my company moved me to 5 countries in 12 months, got me deported, and is angry I want to quit

A reader writes:

I started my current job knowing I would be based abroad in Morocco. However, there were visa issues and I ended up spending the first year across five different countries — each time not knowing the end date for my stationing. The company does not help with housing. I did eventually get settled in Morocco. However, my company had me go there on a particular type of visa which we all knew was only borderline appropriate for my work, and I ended up getting deported because of it.

This company is set up like the big consulting firms — suck up people with high grades right out of college for two years. They’re clearly serious about the two-year commitment and have stuck by me through all the visa trouble. When I called to say I was getting deported, they immediately bought me tickets to my home country.

So at this point I’ve spent more than a year trying to make the specific job offer I got a reality, and it’s clear I won’t be able to, and it’s been so miserable. I’ve explained that I’m pretty tired of last-minute relocations to cities where I don’t know anyone and I floated that I might want to find a job that would just let me stay in my home country, now that I’m back here anyway.

I was told that would be considered a very serious violation of the organization’s trust, and I should avoid damaging my reputation like that. That sounds bonkers to me. I understand it’s been an inconvenient period for them, too, but in addition to my five intercontinental relocations, there’ve been just as many planned but scrapped at the last minute. The whole thing strikes me as pretty unreasonable, no?

Meanwhile, I’ve been collecting bits of info from friendly acquaintances who also left this company before their two years were up, and I’m bracing myself for a wild exit interview. They were told:

* “This would be a terrible mistake for your career”

* “Are you the kind of person who keeps their word, or just greedy?”

* “Why would you leave now? You wanted projects, we’re getting projects.” (They were not getting projects.)

I’m hearing of pretty consistent references to “abandoning” one’s “service” and “disappointment” in “character” and — naturally — a refusal to consider they might not have created an ideal working situation. Sounds fun!

Yep, this is silly.

Any reasonable employer would understand that being moved around to five different countries, despite signing up for one, might cause someone to reconsider staying at a company. These aren’t minor upheavals like “go work in our office 20 miles away from this one for a few weeks.” These are relocations to five different countries, with zero help with housing each time! And you’ve also been told to use shady visa practices and been deported because of it (which potentially could affect you if you ever want to return to that country in the future).

It’s reasonable to conclude this isn’t what you signed up for, and it’s reasonable to conclude it’s not working.

Even if this looks like it’s working fine to them (which would be weird, but we’ll go with it), you get to decide that it’s not working fine for you.

You’ve given it more than a good faith effort, and you’re miserable. You get to bow out.

It would probably be interesting to ask those friendly acquaintances who also left before two years what consequences, if any, they experienced for leaving when they did. Was it, in fact, a “terrible mistake” for their career, or did no one really care? My money is on the latter. If this is a really prestigious, influential company, I could see worrying that you’ll be hurt by the lack of a good reference (especially if this is your only job experience right out of school), but when you explain to potential future employers that you were relocated to five countries in a year with no housing assistance and then got deported, no one is going to fault you for leaving.

{ 299 comments… read them below }

      1. J Kate*

        Exit interviews are at least 95% positive where I work. It’s really a time to turn in company property, arrange for last paychecks, remind them I can be a reference if needed, say goodbye and wish them luck in their next career steps. So I wouldn’t say they are always bad, but I can see that in this particular case it might be wise to avoid. This company sounds like a nightmare employer from comic-book villain land.

        1. Uncle Bob*

          I dont consider that an exit interview. That’s simply closing out. An exit interview is more like “why are you leaving” and they’re expecting you to vent.

          1. AnnaBananna*

            + 1

            They’re usually filled with questions like ‘what did you think of our benefits package?’ or ‘was there anything we could have done to make this a better company to work for?’, that sort of thing.

            Either way, I’d still bow out. Throw them your keys as you’re running for the door.

    1. Elizabeth the Ginger*

      And if you do go, remember that you can leave it early! At ANY time. You don’t have to stay until they feel like they’re done. You can just stand up and say something like, “I think I’ve said everything I wanted to say, and your questions are becoming very accusatory. I don’t think either of us has anything to gain from more conversation. Have a nice afternoon.”

      1. So long and thanks for all the fish*

        Yeah- I disagree and think you should actually go to the exit interview and in your best professional voice explain to them how incredibly messed up this all is (maybe include the language from today’s “i’ll quit over this” letter), and if they try to bully you, use Elizabeth’s wording and leave. If they think this is an acceptable way to treat their employees they’re obviously delusional, but HR might not be completely aware of the full extent of what happened to you while you were in their employ.

        1. Solidus Pilcrow*

          Also, have no expectation that they will listen to any constructive criticism or negative feedback. It’s clear from your examples that they are not going to hear/acknowledge any failings on their part. The only satisfaction you’re going to get is that you said what you needed to say and that you did it in a calm and professional demeanor.

    2. hayling*

      Exactly! There’s no legal requirement that they do one, they can’t hold your paycheck or anything. Just say you’d prefer not to have it.

    3. Bostonian*

      I was thinking the same exact thing. If they only use exit interviews to trash the people leaving, then you have no obligation to go!

    4. AmethystMoon*

      I would absolutely not go to the exit interview either. You can always have another commitment, and vary that commitment, each time they try to schedule until they give up. But I also agree with the advice on getting a lawyer regarding the deportation, because it may hurt your chances in a background check later on to get another job.

    5. Muriel Heslop*

      Agree! I attended an exit interview for my first job (I was 23) and never went to another one. What’s the benefit? For me, nothing. I already knew why I was leaving. When my teachers leave (and I am a middle school special ed department head – they leave a lot), I often let them know that the district exit interview is *optional* and that they don’t have to do it unless they want to. I keep waiting to catch some heat for that, but I haven’t yet.

  1. Magenta Sky*

    “Are you the kind of person who keeps their word, or just greedy?”

    “Are you? You haven’t been so far.”

    We tend to see in others what we see in ourselves, and they see dishonesty.

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      “Greedy AF when my freedom is involved.”

      Deportation isn’t a joke. She’s now a criminal in Morocco. I cannot even.

    2. CaribouInIgloo*

      * “This would be a terrible mistake for your career”
      You know what else is a terrible mistake? Getting set up by my employer to be deported by a foreign country.

      * “Are you the kind of person who keeps their word, or just greedy?”
      I’m more the kind of person who prefers not being deported by a foreign country.

      * “Why would you leave now? You wanted projects, we’re getting projects.”
      Do those projects include deportation by a foreign country?

      I mean, nothing is stopping OP from throwing this right back at the employer. If you’re going to spend thousands of dollars sending expats, the bare minimum expected would be not allow them to be deported by the host country.

    3. many bells down*

      “I was told that would be considered a very serious violation of the organization’s trust, and I should avoid damaging my reputation like that.”

      They violated YOUR trust and damaged THEIR reputation.

  2. Suzanne Lucas*

    This person needs to join the Grumpy Expat group on Facebook because I would be hugely grumpy about that.

  3. Anonny*

    OP “VIOLATED THE ORGANISATION’S TRUST”?!
    No. No. No no no no no.
    The OP put their trust in the organisation that they would be working in Morocco, trusted the organisation to get the visa correct, and trusted that they would not have five international moves in one year.
    The organisation does not get to complain about “violations of trust” after putting the OP through that bullshot.

    1. Rusty Shackelford*

      Yep. “Y’all told me I’d be working in Morocco. You violated my trust. I’m disappointed in the character of this workplace. It seems like you’re simply greedy.”

      1. Someone Else*

        The problem is this is using logic at people who are not being remotely logical. I read the comments from the employer as direct threats. “It would be a terrible mistake”… ie they intend to trash the person’s reputation in the industry. They have no logical basis for doing so. That’s a crap thing to do on their end when they clearly jerked this person around, but they don’t seem to care.

        1. Rusty Shackelford*

          Yes, but others have left early and apparently were able to find employment again, so it looks like their threats may not be as easily implemented as they think. So I’d just go for it.

          1. Pomona Sprout*

            “…it looks like their threats may not be as easily implemented as they think.”

            Or maybe they just like to talk tough and try to intimidate their employees but wimp out when it comes to taking any real action!

            In any case, I agree about going for it. For whatever reason, they do not seem to have a record of successfully trashing the careers of former employees, and I doubt that’s going to change all of a sudden.

    2. Engineer Girl*

      They violated trust and agreement first. And at a serious level (Getting deported? Really?) This releases you from your obligations.

      I’d list all the ways they violated their agreement. Then I’d tell them because of their violations that you are no longer held to your agreement. Then I’d tell them to stop gaslighting me.

    3. OlympiasEpiriot*

      My firm, which doesn’t even HAVE international offices, has a lawyer on retainer specifically for visa issues. It’s in a Big City With Large Immigrant and International Population so that makes sense. It makes NO sense for a firm that regularly sends people abroad to not have a lawyer who takes care of this kind of thing and *gets it right*.

      1. Kimmybear*

        Having worked in the international sphere for many years, some companies do play fast and loose with visas. Going to a conference in country X and going to work in the local office of your company in country X can have two different visa types and cost hundreds of dollars more. If you don’t get caught, the company wins. If you do get caught, they just send somebody else next time. My current employer religiously plays by the rules which has earned a lot of my respect.

      2. Trinity*

        They actually need a local lawyer, an American (assuming OP is American) immigration lawyer wouldn’t be of any help when it comes to Moroccan visas. They can just hire a company in Morocco to help them with visas.

        1. Jill of All Trades*

          There are also international visa firms that have branches in all kinds of countries and can assign you a main project manager to serve as a key point of contact. Even if they don’t want it to be complicated there are options.

  4. LaDeeDa*

    Not only can being deported prevent you from ever going back to Morrocco, but being deported can also cause issues when getting Visas in other countries. When I emigrated one of the questions was “Have you ever been ordered to leave or any other country?”
    This company is shady! Likely, the people in your industry know this company’s reputation and will be impressed you lasted a year. Get out.

    1. SometimesALurker*

      Agreed, this company is extremely shady. No reasonable employer will look down on you for leaving before two years were up if they know the company’s reputation. Alison’s last bit, “when you explain to potential future employers that you were relocated to five countries in a year with no housing assistance and then got deported, no one is going to fault you for leaving.” And another Alison-ism is important here — job-hopping isn’t leaving one job after a short time, it’s leaving a lot of jobs after a short time. Don’t let an employer this abusive scare you into thinking you need them, unless you *need* the money right now.

