Negotiation Salary & Benefits with H1B sponsoring Consulting Companies

In Work in US by KumarUpdated : 144 Comments

Significant number of students who graduate with a degree in US tend to go to Desi consulting companies for jobs. Fresh graduates go to them with a hope to get trained and get placed in a good company and make some decent money. There are many things to consider and one of the major things students overlook and compromise on is Salary and Benefits.  Students perception is  ” I first need a break and a job and then after I settle down, I can make good deal with Employers “. But, this is VERY MUCH not true. YOU LOSE a lot if you do not negotiate up front. Employers just use the vulnerability of students and make a LOT OF MONEY. Some of them are reasonable and some are VERY GREEDY. So, the idea is, you make a good decision first hand.  This article is part of the series : Everything from – How to find H1B sponsor to How to find H1B Jobs in Consulting

Sample Good  Pay and Benefit  deals  :

There are two concepts, once is Salary for an year and Percentage based on project.

If   “the employer applies for students’s H1B visa, trains you and supports you with lodging and boarding until you get a job ” and the employer size is big around 200 people in company. On a percentage basis, yu can ask for 70 to 30 % ratio. It means, you get 70% of the billing rate and 30 % goes to employer. This is a good deal because if you are working for a big company, the chance of having layers before client are less. So, your employer will have good billing rate. Again, you have to trust your employer and it is your call. Some are good and some are not trustworthy. Most of them are not trustworthy. There is at least 10% money just not showed to you.

Similar to above, the company trains you and takes care of you. If they do not do percentage and only Salary per annum, yu can ask to start with $75,000 per year with Full benefits of Health insurance and 401k . The deal is after one year, he gives a hike to $80,000.  There is a catch here, it depends on the technology. Sometime people in hot technologies can do better and in old technologies do not do better. So, it is relative.

If the employer is small, lets say under 50 members, You should ask for 80 – 20 percentage basis. Means you get 80% of the billing rate.  Because, it is a small company, the idea that the guy will have direct vendors or clients is very less and there are more layers, so your employer gets less money and you better get more. Also, it is not a good idea to go on salary basis for small employer as he cannot afford to do rotation of money. Again, it depends.

One golden rule, go to company with some reference. I mean to say is talk to someone who works in that company and ask them details. The guy you talk to should not be relative or any way related to company. He should not tell you some crap because be gets a bonus.

There are many factors, you have to negotiate accordingly, but on the baseline above are some common percentage and salary. It varies with experience and technology.

Overall, the point is YOU HAVE to talk to employer  in the beginning and clarify the Salary and benefits. Because, if you do not and get into a LONGTERM project, you lose money. Employers are very intelligent, they say we will give you a hike after First project and if you are lucky and get a good project that runs long, you are stuck…so, think about it.

I will do some post about consulting companies later…post a comment if you need specific help !


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Comments ( 144 )

  1. Gowthami

    Hi all,

    i got an offer from a company & complete CTC structure is given in the mail during final salary confirmation. But in the offer letter CTC is not mentioned only annual gross pay is mentioned & also all annual benefits are mentioned in the letter ( graduity, medical,super annuation..etc without value). The value seems to very less due to all deductions. the company deny to revise the offer letter with reflection of committed CTC wen i asked for but simply giving verbal communication as included in the annual benefits. Will that be a problem in future company?I have a proof of committed CTC by the company only in the mail. Will that stand for next company ?? pls. anyone advise

  2. Arun


    I have been talking to a consulting firm called “Quantum Vision LLC” (Address: 352 Christopher Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20879). I could not find much info about this company anywhere. They are ready to transfer H1 via premium processing and also process GC on the 1st day of joining.

    They have a 70-30% for the first year and then 80-20% from second year.

    Kindly let me know any reviews or comments about Quantum Vision.


  3. Nazeer

    Hello Friends,

    My sister has been in Singapore with Perm Residential Status, working in reputed company as a perm employee. She may want to try to go to U.S for at least 3 years, however, She is not sure if this is the right thinking or not. More she reads about the consultants, hourly basis, 70-30, project basis, contractor, etc.., She is bit scared of even trying to relocate to U.S. Can someone please advice me whether relocating to U.S is the right thing or not? If yes, then, what is the best and safest way to be placed? (She is an IT prof with 12 yrs of exp)

  4. netmatez

    What is the range salary for a QA? (Quality Assurance Analyst/Engineer), I have my major degree in IT, many testing certifications and experience of almost 13 years in Automated testing. Hope you could help me clarifying this in order to get a good deal. Thanks.

  5. Santosh


    I have got the offer from this company called Amirit Technologies Ltd for H1B. I could not find much details about this company on the net.

    I want to know if someone works there…How is the company? Do they pay ontime…They have told me the hourly rate …But nothing in papers…its all in the mail…
    In the offer letter the salary mentioned is very less..and my designation is RF Engineer where as I am a software engineer…
    Will there be any issues ?

    Any guidance please ?

  6. raj


    I am a H1B holder and working for a Consultaning Company. My current H1B petition has 2 more years, i can try for an extension for 3 more years if possible.

    I am sure that in my current company i will not have GC processed. So, I wanted to switch to a different company. Please suggest me, if i have to choose another consulting company or a direct employer? I am looking for options of having my green card processing started.


  7. Arafat

    Could you please tell me if I apply for CPT, how should be the salary dealing with the IT consulting firm? I meant CPT allows to work 20 hours per week, so how much salary should I expect from the organization? Thank you.

  8. Ankit

    I’m looking out for Sponsors for H1B visa. Can someone help me out with the details. As I’m looking out to file the H1B for my wife.
    Any information around this would be highly appreciated

  9. Suj

    Hi Saurabh,

    Currently I am working in India and and holding H1B Visa. There is no project with my current employer so I tried through some consultancy. One of the US consultancy ready to transfer my H1B. They send me offer letter with $58,000 and Health insurance. No 401K or reallocation amount. I do have 9 years of experience in software testing. What should I do?
    1. Can I travel to US in this salary
    2. Is it allowed to change my employer Immediately once joined with this consultancy?

