The term wage slave has has taken on a new meaning with a scarcity of good employment opportunities in some countries while more plentiful in others, greater numbers of job seekers are being held for visa ransom by some company in Brazil, Singapore, Canada.
The worse offender used to be the USA but more professionals are seeking opportunities elsewhere now given the decline of the US economy. Interesting I met an Indian executive who wanted advice on a job search in India from the USA. He had spent the last 12 years in the US working for the top Fortune 500 companies. He was finally just getting his green card and decided to just leave it all behind and go home for better opportunities. He was fortunate as he loved the company he worked for.
Most professionals I have met in this situation felt powerless to control their destiny but I have a few simple suggestions to at least mitigate the impact of visa situation on your employment.
- Do not rely or depend upon the company's lawyer regardless of what the company says. Get your own advice and help.
- Do whatever you can to expedite the process from your end and that includes research in advance to use when you speak to the company lawyers and HR to sway the negotiations.
- Ask them to outline their entire process. The questions to ask during the interview should not be about the job or the pay but the visa, period. Too often once you are hired I have heard a company say that they have other employees ahead of you so you have to wait your turn. This needed to be clarified before you accepted their offer.
- If a company questions that your motives for taking their position is about a visa, tell them you want to be free to stay not coerced to stay because you work better that way.
- Negotiate the entire visa immigration package with the company as part of the job offer and write it into your contract or acceptance letter. Have your attorney review the wording and have the company sign it.
- You may not be able to completely force them to keep their promises but you may be able to guilt them into it.
- Do they threaten to rescind the offer if you do all this? Well that's a very good indicator that they would have held you job hostage and that's not a good situation. Better to keep looking.