Recently, we have received calls from companies to help employees file a green card. Our clients wanted to know what to do after the employees said they had found a lawyer to help. The PERM process of sponsoring your employee for a green card is quite complex. It comprises three phases and three government agencies, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Department of State and the Department of Labor. The three phases are: Has someone asked an employee to sign a reimbursement contract for the costs the employer spent on applying for permanent residence? I am thinking of something akin to a credit contract, the employee agreeing, if the fixed-term stay is allowed, to reimburse the company a portion of the costs incurred (the percentage being reduced for each year in which the employee stays in the company) if he voluntarily leaves his employment relationship in a specified number of years. One of the first people to consider it is the merits of the staff. The green card process can be initiated immediately when renting or on the basis of a certain mandate. Deloitte and Qiagen both need a year and a good performance before starting the green card process for an employee. Even before the worker receives a green card, the rules allow the employee to change employers. If an application for adjustment to a person`s status has been filed and is 180 days old, that person may change employers under the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act.
A company called us because an employee was asking for corporate tax returns and other confidential documents. This company had not retained the lawyer who advises its employee in the green card procedure. Although a manager generally spoke with that lawyer to help the employee, the manager did not understand the process, obligations and meaning. Regardless of this, the lawyer should have clarified his role and had a storage contract signed with the company. Since the employer is the promoter of an employment-based green card petition (in most cases through the perm work certification process), it is absolutely necessary for the employer to choose the immigration lawyer and manage the application process, not the employee. The employer is ultimately responsible for complying with all federal provisions and must confirm that it has done so. In addition, a serious immigration lawyer would not begin this process without a retention agreement with the employer and would have consulted the employer on this very detailed and complex process. The green card policy for the employment of an organization is a major focus for foreign candidates when their professional choice is taken into account. Yes, we routinely require staff to sign a green card cost recovery contract. This is not a minor obligation for the employer, and since the worker is bound to you during an H1 visa, but free to screw as soon as the green card arrives, it is quite reasonable for the company to expect a refund if the worker leaves (voluntarily) within a specified period (24 months). The problem is of course the application of the agreement, because the cost of misappropriation of the employee and the recovery of a judgment are prohibitive and it is generally illegal to withhold money from a last paycheck (in some countries, you cannot pay for paid days off that may not be used). But in the concept, it is perfectly reasonable and legitimate to ask the applicant to sign a refund agreement.iv Whether or not a company has a formal policy, employers will want to be aware of several key areas of the sponsorship process: requirements, costs and reimbursement agreements.
We have looked at this issue and put in place a recovery system in the event of staff leaving.