    Your response will help me lot

    1. CD

      The salary seems very less compared to your experience. Please try for some direct employment. The location is also pretty important. 58k might seems OK (not good) in some small cities and minuscule in some big cities. As far as I know you will need 3 salary slips before changing employer.

  10. Nv

    Hi Saurab,

    I have a h1 approved recently. One of the US consultancy sponsored me. I am waiting for the docs to be received from them.They have offered me $85k per year. Is this sufficient for me to travel along with my family. I dont know the the location in US. I need to relocate based on the client location. I have a 5.5 yrs of exp in IT industry. When i compare billing for my technology, I get 50% share. I am planning to ask for more. Is this the correct time to ask them for pay increase or shall i ask them after my h1 stamping is done.

    Also I have 3yrs bond signed up with this employer. Can i break the bond and jump to another employer after coming to US. According to the agreement I need to pay some amount if I break it. Can they take any action after I return to India if I break it.

    Thanks in advance.


    1. sr

      Breaking bond in US is difficult and in many cases it is impossible too unless if your employer violate any rules. Based on my friends experience, I am suggesting that signing for 3 yrs is not advisable and highly risky. Please talk your employer and try to reduce to 1 to 1.5 yrs (That is also risky, but seems no way).

      Pls. make sure that your salary ,full health benefits and transparency.

      Keep all mails and other kind evidences safely. Rule of law is in U.S but unfortunately existing H1B laws not matured and allows many employer to treat H1B employees badly (like Slaves).

      All the best.

      1. Nv

        Thanks sr. But I have heard that bonds between employee and employer in US are not legal. No employer can hold an employee with the name of bond. Is this correct?

        1. sr

          Bonds are valid in U.S. I myself saw my friends paid lot of money even after 1+ yrs with their employers and left. Seems usually employer will argue that they got bond because they invested lot of money (for employee’s air, boarding, marketing and other training related charges).

          Note: If any employer violates any law that is also punishable. That is what we do recommend maintain all mails and other conversations properly.
          * In our experiences we saw many H1B employers are violating laws very smartly. Do not hesitate to approach law enforcement if you find any legal violation from your employer side. It will help you and future employees life too.

          1. Prashant

            That is crap, sr telling you. There is NOT a concept of any such legal bond as per US Labor law. sr, you should not mislead with some crappy sentence “my friend paid lot….”

  11. Anonymous

    This is some good advice. I originally joined a DC under some difficult circumstances and wasn’t properly motivated at the time since I thought I was about to go back to India at the time. I knew nothing how the business model even worked, so it never occurred to me to ask for a percentage basis salary. I don’t experience with multiple DCs, but I get the feeling as though most of them are massive slimeballs and will look to take that extra buck out of you any which way.

    I had initally started off with a 65k figure which then got changed to 60k out of nowhere. At the time, I was ignorant about all of this and had other things to deal with(was thinking I could only spend a couple of months in the country so was only doing work for the experience). It was only once things started to stabilize in life and I started talking with my co-worker who was also a contractor but had more experience in all of this that I started to realize just how much money my parent company was making out of me. They were making roughly $50-$52 out of which about $28.8 was given to me. And I’m talking about a company that is only comprised of about 9-10 people in all. And a terribly rude and unnecessarily bitchy HR to add too boot.

    Bottomline – You are in a strong negotiating position only before you join the DC in question. As mentioned, try and make it percentage basis. They’re going to probably have a clause which talks about non-competition which basically states something along the lines of you not being able to directly join the clients you have potentially impressed and other such similarities.

  12. Sonakshi

    Hi Saurabh,
    I am new to USA and will be working on H1b from Oct 1st. I have few questions about salary and benefits companies offer in US. I have not much idea about salary, benefits and how taxes work in USA.
    I have an offer from US based staffing firm to transfer my visa to their company and work on contractual jobs at their client site.
    The offer letter I got from them has only this line about salary and nothing much.”Compensation will be made weekly and your salary on an annualized basis is XY,000.
    1. How to know if this is W2, corp-corp or 1099?
    2. What they mean by benefits when it comes to health insurance? What all should I consider when looking for a decent health insurance plan?
    3. Their offer letter does say that I am eligible to enroll in Group Health and Dental Plan. What does this mean? Would it be my employer paying every’s month premium or would it be me?
    4. How to make sure they are not asking to sign up a contract for not to transfer my H1b in future?
    Looking for your expert advice!!


    1. Ronak Shah

      @Sonakshi: If this is H1-B, then you are on W2 with this company. It would be C2C with the client/vendor your are placed for a project. Please do some basic research on google/ here, you’ll get answers to most of your questions.

    2. sr

      Seems W2 = You work with your employer client directly( only 2 layers)
      Corp-to-Corp – You work with another vendor’s (another consulting company) client place (3 layers)
      1099 – You work for your own company

      2) Health Insurance 1) Check how much is today premium /amount 2) Your portion , your employer portion 3) How much is maximum total out of pocket expense (yearly) – If out of pocket expense is more that your insurance is not good.

  13. PT with problem

    Need help please. I have a five year contract with my company. They filed for my green card. After two years, I realized that I am being treated unfairly. I gave my resignation but they need me to pay 10000 before I go. Do I need to reimburse them with what they pay for my green card? Thank you… Problematic PT.

    1. administrator

      PT with problem,
      I know they cannot ask for H-1 filing cost, but not sure about GC. Did you confirm w/ an attorney?

      I think the rule should be same as H-1, but not sure.

    2. Ronak Shah

      @PT with problem: Ask them the details of $10k in writing (with breakdown), seek advice from a legal counsel to counter their ask. You could be liable if your offer letter states to pay $10k (or any cost) associated with GC process.

