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UK - US Work Visa Queries, seeking help

UK - US Work Visa Queries, seeking help

Old Aug 8th 2004, 12:44 pm
  #1  
Dan
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Default UK - US Work Visa Queries, seeking help

Hi everyone. I'm looking for some advice.

I'm British, 20 years old and work in IT for a well known rail
engineering company.

My long-term (going on 5 years) girlfriend is American and I intend to
live with her in the US. I've spent a lot of time with her (although
only with a standard visa waver for recreational reasons) and have some
quite impressive long-distance phone bills. Naturally, we're entirely
serious about our relationship.

I know there is the option of immigration through marriage but, because
of our age, I suspect the immigration people would be suspicious and
disallow it.

I would like to know, if you don't mind, what my options are for living
and working in the US. I did try Google, but met page after page of
confusing form numbers. I thought it might be best to just ask somebody.

I have suitable A-Level qualifications and experience to take on most IT
tech / web development jobs, and I can get references from employers to
back me up there. I don't think I would struggle to find a job.

We're aiming to live in Portland, Oregon, which is quite a large city.

My only concern is that an American employer may choose an American
employee over myself simply because it is easier and avoids all the
forms and paperwork. I don't know how much truth there may be to this
concern.

I would also like to know, again if you don't mind, what the process
would be should I receive a job offer from an American employee. What
would they, and I, have to do to allow me to take residence in the US
and begin work for them?

I've heard it may be easier to work for an agency, as they are often
experienced in the visa process. Any opinions on this?

Many thanks for any help you guys can provide. I will do everything I
can to live with my girlfriend, I just need a starting point.

If you prefer to email me, daniel -at- brakedisc.net

Daniel
 
Old Aug 8th 2004, 2:00 pm
  #2  
L D Jones
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Default Re: UK - US Work Visa Queries, seeking help

Dan wrote:

    > Hi everyone. I'm looking for some advice.
    >
    > I'm British, 20 years old and work in IT for a well known rail
    > engineering company.
    >
    > My long-term (going on 5 years) girlfriend is American and I intend to
    > live with her in the US. I've spent a lot of time with her (although
    > only with a standard visa waver for recreational reasons) and have some
    > quite impressive long-distance phone bills. Naturally, we're entirely
    > serious about our relationship.
    >
    > I know there is the option of immigration through marriage but, because
    > of our age, I suspect the immigration people would be suspicious and
    > disallow it.

I'm not an immigration lawyer but as long as the requirements are
fulfilled I don't think you would be denied on the basis of age alone.

    > I would like to know, if you don't mind, what my options are for living
    > and working in the US. I did try Google, but met page after page of
    > confusing form numbers. I thought it might be best to just ask somebody.
    >
    > I have suitable A-Level qualifications and experience to take on most IT
    > tech / web development jobs, and I can get references from employers to
    > back me up there. I don't think I would struggle to find a job.

To get an H-1B (work) visa you need a university degree (or the
equivalent in years of experience) and to find a US company willing to
sponsor you. In today's US IT economy many, many people with vast
experience are struggling to find jobs. I have 15 years IT experience
and I don't think it would be easy to find another job if I lost mine. A
British friend I know moved to the US over 1.5 years ago and has given
up trying to find a job in IT (though admittedly he does live in a small
town).

    > We're aiming to live in Portland, Oregon, which is quite a large city.
    >
    > My only concern is that an American employer may choose an American
    > employee over myself simply because it is easier and avoids all the
    > forms and paperwork. I don't know how much truth there may be to this
    > concern.

This is likely to be true because the American employer has to prove he
can't find a qualified American for the job before he can hire you.

    > I would also like to know, again if you don't mind, what the process
    > would be should I receive a job offer from an American employee. What
    > would they, and I, have to do to allow me to take residence in the US
    > and begin work for them?

Work visas are by nature temporary (though the H-1B allows "dual
intent"). A work visa is not a greencard. The company applies but there
is a quota by fiscal year. I don't know for sure but I believe all have
been used for this fiscal year

    > Many thanks for any help you guys can provide. I will do everything I
    > can to live with my girlfriend, I just need a starting point.

I think a K-1 (fiancee) visa would be the fastest way for you to be able
to move to the US and work (assuming you are in the UK now and your wife
in the states). With a K-1 you must marry within 90 days of arrival.
Getting work auhtorization takes a variable amount of time depending on
where you apply. Also, with work authorization after entry as K-1 you
are not "tied" to an employer which I believe is the case with an H-1B.
As I understand it, switching is possible but I've no idea what's involved.
 
Old Aug 8th 2004, 4:04 pm
  #3  
Ray
 
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Default Re: UK - US Work Visa Queries, seeking help

Originally Posted by Dan
Hi everyone. I'm looking for some advice.