      1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

        Yeah—if they cared about the two year commitment, they would have signed a contract with OP. They’re not being serious; they’re relying on pressure tactics and guilt to enforce an uneven deal that does not benefit OP.

    2. Pippa*

      Yeah, came here to say this too. I know someone who worked for a big multinational that, despite being a huge respected company with plenty of resources, somehow put her in the position of coming and going on a tourist visa in order to work (essentially illegally) on their projects in a particular country. If she’d been caught for that, it would have made it very difficult for her to work in the region in future, which could have been a serious career obstacle.

      Being deported is no joke, and a company that takes it lightly and puts its employees in that position deliberately is a company that needs its general counsel’s head thwapped soundly with an expired passport.

    3. katherine*

      Given the current political climate in the US, I would frankly also be concerned that having been deported before would cause issues with any kind of travel.

      1. Trinity*

        I don’t think that’s true, American immigration in particular doesn’t really care what you’ve done in other countries immigration wise (as long as it’s not criminal), they only exchange immigration information with Canada.

    4. Chris in NZ*

      Deportation is a very serious issue for future travel. For example, if the OP is a citizen of a country which is visa-waiver for travel to New Zealand as a visitor, the OP is now legally barred from ever travelling to New Zealand visa free: they will have to apply for and be granted a visitor visa before travel. (Section 15 of the Immigration Act 2009 if you wish to check.) This is not subject to a statute of limitations.

      I understand that the same applies for Australia and Canada. While countries do not share information about such deportations, the OP is legally required to declare it before seeking to enter.

      The OP’s company has been unbelievably cavalier about this issue.

        1. Chris in NZ*

          Yes – every non-citizen must meet the character requirements set in out in the Immigration Act to be eligible for a visa (and every non-citizen must hold a visa to be in the country legally). People who do not meet those character requirements may be considered for a waiver – but to do that they must apply for a visa. People who do not meet character requirements are not eligible to travel visa free.

          The relevant question is asked on the arrival card – as a kiwi you get to skip that section. It asks “Have you ever been sentenced to 12 months or more in prison, or been deported, removed or excluded from any country at any time?” But you may well have noticed the equivalent question on the Australian arrival card.

          1. Suisse is strange*

            Hi Chris in NZ,

            Just out of curiosity (this has *not* happened to me, for the record)… Would non-renewal of residency (i.e. one’s residency permission expired, you requested a renewal, and the government sent you back a letter that said sorry no) count as being “removed” from a country in NZ? By non-renewal of residency I’m thinking of everything from changing residency laws, quotas for foreign residents being exceeded, or even less-democratic-than-NZ governments deciding they don’t want people who work in human rights living their any more.

            1. Chris in NZ*

              [Obviously caveating that this is a general comment and not necessarily applicable to any particular individual’s circumstances] – in principle, no, as long as the person whose visa had expired and who had not been granted a new visa had not (for example) remained in the country without permission.
              If they had had had a formal removal / deportation action commenced against them then they might fall within the “deported / excluded / removed” space.

              1. Chris in NZ*

                Clarifying still further – in principle, if the person had left in a timely fashion and had not been explicitly deported or excluded, then they would not need to answer “yes” to a question about deportation and exclusion when entering another country. However, the country which had required them to leave might place restrictions on their re-entry.

  5. AdAgencyChick*

    Just throwing in some more validation: This is cray. If you expect your employees to be able to pack up their lives and move around anywhere at the drop of a hat, fine, but make that clear in the interview process so you select for the few people who are into that. (And I hope the pay is AMAZEBALLS.)

    1. pcake*

      And when you find those people, pay for the expenses involved in moving their housing over and over!

      1. Genny*

        That’s one of the most insane part of this to me. I get that things like consulting, development, and other program-based operations can face a lot of logistical issues like visas, budgets falling through, and last minute changes (there was coup in X country and now we’re evacuating everyone or someone got malaria and now we need you to stay in the field longer), but the company should be doing its best to mitigate those disruptions. That includes paying for things like housing and moving costs. How much money did the LW lose because she had to break a lease or rent a short-term place? How much did she spend in storage costs as she waited to be able to ship her household goods to Morocco?

  6. Amber T*

    Wow…

    My office is one of those that typically hires those types of analysts/associates after their two year stint, and while *randomly flaking* would be cause for concern (as with any job), you wouldn’t get much negative push back (from us, at least) for bailing after they clearly screwed up your Visa/travel/literally everything.

  7. It's all Sunshine and Rainbows Here*

    I agree – skip the exit interview. OP, I’m not sure where you’re from, or what countries you’ve been sent to, but depending on the situation, shady visa practices could also land you in jail, not just being deported – like if there’s suddenly a diplomatic spat between your home country and the country you’re visiting, and officials are suddenly less inclined to be kind to you (aka China and Canada right now). I’ve lived, worked and studied abroad a lot, and being able to trust the people that are responsible for you (ie. your company) is huge. This isn’t worth the risk IMHO.

      1. fposte*

        Oh, wow. Is this true no matter the OP’s initial residency? (I mean, obviously they won’t need a US visa if they’re a US citizen, but I mean more broadly.) This sounds like it’s potentially tanked the OP’s career, and I agree with Antilles that a lawyer really needs to be consulted.

        1. Genny*

          It can effect travel to visa waiver countries (i.e. instead of flying to Canada without a visa, she may need to get a tourist visa to go there now). It’s also the type of thing that could prompt a consular officer to take a closer look at your visa application package. Consular officers (at least in the U.S.) are given a decent amount of leeway to make a judgment call, so a prior deportation could enough for them to deny a visa, though I think the context would be important (however in this case, I don’t think context is in LW’s favor unfortunately).

        2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

          It’s true, and it can create wild problems. I almost got deported during my first post-college job (in international development/humanitarian aid) because my employer didn’t get their act together and didn’t tell me they didn’t get it together. It wasn’t until I threatened to leave to avoid deportation that they finally processed the proper visa paperwork. But I wasn’t willing to risk being barred from entry to other countries in my field, and re-entering after a prior deportation can be expensive, more intrusive, and take forever.

        3. WS*

          They will still be able to get visas, but no visa waivers which is a significant issue for international business travel. If you had several employees who could travel to a number of countries on short notice and your other employee was OP who now needs to apply in advance to most, who would you send?

        4. Trinity*

          Not true everywhere, I’ve applied for visas in a couple of different countries (including the US) and I have never been asked about deportations from other countries. I was asked if I’m planning to practice polygamy though

      2. Bee*

        I mean, I know someone (a US citizen) who was deported from the UK because her employer didn’t actually fill out the sponsorship paperwork they promised her, and it was an enormous hassle (she only found out because she took a weekend trip to Paris & they wouldn’t let her re-enter the country, so everything in her house was basically gone), and it took a couple years, but she found another company that would sponsor her and she is now back in the UK with an actual visa and a great job, so. I’m not trying to say this ISN’T a big deal, but I also don’t want the OP to start panicking about their entire future.

        1. Anna*

          Great point. It’s not the end of the world, but could potentially cause the OP more work than she should be required to do because they screwed up. I’m willing to bet deportation because a company screwed up the visa paperwork is probably a bit more common than people think.

          1. Katieinthemountains*

            Oh totally. A professor at my school was deported because he thought they university was sending in his annual thingummy and they did not. He missed the first two weeks of class. He didn’t do anything wrong, and we are on good terms with his country.

            1. thankful for AAM.*

              My spouse was given the choice to leave the US or be deported when he was a student bc his uni did not file his I20. Now I realize how lucky he was to be allowed to leave.

          2. Anonny*

            That still sounds like a lot of hassle, both current and potential, and combined with the whole “country hopping” thing the OP had to do, I’m wondering if it would be worth talking to a lawyer about it? Maybe to get some compensation but mostly to put fear of pulling this again into the heart of this organisation.

        2. Trinity*

          Yeah, and even in the US where you get banned for a certain number of years when you get deported, the ban is usually not permanent.

          1. Old Admin*

            A lady I followed on Live Journal once overstayed her visa in Japan by a few days. She had the choice of being deported and banned from reentry for 10 years, or immediately leaving and being banned for one.
            She chose the latter, and was able to return after that year. The officials at Japanese immigration were surprised she even came back, but let her in.
            She also had to leave the country for a few days every time her six months were up for several years.

            1. JustaTech*

              Hmm… a cousin of mine overstayed her visa in Sri Lanka (by a day, but rules are rules) and had to pay some kind of fine (or maybe a bribe?) and is banned from the country. She seemed to think it was funny, but as someone who travels internationally a *lot* I wonder if it’s going to come back and bite her?

    1. Antilles*

      This, this, and more of this.
      I don’t know if this was fully explained this to you, but intentional visa violations are a Really Really Big Deal. In the very least, being deported usually bans you from ever legally entering that particular country again…but that’s at minimum. Many countries have multinational reciprocity agreements, where the fact you violated a visa once means you’re unlikely to get a visa again for any of those countries. It’s also not uncommon for countries to immediately jail visa violators, where you could very easily be stuck for weeks or months waiting on your case to work its’ way through the court system.
      Did your company have a lawyer fully explain just how serious this is? If not…well, that’s all you need to know about just how ‘loyal’ this company is to you.

    2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Yessssss, it’s essentially a Global Criminal Record when you get deported due to shady visa practices from any country. It’s not just one place who will deny you entrance/visas etc.

        1. Ann O'Nemity*

          That’s what I was thinking too. This employer should be obligated to make the OP whole again, whatever that means in this context.

        2. Genny*

          I doubt it. Whenever you travel, you’re responsible for ensuring your documents are in order and understanding what those documents do and do not allow you to do. It’s like when you travel for your company. Someone might make the travel arrangements for you, but you’re the one who would get in trouble if your travel doesn’t adhere to company guidelines. You can’t pass the buck to your secretary (or in LW’s case, your company) for making a mistake.

        3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

          Not against the employer. If the employer was being shady, the legal action is between Morocco and the employer. But OP has an independent (legal) duty to ensure their documentation is correct and appropriate, so it’s hard to get around an unclean hands defense.