  14. Roja


    I am working for a consulting company. In the first year he offered me 60k per annum + $500(without any tax) per month allowance. After 6 months, he started giving me 5500$ per month (that way I am losing money because 500 got added to base salary and incurred taxes). He did inform me of it, I thought may be taxes are increased, so he is giving me less. He did not send me my pay stubs on time. SO I did not notice it. Later in the second year, he said he increased 20% i.e. 72K per annum and said %500 per month. (He meant 78K i.e. 72K+6K(500*12)). I din’t know that. I said make it 75K and $500 per month. He said OK.
    I thought my salary now would be good. BUt he did not do it. He did not increase it to 75K, nor he gave me 500 without taxes. Both ways I am losing money. I am in the end of second year now, and he filed my H1B visa. I am scared if he pays me the same even after H1, then I would receive very less amount.
    PLease help. How do I ask my employer about this formally.

    1. administrator

      If you think you are being underpaid, then either have a frank discussion w/ your employer or change your employer. On H-1 you are allowed to change employers.

  15. Satish

    Hi Saurabh
    I am currently working for company A. I got an offer form company B. They gave me a hike of 25% above my current base salary. I accepted the offer. They have applied for H1 transfer in premium processing. Today I received my annual compensation letter from company A. There is a considerable increase in my base salary. Considering this revised salary it does not make much sense to switch to company B with the salary they are offering me. My questions are
    1. Can I renegotiate the salary now (i.e after they have applied for h1b transfer)
    2. What are the chances that they may agree? Does this kind of renegotiation happen normally?
    3. Can I now tell them that I am not willing to join them if they do not increase my salary?
    4. If I do not join them, will it have any impact on my current visa/petition?

    Looking forward for your suggestion.

    1. administrator

      1. Yes, you can back to them and show them the updated offer. As they have already invested money in your H-1 petition, they may be inclined to give a counter-offer. But if you have already signed the offer letter, they may not revise it.
      2. Refer (1)
      3. Yes, but it will considered unprofessional and you may burn all your bridges w/ B. They may also demand their business losses (I would defer that to a labor attorney)
      4. It will not impact your current visa/petition.

  16. Robert

    I work for a Consultant agency in percentage which has a layer vendor that placed me to the Client.
    According to a contract I signed a couple months ago, I must get paid 70% of 100%. But this agency filed my H1B and the problem begins while I ask to get the full 70% on my payroll they say that I cannot get paid for the 70% while H1B indicates at least $33/hr. At this point I deserve $42/hr. They suggest me to accumulate the remaining amount over 33 and pay me while I am off the project, but I rejected this offer. I need my money.

    Please give me some advice… I need to get what I deserve.


    1. ANonymous

      We are in exactly same boat; the previous comment on the board is mine.
      Quit the consult company as soon as you can. I did the mistake of not leaving them, and after 5 years, the company owes me around 25K and I do not see when they will pay me. Even if the company owes you some money, don’t worry about it and leave them to a better consultant company as this amount will keep growing over years at the rate of your frustration. I am now stuck with them for GC processing and last year of H1B, do not get to that situation.

    2. sr

      Seems they are trying to cheat you. It happened to my friends also. They also kept some % of consultants money and promised to pay year end. At the end they didn’t pay, they said several reasons and refused to pay some portion.
      1) Seems they will not give any written statement for this. Do one think, just record their conversation as much as possible (all the time).
      2) Send mail to them like you don’t like this type of deduction. They wouldn’t reply…do not bother. Make them to talk more and record all
      3) Try to find another employer as soon as possible. Don’t bother about ongoing CG process if any (it is worth to just retain priority date).
      4) After change your employer , without any hesitation approach local labor department and file the complained (pls. make sure that you have collected enough evidence). No fees to file complain. You will get justice. If possible try to get lawyer opinion early, lawyer also may give some suggestions to handle them.

  17. ANonymous

    I am looking for some direction. I have been working for a indian company for almost 6 years now. He promised me a 70/30 split but pays me a fixed salary and the remaining to be paid as bonus (there was no documents to support this). Though he pays the fixed salary on time, I almost never get the bonus amount and he has almost $20k of mine with him. I am stressed out trying to reach him and get the amount over years. I cannot shift now because my H1 period is almost coming to an end and he has filed my labor. Any suggestions on how I can move away from him as well as recover my max amount from him?

  18. Sandeep Mishra

    Keep your mouth shut and work at least for 3 months.
    If you manage to get another sponser ready to transfer and pay you better offer negotiate with your H1 Vendor. I am not calling these guys employer as they are not
    Either settle down for 85 – 15 or ask your employer to file for your labor.
    The vendor at max spends 8 to 9% for your payroll and every thing else. Round it up to 10% and still they are getting 5%.
    This all depends if you have the project of your own.

  19. Babu

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have an offer letter from a desi consulting company based in Dallas, they have offered a salary of $60,000. I have around 14 years of work experience and working in embedded systems, also earning a salary of almost $50,000 an year in India.

    Consultant has told that my salary will be on 70%-30% billing rate, and i see that the consulting company size is not that huge. They have not charged me any fees or no contract period, bond etc.

    I asked about the bench period pay and all, they say it will be taken care “don’t worry”.
    Now that i have made some decision, not sure what all i need to check with that consultant. I don’t see any reviews also on internet about this consulting company?

    So do you think i will get paid $5000 every month, in case am not in project according to law.

    1. administrator

      By law, they are required to pay you. However, they didn’t give you any confirmation in writing. “Don’t worry” can translate to several things in future.

      Have they already filed the H-1 for you?

      1. Babu


        Yes, they have filed an H1B for me which is regular one. Still have not got the lottery results though 🙂
        Enquired with someone working there and that employee told they will take care of all.

        Let’s see whether computer selects my name or not.


    2. archana

      Hi Babu,

      Can someone please help me in finding an Employer who could file a H1 for me and place me in a job in U.S.

      I did my masters from U.S but had to came back to india for some reasons. Now I’m trying to go back to U.S.

      I tried contacting my previous employer. However, they seem to have closed the consultancy now.

      Any help will be highly appreciated.

  20. James John

    I’m a Java Application Developer in DC with 6yrs of experience (Green Card Holder) got an offer from this Indian consultancy for 70/30 deal. I agreed to that deal since I wanted to stay and get work within DC&MD. But, the billing rates are so low. $50-$65 max. Then, I will have to share 30% of that with the consultancy. Now, they are telling me to look for jobs outside my preferred locations.

