I was wondering if it is common for professors to ask a new international postdoc to work without compensation while waiting for paperwork to be completed.
I was in an interview and the professor hinted at something along this line, when I brought up the topic of the lengthy visa process to be expected.
A few notes:
- The professor is not my PhD advisor. He's at a different university in a different country. So, my question is not similar to this one.
- The whole visa process could take 3 months.
- The work contract may include a start date that is earlier than the visa issuing date (in this case ≈ 3 months earlier) but the university cannot pay me for that period without a valid document/visa. That's why I mentioned 'without compensation'. Correct me if you think I am misunderstanding this aspect.
- I understand that the scope of the postdoc's work is related to a project that has tight deadlines, which is why the professor wants work done as soon as possible. But, I find that the duration in which this situation would last is long. A maximum of 1 month may seem tolerable but not longer.
Is this common in academia for international hires? And would it be ethical?