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What could happen if I break a contract under H1B visa but the contract doesn't state penalties if broken

Miami, FL |

Hello, currently I'm working under an H1B visa. I signed a contract for 2 yrs of employment. The contract doesn't state ANYTHING about visa costs or to what I'm entitled if I break the contract. My question is... If the contract doesn't state the penalties of breaking the contract, what's the worst they could do to me if I decide to break it? Important to note that I would be breaking the contract because I would be moving to another state or out of the country. Thanks!

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Attorney answers 4


This question overlaps with labor laws and contracts. From immigration point of view, there are no immigration violations if you wish to terminate a bona fide H-1B employment. You will have to ensure you maintain status after termination or leave the U.S. It is considered "at-will" employment and the employer is required to pay the filing fees. Read your employment contract carefully, and consult will an experience attorney to see if your employer can claim damages due to an untimely termination, if there are any termination notice requirements, etc. based on contractual obligations.

This response is general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. Any comments offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship. If you would like additional information based on this response, please contact my office at 510 657 7665 or 415 902 0832 to schedule a consultation.


Talk to an employment/labor lawyer ... this isn't an immigration question.

Keep in mind that, if you quit, there is no grace period and you need to leave the US immediately ... or have another visa.

PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.


This is not an immigration question. Good luck to you.

Dean P. Murray
The Murray Law Firm
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Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT rely on this response. Mr. Murray's response was generated without conducting a full inquiry as would occur during a face to face attorney-client consultation. It is likely that the response above may be made less accurate, or become entirely inaccurate, as you, i.e. the questioner, disclose additional facts that should only be discussed during a private consultation with an attorney. I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state (or, in the case of immigration law, and attorney in ANY state), whereupon all relevant facts will be discussed. All responses posted by Mr. Murray on are intended as general information for the education of the public, and not for any specific individual.


Agree with the other answers here. You have at least two issues. One being the immigration question. If you are here on an H1B you will need another employer to sponsor your H1B to maintain your status.

As far as the contract is concerned, you should have it reviewed by an attorney, but if the contract is silent as to penalties and liquidated damages, you may not have any liability for terminating your employment early.

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