Leaving TCS Onsite – Skill Letter for Green Card


Leaving TCS onsite can prove to be a bit expensive due to their bond of $10000. This is my own story that may help you plan your exit. I did not pay any money.


This is again one of my own real life experiences. If you are also working for TCS and are thinking of resigning at ‘onsite’, my experience may help you plan your exit.

Update 4 Nov 2014 – TCS is not asking for 5 lakh bond now

I have heard from my reliable friends in TCS who have left recently that TCS has now stopped asking for 5 lakh bond money. At-least a couple of them have not been asked for it in recent months.

Leaving TCS Onsite – My case:

Type of VisaH1B
Years worked with TCS (US + India)3 years 1 month
Tenure with TCS America11 months

As you can infer from the information above, I moved out of TCS after working for them for 11 months in USA.

Leaving TCS at Onsite - Bond Breaking and Skill letter issues and answers

Leaving TCS at Onsite – Bond Breaking and Skill letter issues and answers

Resignation Notice Period at Onsite

I gave a notice period of 15 days and later extended it for another 10 days on my manager’s request.

It may or may not be possible for you for provide this much leg room but it is advisable to leave the organization on a good note with your manager. Your manager’s exit feedback makes a good amount of difference to your final settlement amount.

As a matter of fact, when you apply for the H1B transfer from within US and on a premium application, you have the buffer of about 15 days. If you are confident of the transfer, you can use this time as the notice period.

15 days are good enough to make sure that TCS does not immediately suffer any kind of loss on the project due to your exit. A person can be brought to USA as your replacement and you can complete the knowledge transfer (KT) to the client’s satisfaction. This is exactly what happened in my case.

See Also: H4 EAD application and documents list for H1B dependent’s work permit

Full And Final Settlement Amount

As a policy of TCS (applicable at the time of my exit)

  1. Serve 90 days as notice period at offshore (in India). Yes, you should go back! OR
  2. Pay out the $10,000 dollars as compensation on the name of project loss + Basic Indian salary equivalent to shortfall in notice period days.

You may be surprised just like me when you actually receive the settlement calculation sheet as it contains more amounts than mentioned above.

Here is a snapshot of what my case’s calculation was for Full and final settlement (Net Amount Recoverable – Breakup).

TCS codeWhat it means
/561A Claim (Total Earnings – Total Recoveries)
5,885
9NPRB Notice Pay Recovery42,240
9OABC Overseas agreement Breach5,00,000
TotalA+B+C NET RECOVERABLE:
5,48,125

Explanation

  1. A This is the net amount reached after en-cashing your Indian leave balance on the basis of basic salary and deducting the income tax (if any), applicable for your case.Now, Income tax in India? This might be the question in your mind.

    Well, I also asked the same and here is the explanation:

    Please note as per India Residency Law (as informed to me by TCS team):

    1. An  associate is in India for 182 days or more during the current financial year then associate will be termed as RI and is liable to pay tax to Indian Government.
    2. An  associate is in India for more than 60 days but less than 182 days during the current financial year, in this case if associate stay in India is more than 365 days in preceding four financial years then, associate will be termed as RI and is liable to pay tax to Indian Govt.

    As per the Indian financial year, if  the total stay of an associate in India determines him as India resident, then his India salary for all 12 months is taxed.

    In my case, my last day with TCS was 30 September and hence I was eligible to be taxed in India. The total income tax due on my head came out to be Rs 43,412 for the six months of work.

    So, this was the calculation to reach the net figure of 5,885.

    Leave En-cash 43 days 37,527
    -Income tax due -43,412
    Net payable by me 5,885
  2. B  Notice pay recovery was calculated on the 90 – 24 = 66 days shortfall and came out to be 42,240 on the basis of my basic Indian salary.
  3. C Overseas Agreement breach: Even though the policy says it is $10,000 and the dollar’s exchange rate was $1 = INR 60, TCS was kind enough to use a generic rate of $1 = INR 50 as standard!I have no idea why they did that and neither did I show any inclination to question this for obvious reasons.

Negotiating The Full and Final Amount

There are good chances that you would not like to pay this hefty amount for your sin of resigning at onsite and looking for a better nest! If yes, then you need to negotiate, bargain, Maandvali or whatever you call it. And yes, it is possible to bring this amount to a manageable figure.

Here are some of the TCS Alumni experiences that I also went through before making my pitch.

If you carefully look at the complete settlement calculation, the only portion you can negotiate is the row B and C.


B Negotiating notice pay recovery


The notice period pay off waiver depends highly on your conduct and relationship with your manager while you were on the project with TCS. The manager has the final say in releasing you at onsite. His inputs to the HR (Human resources) team with respect to the project losses would make a difference.

If you and your manager agreed upon a KT timeline and it was completed to each party’s satisfaction, manager can give a good feedback and you will benefit in this area.