I know there is the option of immigration through marriage but, because
of our age, I suspect the immigration people would be suspicious and
disallow it.Daniel
That should no cause no great problem at all.. If you future wife earns enough to sponsor you...there might be suspicious if she is 73 and you are 20 though..
Ray is offline  
Old Aug 8th 2004, 8:51 pm
  #4  
Gunnar Evermann
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Default Re: UK - US Work Visa Queries, seeking help

L D Jones <[email protected]> writes:

    > Dan wrote:
    > To get an H-1B (work) visa you need a university degree (or the
    > equivalent in years of experience) and to find a US company willing to
    > sponsor you.
[...]
    >> We're aiming to live in Portland, Oregon, which is quite a large city.
    >> My only concern is that an American employer may choose an American
    >> employee over myself simply because it is easier and avoids all the
    >> forms and paperwork. I don't know how much truth there may be to
    >> this concern.
    > This is likely to be true because the American employer has to prove
    > he can't find a qualified American for the job before he can hire you.

really? for an H1-B? Do you have a reference for that?

I don't doubt that an American employer might choose an American
because it is easier and cheaper, but I don't think an employer has to
prove that he can't find an American before hiring a foreigner on an
H1-B.


Gunnar
 
Old Aug 9th 2004, 8:28 am
  #5  
Dan
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Default Re: UK - US Work Visa Queries, seeking help

In article <[email protected]>, L D Jones says...


Thank you for this reply, this is exactly the kind of advice I was
looking for!

    > Dan wrote:
    > > I know there is the option of immigration through marriage but, because
    > > of our age, I suspect the immigration people would be suspicious and
    > > disallow it.
    >
    > I'm not an immigration lawyer but as long as the requirements are
    > fulfilled I don't think you would be denied on the basis of age alone.

Are there likely to be any problems filing forms with us both being
under the age of 21? We are both of legal age to marry.

    > To get an H-1B (work) visa you need a university degree (or the
    > equivalent in years of experience) and to find a US company willing to
    > sponsor you. In today's US IT economy many, many people with vast
    > experience are struggling to find jobs. I have 15 years IT experience
    > and I don't think it would be easy to find another job if I lost mine. A
    > British friend I know moved to the US over 1.5 years ago and has given
    > up trying to find a job in IT (though admittedly he does live in a small
    > town).

I was afraid of this. Still, there are other options open to me.

    > > We're aiming to live in Portland, Oregon, which is quite a large city.
    > >
    > > My only concern is that an American employer may choose an American
    > > employee over myself simply because it is easier and avoids all the
    > > forms and paperwork. I don't know how much truth there may be to this
    > > concern.
    >
    > This is likely to be true because the American employer has to prove he
    > can't find a qualified American for the job before he can hire you.

I understand this. It would be illogical to allow a person entry to the
US purely to take a job an unemployed American could use.

    > I think a K-1 (fiancee) visa would be the fastest way for you to be able
    > to move to the US and work (assuming you are in the UK now and your wife
    > in the states).

We actually intend to marry anyway, but thought it best to explore other
immigration options. I was concerned we would be refused.

I did research fiancee visas and discovered evidence of an ongoing
relationship could have a huge influence in the procedure. I have
various flight details, boarding passes, hotel receipts and even gas
station receipts from my visits, which I hope will prove useful.

    > With a K-1 you must marry within 90 days of arrival.

This should be no problem.

Should the K-1 be applied for by myself here in the UK, or my partner in
the US? Are issues likely to arise due to us both being under the age of
21?

    > Getting work auhtorization takes a variable amount of time depending on
    > where you apply. Also, with work authorization after entry as K-1 you
    > are not "tied" to an employer which I believe is the case with an H-1B.
    > As I understand it, switching is possible but I've no idea what's involved.

I would apply for work authorization as soon as possible. Thanks to my
current job, savings and family support, I know I am able to financially
support myself and my parner (we also reseached living costs) for
several months while seeking work.

I just have one more question regarding the K-1, if you don't mind. How
long are the time gaps between applying, being approved, and then being
allowed to take residence in the US and apply for work authorization?

I understand you will not be able to give exact times, but if you, or
anybody else reading this have any ideas, please let me know.

Also, my partner currently lives with her parents, and we intend to
relocate together. Will changing locations immediately after approval
cause problems with the application?

I would also consider making use of a visa assistance company, should
anybody in this newsgroup be able to suggest a reputable one here in the
UK. I would really like to ensure all the paperwork is completed
properly and I'm willing to hire help for this.

Once again, many thanks for your help with this situation. This means a
lot to myself and my partner.