          1. Dove*

            While it’s true that OP does have a duty to ensure that their documentation is correct and appropriate, it could also be argued that OP made a good-faith reliance on the employer to ensure that the documentation was done correctly as they were told it was, and did not have the experience necessary to judge otherwise at the time.

            Someone straight out of school is not necessarily going to have the sort of experience required to judge if the company is being honest or if the paperwork is done wrong, especially if it’s to do with international travel.

            1. Margaret*

              That probably depends on the kind of visa violation it is. Accidentally overstaying a period of stay because you thought your employer had something pending with the immigration office, sure. But say… applying for an inexpensive short term tourist visa when you should have been applying for more costly residency + work permit? If OP signed their name to the tourist visa application and then worked in the country, there’s not a lot of talking your way out of that, no matter how new to the work force you are.

    3. Jasnah*

      Agreed, just chiming in to stress how big a deal it is to get deported. Your company has shown that they are willing to break the law and let you take the fall for it. This isn’t even a domestic law like employment law–this is international, country-to-country regulations! If they don’t take your visa seriously, how can you trust their handling of anything? I wouldn’t even do business with them!

      1. Cathy Gale*

        I think you hit the nail on the head with that. It’s not just their guilt-tripping. It’s the pernicious way that they did something illegal and dishonest, and then made you alone take the complete and utter responsibility for this, and how it could continue to harm you.

        They are terrible people. If you are in a financial position to do so, I would quit immediately and seek legal recourse.

  8. Robbie*

    “They’re clearly serious about the two-year commitment and have stuck by me through all the visa trouble. When I called to say I was getting deported, they immediately bought me tickets to my home country.”
    They were the ones that caused the visa trouble in the first place, OP. Buying you a ticket home was literally the least they could do.

    This whole thing is bonkers. They want you to remain loyal while there shady practices got your deported, after making you relocate 5 times over a year (I am dying to know if you are a secret agent or something).
    Don’t bother with the exit interview, and when you apply for your next job tell them what happened.

    1. Ginger*

      Yes, this is what I came to comment as well.

      OP- they aren’t “sticking by you”. They are abusing you and your trust. Buying you tickets was literally the least they could do and probably did it out of self interest so that you wouldn’t put them on blast to the country (like, “hey, this company brought me on a shady visa…you should watch what visas they are granted” thing)

      The threats of future of career damage are manipulative. Any reasonable future employer would look at that type of history and think “yep, that’s a reasonable reason to leave”.

    2. Observer*

      Buying you a ticket home was literally the least they could do.

      I’m guessing that it’s also considerably cheaper than the bribes they would have to pay, or the potential other costs to deal with having their employee being deported.

      1. Antilles*

        Or the potential long-term ramifications for the company of getting blackballed from future visa processes. I said above that visa violations are a Really Really Big Deal (and they are)…but that applies also to sponsoring companies; most countries tend to be pretty strict about things.

      2. Hey Karma, Over here.*

        Oh this is exactly. They brought OP home? Bully for them. They also sent OP into a county illegally. And instead of admitting a error, (much less knowingly and maliciously gaming the system) and paying a fine or having their in-country office sanctioned in some way, they let OP take the responsibility/blame. Now OP may not be able to travel to certain places for years, if ever, but they kept your job. No shit. THEY GOT YOU DEPORTED. Who does that? And then expects you to come back to work like nothing is wrong? When they ask you where your loyalty went, say you left it in Morocco…when you were deported.

      3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

        It’s cheaper to fly OP home than to pay the deportation fine/penalty for having put OP in Morocco in the first place.

    3. Hey Karma, Over here.*

      They stuck by your during the subsequent legal problems that arose from their either incompetence or negligence regarding a very specific legal problem. Of course they did. They kept your job while while having you deported . Instead of taking responsibility themselves, you now have a tenuous travel situation for years to come. “They got me out.” Bully for those motherfuckers. They would have left you there if came down to paying a fine or sanctioning their in country office. Two sides settled on you taking the blame and going home. Nobody had your back.

      1. Engineer Girl*

        They didn’t stick by the OP because they didn’t permanently fix the visa issue. That’s still hanging over OPs head.

  9. animaniactoo*

    OP, this is the definition of “I made a good faith effort but cannot continue in this vein. I have moved 5 times in a year and been deported from the country I am supposed to be working in. I am willing to take a home-based position, but otherwise – this just has not worked out as well as either of us might have hoped and I cannot invest more of my time in trying to make it work. I wish you well.”

    And if you hear crap at the exit interview, I would be extremely blunt: “Pardon me, but those sound like the kind of things said to people in abusive relationships to keep them there. Is that your intention? Do you not have any character to recognize when a situation is not working and too stressful for an employee? You’re disappointed in me? I’m disappointed that you do not value the well-being of your employees more than this!” and keep it going – anything they say to you, put it right back on them as being unreasonable and not having “thing” they’re accusing you of not having. “No commitment? Where’s your commitment to your employees and making sure they don’t end up in situations like mine? Where’s THAT?”

    1. Not So NewReader*

      Yessssss, this.
      As I read your letter, OP, all I could hear was classic abuser lines.

      There’s a reason why they hire younger people, OP, they are afraid older people would have told them FU three countries ago.

      My wise friend said when someone accuses you of something you KNOW is not true, it is likely they are telling you what they are doing themselves. They are untrustworthy. They are into you for the money you bring the company and they are the ones who are greedy. And so on. Take what they tell you and see if you can find examples like that of their own bad behavior. They are telling you what they themselves are doing.

      Just my thought but employers who are real resume or career builders don’t mention that out loud. There’s no need to say it, everyone sees it. It’s the employers who have little or no clout who have to talk about their clout.

      I so admire the collective knowledge and wisdom of this group here on AAM. I hope you are able find some legal recourse here against this company because they are just going to keep doing this to people, as some have advised.

      1. RUKidding*

        “There’s a reason why they hire younger people, OP, they are afraid older people would have told them FU three countries ago.”

        So much this. When I was reading the letter I was thinking “no I will not go to X country. We agreed to Morocco and that’s how I planned my life. If you can’t follow through then we’re done here.”

        What I would have put up with in my 20s? Who can say? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      2. JustaTech*

        And older people might have other commitments (partners, children, pets, houseplants) that would make pulling up stakes every couple of months hard/impossible, where there are some young people who might think it was fun. Actually there are probably a lot of people (young and old) who might think it was fun *if* (and only if) you knew about it from the beginning, everything was planned, and they provided housing.

        But there’s a huge difference between “work for us and meander around the world!” and “work for us in Morocco! No, Italy! No Jordan! No, Zambia! No, Poland!”

        1. Expat 2*

          Please give your ageist stereotypes a rest and speak for yourself only. I’m on my 40s and definitely enjoy working in a different country every few months. (This is a big reason to choose a career in international development.) Diplomats also tend to move every two years.

          1. Kuddel Daddeldu*

            Me too, and I’m over 50.
            But it is true that this kind of life is easier to manage either before you have kids in school or after they have left the nest.

  10. Naomi*

    To me, the attempts to shame you into staying are a bigger red flag than the multiple moves. Especially since they’ve pulled the same song and dance on multiple previous employees! They know they haven’t given you the kind of working conditions that would make anyone want to stay, so their only recourse is to pull guilt trips.

    1. Frozen Ginger*

      Agreed. I could almost forgive the bungling if they gave you the home-country position you wanted, but the fact that they’re pushing back on a reasonable request like this and in such a vindictive manner really tells me that this company is not worth being employed at.

  11. I Work on a Hellmouth*

    This hurt my brain. Yeah, I think leaving this company is the OPPOSITE of a mistake. And really, “a terrible mistake for your career?” Really? They’re just relying on a lack of experience keeping you from walking. This isn’t a fit for you, and your reputation won’t be hurt by leaving a less than ideal situation that was not as advertised.

    1. Hey Karma, Over here.*

      “A mistake for your career.”
      I feel I’ve already made a mistake, by accepting deportation. I was not the one who applied for the visa or completed any related paper work. I was the one held responsible. Now I’m unable to travel and, along with the legal implications of BEING DEPORTED, the long term effects could hurt my future job prospects. I’ve sacrificed enough for this organization. I’ve done my part for the team and more. Now I need to start fresh somewhere else.

      1. Engineer Girl*

        Can you sue them? This might be one of those times to hire a lawyer.
        Normally I don’t recommend suing because it can be career suicide. But in this case he damage is so severe it might be worth it. They’ve caused grevious harm and impacted your ability to get another job.

      2. Expat*

        “Now I’m unable to travel”

        Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here. We don’t know that this is the case.

        Not every country requires a visa to travel, not every country asks whether you have been deported from third countries, not every country will automatically reject you if the answer is “yes” for a technical violation, etc.

        1. So long and thanks for all the fish*

          I think Karma is writing a script for the OP here that exaggerates the case a bit

        2. Trinity*

          Yep, most countries require no such thing, even if you’re applying for immigrant visas. Even the US (very strict about immigration) doesn’t ask you about deportations from other countries, they prefer asking potential visitors and immigrants if they’re terrorists and if they’ve ever been prostitutes.

  12. Rey*

    If it came up in a future job interview, a quick summary of, “The job offer and location turned out to not match our initial contract” would be a pretty general explanation. It doesn’t sound bitter or lay the blame too strongly on either party. I’ve got to wonder if there’s other creepy culture norms around their college graduate program.

    1. Elizabeth the Ginger*

      Since it sounds like the company wouldn’t hesitate to give a negative and not-so-unbiased reference, I think it’s reasonable to be a bit more specific. “I took the job on the understanding it would be based in Morocco, but the company reassigned me to five different countries over the course of the year.” That is a factual statement. I agree that OP should avoid sounding bitter, but I don’t think it’s fair to ask that they jump through hoops to avoid “laying the blame too strongly on either party” – that suggests that some of this fiasco is OP’s fault.

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        In a fair world, I agree. However in the world of job seeking, you have to be careful how you sound about former employers.

        This story is OTT and if presented in this form in an interview, you have a high risk of not being hired.

        1. Parenthetically*

          Huh, funny, Elizabeth’s wording sounds SO dispassionate and calm to me! “I took the assignment understanding it would be X, but it ended up being Y” is the kind of language Alison recommends all the time. I’m interested in why you think the detail about “Morocco” vs. “5 countries in one year” could make OP unhireable!

          1. Zillah*

            Yeah, it seems that way to me, too. I don’t see how one could get more fact-based and dispassionate?

