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Retrogression, priority dates and Visa bulletins Issues surrounding the retrogression of the priority dates for the various employment based categories

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2007, 08:31 PM
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andy_traps is on a distinguished road
Default Working unpaid while on H4?

Hi,

Does anyone know if people on H4 are allowed to work unpaid? For example, can a person on an H4 visa file for an H1B visa with a start date of October 1st, 2007 but work on a volunteer basis (i.e., unpaid) at the same job while waiting for the H1B to come?

Thanks,
Andy
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2007, 08:52 PM
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Yes. But as my wife found out, a lot of employers (small business) are willing to pay off the books or in kind (like free private school tuition).
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2007, 09:16 PM
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It is totally upto you for taking up the job. But working without getting paid means you are giving in to exploitation.

But then, a lot of people, in their early stages of their career can do small sacrifices to learn the skill.

The only issue would be that your consulting company would be charging a heft sum to the client and pay you nothing.

Remember, legally you are not supposed while on h4.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2007, 09:20 PM
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Default H4

Working off the books is illegal ofcourse.

Because firstly, you are breaking the immigration law by working on H4. Also you are breaking the tax laws by working off the books, since you dont pay taxes and the employer doesnt pay the payroll tax. And no one pays the medicare and social security tax that is supposed to be paid.

Working without pay:

A lot of H4s have asked that why cant we work as a volunteer where there is no pay. This might be a grey area and you may want to check with a lawyer before you work on H4 without pay. It could be legal but its really not that black and white.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2007, 09:30 PM
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Remember, all immigrants no matter where they came from, are ultimately legal immigrants once they pass through the system.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2007, 09:50 PM
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I think you can volunteer while on H4. But, I would not recommend working "off the book" - it is illegal and can screw your GC process big time.

Some charity organization ask for the social security number even for volunteering. But, I am sure there are many who will let you work without it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_traps
Hi,

Does anyone know if people on H4 are allowed to work unpaid? For example, can a person on an H4 visa file for an H1B visa with a start date of October 1st, 2007 but work on a volunteer basis (i.e., unpaid) at the same job while waiting for the H1B to come?

Thanks,
Andy
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2007, 11:04 PM
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whatamidoinghere is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_traps
Hi,

Does anyone know if people on H4 are allowed to work unpaid? For example, can a person on an H4 visa file for an H1B visa with a start date of October 1st, 2007 but work on a volunteer basis (i.e., unpaid) at the same job while waiting for the H1B to come?

Thanks,
Andy
H4 can do volunteer work for non-profit organizations only.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2007, 11:10 PM
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voldemar will become famous soon enough voldemar will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_traps
Hi,

Does anyone know if people on H4 are allowed to work unpaid? For example, can a person on an H4 visa file for an H1B visa with a start date of October 1st, 2007 but work on a volunteer basis (i.e., unpaid) at the same job while waiting for the H1B to come?

Thanks,
Andy
People on H4 not supposed to take job that normally would be paid. They can do trully volunteer job like community service, charity work any other work that don't have to be paid. In your case it's real work, because you will be paid for it after Oct.1. So employer will hire someone else to do this job till that date. If you work unpaid you replace this guy.

P.S. I'm not a lawyer
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2007, 01:54 AM
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you can volunteer for your future employer as long as there is no financial transactions involved.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2007, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seahawks
you can volunteer for your future employer as long as there is no financial transactions involved.
Then you are replacing american guy.
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2007, 09:59 AM
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I had checked it with our Attorney and it is fine to work on Volunteer basis. However, there are very few oraganizations which will let you work. Working of the books is illegal...
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2007, 10:18 AM
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Default Volunteering OK?

My immigration attorney said it was OK for my wife to "volunteer" as long as the work was "volunteer", i.e. something a US citizen could "volunteer" to do.
She volunteered to work at a local library and it was a good diversion until they set a schedule for her and removed a job posting in the same library - then it became both a question of her being exploited and taking a job away from a US citizen, so she had to give it up. So, the lessen is, if it is truly volunteer work, then your spouse should be able to set his/her own schedule; if the schedule is set for him/her, then it becomes a problem.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2007, 10:52 AM
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My wife is currently on a H1b doing her residency. When she was on h4, she wanted to do research or observership on a voluntary basis so that she can get some good letters and also have her name on papers and journals.

She got into a research position as a "research volunteer" at Emory University in Atlanta and was an unpaid volunteer. After getting into that position she figured out that the department was actually advertising for that position for a "research assistant" position - which is a salaried position but they could not really find people to fill that position and because they found her promising and did not want to lose her, they offered her a research position.

Without her knowledge she was a regular worker and was dumped with regular work like a paid employee (though she was not paid). They stressed her out and not flexible with hours and never allowed her to study for USMLE etc... and were expecting her to continue that way for 3 months she worked and worked. So I interfered and stopped her from going there, and we wrote a strong letter to the Head of Cardiology at Emory, who got pissed off because she was not aware that the position was not being paid and the department did not officially want to acknowledge that they did it. So they called her to the department and "WARNED" her not to have any kind of communication and not to step into the department or talk to anyone for any reason. We got pissed and we strongly requested for a "Research Experience Letter" which they told they will mail us. We never recieved any mail for 3 months and then one day we called heer superior doctor and blasted her on phone and she in turn blasted us saying we must not call her. Then after a few weeks, we emailed the department politely asking for a experience letter and pleaded them and used a lot of sugar coated words with a lot of A** Ki***" and finally we got a decent letter. Then after a few weeks, the department sent her an email asking her if she still wants her name to be on a paper she worked on, she replied she wanted to. Then they responded that it is not possible to have her name as she was never working there and in future there must not be any communication from us.

The reason I wrote all this is : Most of you people seem to be desperate to work around the system for your benefit. As people do it, it becomes a mess.
Ours was a genuine case and see how an organization like Emory can do whatever they want for their advantage.

So it all depends on the kind of people you deal with - if you want to work on h4 just for sake of experience - expect the unexpected.

Most skilled immigrants are capable of doing great work if allowed to do but we are unable to do it , and organizations that break rules (Desi consultants or Microsoft or Emory or anyone for that sake) - will have only one motive - to exploit your skill and get the work done. In case of any issues, they will "scapegoat you" and make themselves look clean. So think twice before get attracted to breaking rules.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2007, 10:55 AM
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priderock is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Amazing how people give advise

It is truly amazing how people give advise on legally sensitive issues without verifying the facts. People go to the lengths of suggesting work off the books in an open forum (Admin was right to cut him/her off right away).

It is always good idea to consult a lawyer on these matters. You may be breaking the law unwittingly.

AFAIK (I am not a lawyer, consult a lawyer) , you can't work even for free if that job is NOT usually done for free. For example you can't work as a developer for a software development company for free.You may call it volunteer work but it has to be truly volunteer work, meaning others also do this work as volunteers.

Last edited by priderock; 03-27-2007 at 11:05 AM.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2007, 12:07 PM
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I have come to the realization that there is not much difference between illegals and legals. Both are victims of a system that does not have the capacity to assimilate them.

No one - press, congress, ordinary citizen or restrictionist - differentiates between legal and illegal immigrants. This is not surprising because the SOP is to somehow move illegal immigrants into the legal immigration system so that they are eventually treated as legal immigrants. In some cases like with CIR or Washington state's in-state tuition for illegals (but not for H or L), the system actively encourages people to qualify for benefits through the illegal stream.

Of course everyone must decide what they want to do. The I-94 states that penalty for unauthorized work is deportation. You have to decide if that matters to you based on a) whether you want to stay in the US and b) whether you believe you will be allowed to stay even if you follow all the rules
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