- Dan
 
Old Aug 9th 2004, 10:06 am
  #6  
J. J. Farrell
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Default Re: UK - US Work Visa Queries, seeking help

Dan <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected] om>...
    >
    > I'm British, 20 years old and work in IT for a well known rail
    > engineering company.
    >
    > My long-term (going on 5 years) girlfriend is American and I intend to
    > live with her in the US. I've spent a lot of time with her (although
    > only with a standard visa waver for recreational reasons) and have some
    > quite impressive long-distance phone bills. Naturally, we're entirely
    > serious about our relationship.
    >
    > I know there is the option of immigration through marriage but, because
    > of our age, I suspect the immigration people would be suspicious and
    > disallow it.
    >
    > I would like to know, if you don't mind, what my options are for living
    > and working in the US. I did try Google, but met page after page of
    > confusing form numbers. I thought it might be best to just ask somebody.
    >
    > I have suitable A-Level qualifications and experience to take on most IT
    > tech / web development jobs, and I can get references from employers to
    > back me up there. I don't think I would struggle to find a job.

Despite the many thousands of qualified American IT personnel with
years of experience who are looking for work?

    > We're aiming to live in Portland, Oregon, which is quite a large city.
    >
    > My only concern is that an American employer may choose an American
    > employee over myself simply because it is easier and avoids all the
    > forms and paperwork. I don't know how much truth there may be to this
    > concern.

It's a very real concern.

    > I would also like to know, again if you don't mind, what the process
    > would be should I receive a job offer from an American employee. What
    > would they, and I, have to do to allow me to take residence in the US
    > and begin work for them?

You have very little chance. An H-1B visa would be appropriate
for your field, but that requires a relevant degree or 12 years
of experience. I don't know of any other suitable work visa.

    > Many thanks for any help you guys can provide. I will do everything I
    > can to live with my girlfriend, I just need a starting point.

Marriage is far and away your best bet, probably your only one.
In almost all cases, someone with the option of marrying a US
citizen would be silly to bother with any other method. If you
can provide evidence of a strong relationship lasting 5 years,
I'd be surprised if they would regard it as a marriage of
convenience.
 
Old Aug 9th 2004, 11:41 am
  #7  
Dan
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: UK - US Work Visa Queries, seeking help

In article <[email protected] >, J. J.
Farrell says...
    > Dan <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected] om>...

    > > I don't think I would struggle to find a job.
    >
    > Despite the many thousands of qualified American IT personnel with
    > years of experience who are looking for work?

Yes. I can try at least.

    > Marriage is far and away your best bet, probably your only one.
    > In almost all cases, someone with the option of marrying a US
    > citizen would be silly to bother with any other method.

Since we were planning on this anyway, I've discussed this with my
girlfriend today and have decided this is the way to go. Now I just need
to properly look into the K-1 procedures.

    > If you can provide evidence of a strong relationship lasting
    > 5 years, I'd be surprised if they would regard it as a marriage of
    > convenience.

I can show them all kinds of things we've kept over the years for
sentimental value. Dated flight documents, hotel receipts, etc. We also
have plenty of witnesses, if that helps.

At least now I have a starting point, thanks to help from this group.

- Dan
 
Old Aug 9th 2004, 12:42 pm
  #8  
L D Jones
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: UK - US Work Visa Queries, seeking help

Dan wrote:
[...]

    > I would also consider making use of a visa assistance company, should
    > anybody in this newsgroup be able to suggest a reputable one here in the
    > UK. I would really like to ensure all the paperwork is completed
    > properly and I'm willing to hire help for this.
    >
    > Once again, many thanks for your help with this situation. This means a
    > lot to myself and my partner.
    >
    > - Dan

I'm afraid I can't answer your more detailed questions and someone
pointed out elsewhere in the thread that an American company may not
have to prove they can't find an American before deciding to employ a
non-American so I may be incorrect about that as well. I'll stop here

I suggest you start posting to alt.visa.us.marriage-based or join
<http://www.britishexpats.com/>. Many posters there came to the US on
K-1 and I'm sure all your questions can be answered
 
Old Aug 9th 2004, 12:42 pm
  #9  
Sylvia Ottemoeller
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: UK - US Work Visa Queries, seeking help

"Gunnar Evermann" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...

    > L D Jones <[email protected]> writes:

    > > Dan wrote:

    > > To get an H-1B (work) visa you need a university degree (or the
    > > equivalent in years of experience) and to find a US company willing to
    > > sponsor you.
    > [...]
    > >> We're aiming to live in Portland, Oregon, which is quite a large city.
    > >> My only concern is that an American employer may choose an American
    > >> employee over myself simply because it is easier and avoids all the
    > >> forms and paperwork. I don't know how much truth there may be to
    > >> this concern.
    > >
    > > This is likely to be true because the American employer has to prove
    > > he can't find a qualified American for the job before he can hire you.
    > really? for an H1-B? Do you have a reference for that?
    > I don't doubt that an American employer might choose an American
    > because it is easier and cheaper, but I don't think an employer has to
    > prove that he can't find an American before hiring a foreigner on an
    > H1-B.

Eligibility for H-1B status does not include any requirement for a formal
test of the labor market.
 

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