          2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

            Totally agreed—if delivered in a straightforward way, I think it’s a perfect script.

        2. Anonymiss*

          I don’t know, I can’t imagine someone thinking a 5 country relocation is reasonable… it’s so out there.

        3. NerdyKris*

          If someone were to find the statement “I took the job on the understanding it would be based in Morocco, but the company reassigned me to five different countries over the course of the year.” unreasonable and a reason not to hire someone, it’s probably not a company you want to work for anyways.

        4. learnedthehardway*

          Honestly – no. Any reasonable company will not hold the factual details against a potential employee who they otherwise want to hire. If the company DOES hold this kind of cavalier, irresponsible employer behavior against a potential employee, I would be concerned it is because they have similar attitudes. In which case, the OP is better off never working for them in the first place. Considering that these issues can be independently verified by documentation (the deportation order papers / notes on the person’s passport) and by colleague type references (even if the OP can’t get management to admit to the shenanigans, they mentioned they have friends who have had similar types of experiences), I wouldn’t be at all worried about laying the actual reasons out on the table. Not to mention – odds are that (except for recent grads), I would be willing to bet that most experienced people are aware of the company’s reputation for treating its employees badly. Word gets around about this kind of thing.

      2. Dz*

        If I were interviewing this person, and they dropped this nugget, I would immediately be mentally rooting for them as long as they were factual and didn’t trash-talk the company. Heck, this anecdote could even work in an interviewee’s favor!

  13. Fake Old Converse Shoes (not in the US)*

    OMG!!!
    My last job made a manager relocate to our country with her family, only to fire her two months later while on vacation abroad, but this is another level of madness. Imagine how someone interviewing OP might react.
    Interviewer: So, why did you leave you last job?
    OP: Well… they forced me to relocate internationally multiple times with little to no notice, but the last straw was when they got me deported.
    Interviewer: *gasps*

    On the bright side, OP’s time at this mess of a company would be the kind of stuff your friends beg to retell over and over again after a few beers.

    1. Phony Genius*

      Your comment made me think of an interesting question. If an interviewer hears that you stayed in an abusive job for too long without leaving, could that cause them to question your judgment? In this case, would it be fair for an interviewer ask why you didn’t leave after the first 2 or 3 relocations?

      1. Elizabeth the Ginger*

        I don’t think a year is long enough to trigger that, especially since the OP signed on with the expectation that it would be a two-year gig. Especially as a new grad who might not have a lot of other options and thus might be operating on the “bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” philosophy.

      2. PollyQ*

        My vote is “No”, it would not be a fair question, it would be little better than victim-blaming.

      3. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        Nope nope nope. Do not ever tell someone you’re in an abusive job and trying to escape. Most interviewers will shut down and think it’s TMI and only one sided.

        My boss now, only after over a year of trust and bonding has learned a fraction of the toxicity I’ve encountered. I left my last job for this one to “fix my work life balance” and now he’s learning why I was working 60hrs a week. And yessss it’s fine if you give me extra work or I have an hour OT.

        Sadly we’re strangers and we hear crazy stories, you try to not take on more baggage than you can handle hiring someone.

        Here they can say they were jumped around to 5 counties and it was too much. I wouldn’t mention the deportation part.

        1. TexanInExile*

          Except being deported is a fact.

          I have been in a toxic work environment, but saying, “the CEO would announce meetings at lunchtime with no notice and no information about how long the meetings would last” is very different from, “I had to move to five countries in one year and was deported from Morocco because they didn’t get me the proper visa.”

          1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

            My version of toxicity seems higher than others. I’m not talking about when meetings are scheduled or micromanaging issues.

            It’s a fact that I had people fired for reporting injuries. I’ve had people fired for telling a coworker that they were making errors and asking them to proof read orders. Every person fired meant a new body that I was the only responsible person to train them, in a department that I was given suddenly because they didn’t want to hire a replacement when the other one quit after twenty years. I was given a performance review after standing up for my fired employees and told I foster a “negative” environment and a list of my months old jokes that were suddenly taken serious. I was mandated to work 12 days straight because they didn’t want to pay an hourly person to do a random tradeshow they decided to attend. When I’m not in marketing. Someone was fired for pushing back against working a job they weren’t hired to do and told that we all had to “step up”, meaning my office crew being put into a shipping warehouse and then having to stay late to make sure their real work was completed. They couldn’t work even 10 minutes of OT, so that means that I had to stay until 8pm or later after getting in at 7 . Without a lunch or any of that silliness. Always being available for weekend emails and all that in between.

            But you still aren’t going to come off well explaining any of that in bland language.

            As a hiring manager, you’re always looking for “why tho” and not in a place to trust this random person who is telling you spectacular stories.

            So yeah. Leave out all the facts that can create hiring managers imaginations to run wild.

            1. Cathy Gale*

              I hear what your concern is – I think many readers do. But being deported from another nation because your employers attempted visa fraud, is a matter of the law – not just toxic and abusive. Breaking the law in this case is not a matter of interpretation, like whether my YouTube parody breaks copyright. She was given one visa, and expected to do things that are not permitted. Full stop.

              I would not be afraid to say, “I left company X when they asked me to work overseas without the
              proper legal paperwork. I respect the law, and I know most companies do. I really enjoyed x, y, z there, but I still decided to move on, because I want to help my company succeed with x and y, but I don’t feel comfortable breaking the law.”

              Will some hiring managers have a problem? Maybe. You might have trouble getting hired for a job in a place or industry where bribes are more common, for instance. And someone who plays loose might also not want to hire you (which is a good thing).

              I have had two different hiring managers tell me that they were offering me a position because they liked my honesty.

              1. Yikes*

                Well, the problem with saying that is the employee did not respect the law, was willing to work on an improper visa, and therefore was responsible for being deported. I understand that a 21-year-old could get sucked into this situation and really pressured to agree to something they maybe didn’t totally understand was a horrible idea, but honestly as a hiring manager, even with the honest explanation of what happened, I’m left over here like, “So… you knowingly agreed to commit visa fraud?”

          2. TootsNYC*

            just because being deported is a fact doesn’t mean it’s wise to include it.

            You don’t have to tell every little thing. Be strategic.

            And you don’t want the focus of your interview to be on the drama at your old job–you want it to be on what a great employee you’re going to be.

        2. Yvette*

          Wouldn’t the deportation come up in a background check? So wouldn’t it be better to be up front about it?

          1. Totally Minnie*

            It might, depending on what level of check the employer runs. So you’re right, it may make sense to mention it up front.

      4. Bubble Witch*

        I don’t think that would be fair. Life circumstances can change rapidly without notice… reasons that may keep you in a shitty job at one time may not be a factor at a different time in your life. Plus, as we’ve seen plenty of times on this site, people early in their careers don’t always have a sense for what’s normal in a job and what’s not.

        I would hope an interviewer would evaluate me based on what I brought to an organization, vs. how an organization treated me.

      5. Brett*

        I had a similar situation with last job. At the time I was interviewing in 2015-2016, they had suspended COLAs since 1986 and raises since 2007, extending on a year by year basis until they finally announced that the suspension would stay in place until 2020. They were relying on ethics laws (it was public sector) to keep people from jumping to other public employees or private sector contracted vendors.

        I just had to get as far as “postponed raises every year since 2007 and just extended that suspension through 2020” for employers to hear plenty without blaming me. Getting into the details of the ethics laws was definitely not something for a first interview. (Though I was obligated to explain it later, since the employer would get fined if they were a contracted vendor. I think this lost me at least one opportunity, but because they spooked on the legal ramifications, not because they worried about my judgement.)

      6. Solidus Pilcrow*

        That is an interesting question. Has anyone had an employer question why they stayed in a situation so long? I’m thinking it might not come up too much if the employee takes the standard advice about not bashing a former employer and coming up with a bland and plausible reason (or at least presenting the reason calmly if bland isn’t possible).

        In this case, if someone did ask, I think I’d go with a combination of a 2 year contract and it being the first job out college and needing to get work experience. “There were two main reasons for staying as long as I did. One was that I signed up for a two year contract and wanted to do my best to honor that commitment. The other reason was that it was my first job after graduation and I stuck with it to get a strong start on my career in the International Teapots field.”

      7. TootsNYC*

        I think most people completely understand that it’s awfully hard to just leave a job–you need a paycheck, and there’s a HUGE risk of leaving without a job lined up, and having to explain that.

        It’s too bad people don’t use the same level of understanding when they’re making judgments of people who don’t leave abusive relationships.

      8. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

        I’ve never seen someone penalize a candidate for not leaving a bad situation sooner. I think most folks realize that it can take time to determine whether a situation is wacky or abusive, and not everyone has the financial security to leave a job—even a very bad one.

  14. Phony Genius*

    It sounds like if you stay with this company, you may find yourself in jail in some strange country. But maybe it’s greedy to want stay out of jail.

  15. PB*

    As a hiring manager, if I was reading a resume, saw a one-year stay with a company, and saw that they were based out of five countries during that time, I would absolutely understand why they were searching! That’s even before getting into any of the visa and deportation issues. Applying for jobs before meeting the two year commitment will absolutely not be a terrible mistake for your career. Anyone with an ounce of common sense will be horrified at how this company has treated you!

    1. Sled dog mama*

      Yeah, I mean when current employer heard that I was traveling between sites that were two time zones apart regularly (one one week, the other the next week) his only question was why it took 3 years for me start looking.
      I was looking sue to management changes on the horizon not the travel but the travel meant that I didn’t have to say anything about my fears that my new manager sucked and wasn’t going to change

  16. Nea*

    suck up people with high grades right out of college for two years

    Perhaps, in light of the number of people who have bailed before their institutional servitude is up and the overall dodginess of their business practices, this should be rephrased “consider smart people with no job experience as easily gaslighted suckers for as long as possible.”

    1. Nea*

      PS – As far as I can tell, the point of the exit interview is for them to turn up the gaslight one more time. Skip it if at all possible. The “Can you believe they said?” stories aren’t worth your stress.

    2. SG*

      Right?? We have a two year program at my company, but it’s no hard feelings if you realize it’s not for you. I was super sad when one of my favorite first years left, but he realized a different industry fit better. That’s life!

  17. No Mas Pantalones*

    Dang, I’d love a Name & Shame on this one.