    I’m sure I can get full-time gigs paying me more than what they offer. I think I’m stuck with them for a year. But, we have a contract in writing saying the commitment period will be in effect once the Employee is engaged on a project by the Employer for a minimum of 6 billing months.

    The Employee must remain with the company for atleast 12 billable months from the date of the agreement or reimburse for training and marketing costs. I havn’t taken any sort of training from them.

    Can you advice me about what to do next?

    1. administrator

      James John,
      There is no bonded labor in US, and so they cannot make you sign a contract asking you to work for them for XX months. Having said that, in case you leave them, they can decide to sue you. They will have to show reasonable business losses if the matter reaches the court. A lot of times, such texts are added to generate fear among the employees.

      Your best bet is to get the contract reviewed by a labor attorney and then decide whether to stay w/ them or leave them.

      1. James John

        I haven’t started working with of their client projects. I’m still in the marketing phase. Is it ok, If I want to leave them now?

        1. administrator

          James John,
          It should be ok to leave them. Are they paying you salary while you are on bench?

          Still get the contract reviewed by a labor attorney to be sure.

          1. James John

            No, They’re not !!!

            I talked to an attorney and he said, You can leave them. The sooner the better.

          2. James John

            So, I finally landed a job with them. Now, they are saying, They will cutting $10/hr from the total payout amount. and I will be given 70% of the remaining amount.
            (For eg: 50 – 10 = 40 -> 70% of $40.) They said nothing about that in my agreement. All I see is that ” All-inclusive rate of 70% hour of the net Bill Rate for every billable hour”. I don’t any deduction of $10/hr from the total hourly rate.
            They are using this $10 for paying commissions to recruiters from within the company.

            Another problem is that, They say I will only get my first paycheck only after 2.5 months. Because, they are using something called Net30 and then the payment will keep rolling. (Never told me about this before).

            When I first joined, a lady told me that I can decide to leave them after 6 billiable months. The agreement has a clause saying “Revision in the commitment period will come in effect once the consultant is engaged on project by the Contractor for a minium of 6 billable months”. Now, they say I will have to stay with them for 12 months and the above clause states that it’s for rate revision for salaried employees. Since, I’m doing percentage based It won’t matter to me.

            There is another clause stating – If the Employee leaves the employer before 12 billable months, employee must reimburse Employer for certain training and marketing costs. (Never did any training through them).

            Can someone give me some advice regarding this?
            Thank You

          3. DesiGuy

            Hi James,

            So you signed this agreement when you joined them? and anyhow they will not change those terms and conditions at that point of time.
            What will be the typical billing rates in Texas area for the person who will be working first time in US on an H1B. Will it be as low as $50 as you said.
            But i see that you have worked for more than 6 years and a Green card holder, i feel this is very low.

            Can you clarify what all should be taken care when signing up this kind of agreements for 70%-30% billing rates.


          4. administrator

            James John,
            They seem very unethical. They might be keeping the $10 to take care of payroll taxes etc and the 30% as their profit. They don’t seem to be spending a dime on you.

            As for payslips, Net30 means they will be getting checks for the work performed by you at client site. This will take time to clear and hence the delay. Although it will begin rolling from 2.5 month but you will always be 2.5 months behind. This mean Jan salary in Mar, Feb salary in April and so on. If you decide to leave them at any time, your 2.5 month salary will be on hook.

          5. James John

            What would you advise me at this point? I should be getting the money for the work I did …according to the labor law right?

          6. administrator

            James John,
            Yes, the law is on your side. They will have to pay you or else you can sue them and take to the court. This way they try to keep an upper hand as they know they are withholding your salary for 2.5 months and you will think twice before changing jobs.

            You are a GC holder. Why not go w/ better employers?

          7. administrator

            James John,
            I will recommend discussing the case w/ a labor attorney to decide on future course of action.

            I am not updated w/ the billing rates in your area for your expertise. You can approach the employers w/ openings in your area and then see how competitive they are against each other.

  21. Uthuman

    Hi Saurab, am in H4 and am staying in Chicago with my wife who is in H1. Basically am a Mechanical Engineer with more than 6 yrs of Exp. in Project Management works but not in software. Tried with some companies here in US in the same line and also little relevant but no one has shown interest. Finally through one of my college friend I was introduced to a person in Deepman Software Solutions Inc. and the guy has told me that they will train me in QA Testing and would apply for my H1B and also will get good clients. In the initial days he didn’t mentioned about the money part and my friend informed me that the consultancy will take care about the H1B charges but later it will be adjusted while processing my pay role.

    And I also didnt ask about this to the consultancy guy but now he is informing me that I have to bear the Immigration charges which will come to 3k-4k$ and after 2000 hrs of project hours they will return 75% of this money and this payment is must for them in order to prepare and process my documents. I have asked him to send the details about the process and the immigration charges by mail, which am awaiting now. Now am in a dilemma whether to go with this consultancy or not.

    Need your needful suggestion and advice in this regard.

    1. administrator

      Legally, the employer is required to pay for the H-1 fees. However, lot of consulting companies move the expense on to you. It is your call whether you want to go w/ them knowing what the financial risk, or wait for another better employer.

      1. Uthuman

        Thanks Saurabh, as I mentioned earlier I have asked some basic queries to the consultancy like what will be my LCA rate, Will I be paid any salary during my bench time, Compensation Package details, Insurance coverage, their previous H1B processed details etc… for which they have not replied. Also my wife searched for this consultancies previous H1B processing details from the internet but it was not available. Even we are ready to pay but we are really doubtful whether we are with the right consultancy and moving in the right direction or not. We decided to go with this Deepman Software Inc. since there was no negative reviews in the net but later on only my wife pointed out me that there is no review at all for this Consultancy and she is very much suspicious.

        Can you suggest any good consultancies who have a clear track record of training the Non-IT H4 people in QA Testing and arrange for their H1B. Since the duaration is very short for us now, we are completely struck in proceeding further and looking for some helping hands from any directions.

        Also am doing my PMP certification preparation and would get my certification by this month end. Will it be possible for me to get into another company in Project Management line, if am getting my H1B done by Software Consultancy or will I be facing any problems in jumping jobs after a period of 6 months or later.

