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Advice; Soon to be graduate looking to move to the USA

Advice; Soon to be graduate looking to move to the USA

Old Feb 16th 2019, 5:03 pm
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Default Advice; Soon to be graduate looking to move to the USA

Hello,
I am new to this forum and just looking for some general advice to help weigh my options.
I currently study in the UK (British citizen) and I am currently considering relocating to the US after I graduate in July.

I study BA Japanese Studies and I am hoping to break in Japanese translation/localization. The main issue I'm having right now is with visas. There is an abundance of relevant jobs, especially in the West Coast (where I would ideally like to move to), but there's very little information I can find as to whether any of these companies will accept foreign applications. I have been researching a fair bit, and there seems to be slightly contradictory accounts of the best way to go about obtaining work in the US. I considered perhaps going out on the Visa Waiver programme to build a more stable base, make several contacts, and reach out to companies directly as I was told off a friend in the San Francisco that it is much easier to obtain a job when you are already in the country. But at the same time, I have read some online accounts saying that they cannot apply for the Right to Work without having a job offer but cannot get a job offer without having the Right to Work - which seems a bit of a catch 22 situation. I have also been looking into the J1 Visa so that I may gain an internship in order to help get my foot in the door, but I am struggling to find any relevant internships that are willing to take me on at this present moment. I have applied to several Designated Sponsor Organizations that I haven’t heard back from yet, so I will keep my fingers crossed but I as I said most are not relevant to my field of study so I unsure as to whether they will consider my applications.
I met plenty of foreigners living and working in the States for several years during my time in California so I know it’s not impossible, but it will probably be quite difficult judging from what I have read online. I wish I had only have asked them some more regarding how they got in had I been set on moving there at the time. I am now also a bit conscious of time, as I heard that H1B Visa applications close in April and don’t reopen again until October.
Any advice/suggestions would be of great help, thank you.
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Old Feb 16th 2019, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: Advice; Soon to be graduate looking to move to the USA

Read this: Pulaski's Ways: How to Live and Work in the USA

First, you need to find a company that wants you badly enough to spend several thousand dollars on obtaining an H1B visa.
If you find one, THEY must apply and pay for your visa. It's not something you can do yourself.
If they are willing to sponsor you for the visa, the application window is a few days in April. The H1 visa is massively over-subscribed within a few days and the window is closed.
If they get the application submitted in the window, there is roughly a 25% chance that you will be successful.
If you are successful, you will be able to start work in October.

Loads of 'ifs' in there because the USA is not easy to move to. Them's the rules.

It is permitted to enter the US on the visa waiver in order to attend an interview. If successful, you must leave the US while the application is processed. I'm not sure of the legalities of coming specifically for job-hunting but you would be better to arrange the interview(s) beforehand. You are not permitted to engage in ANY form of work while in the US on the VWP.

Be aware that many companies in the US are completely ignorant of visa requirements for foreign workers so even if they make you an offer, they may change their mind when they find out what's involved.

Good luck.
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Old Feb 16th 2019, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: Advice; Soon to be graduate looking to move to the USA

Ash
In certain respects it's very difficult to move to the US.
Most of us here either came via marriage and/or a job offer. Many via an intra-company transfer.
You can't come over on a tourist visa and look for a job.
In addition, because it's a costly and time consuming process employers won't sponsor anyone with little experience.

It's not impossible but you just need to prepare for a longer timescale.

Have a read at this and then come back with questions.
https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Pulas...rk_in_the_USA_
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Old Feb 16th 2019, 6:51 pm
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Default Re: Advice; Soon to be graduate looking to move to the USA

You need to have a company sponsor you for a job or an internship. There is no way to get a work visa for yourself. For a job you'd be looking at the company applying for a H-1b for you by 1 April (and you'd stand a 1 in 4 chance of being selected to receive a visa and would not be able to start work until October. The next visa application round opens again the following April). For a company to be able to apply for this visa they'd need to justify why they need to bring in a foreign worker rather than have a local worker do the job, and they are more likely able to do this if you have many years of experience or have skills in an area of shortage (e.g. software engineers in Silicon Valley).

Alternatively, you may be able to come over on an L visa via company transfer. For this you'd need to work for a subsidiary of the company outside of the US for at least a year.

For an internship you might be able to get a J1 but note that most internships in the US are unpaid or very, very poorly paid (and cost of living on the west coast is outrageous). There are many local students clamouring for an internship in the top companies so most places won't want to go to the effort and expense of getting the visa for a foreigner when they have a line of locals waiting to work for free.

Note that none of the above allow you to live in the USA forever more once granted. Ls are tied to the job you enter with so you can only stay in the country while working in the same job. H visas are valid for 6-7 years and Js are usually subject to a 2 year home residency requirement meaning that you cannot change/extend or become a permanent resident unless you leave the country for a 2 year period (although this can be waived).

You could come over for a holiday for a couple of weeks and see what kind of contacts you could make while in the US but no one will be able to give you a job for the reasons outlined above. If you have oodles of money and are desperate to be in the US you could try a postgrad study.
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Old Feb 16th 2019, 8:14 pm
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Default Re: Advice; Soon to be graduate looking to move to the USA

I know they lady at my local BrewPub said they would be looking to take on more J1's, so there are opportunities out there. Just need to track them down.
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Old Feb 16th 2019, 10:21 pm
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Default Re: Advice; Soon to be graduate looking to move to the USA

Originally Posted by Hotscot View Post
Ash
In certain respects it's very difficult to move to the US.
Most of us here either came via marriage and/or a job offer. Many via an intra-company transfer.
You can't come over on a tourist visa and look for a job.
In addition, because it's a costly and time consuming process employers won't sponsor anyone with little experience.
It is fine to job-hunt and attend interviews on the VWP. One can't start work while on the VWP, but it's OK to look for a job.