    In the meantime, OP–you probably have a little leverage on that Visa thing. Especially since you were there based upon and because of your employment with this company. Your presence was directly related to your job with Crappy Company. You were deported because you didn’t have the right kind of Visa, which is also directly connected to Crappy Company. You can and should report this to the proper authorities.

    They have no leverage over you, but you have quite a bit over them.

    1. tink*

      Yes OP, please do report this. Getting deported can become a HUGE deal, especially if you’re in an industry with international travel or that requires a security clearance.

      1. Where's Carmen?*

        I agree, and hope there’s some way to get what happened to OP on the record. This bonehead organization took a huge risk with the OP — even potentially risking her *freedom,* based on what other people have said — out of what? Laziness? Cheapness? Ineptitude? I mean, if an organization is going to Carmen Sandiego its people all over the f’ing planet, apparently at a whim, you’d think they’d at least know how to get proper visas. It’s a level of indifference to their people’s safety and welfare that is just staggering.

    2. TootsNYC*

      who would those “proper authorities” be?

      (don’t count on the U.S. State Department to help you much–there’s nobody working there, even before the shutdown, and the political appointees are from the party that says, “everything is your own fault.”)

      1. Genny*

        More than that, the State Department can’t do anything about another country’s visa laws. Everyone who travels bears the responsibility of ensuring their travel documents are in order and that they understand what those documents allow them to do/prohibit them from doing. It’s really crappy that LW’s company didn’t do the right thing and now LW is paying the price, but there aren’t any state authorities to appeal to (her home country has no jurisdiction and Morocco likely doesn’t care who made the mistake, just that a mistake was made).

        1. Trinity*

          Yep, Morocco is the only country OP can settle anything with. No other country can help him and most other countries don’t exactly care about Morocco visa violations (why would they?)

        2. Yikes*

          Yes, and ultimately it was the OP’s responsibility, at least in a legal sense. She should have refused to enter the country on what she appears to have at least sort of understood was an improper visa, but that’s also a lot to expect from a fresh college grad. I probably would have agreed to it at 21, but now closer to 40 I’d be like, Hell no.

    3. Needaname*

      Hi this is well-meant advice – on having leverage – but could very well be completely untrue. In my experience in immigration systems there is a very high bar, if any, on getting a deportation overlooked. Do see a lawyer.

  18. OHCFO*

    Back in the stoneage, I mean dot-com days, I got a job right out of college that expected a two-year commitment. The work environment made The Devil Wears Prada look more like a documentary about my life than a piece of fiction. I left at one year to go to grad school full time (and on a full fellowship). My bosses’ reaction when I gave my notice? She said “No.” Told me I had promised 2 years and that’s what I had to give. (Ironically, the company folded a few months later when the bubble burst). Years later, after had I started working in a C-level position, she contacted me to ask if I was interested in a secretarial job. You can’t fix crazy, OP. And really, unless you signed something saying otherwise, you don’t owe them anything. Good luck!

    1. Delta Delta*

      What a great time to say, “no thank you, but thanks for thinking of me.” And then hanging up and cackling at your desk for a solid minute.

    2. blink14*

      At my former job, I gave my two weeks notice, and my boss said “No”! and then she told me I wasn’t giving them two weeks notice, to which I responded that I was giving exactly 10 business days notice, otherwise known as two business weeks. I left that job exactly on the 10th business day and started my current job the next morning.

    3. Observer*

      How exactly did she think she was going to stop you?

      It reminds me of the (now out of business) grocery store where the manager refused to buy “Brand X” cookies till the way less popular “Brand Z” cookies were gone.

      1. Expat*

        “How exactly did she think she was going to stop you?”

        It is, of course, possible that OP had an employment contract for a fixed term.

        1. Observer*

          Not likely in this case – if there were a contract in place, I have no doubt that the boss would have enforced it.

          1. Sacred Ground*

            And even with such a contract in place, there might be financial penalties but you cannot be forced to work.

      2. Wired Wolf*

        My store has started doing that for some products…yes, we import everything and there are occasional supply-side issues, but equal amounts of “I don’t want to get $PopularItem (that everyone is asking for) until $SimilarItem (doesn’t move and takes up lots of shelf space) sells out.” Or we have to write it off when it goes out of code…which is a loss on the books, and never mind that the only reason it had to be coded out is that it doesn’t freaking sell (ergo we shouldn’t be ordering it).

  19. SG*

    Wow this is crazy to me – I work at a large international corporation and whenever we run into visa issues where someone is currently located, we find a way to make sure they can continue in their role, or if not that, their general dept in their home country until the visa issues are sorted.

  20. Dust Bunny*

    This all sounds shady beyond belief. I’d be a lot more worried that I was damaging my reputation by staying with them than by leaving!

    1. Emmie*

      Perhaps OP can warn his / her campus career services office about these issues. I’d like to see this organization banned from on campus recruiting if it does that.

      1. Anonymous 5*

        YES. This. I get that naming and shaming is (justifiably) frowned upon here, but this is a company whose actions could have major legal, career-curtailing, life-altering consequences for people who are in the inherently vulnerable position of being at the start of their careers. So at minimum, warning the campus and career services folks and suggesting that they not support the company’s recruitment efforts seems reasonable.

        1. Parenthetically*

          this is a company whose actions could have major legal, career-curtailing, life-altering consequences for people who are in the inherently vulnerable position of being at the start of their careers

          Just restating this because it’s so damn true.

        2. TootsNYC*

          and at the very least, they can educate their graduates about the importance of protecting their own visa status!

        3. That Girl From Quinn's House*

          Can you imagine the blowback for a university (especially if it was prestigious or expensive) when a young alum’s parents go to the news, ” My daughter is in Brokedown Palace due to the job she got from Ivory Tower University Career Services?”

  21. That Girl From Quinn's House*

    Pack up all your things Thursday, quit on your way out the door at the end of the workday Friday, say no to the exit interview.

  22. Delta Delta*

    So, maybe it’s because I’m a lawyer that I think about immigration stuff in a different way. But I feel like getting deported is so very bright a bright line that I’m almost blinded by it. That’s not like Jane from Accounting disregarding assigned parking spots or Gavin in purchasing says inappropriate things while microwaving fish. That’s you are likely not welcome back in that country any time ever (funny thing about removals, they often lead to subsequent inadmissibility) because the company decided it was ok to play fast and loose with a visa.

    Run. Run far away. Get a new job. Explain clearly that you’re leaving your old job because you got relocated to 5 different countries in less than a year and because of HR failings you had significant immigration consequences.

    Skip the exit interview. There will be things you’ll want to say. You are probably better off not saying them. Say them to your favorite 4-legged beast. They don’t repeat secrets.

    1. Parenthetically*

      “HR failings with significant immigration consequences” is such a great way to say it!

      My husband and I are coming up on his green card renewal this spring, so I’m knee-deep in immigration paperwork and I am similarly STAGGERED, jaw somewhere near the earth’s core, eyebrows in the stratosphere, at how fking CAVALIER and BLASE they’re being about their fk-up getting their employee DEPORTED. I’m just… gawping. And flapping my hands incoherently.

    2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      I’m not even a lawyer and I’m screaming inside over getting deported. That’s not like being thrown out of the country club because your Christmas party went sideways and someone stole baby Jesus from the nativity scene.

      Also it’s a mark on you traveling and ability of getting visas again. It’s an entire country banning you.

    3. Essess*

      I would bring a lawyer to the exit interview to explain to the company just what a “BIG DEAL” visa violations are and what damage it can cause to the company, not just to the employee.

    4. Hey Karma, Over here.*

      This. It’s not even like they said they’d reimburse you for business travel and then told you that you missed the deadline and you are out thousands of dollars Which would suck and be enough reason to start looking. This is you possibly being arrested in a foreign country, and definitely having problems with travel later on. They screwed OP over. Run, run RUN

    5. Blinded by the Gaslight*

      EXACTLY. God, I was a grad student in the UK, and when I had to take a break from my program, I was immediately reported to the Home Office, and received a letter inside a week that basically said, “Either be a student or GTFO within 60 days. If you’re deported, you can’t come back here for 10 years.” Your employer letting things get SO FAR as to have an employee be DEPORTED is just . . . NO. No. No. No. Put your head down, don’t say anything to anyone, and GTFO of that company. This is beyond egregious.

  23. Emmie*

    Does the country OP works in impact staying vs. going? I realize leaving could have an impact in some countries, although I am not the expert on other country’s employment practices. I am US-based, and these are all reasons to depart. OP has been more than patient. It’s horrific that OP has been relocated so many times; has scrambled for housing; and has been deported. I would be worried that its shady visa practices could have real-world criminal consequences for me. Leave if you can.

    1. Trek*

      Remember the LW that sent their boss to Italy instead of to Florida in the US? That person was fired while the boss was at the airport in Florence Italy. I feel like this situation is so similar OP should have quit upon arriving home.

      1. Coder von Frankenstein*

        Except that in this case, they sent their boss to Italy, France, Japan, Sweden, and South Africa in succession. And then when the boss finally got to Florida, they were arrested by TSA because the employee had put suspicious information in the reservation, and now the boss is on TSA’s permanent watch list.

        And the employee is trying to convince the boss that it’s okay because they bought the boss a bus ticket home from Florida.

    1. Nea*

      It at least one case I was able to prevent my old contracting company from continuing to submit my resume “as a sample of the kind of people we employ” during my exit interview.

        1. Nea*

          Unfortunately, yes. I was a government contractor and contracting companies reuse resumes all the time, promising person x with skills tailored to the proposal, then pulling a switch if they get the contract. (Or enacting a contingent hire contract with person x)

          Last time I was working a proposal, 4 different partner companies submitted the resume of the same engineer… who was currently working for my company.

    2. Chaordic One*

      Oh, every once in a blue moon, when the planets are aligned in just the right position.

      But yeah, not often enough to justify taking the risk.

    3. Brett*

      Despite all the problems with last job, exit interviews were conducted by the head recruiting officer. He took exit interviews very seriously, as he would use them for ammunition in policy changes that affected his work. There were a lot of “Can I quote this verbatim without using your name?” in my interview.

      1. Sacred Ground*

        I can see how that benefits the company and future employees, assuming management is actually responsible and responsive. Even so, what’s the benefit to the departing employee?

