What to do if my employer is forcing to sign contract to file a Green Card application?

UPDATED: Oct 17, 2011

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What to do if my employer is forcing to sign contract to file a Green Card application?

I am in the final stage of Green Card filing where my employer demands the following contract be signed before proceeding my case to USCIS for approval. I will be working with (X company) during my I-485 process and at least for 1 year after my I-485 petition is approved. I will be responsible for penalty of $20,000. If I breach this agreement clause, legal action can be taken against me”. My employer is asking me to sign on the company letterhead.

Asked on October 17, 2011 under Immigration Law, North Carolina


SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is doubtful that this type of contract would be upheld in court if the employer ever wanted to litigate this if you breached the terms of the contract.    The court will only enforce the liquidated amount to the extent it is "reasonable". In other words, the value of what money the employer actually spent on your petition.  Having said that, however, it is expected that once your I-485 is approved that you will work for the employer for a reasonable period of time because that is what is contemplated by the regulations.  However, there is no definition of what is reasonable.  In some circumstances, "reasonable" has been interpreted to be about 3-4 months.

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