        1. administrator

          I don’t know any companies that I can suggest to you. Yes, it is possible for your H-1 to be filed for one position now, and changed to a different position later. This is b/c you will gain additional qualifications b/w the two H-1s and this makes you eligible for both positions.

  22. Mrs. P

    I have received few offers from companies, but it seems that they are offering very low. I have seen posts here of people mentioning that they are offered $100K-$120K, the consultancies/companies that i got an offer from are only around $60K.

    I have an experience of 7+ years.

    Desi companies are offering me about $60-$65K and few about 70%

    Non-Desi companies are offeringm about $60K too. And this one says that they will train me for getting new jobs, and train me on the technology. I told them that my existing salary is already about the same ballpark and that too from India, they told that this is what we offer.

    Can you please help how i cannegotiate more ?Because from 3-4 of the potentials leads i may bave, they are all very less salary .

    The location for the Job will be anywhere i get a client from. SO whether i get a client in the middle of the city or somewhere countryside in some non-popular state, i get the same share of money.

    Any advice on this anyone ?

  23. Mrs. P

    i just got a mail from a desi company (seems pretty new)
    when i see their past sponsored applications, they seem to only have sponsored about 3-4 h1b in past year, and none before that.

    For this year, i am one of their candidate, but they are mentioning 70% as the ratio. Do i have a chance to negotiate for 80%, or have a risk of loosing the offer ? Also what if there are no projects and i am on bench… and idea whethether the desi consultancy is obligated/mandated to pay me during that time ? and if so how much .. i know these are the questions to be asked to the desi consultancy, but i am first trying to discuss out here, so i can get a better idea about the general prevailing tactics, and then have a more confident discussion with the employeer

    1. administrator

      Mrs. P,
      They are required by law to pay you even when you are on bench. However, lot of desi companies don’t do that, which in turn puts you in “out of status”. They are required to pay you the salary as per the LCA filed by them.

      1. Mrs. P

        Thanks Saurabh for the response.

        I am in confusion still, in the LCA whatever amount the file, they have to pay me, i agree onto that. But the thing thats concerning me is that the 70%-30% that they have mentioned to me. I get confused when i put both the LCA (fixed salary) and the 70-30% rule in the mix. Can you please clarify how does the 70% rule also applies along with fixed salaries during bench time ?

        1. administrator

          Mrs. P,
          Let’s take some hypothetical numbers. Employer has quoted annual salary of 60K USD in the LCA. They now decide 70-30 split w/ you and place you on a project where the billing rate to company is $50 an hour. Assuming 52*5*8 = 2080 hours in a year, this comes out to be 104,000 USD. Your employer keeps 30% of it, which means your salary is $72,800. So you are good here.

          However, if the billing rate is $30 an hour, it comes out to be $62,400 and only $43,680 to you. This makes your salary go below the LCA. So the employer needs to find a project with such a billing rate that you continue to get at least what’s there in the LCA. If the billing rate is not good, then either that project needs to be skipped or they have to turn the ratio of split in your favor.

          Coming to bench period, easiest thing to do is get the monthly salary on the basis of LCA amount and pay it. As you are not on any project, there is no billing and hence no 70-30 split. Once you get a project w/ good billing rate, the employer may decide to turn the ratio in his favor (say 60-40) to compensate for the salary he paid during the bench period. This is something your employer and you need to figure out.

          From H-1 perspective, what matters is the LCA salary. USCIS or DOL doesn’t care about the split you have discussed w/ your employer.

          1. Mrs. P

            Thanks Saurabh,

            Very grateful for your thorough explanation. I now understand the situation clearly. Now i am satisfied that whatever is in the LCA, in no case i get a single cent less than that.

            I really appreciate your time and detailed explanation. This has helped me a lot in understand the situation. Hope it also help other members/visitors.

          2. Akshaye

            Dear Mrs P

            Can you give me the contact details of the consultant offering you 70:30.

            Me too interested to file for H1b

  24. SharePointExpert


    I have like 7 years 5 months of strong exp in SharePoint technology and working in a company like WIpro, Cognizant, Infosys and on H1 visa.

    what salary can be considered as a good salary??

    I got an offer of 100k + benefits in a small (200 employees ) american company.. will this offer be considered as a good offer? i am in Quincy, MA.. near by Boston, MA.

    I have asked few friends and some are telling that i should expect atleast 120k .. some says 100k is good.. this is first time i am changing job so.. little confused.. if some one can guide me.. please..


    1. Rahul

      You can always negotiate for higher. BUT, consider your lifestyle and also sit down with your better half ( if you are married, you spend everyday with them, rather than your friends who you spend an evening on the weekend for drinks) to discuss long and short term plans based on your salary expectations. Also depends on the area where you will live, I think it’s a good offer for Boston, but definitely negotiate to see if they are willing to pay you more. Whatever you do, just don’t plainly base it on what your friend’s think and get confused too much about it.

  25. abcd

    Agreement of 80/20 with my employer is not on paper…since he is not paying me as he said he would be how can i get my money from him

  26. Uma

    Hi Saurabh
    I have got an employment offer from Indian based company in USA. They have sponsored H1B to me. And they are paying entry level salary (50K) only to me. But they have mentioned in the offer letter to have 3 years agreement with them. Else i will have to pay around 20K$ to break the contract.
    I am not sure, whehter its legal in US or not. Now I am feeling 3 years contract is too high. Is it possible to break the contract without paying anything or minimum amount after giving notice period. Please share your thoughts

    1. administrator

      Employment in US is at will, and no employer can bound you for 3 years. However, they can still sue for reasonable business losses (again, they will have to show those losses in the court). The company can also go after you in India.

