I am on H4. I would really appreciate and thankful if any one could provide me answers to my Questions. 1) Can two consultants file my H1-B (H4 to H1-B)?Are their any Advantages or Disadvantages for that? 2) What if consultant is asking for 5k for filing H1B and also a contract for a year? And if we break the contract before one year then we will be penelised ($10k)? Do we really have to pay what if we dont pay ?
Yes multiple employers can file your cos. Your status changes from H4 to H1 on the start date mentioned on the approval notice of the first approved petition. So just keep this in mind, that you will need to maintain H1 status there after.
It is not legal for the employer to ask for the H1 filing fee. You can only pay towards the premium processing fee.
If you sign a contract with your employer then yes you would be legally responsible for holding your contractual obligation in case you break the contract before 1 year.
In addition (and slight correction) to what Ankit said:
If 2 employers file and you decide to join 1 of them, you will be basically burning bridges w/ the other employer. This is the only disadvantage I can think of.
Bonded labor is not allowed in US. So your employer cannot ask you to sign a contract to stay w/ them for 1 year or pay damages. Lot of times, employers add this clause to generate fear among their employees. I suggest getting the contract reviewed by a labor attorney in your state as these laws at times vary by the state. Your employer can still sue for reasonable business losses, but then they will have to show those losses in the court.
Thanks Saurabh & Ankit,
I also wanted to know that:
If I plan to go on vacation(England) out of US during my H1B process time, and do not get any approval or if I get an approval within that(H1B process) time, Can I travel without any problem or I have to get my passport stamped?
If you leave US while your H-1 is still under process, then COS from H-4 to H-1 will be abandoned. You can either return on H-4 and file a separate COS once H-1 gets approved. Or you can return after getting H-1 visa stamped in the passport (for this you will have to wait for petition to get approved and travel back to US only around H-1 start date).
If you leave US after your COS has already been approved for Oct 1, then you can return on H-4 visa and still be automatically on H-1 from Oct 1. No separate stamping/COS is required in this case.