        1. Brett*

          There were some unique circumstances to that employer that made exit interviews worthwhile for the employee.
          A lot of departing employees would return later in their careers at higher salaries (the job had a pension).
          Plus, it was public sector and I lived where I worked, so if they operated better and better retained employees in the long run, that was good for me as a resident.

    4. hermit crab*

      I mean, I think they can be mutually beneficial as long as everyone involved is reasonable! I left a job that I generally enjoyed, but it was time to move on – in my exit interview, I gave some constructive feedback on a few items; HR gave me some information about benefits that was useful to hear in person; we all agreed that I was leaving on good terms and would be eligible for re-hire if I ever wanted to come back, etc. etc. It was a generally productive 20 minutes and I felt like I got something out of it.

      But that is like the farthest thing ever from the situation in this letter!

    5. Butch Cassidy*

      For me, it just showed how little my department’s HR cared about the fact that we had a serial sexual harasser with multiple reports against him.

    6. Heather*

      I did once have a job listen to me when after 3 months I said that they didn’t have the work to support the higher level position they hired me for and could easily rescope the role to a cheaper one. I found a new role to fit my actual level of experience while they took my advice and the next person, who was more junior, was much happier than I had been.

    7. Seeking Second Childhood*

      In my current company, departing long-term employees have made statements in exit interviews that caused the company to open up telecommute privileges to engineers, rationalize pay scales after an acquisition, and address the extreme amount of uncompensated overtime required by many departments.
      I am grateful to my former co-workers.

      That said, this company isn’t totally toxic. In a crazypants place, it may not be worth it.

    8. That Girl From Quinn's House*

      I once quit when I was young (my first full-time job) because I had an awful boss and I just couldn’t take it any more.

      I had an exit interview with HR and explained all of the problems I’d been having with my boss that led to me choosing to leave, off of some notes I’d been keeping of problems we’d had. The HR rep was really nice and said that HR should have been notified a long time ago, and that my boss threatening to punish anyone who spoke to HR was wrong, said she was so sorry to see something turn out this way, and asked if I could email her a copy of the notes I’d been reading off of. I polished them up and emailed them the next day.

      A week or two later, I get a call from someone I was close with in the company saying that my terrible boss had just called her, completely shaken, to say he’d been reassigned to a different location, after having been at my location for 15+ years. He was gone from the company in under a year after that, and according to LinkedIn, had taken a job at a significantly lower level after.

      I will say, my job had some tangential interactions with HR/main operations, so they had a vague idea that I was a decent person and employee, and that might have helped.

    1. Oh no, not another Jennifer*

      +1000 do not go to the exit interview.
      The exit interview is supposed to be a chance for the company to listen to employees and make improvements toward satisfaction and retention. If they can’t understand how deportation from a country could cause an employee to become disgruntled, then nothing you say will matter. Get far away from this company.

  24. Observer*

    OP, stop talking to anyone in the company about your exit plans. Just start quietly looking. Just give your two weeks or whatever your contract calls for when you find another job.

    These people are not reasonable and you do not owe them any information that will make your current situation more difficult than it is.

  25. That One Person*

    My gods…I hope they were still at least PAYING you for all this hullabaloo! It’s not going to diminish all the wrongs they committed and all the crazy, and I can almost see them doing so for some inane reason…but I suspect that’d be another complaint since they’ve otherwise been…sort-of-but-not-really working with you on this situation.

    1. Hey Karma, Over here.*

      OP was getting paid a salary, but not travel or housing expenses. So pay to move your stuff, find a place to live ASAP. Unpack. Time to move, buy out the lease, pay to move, find new place…

        1. That One Person*

          Fair, I just would’ve been worried about losing money on top of losing money I suppose, but this is truly an awful situation. Either they should’ve settled the OP somewhere for a longer term while they sorted things, or started paying for all these things. There comes a point where OP starts paying to work for these people and it sounds like they’re there, which would be another valid reason to leave them. “I can’t afford to keep being shuffled off to various locations if you guys won’t pay for it.”

          I am admittedly curious what they asked of OP that lead to deportation, so the fact that they’re willing to toe the line (and more so knowing they won’t personally suffer) strikes me as another red flag.

          1. TootsNYC*

            They asked her to use a visa status that they said, and she knew, was iffy.

            Sjee had some agency here–she could have said, “No, not unless my visa status is rock solid–I’m not going.”
            But I think there’s some inexperience here. And the company was probably framing “visa status” as “pesky paperwork.”

    2. Jane of all Trades*

      100% agree. LW, I had issues where I was temporarily unable to work in the country I was assigned to work. My company organized and paid for my housing. Being forced to find new housing 5 times must be a ridiculous expense. It is absolutely not reasonable of your company to require that (it is also completely unreasonable to expect that you are ok to relocate 5 times in a year, unless this was agreed to when you negotiated the job initially).
      Find a new job (don’t talk about your exit plans) and if asked why you are leaving say something like “while I really enjoyed learning (whatever relevant skills you learned), I was asked to relocate 5 times within one year, which is too much for me”. I don’t think any reasonable employer would take issue with that.

      1. Sacred Ground*

        I would add “… asked (or required) to relocate to five countries in one year, at my own expense.”

  26. Antilles*

    in addition to my five intercontinental relocations, there’ve been just as many planned but scrapped at the last minute
    I would love to know what job requires an entry level employee to potentially relocate to *ten different countries* in a year. Even among travel-heavy jobs like sales or construction, you’d normally have the company put you up in a hotel for four weeks here, three weeks there, six weeks over there, etc – not full relocations and moves.

    1. Parenthetically*

      I can think of some! A friend of mine recently ended up working in Country Z (where he had lived and worked previously and still had a valid visa) for several months while his long-term work visa was being worked out for Country B (where his initial assignment was, until there was a holdup in the process). OP’s company just sounds like the Utterly Shite version of that — moving OP around to places where she could work while they tried, incompetently/shadily/half-assedly, to get the Morocco visa in the bag.

      1. fposte*

        I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the other scrapped plans were things that went awry on the fast and loose train too.

        1. Not So NewReader*

          I think it’s probably the tip of the iceberg. Notice OP basically said, “What work?”
          This is the used car salesperson we met, only on a larger scale. The salesperson spent 45 minutes talking about a particular car. I kept asking to see it, 45 minutes later I still had not seen the car. We left.

      2. Parenthetically*

        (Oh and I meant to say, for my friend, it had to be a full relocation because he could have been in Country Z for a month or a year, totally contingent on Country B’s visa office!)

    2. Lucille2*

      5 intercontinental locations in a single year is basically OP staying as a tourist sans Visa in various different countries. Shady practice indeed. I don’t understand why OP wasn’t staying in their home country while their Visa was processed in Morocco. Add the detail about the company knowingly applying for an inappropriate Visa, and my instincts tell me OP should run from that place. The negative impacts to career are likely more severe if the OP stays instead of leaves.

      1. Parenthetically*

        This was my take as well. 5 locations in one year + trying to get OP in under the wrong visa raises a LOT of red flags in my mind — was OP actually working in violation of every single one of those countries’ immigration laws because she came in under short term tourist visas?

        Run fast and far, OP.

    3. LaDeeDa*

      I was an internal consultant (for lack of a better description) for a company. I would travel to a new location for 2 weeks to 3 months, but they handled everything! Flights, visas, hotel or corporate apartment, car rental if needed, I received a salary and a per diem! It was a pretty fun and lucrative gig for 2.5 years, but also exhausting. I remember waking up a few times and literally not knowing where I was. I started leaving myself a post-it note on the bedside table with the name of the city/country I was in. All I owned what would fit in 2 suitcases, and a few things in my parents’ garage. But they were a major company and treated me really well, and when I was ready to settle down in one location, they gave me a permanent job in that country and sponsored my residency.

      1. lurker bee*

        This sounds like it would make for an interesting Q&A or maybe a Friday thread, if you were willing?

          1. LaDeeDa*

            It is not that interesting at all. My work was pretty cool, but traveling like that is rough. You are never any place long enough to make friends so it can be really lonely. I literally did not have a home or a boyfriend for 2.5 yrs! It was great for my career and I did get to see the world, but I was happy when I finally stopped.

      2. Seeking Second Childhood*

        I had a friend who went on so many trips in a row to UK & various European countries that he found himself sitting in the passenger seat at home unable to figure out what happened to the steering wheel.

      3. Gerald*

        I know some folks who do this type of travel for training, IT support, etc. The key is that none of these trips are called ‘relocation’ which seems skeeeeetchy!

        That type of travel often sounds glamorous but isn’t. I love to travel and said I was envious, but was told that they were so exhausted by jetlag, travel, sleeping in different beds, restaurant meals (US salads are apparently a few leaves of lettuce with half a chicken on top), and overscheduling by the company that they barely knew where they were. A good way to make money for a few years before burning out.

    4. Genny*

      The only thing I can think of is they were trying to get OP working on something while the logistical issues for Morocco were worked out. So they send her to country X to work on project A, but then project A ends and so they send her to country Y to work on project B, but that project isn’t a good fit for whatever reason, so they send her to country Z to work on project C. There’s a whole lot of dysfunction in this organization, but I can see why there might be a lot of moves if the org is in a deliverable-based industry.

    5. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      I have literally only seen international consultants do this, but their relocation is still relatively definite (i.e., 2 months here, 4 months there). This whole set up sounds batshit.

  27. lulu*

    Those bozos couldn’t get you the right visa in one year, then then got you deported!! yeah they haven’t upheld their side of the bargain, you can leave with a clear conscience. They’re clearly unprofessional, I’m sure it’s not limited to the visa issue. Get your affairs in order, quit, say thanks but no thanks to the exit interview, and move on with your life.

    On the upside this will make a great story some day (it already does)!

  28. Observer*

    OP, a number of people have suggested skipping the exit interview. Please be aware that in the US, and I’m pretty sure in Western Europe at least, your company CANNOT require you to take part in an exit interview. I mean they can “require” anything they want, but it has no teeth. They cannot withhold or delay pay. If you are in a state that requires vacation pay out, they can’t keep that either.

    1. Hey Karma, Over here.*

      It’s a courtesy, not a legal requirement. OP will not get courtesy from them and should not offer them any.

    2. The Original K.*

      As my old boss put it, “What are they going to do, fire me for not going?” She just declined the meeting invite, worked her notice period, and got on with her life.