Rene
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Old Feb 16th 2019, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: Advice; Soon to be graduate looking to move to the USA

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
It is fine to job-hunt and attend interviews on the VWP. One can't start work while on the VWP, but it's OK to look for a job.

Rene
I was referring to this..
'as I was told off a friend in the San Francisco that it is much easier to obtain a job when you are already in the country.'

In any case, it wouldn't be wise to tell the immigration officer that you're job hunting would it?

Last edited by Hotscot; Feb 16th 2019 at 10:40 pm.
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Old Feb 16th 2019, 11:03 pm
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Default Re: Advice; Soon to be graduate looking to move to the USA

Originally Posted by Hotscot View Post
I was referring to this..
'as I was told off a friend in the San Francisco that it is much easier to obtain a job when you are already in the country.'

In any case, it wouldn't be wise to tell the immigration officer that you're job hunting would it?
And legally authorised to work.
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Old Feb 16th 2019, 11:41 pm
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Default Re: Advice; Soon to be graduate looking to move to the USA

It also seems that there are a lot of people in CA who grew up speaking Japanese at home — no need to spend a few thousand to import someone from the UK, especially someone just out of school.
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Old Feb 16th 2019, 11:55 pm
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Default Re: Advice; Soon to be graduate looking to move to the USA

There are a few openings but the income doesn't seem very high...

https://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=japanese+interpreter&l=California&start=10

Unlikely someone would sponsor you in my opinion.

My advice would be to find employment at a UK company, or a multinational company that has offices in the UK, and that does business in Japan.
Getting the business experience, aiming for management, and developing contacts would solidly increase your chances of moving in a few years.

Last edited by Hotscot; Feb 16th 2019 at 11:59 pm.
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Old Feb 18th 2019, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: Advice; Soon to be graduate looking to move to the USA

Originally Posted by Hotscot View Post
I was referring to this..
'as I was told off a friend in the San Francisco that it is much easier to obtain a job when you are already in the country.'

In any case, it wouldn't be wise to tell the immigration officer that you're job hunting would it?
I agree with both Noorah's observation, that "looking for work" is permissible, and Hotscot's advice, that telling the immigration officer that is why you are visiting the US is a bad idea, .... unless asked explicitly by the officer "Are you coming to look for employment?", because lying to an immigration office is an extraordinarily bad idea!

Also bear in mind that immigration officers are known to make untrue assertions, such as "remember, you aren't allowed to look for work when you are here as a visitor." This is absolutely not true, but don't argue the point!

Last edited by Pulaski; Feb 18th 2019 at 1:39 pm.
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Old Feb 18th 2019, 2:44 pm
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Default Re: Advice; Soon to be graduate looking to move to the USA

I'm not sure how effective an in-person job search could be. I imagine most companies these days use the internet as a firewall, with very few, if any, walk-in opportunities to see HR.
Even places like Home Depot etc you have to apply via the internet, even if you make the application in the actual store. They just point you to an application booth.

And for a professional skilled job the process to interview can take many weeks or even months.

Last edited by Hotscot; Feb 18th 2019 at 3:12 pm.
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Old Feb 18th 2019, 3:18 pm
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Default Re: Advice; Soon to be graduate looking to move to the USA

Originally Posted by Hotscot View Post
I'm not sure how effective an in-person job search could be. I imagine most companies these days use the internet as a firewall, with very few, if any, walk-in opportunities to see HR.
Even places like Home Depot etc you have to apply via the internet, even if you make the application in the actual stores.

And for a professional skilled job the process to interview can take many weeks or even months.
Agreed, I see multiple substantial challenges (i) competition for jobs is going to be against native Japanese speakers, (ii) if you want someone to act as some sort or intermediary or go between between the US and Japan, why hire someone from the UK?, (iii) visa costs and/or lack of interest in hiring from outside the US, (iv) the only skill/qualification is "Japanese", the competition for jobs is probably going to be people with other qualifications plus Japanese, e.g. a bilingual lawyer, engineer, accountant, HR specialist, etc..

And to the issue of the website application firewall, you may well find that applications are blocked unless you have a US address. Secondary to that, you may find employers filtering for in-state applications only, or within commuting distance - when I hire for my employer, I rarely look beyond the local market, so there is no relocation to pay for and a new recruit can usually start within 2-3 weeks of an offer being made.

And perhaps the most frustrating situation you may face, one that we see several times each year here on BE, is someone who actually lands a "job offer", but is then told to arrange their own visa, once they have the visa the job is theirs. ..... But as advised above, there is no way to obtain a work visa for yourself!

Last edited by Pulaski; Feb 18th 2019 at 3:23 pm.
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Old Feb 18th 2019, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: Advice; Soon to be graduate looking to move to the USA

Out of curiosity I was looking at a Japanese Translator job. I clicked to apply and received this message.

'We are not currently accepting applications from your location.'
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Old Feb 18th 2019, 7:35 pm
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Default Re: Advice; Soon to be graduate looking to move to the USA

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
But as advised above, there is no way to obtain a work visa for yourself!
Well, that's not quite true.

You can self-petition for an NIW/EB-2, although I can't see any way that a fresh graduate would ever meet the bar for an NIW.

That being said it's still technically possible.
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