      It would be better to get the letter reviewed by a labor attorney in US and India to know the details

    2. sr

      Contract is valid is U.S. Even employment is will based, they are showing as they have invested that much amount (Fake – for training, travel etc.,). Just I am telling based on my friends bitter experiences. Singing for 3yrs definitely not good. State to state employment is law is different. Seems CA is better that east coast side. Negotiate well and reduce year to 1 to 1.5yrs. Make sure that initial salary is good to maintain you and your family well with at least minimum level of savings. 2) Health benefits (how much is total cost, employer share, employee share, maximum out of pocket expenses etc.,) 3) Level of transparency. One thing is very sure that most of Desi consulting companies are in endless money thirsty mode , they will go any extend to make money.

  27. TODO

    Hi, I worked with Desi IT firm and save upto 50K/Month very easily as I don’t need to pay rent here in India/Mumbai. The other costs are also low for me (Still unmarried).

    I am total 5+ yrs experience in Java. My Company is offering me around 60k$ PA with H1B visa. Which I feel very less and below average to my experience.
    Its for Jersey city, NJ. Where I think cost of living could be high.
    Can you suggest what should be the good deal in this case … if there is no major savings in US, then I worth to drop travel plan and switch company within india.
    What can you suggest > I have H!B petition approved .. but my company still hide the Receipt Number and not disclosing yet. … I am thinking to go till the step to acquire Receipt number and then jump on.. I want to think in long term perspective.. pls suggest.

    1. administrator

      You can travel to US w/ this company and then move to another employer who offers better salary and benefits. Yes, the salary looks on the lower side for the location and experience. Usually Indian consulting companies offer salary on the lower side.

      1. TODO

        Saurabh, Thanks for your response.
        It will not be easy to change job onsite, as my current company is making legal bond to service at least for 6 months after travel or after completing of assignment. Breaking this will cause me to pay (around 4 Lakhs INR) to my current company which may not be wise deal. Apart from that, its not my wish to leave company because of salary issues, instead I want to negotiate and make that value to me.. any suggestions to negotiate with Indian Service company (Its not consultancy).
        Is there any link or discussion thread going on where cost of living in US is discussed. And what could be the potential savings ?
        Once again thanks for your valuable responses.

        1. administrator

          You can go to archive section where you will find some articles written about cost of living in US. That might have some of the information you are looking for. Also, I don’t know what negotiation tactics you can use w/ the company. May be others can help.

  28. Koushik

    I’m a post graduate i.e M.Tech from a reputed institute and having 9 years of experience in java technologies. I’m currently working for one of top investment Bank and getting around 19 Lakhs as annual salary. Would it be wise to opt for H1B?. Also could you please give me ball park estimates on the range of salary for 9 yrs of exp candidate?.

  29. Vinay Patel

    Hi Saurabh, I am H1 and working in pretty hot technology and if get around $ 150/hr ( All incl) rate and work on 80-20% with my employer. How much I should expect per annum to make per annum after employer paying all taxes( FICA, Fed, state etc.) which would ( I guess) go from my 80% + my part of income tax ? Per year=approx. 1800 hrs of billing. Thanks

    1. administrator

      Vinay Patel,
      It comes out around 216K p.a. ($150*1800*0.8). You can use an online calculator to see the income taxes you will have to pay. Depending upon your state, you will have to pay state taxes as well.

  30. Reddy


    I have 4 yrs of batchlors degree and 2.5 yrs of IT experience on siebel . I have a offer from a consultant who told he will give me 65k/annum and will come to percentage basis after an year .Is that a good deal ? plz help


    1. administrator

      It is an average salary. If you will be working in one of those expensive area like San Francisco Bay Area or New York, then it’s below average.

  31. SK

    Hi ,
    I am considering applying for H1B through a consultant. I have experience of more than 8years currently working in India. But the kind of salary the consultant has agreed to offer me is quite low and on top of that they are saying that they will offer me a reduced salary during my non-billable period. This reduced salary would be as per the prevailing wage but they are not giving me the exact figures for the same. I wanted to know how low I could be paid for this initial non-billable period.

    1. administrator

      If they pay as per prevailing wage, then it can be something in the range of 45-60K USD. It has to be at least what will be mentioned in the LCA that company will file.

  32. Asha

    Hi Saurabh,

    My education is B.Tech (4 years degree) in Computer Science and Engineering. I do have 6 years of experience in software testing (did not work on other field other than testing) and right now i am working in US on H1b. If my company is ready to process Green Card, would it consider as EB2 category?

    People say that since i don’t have Master degree it won’t consider as EB2. But i also heard that 4 years bachelor + 5 years consistent experience will also consider for Eb2 category?

    Please give your valuable answer!!


    1. administrator

      You can qualify for EB-2 if you have Bachelors degree and 5 years of progressive experience not including the experience w/ the employer who is filing the GC. So when you say 6 years of work experience, how many years is outside the employer which is filing the GC for you?

      1. Asha

        Oh then i don’t think my case will qualify for EB2. I have only 2.8 (2 years and 8 months) years experience outside of my present company. Then 3 .2 years i worked in India with my present employer and transferred here on this Jan 2012.

  33. Ronak Shah

    Tricky question:
    I looked for a consultancy job myself and decided on the rate, while being employed by A. Since I needed sponsorship for the new job, approached B and B filed my H1- transfer with agreed salary. When I submitted resignation with A, they counter offered and made the salary comparable to B.

    B told me (unofficially) they would deduct H1-transfer from my paycheck within 6 months of the employment. The offer letter with B never mentioned any $ amounts for termination of employment, although 2 weeks of notice was required in case I leave them.

    I decided to stick to A and never joined (drew any paychecks from B). Now B is sending me laywer’s notice that I need to pay them $10k for loss of revenue/clients/adminstrative… etc..

    Although I understand I might need professional advice, but has any one encountered similar situation and a way out of this?


  34. Dawn

    What if I have a H1 consultant that does not want to take company offered benefits? Do I have to pay them more?
    Please advise or lead me in direction to find answer.
    Thank you!

    1. administrator

      From H-1 perspective, you need to ensure that they are getting paid at least the salary mentioned in the LCA. If they are not opting for certain company benefits, then you should extend other benefits to them which you would have to a non-H-1 employee. If as per your company policy is to either take the benefits or get nothing, then that’s fine. In other words, you cannot discriminate against an employee b/c of his/her immigration status and ensure same rue/policy is applied to all employees.

