Employer asking for H1b cost refund for not joining him


I am in L1 visa. I filed and got my H1 from a consultant paying the premium processing fee of $1250. Visa got approved without change in status. I have not decided to stick with my L1 employer and join the H1 employer. Due to this the H1 employer is asking me to refund the amount he spent for getting my H1 including the H1 fee and the attorney fee. Is he entitled for the same. Please advice. Thankss.

Some effort does go into getting a visa approved, congratulations to you on multiple approvals. Your H1 employer must be upset on not having you but it does not allow for requesting a refund, there are no evident grounds for such a request however justified this might seem. Do not burn the bridges though, explain why you took the decision and promise that you will try to remedy the situation at a future date. Who knows once you get your green card, you might work with both groups. Wish you all the best

Dr. Sandeep Shankar


Colorado Heights University



Legally, there is a portion of H-1 fees which employer needs to take care of. However, fees like attorney charges and PP fees can be paid either by the employer or employee. They can decide to go after you for those charges. If the dispute is not resolved and the case goes to court, then they will have to show reasonable business losses in order to get those expenses from you.

Maybe a wise idea to take an attorney’s opinion on this.

I think it is illegal to take money even for the attorney charges Saurabh.
On the Dept. of Labor website, under H1B Rights - http://www.dol.gov/whd/FLSAEmployeeCard/H1BEnglish.pdf , it says
“ILLEGAL DEDUCTIONS: Your employer may not require you to pay, either directly or indirectly, any part of the petition filing fee; or to pay a financial penalty for leaving employment before a date set in the employment contract; or to pay employer business expenses (such as attorneys fees for preparation and filing of the H-1B Labor Condition Application).”

You are right HeMan. I didn’t know about it, and thanks for letting me know. I will remember it for future reference.