in this country, the company has hooked me up with an immigration law firm. They said that they would be in the process of transferring my visa shortly, and advised not to give notice until the transfer is complete.

However, after the transfer is complete, I will not legally be able to work for the current company, because my visa is tied to a specific workplace! A coworker (in confidence) advised me to give no notice, because the company has a history of making life difficult for departing employees (he has been with them much longer than I have).

It still feels wrong, though, and I am wondering if there's a professional way to resolve this.

  • Just to clarify your situation - are you in the USA with an H1B visa? – brhans Mar 2 '17 at 14:30
  • The reason I ask the above is that H1B's are not actually 'transferred'. You can have 2 simultaneously authorized H1B petitions - getting the DoL/USCIS approval for the new one does not invalidate the old one. – brhans Mar 2 '17 at 15:29
  • USA, but not H1B visa. – SPavel Mar 2 '17 at 15:34
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The professional way to handle this is to follow the advice of your law firm:

They advised you not to give notice until the transfer is complete.

You have a perfectly understandable responsibility to look out for your own interests. I'm not a lawyer, but it's a fair guess that their advice is so you avoid the possibility of losing the current job and then having the visa transfer fail.

While your resignation might be a little awkward, a reasonable manager would understand your situation and accept it for what it is.

Since you have some time, you might want to consider documenting your work - what you do, how you do it, who you talk to for various issues, etc. In short, all the information you would in theory tell someone during your notice period.

To avoid raising any suspicions at work, consider doing this at home on your own time.

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