      Does that answer your question?

  35. Friend

    Hi Kumar ,

    On 80 : 20 model, if the billing rate is higher, one may get more salary than LCA. Is that acceptable to USCIS. eg. if the LCA is 80 k and employee gets 140 k, will it be a concern any where.

    Or is there a way to get temporary project allowance etc for the specific project to take the extra income. What is the best thing to do take the extra money during a specific project time.

    1. Sharon Gopal

      The pay paid must be equal to what is stated in LCA and not lower. That is a way DOL makes sure that the company does not pay extremely low wages to the employee and at the expense of any US worker.

      As long it is higher than LCA salary, then no problem. I have been working on 80/20 and no problem for quite a number of years now.

      1. Friend

        Hi Saurabh,

        Is there any other element of pay like ‘Project Allowance’,’ Performance Bonus’ etc can be paid, for the extra money over LCA. Is there any tax difference for such pay.


        1. administrator

          The employer can pay you well over the LCA amount. DOL or USCIS will have no issues w/ that. That pay can either be your base salary, or performance bonus or stock grant.

          Tax implication is different from immigration. For most of the pay, employer will deduct tax (federal and state) depending upon your salary, and submitted W-4 withholding form.

  36. Ben

    Hi Saurabh,
    I am working with a leading IT company of India and currently in US for 5 years. My company has applied GC for me in EB3 even if I am eligible for EB2. I140 is pending now and would be cleared in a month. I am planning to move to other company and to process in EB2 next month. People said that I would be able to use my priority date of EB3 for the new EB2. But my company is not giving my I140 in hand even if I leave the company. Would it be possible to use the Priority date without the I140 approval original/copy? Also do I have to stay in my current company for 6 months for this I140 to be valid? Please suggest.

    1. administrator

      If you have the receipt number, even that would be sufficient to port the PD. Note, that legally the employer is not required to send copy of I-140 to you and it’s his property.

      Regarding porting of PD. One can do that as long as I-140 is not revoked. Now, there are two schools of thought – one says it cannot be ported only if it is revoked by USCIS on basis of fraud/misrepresentation; the other says it cannot be ported even if employer requests revocation of the I-140.

  37. Sharon Gopal


    My husband is on the 7th year and going for 8th year extension. I just wanted to know that is it true that we dont have to pay the fraud fee, trainning fee and the $2000 fee if it is the second extension under the same employer. Also we have an approved I 140, so can we get a 3 year extension. thanks in advance

    1. administrator

      Yes, certain fees are not required when filing extension through same employer. Yes, you can get 3 year extension based on your approved I-140.

      1. Sharon Gopal

        I just wanted to ask if it is a second H1b extension under the same employer are we required to pay the special fees Border fees they they imposed, which is an additional $2000 or is that only for new h1b applications

  38. ajit


    I am 11 yrs exp in VLSI . I am getting hired by desi company and they are sending me on H1 , My current salary in 25Lacs in India.

    I have following queries:-

    1. What should I expect as salary ?
    2. As i will move with my family , my wife and 7 yrs kid , so what else I should take care.


    1. administrator

      You should go to sites like glassdoor to see what people w/ your experience are getting in US. That could be a good starting point to negotiate on salary. However, if your employer is a consulting firm, I don’t think they would be able to match what some full-time positions pay in US. You should also factor in work location as places like San Francisco and New York can be really expensive.

      When filing for H-1, make sure you get H-4 filed for your dependents.

    2. rrk

      With 25 lacs in India, its very unwise to come here to do jobs as here the job market is not good & with recession fears better not to to go ahead with Desi companies!

  39. Ben

    Hi Kumar,

    Thanks for the nice posts. Its very good and useful.
    I have 7+ years of experience with a leading IT company in India (worked in onsite for 4 years) and worked with clients like JPMC, Target. I got my H1B and looking for a jump since I am getting less than 70k in my current job. My technology is J2EE & Oracle and I am quite strong in technical since I work as a design architect and also as developer. I have not done consulting before. Can you give me an ballpark estimate on how much should I mark as my billing rate if I go consulting and what percentage should I ask for?

    1. administrator

      I haven’t kept myself updated w/ consulting billing rates, but you can get a ballpark number by looking at relevant job postings on sites like dice, monster etc.

  40. Soumya

    Hi Kumar,

    I am on H1 b and looking for a H1 b for my husband. he is on h4.
    I called many consultancies with regard to his h1. I dont get any calls back.
    He is has 6 years of experience and is a Business Analyst. Can you please help me in finding a consultancy or any employer who can help us get H1. We are ready to pay for it also.
    Please help.

    1. administrator

      We usually don’t recommend any companies on this forum. Few places where you can find sponsoring employers:
      – job sites like dice monster
      – your network of friends and colleagues
      – past H-1 filings (on flcdatacenter) which could give you an idea of who have sponsored H-1s in the past

      However, make sure to vet each employer as not all are reputable.

  41. Sriram P S


    H1B Premium. My case had RFE and USCIS updated on May 4 2011 with Response Review. Even now, whether my case would be considered as premium and processed within 15 days? its been a week since the review status.

    1. administrator

      Yes, it will be considered as premium. Generally, in PP cases online statuses are not updated frequently, and I won’t be surprised if it goes directly into post decision status or your employer receives the email about the decision.

  42. Ernesto

    What is the range salary for a QA? (Quality Assurance Analyst), I have my major degree in IT, and experience of almost 2 years, hope you could help me clarifying this in order to get a good deal. Thanks

    1. administrator

      Ballpark estimates:
      – Manual tester: ~60K USD
      – Automated tester: ~80K USD

      Actual numbers may depend upon company, work location etc. Check out the website

  43. Raprasad

    Hi guys, this site is very informative. I need clarification regarding my H1B case too. The current H1B for the company I am working at present is valid till April 2013 as per the notice of action (approved petition + extension of stay). However, the visa stamp on my passport from my previous company and the corresponding I-94 attached to passport expire in Sept 2011. Can you please clarify if I have to “mandatorily” go to India to get visa stamping for the new approved H1B before Sept 2011, which is the expiry of the previous 1-94 attached to my passport? Thanks.