This is what has happened with me and this amount was completely waived for me after I highlighted the above points.


C Negotiating Overseas agreement Breach


Although, it is widely known to be negotiable up-to INR 60,000 to 1 lakh, it depends on your own negotiation skills.

In my case, it was completely waived off due to following reasons (Not sure if this worked exclusively to change their mind, but this was what I contested for):

  1. I traveled to India during my notice period at onsite and did not ask TCS for the travel tickets. I paid it all on my own.

    I had to travel due to a death in my family and to get the visa stamped in my passport. I offered to show the immigration stamps in my passport as a proof.

  2. I did not claim any ‘Home lease breakage’ amount during my tenure with TCS at onsite.
  3. I completed the 2 weeks notice that I initially gave and then extended it by 10 more days on manager’s request. Normally, people only give 2-3 days notice here in USA.
  4. The Knowledge transfer was completed to the satisfaction of client and the TCS manager. TCS manager gave the go-ahead for release at onsite with good comments to HR (Human resources).
  5. My behavior and conduct while resigning was good and I had no fights with anyone.

You must be wondering – What the hell did I pay then to get out of this mess?

If you read everything correctly, I only paid the balance INR 5885 for the settlement!

My advice would be:

Don’t spoil your relationship with team and manager and leave on a good note. This not only helps in the settlement process, but in keeping the old networks strong and fruitful.

TCS Documents You Need After Finishing Settlement

TCS will issue following 2 documents:

  1. Release Letter – mentions that TCS acceptance of your resignation.
  2. Service letter – mentions the tenure of your service, last designation, and last drawn salary.

TCS Experience or Skill Letter With Job Duties – Primarily needed for PERM application

By default, TCS will not send you this letter on settlement. You have to ask for it from the same team/point-of-contact that helped you in settlement process.

For those who do not know, you might need this letter for filing your Green card application in USA and hence its important.

It is only issued once by TCS, so be careful about what you want to be written.  Your case now fall into following options:

  1. TCS Settlement Completed

    • Letter from TCS after settlement

      This is pretty simple to obtain if you have completed the settlement. They will send you a skill certificate template.

      Template for skill certificate as shared by TCS – This letter is printed on TCS letter head.

      Tcs skill certificate sample

      TCS skill certificate sample

      You will be asked to fill it up and get your manager’s (or anyone who was a step above in the organizational hierarchy belonging to same business unit as you) approval. Once approved, they would issue the letter in 3 working days as per SLA (Service line agreement).

      Related : Sample Skill letter USA for Green Card Application – With content

      In my case, they took 8 days after approval. Not sure why they breached the SLA!

  2. TCS Settlement NOT completed

    1. Letter from a co-worker on plain paper

      If you are not able-to/interested in the settlement, your other option is to get the skills endorsement from a co-worker or your last manager (basically someone who worked with you and can endorse your skills).

      This letter needs to be notarized.

      This option might not prove fruitful in the sense that the DOL (US department of labor) might ask you to prove it while inspecting your application. Normally, the current trend in DOL is to sample 30% of the total applications and verify the claims.

      So, if you fall in this 30% category by your sheer luck, they may or may not ask you for the same letter on company’s letter head.

    2. Letter from co-worker on TCS letter head

      Better option than (2.1) above but is only possible if your manager/co-worker is authorized and have access to official company letter head.

      I see the chances of this to be pretty bleak.

    3. Letter from co-worker if the person has left TCS on letter head

      The general undocumented rule says that your co-worker can use his current company’s letter head to endorse your skills even though he is not in TCS anymore.

      This arrangement works if the endorser mentions the tenure of his work with you and required skills.

TCS Provident Fund Settlement

This is the easiest part. No-one can stop your PF withdrawal/transfer even if you do not complete Full and Final settlement.

The settlement team would send the application forms along with the settlement letter.

TCS Provident Fund Settlement – Send hard copy OR scanned copy by email?
You can fill up the PF withdrawal and pension withdrawal forms, sign along with the real version of Indian revenue stamp.

Now, scan all the documentary proof along with main application form (with revenue stamp) and EMAIL it to Retirement benefits team at TCS. This is a separate team than the one who handles your F&F settlement.

They CAN process provident fund withdrawal based on scanned copy as well. I had sent the scanned PDF (colored) versions of the forms along with documentary proof, and got the money directly deposited into my bank account in India.

For your information, I did send the colored scanned copy of cancelled cheque as well.

TCS Alumni Portal

TCS has a very good portal for its Alumni. You can register yourself here at https://www.alumniportal.tcs.com. This will help you download the Form 16 and other such documents later removing the dependency on TCS guys.
Have More Questions?

If you still have questions, write to me in the comments. I will answer to the best of my experience and knowledge.


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