The recent indictments alleging H-1B and green card fraud show the dangers that can occur if H-1B employees agree to perform unlawful acts requested by their employers.

Has your H-1B employer asked you to work in a city different than the city stated in your H-1B documents?  Or, has your H-1B employer told you to list a different address on your tax forms other than where you are actually living and working?  Has your H-1B employer benched you without pay, but offered to provide fake pay stubs for your (or your family member’s) immigration requirements?

If you are asked to participate in any of these activities, the answer is simple: No.

No matter how much pressure you feel, you must refuse any unlawful requests.

You must not:

  • Perform work that is different than the type of work stated in your H-1B documents (e.g. you must not work in a different city or at a different type of job than the city and job type stated in your H-1B documents);
  • Falsify documents (e.g. put false information on resumes, visa documents, tax documents, etc.);
  • Use falsified documents (e.g. use phony pay stubs the employer gave you for immigration law purposes); or
  • Work a “second job” or new job, unless you get a lawful H-1B transfer to that job or obtain other work permission.

You may feel financial pressure to do the things above because you have been “benched” or underpaid or are feeling threatened (directly or indirectly) by the employer.  But you must find a way to refuse.

What to Do:

If you are being asked to do the unlawful activities above, you should consider: (1) refusing or delaying your response to the employer’s request; (2) collecting whatever proof (documentation, emails, etc.) you have that proves the employer is making the unlawful request; (3) consulting promptly with an immigration attorney about your situation (not an attorney your employer had set you up with for the H-1B application process); and (4) working with the attorney on a plan to communicate your refusal to the employer and plans for making sure your next employment relationship is lawful.

Additional Information

For more H-1B employee rights information, please visit the blog’s main page at http://h1blegalrights.com/. For information about Legal (Attorney) Services for H-1B employees, please visit here.

To learn more about H-1B rights and options, please see these posts:

For information about H-1B Rights & Immigration Rights Attorneys Michael F. Brown and Vonda K. Vandaveer, please visit here.

This blog is authored by Employee and H-1B Rights Attorney Michael Brown of the law firm of Peterson, Berk & Cross, and Immigration Attorney Vonda K. Vandaveer of the law firm V.K. Vandaveer, P.L.L.C.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is NOT legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between you and the attorneys or law firms above. Legal advice often varies among situations. If you want legal advice for your specific circumstances, you must consult with an attorney.