    1. administrator

      You must have received an I-94 attached to the bottom of the extended petition. If you did, then you can continue to stay in US until that date w/o the necessity of going out of US. After that date, you either need to file another extension, or go out of country.

      However, note that next time you leave US, you need to get H-1 visa stamped in order to re-enter US on H-1.

      1. Ankur S

        Hello Saurabh, thanks for posting your replies. I have one question on the information that you have mentioned above.

        If I have an approved HI-B Visa with me & if I go back to India for like a month & then come back to US then also I have to get the H1 stamping again in India. Will the previous H1 won’t be valid to re-enter US. Do we need to again find a consultancy back in India to process our H1 or this time the process will be bit different since we already had a H1. Thanks in advance.

        1. administrator

          There are two things – 797 and visa stamp. To return back to US, you need to have an unexpired H-1 visa stamp and it doesn’t matter which employer it is through. Also, to return back and work on H-1, you need to have an unexpired 797 from the employer you are planning to work w/.

          So if you plan to return to US and work for the same employer w/ whom you currently have an approved unexpired 797, then you don’t need to worry about any new 797. However, if you plan to return to US and work for a different employer w/ whom you don’t have an approved unexpired 797, then you need to go for H-1 transfer.

          Does that answer your question?

  44. Mohita


    Thanks for these useful insights.

    I have a tricky scenario. My H1B visa is valid for the next 6 months. I havent travelled on H1b before, and I am being asked by my employer to travel now. However, on the basis of my earlier communications and experiences with the employer, I feel there is a 50% chance that they’ll will file for the visa extension. If such a scenario arises, kindly suggest what should be my backup plan. I am confident of getting another job, but what might be the complications involved, and will there be enough time to file for a visa transfer and extension through a new organization. Also I am bound by a 2 year employment contract. Will it still hold valid if they dont file for an extension and I am forced to look for another job ? Please suggest.


    1. administrator

      H-1 transfer wouldn’t be a problem provided you maintain legal status in US after landing here. That means getting paid all the while even when on bench. Being out of status may raise complications during the transfer.

      Bonded labor is prohibited in US. Your employer cannot force you to stay w/ them for 2 years. They might sue you, but the court will only award them reasonable business damages. They just can’t demand for any arbitrary number like 10,000 USD.

  45. Raphik

    Thanks for the wonderful info. I have one question:

    1. I am a full time employee with an American Company and planning to switch for Desi Consultancy because of immigration issues.
    a)I am looking for 80-20 rate. How can I get that in writing from the employer,because I have heard zillion complaints of desi consultancies backing off?
    b) I am quite knowledgeable in my area and can easily find projects. All I need from desi consultancy is to do payroll and paperwork. Since, this will be my first time with desi consultancy, i have following question:

    Suppose I work on 80-20 for Company A and get a gig by Company B (staffing) for $60/hr. Do I need to pay Company B also out of $60 or will it be $48 myself and $12 Company A? Please answer. thanks

    1. administrator

      a) You can have that documented as part of your offer letter. However, I would encourage you to have them mention other benefits as well, as in who will be responsible for them, including health insurance, dental insurance, 401k, holidays etc. At times companies agree to 80-20 split and then pass on all the health insurance cost to the employee (to increase their portion)

      b) Typically 80-20 split would happen of what your employer is receiving from the other company, and not what client is paying outward. For example, client would pay $100 per hour, staffing companies and other vendors in b/w would keep $40 of those, and your company gets $60 per hour. Out of this, there will be a 80-20 split, and you would receive 80% of $60.

      1. Sharon Gopal

        Actually I am working on 80/20. But in my case I find my own projects. So I also negotiate on the rate as well and not my employer. Only after confirming the rate I pass to my employer if I am selected. For example if I agree to work with that vendor for $125, I get $100 and my employer $25. No problems with my employer

        1. Karthik

          Hi Sharon,

          I am looking out the same kind of employer.Can you please give me the contact details of that employer? OR can you suggest?


  46. AK

    Hi Kumar, Thanks for all the posts with excellent info. I was wondering if you could throw some light on some good consulting companies. All the reviews and information about consultants and consulting companies (desi) that we hear are negative. Are there are any good companies which you know of, or, through any of your contacts? If so, do post them here – it sure would help millions of readers, and definitely many would find it useful, and may even help change their paths.

    1. administrator

      Unfortunately, I do not recommend or endorse anyone due to various complexities….I understand, it might be helpful…But, it is too much of responsibility to recommend or endorse someone…Sorry !

  47. Bharat Batra

    My qualification is 3 yrs diploma after 10+2 and I have 7 years of experience in networking . Now , Am I eligible for H1B?

    1. administrator

      Bharat, I am afraid, you may not be eligible. You need a 4 year bachelors degree or 3 years for every year of education. Check USICIS website for more details.

      1. Bharat Batra

        Hi Kumar, after studying on many websites I found that if a person may obtain an educational equivalence through a combination of education and relevant work experience .
        If a person have 3 yrs Diploma in engg after 10+2 and then he need more 3 yrs of exp to equivalent of 4 yrs. of bachelor degree.

        1. administrator

          Yes, you are right. I was not clear on your diploma, I assumed you did it right after 10th class. As you said, you need a four year bachelors degree or combination of 3 year bachelor equivalent degree + 3 years experience to equate that one year.

          1. Taufique

            Hello Kumar

            I am from India looking for Desi consultancy, How can I reach them… I have 7 years of IT Experience in Network Eng field. Certified almost all Microsoft certification in my Area and Cisco too..!
            Look forward for your guideline

    1. Sandeep Mishra

      Keep your mouth shut and work at least for 3 months.
      If you manage to get another sponser ready to transfer and pay you better offer negotiate with your H1 Vendor. I am not calling these guys employer as they are not 🙂
      Either settle down for 85 – 15 or ask your employer to file for your labor.
      The vendor at max spends 8 to 9% for your payroll and every thing else. Round it up to 10% and still they are getting 5%.
      This all depends if you have the project of your own.

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