H1-B Visa & Spouse Cannot Work?

Old Nov 1st 2011, 1:49 pm
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Default H1-B Visa & Spouse Cannot Work?

I work for the UK operations of a software company headquartered in the US. I am in discussions with a recruiting manager in the US to internally transfer to the US with a view to permanently living in the US.

I am due to have another call soon with this guy to talk about salary, job role and most importantly the visa situation. He is speaking with HR to find out the best way to do this (they have internally transferred many people from the UK so they know what they are doing).

The issue I am having (and I need help from the learned forum comrades) is that whilst it is likely I will be offered the H1-B visa, this suits my needs as I also want to commence the green card application which comes under dual intent. The big problem I have is that my wife works in the UK but one of the conditions of this visa is that spouse and kids get an H-4 visa meaning they cannot work. Is there a particular visa category that could allow me to work, apply for the green card and for my wife to work in the US as well? The company is open to helping me as much as they can but I need to understand how this can tick all our boxes.

If this is not possible, I'm afraid I may have to pass it up because this will be a significant backward step as a family.
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Visa & Spouse Cannot Work?

Originally Posted by SamiZ View Post
Is there a particular visa category that could allow me to work, apply for the green card and for my wife to work in the US as well?
E2 might be a possibility.
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 2:04 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Visa & Spouse Cannot Work?

How about an L visa (intercompany transfer), if you qualify?

Spouse would get L2 and then get an EAD and could work.

Children would get L2 but not allowed to work.

Could also lead to a green card.

Rene
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 2:05 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Visa & Spouse Cannot Work?

L1-B seems most obvious to me - how specialist are you?
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 2:40 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Visa & Spouse Cannot Work?

L visa would seem the way to go.

My OH got a H1B and I am stuck on the H4. I used to work in the UK but am not allowed to here so for the last 2 years I have been volunteering as a way to keep myself busy.
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 3:08 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Visa & Spouse Cannot Work?

Originally Posted by fatbrit View Post
E2 might be a possibility.
We all had E2 visas, obtained by OH's company, but I was not allowed to work with mine, being a dependant spouse. We have now got Green Cards, though, so I could if I wanted to. I don't know if our situation applies universally, but I was under the impression that I would have only been allowed to work here if we both worked for the co. and they found 'suitable' jobs for both of us.

Last edited by Karen68; Nov 1st 2011 at 3:12 pm. Reason: Spelling!
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Visa & Spouse Cannot Work?

Originally Posted by Awesome Welles View Post
L1-B seems most obvious to me - how specialist are you?
I am a software implementation consultant / project manager.
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Visa & Spouse Cannot Work?

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
How about an L visa (intercompany transfer), if you qualify?

Spouse would get L2 and then get an EAD and could work.

Children would get L2 but not allowed to work.

Could also lead to a green card.

Rene
Children are 5 years old and 1 year old so that is not an issue.

Sorry if I'm being slow...what does EAD stand for?

I will review the L Visa now.
Thanks.
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 3:18 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Visa & Spouse Cannot Work?

Originally Posted by Karen68 View Post
We all had E2 visas, obtained by OH's company, but I was not allowed to work with mine, being a dependant spouse. We have now got Green Cards, though, so I could if I wanted to. I don't know if our situation applies universally, but I was under the impression that I would have only been allowed to work here if we both worked for the co. and they found 'suitable' jobs for both of us.
Dependent spouses of E2 holders may apply for an EAD and work for anyone. Similarly, L1.
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 3:21 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Visa & Spouse Cannot Work?

Originally Posted by SamiZ View Post

Sorry if I'm being slow...what does EAD stand for?
Employment Authorization Document
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Visa & Spouse Cannot Work?

Thanks for everyone's comments. After reading about the visa requirements further, it seems that the best option for me would be to try to get an L-1B visa with my wife having an L-2 visa.

Since this visa comes under the doctrine of dual intent, I am assuming after 5 years (expiration of the visa), the green card can then be applied for? or is that in parallel to the L-1 visa period?
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 3:34 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Visa & Spouse Cannot Work?

I believe it is similar to a H1B in that a GC application can be started at any point and you don't need to wait until the end.
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 4:01 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Visa & Spouse Cannot Work?

Originally Posted by SamiZ View Post
Since this visa comes under the doctrine of dual intent, I am assuming after 5 years (expiration of the visa), the green card can then be applied for? or is that in parallel to the L-1 visa period?
Don't get hung up on the dual intent thing. You can equally gain residency on non-immigrant visas other than the H1b and L-s (the "dual intent" visas).

The thing that should hang you up is whether your job will come under EB1, EB2 or EB3 classification. I'd say that with the current state of EB3, this classification is now so backlogged that it's almost left reality.
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 4:01 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Visa & Spouse Cannot Work?

Originally Posted by SamiZ View Post
Thanks for everyone's comments. After reading about the visa requirements further, it seems that the best option for me would be to try to get an L-1B visa with my wife having an L-2 visa.

Since this visa comes under the doctrine of dual intent, I am assuming after 5 years (expiration of the visa), the green card can then be applied for? or is that in parallel to the L-1 visa period?
Your employer can begin the green card application process anytime after you arrive on your L visa.

Rene
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Old Nov 1st 2011, 4:09 pm
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Default Re: H1-B Visa & Spouse Cannot Work?

You don't have to wait - in fact it's better if you don't.

Review how long it would take for the green card under EB3 (the typical category for L1B). it may take a lot longer then the 5 years that the L1B is possible valid for. (three years + 2 years ext)

They are currently working on Dec 2005 (Google visa bulletin) for EB3,

so the L1B may be dual intent - but you may have to go back before you get it......
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