    3. TootsNYC*

      I suppose they could decline to give you a reference, or give you a bad one–but they’ll probably do that anyway, so why bother with the exit interview?

  29. PollyQ*

    They’re clearly serious about the two-year commitment

    Sure, they have to be, because hammering home that level of “commitment” and “loyalty” is the only way they can get people to stick around.

  30. Zillah*

    I know that no one here is the OP’s lawyer, but for people more knowledgeable than I am – might the OP have any recourse here, or are they just sunk (in terms of deportation, immigration, etc)?

  31. mark132*

    Is this a company or the French Foreign Legion? Unless you are talking some sort of military type commitment this is ridiculous. At worst you burned your bridge with this company. Sounds like no big loss to me.

  32. Tiara Wearing Princess*

    Does the OP have any legal recourse against the company Re: the deportation?

    Who actually obtained the questionable visa?

    I think OP needs to talk to a lawyer so she can cover herself should the deportation come back to bite her in the future

    1. TootsNYC*

      no matter who obtained the visa, the OP is the one who used it, and she won’t be able to wriggle out from under that.

      But yes, she should consult w/ an immigration lawyer ASAP, and get one that’s on her side, looking out for all the travel issues that might affect her going forward.

      1. Trinity*

        No, that’s not good advice. Morocco deportation is a Moroccan issue and a lawyer based somewhere else can’t do anything about it. OP’s home country has no reason to care about it either. And for future travel or moving to a different country, then she can consult a lawyer IF it is needed (it’s unlikely that other countries will care though). If she wants to go back to Morocco then she needs to learn more about how the deportation affects her and what she can do in order to go back there, a lawyer might help then (hopefully Moroccan immigration lawyers are better than US immigration lawyers).

    2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      I don’t think OP will be able to bring an action against their employer because of the unique legal responsibilities that fall on the foreign traveler when it comes to visa documentation.

    3. Trinity*

      A lawyer in OP’s home country can’t do anything about a Morocco deportation and probably knows nothing about Moroccan immigration law. Only a Moroccan lawyer could potentially do something but probably not much.

  33. Llellayena*

    In the exit interview: “You provided me with an incorrect visa which will likely hamper my ability to get approved for visas in the future, affecting my ability to do the job you hired me for. Entirely aside from the 5 international moves over the past year, I don’t believe my employment is bringing value to the company. I believe it is in both of our interests if I leave before the 2 years is up.” And talk to a lawyer who understands visa issues (not the company’s lawyer!). They should be able to tell you if the incorrect visa affects you, your employer, or you-while-working-for-your-employer. If it will hamper your ability to get a travel visa (for vacations) or a work visa with another company it might be worth pursuing a suit against the company to try to get your visa record cleared (can that happen? anyone know?).

  34. The New Wanderer*

    “This would be a terrible mistake for your career”

    See also, “Do you know who I am??” and other things self-important people with no sense of reality say.

    1. Rob aka Mediancat*

      See also, “Things that are so infrequently true you don’t need to concern yourself with whether this is, in fact, one of those rare occasions.”

  35. Preppy6917*

    What’s sad is that large organizations like this are experts at marketing themselves to naive graduates, so their model will continue to work for them. I’m looking at you, Big 4 accounting firms.

    1. Anita*

      Yep. I didn’t have a terrible experience, I got some good experience like working with multiple companies etc, the name looks good on my resume but . . . yep.

  36. Precious Wentletrap*

    Let me guess: You are working somewhere that the company, absent a specific contract, would be able to terminate your job for any reason at any time.

    You owe them nothing. Give them a forwarding address for your stuff and go flip burgers or bag groceries, at least those jobs are honest with themselves.

  37. Hallowflame*

    This company is exploiting the real-world inexperience of it’s entry-level employees and I am willing to put actual cash money on the fact that every other person in this industry is familiar with their abusive practices and would not be at all perturbed by you leaving before your two years are up.
    Get out of there as quickly as you can, and skip the exit interview. Be prepared to leave before your notice period is up, too, because there is a good chance these people will become even more abusive once they see they can no longer control you.
    Contact a lawyer to see if anything can be done about the deportation. I have absolutely no experience with immigration issues, but it’s certainly worth looking into if only to fully understand the consequences of having the deportation on your record.
    And lastly, report this company to the career services office of your university to get them black listed with your school and hopefully save a few other naive students from suffering as you have.

    1. TootsNYC*

      every other person in this industry is familiar with their abusive practices

      ayup!

      Leave.

      And yes, have a long and serious conversation with your university’s career-services office.

    2. Not So NewReader*

      “Wow, you lasted 12 months working for them? How did you find the strength to do it? Sue in accounting lasted 5 months. Bob in sales lasted 4 months. You have some endurance going on there!”

  38. Lucille2*

    In my limited experience with employment Visa’s, I’m of the opinion OP’s company should have handled so many things so differently. I have managed people who relocated to on a work Visa to another country. It is a long, drawn out process. When applying for a new Visa, our employees stay in their home country. When renewing a Visa, employees stay in the country where it was being issued only for as long as it was legal. I had one instance where an employee had to work remotely from her home country while waiting for Visa renewal. The company would never move a single employee across multiple countries in a single year while waiting for a Visa application to process for a single country. This makes no sense. And I’d be ready to quit too if I were the OP. It’s no way to live.

    Caveat: I’ve only had employees who were internal transfers to an office in another country. So the company had a presence in that country and a local HR who had processes in place for applying for/renewing Visas. Also, employees waiting out a Visa application were fully paid and able to work in their home country.

  39. Jaybeetee*

    This is like my ex in job form (I recall being shamed similarly after a particular Relationship Event Horizon where he was the one acting bugnut crazy by most objective standards and creating real-world consequences for me, but somehow my character/love/loyalty was in question for reacting to it and putting distance between us. Of course nothing he was doing was particularly bad or wrong, the entire thing was my fault for over-reacting to it, right?).

    OP, you mention “recent grads” in your letter – there’s a reason for that. When a company seems to be populated almost entirely by the under-30 crowd, it often means they either can’t attract, or can’t keep, more experienced workers who have options and are more aware of workplace norms. This is very, very, not-normal, and you and likely many colleagues around you are too inexperienced to know how not-normal it is.

    This company is treating you absolutely terribly, and instead of looking for ways to make it right with you, they’re *blaming* you for reacting… frankly much more calmly than many would in a similar situation. You’re allowed to be pissed off by now. You’re allowed to not want to work for people who have screwed you over several times in serious ways and have caused you to put your life on hold for a year. All that stuff they’re telling you about character and selfishness and commitment and loyalty, is what abusive partners tell their SOs to keep them around. Not to mention the implications that your career will be ruined. (Even if, hypothetically, you’re toast in *that particular industry*, you will be able to get other jobs). They’re trying to make your feelings out to be more egregious than the HUGE things they did to you. This is manipulative and designed to make you stay around.

    A legit company – let alone a good company – would be horrified at what they’d put you through this past year. This is not about gumption or character or loyalty or selfishness or greed or anything else they’re throwing at you right now. They had responsibilities to you, and they failed, and they’re trying to throw the heat off that and focus on what’s “wrong” with you instead, predicated on the idea that you’re privileged to have this “opportunity” in the first place, you’re about to lose out, you don’t realize how badly *you’re* screwing up, etc etc. You’re there to do business, they’re doing it badly. You don’t actually owe them anything. You get to leave whenever you want, but if their assorted under-30s-fresh-grads realized that, thheir entire house of cards would likely collapse. These guys are not exceptional (or maybe they are, but not in good ways), but it helps them if you believe they are. You’re not privileged to work with them, and you’re not the one who’s wrong for being fed up and getting out of there. You’re not letting some golden opportunity slip through your fingers due to your own “weaknesses” – you’re getting away from a company that has significantly screwed up every aspect of your life for as long as you’ve been associated with them.

    Also, you may want to consult with a lawyer, because it’s possible their visa eff-up is worthy of some legal action on your part. As others have stated above, deportations are a BIG DEAL in terms of you being able to undertake any future travel.

  40. Coder von Frankenstein*

    What do you mean that they “stuck by you” during the visa trouble? They caused the visa trouble! Did they take any specific actions in support of you that would constitute going above and beyond? Or did “sticking by you” consist of “they could have fired you for no reason and left you stranded in a foreign country, and they didn’t?”

    Because that ain’t “sticking by you” in my book, nor any reasonable person’s. Neither does buying you a plane ticket when they got you deported. That’s the bare minimum.

    In fact, getting you deported is *less* than the bare minimum. It is falling far short of the bare minimum. Flip the script: Imagine that you, the employee, repeatedly messed up your boss’s visa and finally got them deported from a foreign country. Do you think that buying the boss a plane ticket home would keep you from getting fired? Of course not. This company needs to be fired; only, since you’re the employee, we call it “quitting” instad.

    1. skunklet*

      AMEN! I came here to say the SAME. If they really wanted to ‘stick by’ you, the visa issue wouldn’t have happened, AND they’d’ve figured out a way to help with housing!

  41. Escape*

    This consulting company is not sticking by you. They’re abusing you and they’re doing it intentionally.

    They target recent graduates exactly because they aren’t savvy enough to recognize how they’re getting shat on.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to also see them stiff their consultants on pay. Not helping you with housing is a sure sign of that. Any consultancy I’ve ever worked at and worked with paid housing for their employees when they’re traveling.

    This company is a scammer. There’s no other way to put it. Leave immediately, and don’t worry about the hit on your reputation. I’m actually pretty sure everyone having dealt with the company already knows that.

  42. Another Lawyer Here*

    As an immigration lawyer, I can tell you I agree with all of the above comments indicating that deportation is a very serious business with potentially lifetime ramifications.

    After re-reading the OP’s post a few times it is not clear to me whether the departure from the country was an on-the-record final deportation or, since the company immediately sent a return plane ticket, whether the departure was effectively a self-deportation, in which case deportation proceedings could still be pending, or could happen “in absentia,” or what. Regardless of what is the true legal state of affairs, at the very least the OP deserves to have the benefit of legal counsel — at the employer’s expense, but NOT a lawyer for whom the employer is the client — to receive specific advice in writing about the status of the legal issue and the consequences and risks associated with it. If there are remedial steps that can be taken, the employer should pay for them and see them through.

