Jo Ann, a HR manager who is responsible for immigration at a technology company, recalls the ordeal of an employee of one year who was sent back to India for close to another year. Why? Because one attorney was remiss and forgot to do the employee’s paperwork. Yes, that actually happened.
The oversight by one member of the legal team wasn’t simply a paperwork mistake. It impacted the lives of the entire family, who had to return to India. The kids, who had only known life in the United States, were moved across the world to a new life, new culture, new schools.
For about a year, the company worked to remedy the situation and he was able to return to his job in the United States, but not without the effects of the emotional toll it took on all of the family members.
The organization paid all costs for the family to leave the country and move back, with expenses similar to a typical relocation. An expensive mistake, for sure.
Another story is about a man named Ramesh.* He is an Indian foreign national who joined the company in January 2010. A former law firm filed the first PERM application in 2012. In 2013, a response from the Department of Labor asked for additional information and it was rejected in 2014 for not providing the correct paperwork.
By 2015, a second application was filed and it went into audit. A third application was filed by a different law firm and by 2016, the second and third applications were approved. If the paperwork had been handled correctly the first time, he would have received his green card in 2013. “My wife has an MBA degree and she could not work for almost 10 years,” he said. “That was painful and emotionally draining for her. Now she has to start her career from the ground up and it will take time. Plus we had to deal with the uncertainty about how we should plan our life, whether we would end up in India or the U.S.”
Clearly, this cost the gentleman, his family and the organization in many ways. From H-1B extension costs to years of frustration, it was a chain effect of multiplying cost and delay.
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*Name changed for privacy.