Thursday 20 May 2010 - Day One
I've finally taken the plunge and paid a big retainer fee to an attorney!
Let's rewind a little. My wife has long had plans to live in the US; myself less so but more since visiting my extended family in the LA area. She's a critical care nurse; myself a software engineer; both with over a dozen years of experience. We have a 2-year old boy.
The wife's aunt in LA is also a critical care nurse. "It's easy to get a visa, we're crying out for nurses", she says. Um, the latter may be true (depending who you ask), but the former certainly isn't. The USA has effectively closed its doors to new applications for nurses while it deals with the backlogs. It could take up to 10 years to get a job if the current rate of progress continues!
Next possibility was an H1B visa for each of us - since both positions might qualify for H1B status, but no guarantees. A couple of years ago the competition for these quota-based visas meant not everybody who applied could get in. Last year the doors closed after about 8 months which is far better for wannabe H1Bs. But the problem with H1Bs is finding an employer willing to sponsor you. Given the current job market in the US, this isn't happening except for the very best of the best. Most employers aren't even bothering to reply to applications. So that route is also very difficult, but not impossible.
Next, E2. This is for people who have a modest investment they can make, typically US$100,000 and upwards. It turns out the equity in my house is usable and slightly exceeds US$100,000 in value - but that puts all my eggs in one basket. You also need a solid business plan. Whilst I have never run a business before, I am in senior management and know a few things about a few things of running a business. Plus I have my own software to make a running start. But it's risky. If the business fails then it's a one-way ticket back to the UK, penniless.
Someone had earlier suggested looking at the EB1a visa, which is for persons of extraordinary ability. I looked at the criteria and thought I fulfilled two, maybe three at a stretch, of the three criteria required, so I dismissed it as wishful thinking. However, browsing one attorney's website, there was a comment about "put[ting] British modesty aside" and really analysing where you are and how you got there.
So I did. I got it up to five points, or 3.5 if I was being more modest. After a free 45 minute initial consultation with the attorney himself it became more of a 4, possibly more. Of course, that was only based on a phone call where he delved into several key areas and dragged information out of me which I thought was irrelevant. I guess that is their job!
In case you're wondering, here is where we think I may have a chance: The numbers refer to the points in any website about EB1.
3. Published material about the author. I have a mention in a book by a doctor of engineering. Not much but a letter of recommendation from the good doctor should hopefully be easy to get which would back up why I'm mentioned in the book.
5. Business contributions. My software was sold to the company I now work for, which has since gone on to generate several million pounds of turnover. License agreements documenting the fact are available.
6. Authorship of scholarly articles. I published an article in a major trade publication. Easy to obtain a copy.
8. Critical role. I'm a technical authority on the subject, or so my business cards state. Harder to prove to a non-technical official that I'm necessary without some kind of evidence from my employer. Will my employer provide it? I don't know.
9. High salary. From "average salary" websites my salary is above the 90th percentile for that position (thank goodness the company aims to pay above the 75th percentile, more so in my case!).
One thing that's not mentioned in many places is the intention to continue to work in the field. While the visa itself is NOT dependent on an offer of employment, it would appear that such is recommended, or perhaps a business plan if you were to start your own business. After all, the US don't want to roll out the red carpet, only for you to while away the days on the beach, do they?!
So, after sleeping on it for a few days, checking the attorney's credentials, and asking a couple of last minute questions, I agreed to sign up. Initial costs were 50% of the total attorney fee which is to gather all the required documentation together to form a case. Then a go/no-go decision is taken as to whether to apply formally for the visa. If the attorney thinks we have a good case then he will submit it (on my authority, of course), subject to paying the remaining 50% and the filing fees.
Duration? All depends on the case, of course. Probably around 3 months to build the case, then around six weeks after submitting the visa application formally then we should have a decision! At this rate we could be there just before Christmas! However, Christmas is not a good time to sell houses (in the UK, at least) so it would probably be early 2011... let's wait and see!
Thursday 8 July 2010 - Untitled Comment
|Posted by goldenstate31 |
|Fantastic way to go!
out there on an immigrant visa. wow.
Thats the route we are taking, we decided to skip the L1 and go straight for consular processing of the green card. so it puts our initial plan to move this year out of the window! but so what! I just cant wait to get on the plane knowing I'll have an I-140 petition.
good luck and keep us posted
|Permanent Link |
My attempt to get an EB1a visa for the US, a person of extraordinary ability, which gives a green card pretty much immediately, and there is no waiting period unlike most other visas.
« June 2013 »