    Because the employer has put the employee’s freedom to travel at risk, I would think this is something the employee should insist upon, at a minimum, while the employment relationship still exists. And I would probably recommend OP speak to an employment lawyer privately to determine how best to present this demand, because sending an employee to a foreign country for an illegal work assignment is something I would expect to be actionable.

    That’s my 2 cents. No way would I let them off the hook for this.

    1. Llellayena*

      I had very similar thoughts above but thank you for having the legal knowledge to know what the actual options were. The company’s mistake should not be the OP’s visa problem in the future.

    2. TootsNYC*

      also, now is the time to gather any and every piece of documentation about that visa, its history, etc.

      Note that some of that documentation may self-incriminate (since our OP knew of the iffy status of that visa), but destruction of evidence is a crime. And a lawyer for the OP will want to see what that evidence is, so as to evaluate it and figure out how best to counteract it.

    3. Namey McNameface*

      I’m not in the US (or Morocco) but while dealing with some immigration law matters at work, I heard being blacklisted in my country can mean you have difficulty entering other countries – because being deported (or lying about immigration/visa matters) will stay in the system and raise red flags. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but worth asking a lawyer.

    4. Glomarization, Esq.*

      From the letter, though: a particular type of visa which we all knew was only borderline appropriate for my work

      If LW knew or should have known that they were entering the country for a purpose not covered by the visa, then the company is not solely at fault here. I can totally understand that LW felt their choices were “work illegally in Morocco for this company” versus “get fired by this company,” but LW made a choice with some serious ramifications. So I’m afraid LW might not be completely off the hook, either. Depending on how the deportation was handled (and Moroccan immigration law is not the focus of my practice), they could be inadmissible for years, or permanently, to any number of other countries. I don’t think LW realizes that they were playing with fire.

  43. Aisling*

    It sounds like the company is holding everyone to two years because they think it allows them to do whatever they want, and you have to take it. No one in their right mind would accept 5 relocations, without housing help, deportation and everything else! And they’re not even apologizing for that or trying to help you with it by allowing you to stay in one particular location, they’re just saying you need to deal with it. I’m betting they’re grabbing all new graduates and locking them in to contracts because seasoned employees would know not to ever put up with this.

    They’re treating you as if you’re an indentured servant. Get out!

  44. Ann O.*

    I know speculating on identity of employer is generally frowned on, but this letter REALLY reads like Peace Corps to me. And if so, it changes things. The described experience would be a really extreme, unlucky, negative experience, but not the absolutely bonkers experience it would be for a standard corporation. I don’t know what Peace Corps usually does in terms of visas, but I do know that with similarish types of programs, bringing people in on a tourist visa and then applying for the desired visa in country is fairly common and doesn’t usually result in deportation.

    So on the off chance that this is indeed Peace Corps: OP, if you leave, yes, you will lose access to the network and reputational gains that come with being a Peace Corps alum. I am not former Peace Corps but through my academic work, I met many ex-Morocco Corps members, some of whom did leave before their terms of service expired. Depending on your ultimate career goals (development, government, some forms of academia), it could be worth sticking out another exhausting year so that you have some kind of gain for all of this.

    But if you don’t see a benefit, leave with no guilt. Skip the exit interview if you can. It’s so unlikely to result in any good for anyone. And Peace Corps Morocco’s own reputation is mixed.

    1. RPCV*

      There is zero chance that this is the Peace Corps. I realize the “two year commitment abroad” sounds like part of that, but Peace Corps does provide housing (or works with partner organizations to provide the housing), and there’s no way their model would have someone moving to 5 countries within a year. (I do know people who were reassigned during service, but I don’t know of any instances where that happened more than once.) Also, because Peace Corps must be invited by the host government, there would almost certainly never be visa issues like what are described here.

      1. Another RPCV*

        +1 There’s no way this is Peace Corps, for all the reasons RPCV mentioned. It’s also extremely, extremely common for people to quit early, it wouldn’t cause this type of uproar.

      2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

        Yeah—this is so clearly not the Peace Corps that I don’t think that’s a real issue of concern for OP.

    2. MBB fan*

      “I know speculating on identity of employer is generally frowned on, but this letter REALLY reads like Peace Corps to me.”

      100% agree with Ann O. Also, contra the people below, I know one former Peace Corps volunteer in my business school cohort who was moved to three countries (one in Central Asia, one in East Africa, one in southeast Asia) during her tour of duty. This was exceptional, so five countries is even more so, but that doesn’t make it impossible; in every normal sample some outlier is still three standard deviations from the mean!

    3. Observer*

      I don’t care WHO it was – doing what was done to the OP is completely out of line. The fact that they “do good” does NOT excuse it.

      Although I tend to believe the people who say that this is actually highly unlikely to have been the Peace Corps.

  45. Ben Thair*

    Op, out of curiosity, why did you take the job with blackwater. I mean this is Dick Cheney level of wacko. I recommend an employment lawyer review your contract with them. Sound crooked enough they may have put something on it calling for you to reimburse if you quit.

    1. fposte*

      It doesn’t sound like she has a contract, though, just an understanding–that’s why they’re using guilt to try to keep her there for another year rather than a contract.

  46. TootsNYC*

    Though I wouldn’t say “I got deported”–I’d say, “they got me the wrong visa, which meant I wasn’t allowed to stay.” The “got deported” has lots of connotations of “the individual being undesirable” nowadays, at least in the U.S.

    1. Genny*

      That sounds a distinction without a difference to me. In private conversation go ahead and frame it however you want, I just don’t think that framing holds up for a formal visa interview/investigation/etc.

      1. Prima*

        I actually wonder if it was a deportation or a voluntary departure or something else. I can’t speak to Moroccan law, but in the U.S. “deportation” is used colloquially (or just plain incorrectly) as shorthand for several things that legally are quite different from each other.

  47. Slartibartfast*

    There’s a reason this company seeks new graduates. It’s because they don’t have the experience to recognize how shady they are.

  48. Rachel*

    Is there a slightly anonymous way for OP to share (or hint at) the name of this organization? My husband is from Morocco and someday we hope to live there, so I want to be sure to steer clear of this company.

  49. snorkellingfish*

    Another reason why the OP should leave: can anyone trust that this company wouldn’t try to send OP overseas on an inappropriate visa again, leading to risk of being deported or refused entry again? Because it sounds from the letter like one of the reasons that the OP wants to leave is that they can’t stay with the company based out of their home country. And it isn’t worth the risk of further immigration violations if OP stays.

  50. Alex*

    Wow, OP I would speak to an immigration or similar lawyer specialised in global mobility before you speak with your employer.

    I work in global HR.

    Visa violations, especially resulting in deportation are incredibly serious. Most likely Ou are banned from entering Morocco ever again. If you are lucky, perhaps only for 10 years. But more importantly, most countries will ask if you have ever been deported upon entering or applying for a visa. For tourism, I know some people that get away with checking “no”, especially if they are from a visa on arrival country, and have been alright (not that I recommend this).

    But for work, if you need to travel or apply for visa’s, you are going to want to be fully truthful. Having this could prevent you from international travel for work full stop, and at a bare minimum make it more difficult.

    I have a Friend in a similar situation and it’s ruined how career in some ways. It will be almost impossible for him to leave his current firm because his job requires international travel and he cannot.

    I would speak with a lawyer about your situation and see if demanding redress from your company is possible.

    1. Margaret*

      Seconded. I work in international development and this is not the norm for how visas are handled, even in the slightly shoestring consulting operations and incredibly underfunded NGOs.

      There’s a major trend of listing paid workers as volunteers and offering them a ‘living stipend’ rather than a salary, to get around having to apply for local work permits and avoid complicated tax issues. Even when that occurs, it’s on your employer to be absolutely scrupulous about handling the immigration office and making sure you comply with the local standards to the letter.

      I did a year on this system in West Africa. Eventually, when there was a change in government and a review of immigration policy to end this behaviour my org pulled me right away, to protect me and to protect their own reputation in the country, even though I only had a few weeks left on my contract. It was worth rebooking the existing plane ticket at just the stirrings of discontent, definitely not letting it escalate to deportation.

  51. Needaname*

    Gaah getting deported is a really big deal!! Some countries will ask you on entry if you have ever been deported from anywhere and may not grant you entry if you do. The position the company has put you in is outrageous and you are being very reasonable if you leave.

    1. Needaname*

      Just realised loads more qualified people have made this point already, oops. Adding my voice to the chorus: *see a lawyer*. I’m so sorry your company did this

  52. Namey McNameface*

    Their response would be unprofessional even if you gave them a reason to leave on bad terms (e.g., giving no notice, leaving a week into the job because you got a better offer, etc).

    I know the prospect of reputation damage can be scary as an exiting employee. But as an HR Manager I’ve seen many, many people quit/be fired after they behave outrageously; yet every single one of them seem to gain future employment without the kind of hardship you might anticipate. If you explain your circumstance to prospective employers briefly and matter-of-fact any reasonable person would understand why you left. If it raises red flags to a prospective employer that you didn’t tolerate getting moved five times and being deported, well, they’d be doing you a favour to not hire you.

  53. The Other Katie*

    Getting deported from a country is a serious problem for an expat worker. A lot of countries won’t grant work visas if you admit to having been deported or having a visa refused for another country. If you don’t admit to it you might get away with it, but if they find out you’re going to be deported again. It doesn’t matter how the company feels – they deliberately screwed their worker, whose role apparently depends on being able to work internationally. This is really not OK.

    1. MBB fan*

      If this is McKinsey (which I doubt, because McKinsey would be more likely to have an employee based in Europe commuting to Morocco during the week) then I would back off a lot of the “quit now” advice. The reality is that working for McKinsey even as an analyst for two years opens a LOT of doors for you down the road.

  54. AnonyMouse*

    Out of curiosity, is this a national service type organization? The time commitment and the sample exit interview questions sound very similar to my national service experience (though my placement was 100% domestic). When I left my service term early, I was fed all sorts of bizarre rumors that “it was a sign I wasn’t ready for the realities of the working world” (I did very well in my next job, so that wasn’t true) and that I was “going to be put on a ‘blacklist’ that would prevent me from working for the government ever again” (don’t know if this is true, but I doubt it).

  55. Blue Anne*

    OP – I left KPMG before the end of the 3 year program. Having KPMG on my resume still gets me immediate interview whenever I want them.

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