A decent amount of the working population in the US is here on work visa. They pay taxes, contribute to the economy and so much more.
According to http://www.epi.org there are 460,749 on H1-b visa. That’s a LOT of people. These workers are employed by a variety of companies, from consulting firms, Fortune 500 companies like Amazon and Google, to smaller companies looking to complement their more specialized workforce.
I have had candidates approach me asking me to help them find a job. They usually are very eager to pay the cost of sponsorship themselves. I did some research last year about the process and how it works. By no means am I an expert or qualified lawyer.
What I did find during my research is that the employee cannot fund the cost of the sponsorship. The employer can’t ask the employee to pay back the money or have it deducted from the employee’s paycheck.
The employee has to be paid a fair wage and given benefits that another employee would get.
Am I saying that the visa holding employees are treated fairly all the time by all employers? No, I know there is a lot of harm done to them. I know a lot of them aren’t being paid fairly.
Most of the time, “consulting” firms take advantage of the situation. Promise of filing for a green card but never actually filing. Exploitation happens every day. Unfortunately until the laws change, a lot can’t be changed.
Know this though, any company asking you to pay them for your sponsorship or asking to be reimbursed is taking advantage of a broken system. It’s not worth it. There are hundreds of companies who sponsor visas.
You and your skills are in demand and don’t let someone take advantage of your situation. But as usual, my tip will be to be humble and be nice.
Being nice will take you far in life.