What kind of US Visa can I get?

Old Sep 26th 2005, 1:54 pm
  #1  
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Default What kind of US Visa can I get?

Hi,

I live in Britain and am a British citizen. I want to move to the States to be with my girlfriend, who's American, but I have an unusual set of circumstances and I was hoping someone on this forum could help me before I have to go through the red tape nightmare of the US Embassy.

Y'see, I want to live in the US but I don't need work there. I'm an author, and as such I can work anywhere and operate via email. I am published all over the world (including the US) but all money from royalties etc goes to my publishers in the UK and is released to me from there, so technically I am being paid from the UK. I ought to be able to change this if necessary so my US publishers pay direct to me (giving me a US income) but what I was intending to do was to simply earn money in the UK and then wire it to a US bank account every so often.

So that's my situation. I wouldn't be taking any work from anyone in the US but I wouldn't be benefiting it much either as I'd be paying taxes in Britain rather than the US. However, if necessary, I suppose it's possible to rearrange the way I am being paid so that I do have a US taxable income. Basically my living there will make very little impact on the USA.

Can anyone tell me what kind of visas I'm eligible for? I can get a visa waiver for 3 months due to my nationality but I intend to be there for years, so this isn't long enough. I've been told about a 2-year visa that is granted as long as I don't work out there, that pensioners from Britain use to retire to Florida or whatever. This would be ideal as technically I'm not working in the US (ie I'm not doing anything that would require a Social Security number). Alternatively, am I eligible for a work visa? I can get my US publishers to vouch for me, but I'd have a hard time proving I work for them full-time as authors are essentially self-employed and freelance.

I would appreciate any help or advice anyone could give me.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Sep 26th 2005, 4:06 pm
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Default Re: What kind of US Visa can I get?

Originally Posted by SuperLuckyCat
Hi,

I live in Britain and am a British citizen. I want to move to the States to be with my girlfriend, who's American, but I have an unusual set of circumstances and I was hoping someone on this forum could help me before I have to go through the red tape nightmare of the US Embassy.

Y'see, I want to live in the US but I don't need work there. I'm an author, and as such I can work anywhere and operate via email. I am published all over the world (including the US) but all money from royalties etc goes to my publishers in the UK and is released to me from there, so technically I am being paid from the UK. I ought to be able to change this if necessary so my US publishers pay direct to me (giving me a US income) but what I was intending to do was to simply earn money in the UK and then wire it to a US bank account every so often.

So that's my situation. I wouldn't be taking any work from anyone in the US but I wouldn't be benefiting it much either as I'd be paying taxes in Britain rather than the US. However, if necessary, I suppose it's possible to rearrange the way I am being paid so that I do have a US taxable income. Basically my living there will make very little impact on the USA.

Can anyone tell me what kind of visas I'm eligible for? I can get a visa waiver for 3 months due to my nationality but I intend to be there for years, so this isn't long enough. I've been told about a 2-year visa that is granted as long as I don't work out there, that pensioners from Britain use to retire to Florida or whatever. This would be ideal as technically I'm not working in the US (ie I'm not doing anything that would require a Social Security number). Alternatively, am I eligible for a work visa? I can get my US publishers to vouch for me, but I'd have a hard time proving I work for them full-time as authors are essentially self-employed and freelance.

I would appreciate any help or advice anyone could give me.

Thanks in advance.

For what you are asking I don't think there is a visa you can use. Here is a link to the criteria for living in the US and looks like the only option for you is to marry your girlsfriend.

Pensioners don't retire to the US as there isn't a visa that allows that but they get a visa from the embassy which allows them to stay for 6 months.

http://britishexpats.com/articles/000089.html
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Old Sep 26th 2005, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: What kind of US Visa can I get?

Originally Posted by SuperLuckyCat
Hi,
I've been told about a 2-year visa that is granted as long as I don't work out there, that pensioners from Britain use to retire to Florida or whatever. .
There is no such thing!!
Easiest and quickest = marriage to the GF..
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Old Sep 26th 2005, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: What kind of US Visa can I get?

What about about a P or an O visa for him? If he is published worldwide he might meet the requirement of 'sustained international achievement' for one of those categories.

I might be way off, but surely that's how other foreign artists work and live in the USA?
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Old Sep 26th 2005, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: What kind of US Visa can I get?

Originally Posted by dandc
What about about a P or an O visa for him? If he is published worldwide he might meet the requirement of 'sustained international achievement' for one of those categories.

I might be way off, but surely that's how other foreign artists work and live in the USA?

But surely this is only for people who HAVE to be in the US to do their arts, sports etc?

The OP has stated that he can do his writing anywhere...
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Old Sep 26th 2005, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: What kind of US Visa can I get?

Originally Posted by DonnaElvira
But surely this is only for people who HAVE to be in the US to do their arts, sports etc?

The OP has stated that he can do his writing anywhere...
I don't know much about those categories, but that might be one of the considerations, yes.
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Old Sep 26th 2005, 7:17 pm
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Default Re: What kind of US Visa can I get?

Originally Posted by dandc
What about about a P or an O visa for him? If he is published ?
Both require some sort of employer or agent to sponsor.. Individuals cannot usually..
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Old Sep 26th 2005, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: What kind of US Visa can I get?

Originally Posted by Ray
Both require some sort of employer or agent to sponsor.. Individuals cannot usually..
Ah, understood. I wonder if his publisher has a US office that could sponsor him in that case. But would that even be a possibility, because presumably there would have to be a compelling reason for him to be in the country - as Donna pointed out he can do his work from anywhere. Interesting case, I think.
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Old Sep 27th 2005, 7:28 am
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Default Re: What kind of US Visa can I get?

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Hash: SHA1

dandc wrote:

    >
    >> There is no such thing!!
    >> Easiest and quickest = marriage to the GF..
    >
    > What about about a P or an O visa for him? If he is published worldwide
    > he might meet the requirement of 'sustained international achievement'
    > for one of those categories.
    >
    > I might be way off, but surely that's how other foreign artists work and
    > live in the USA?
    >

I think you are a genius. I wouldn't have thought of that one. Yes, as
others point out, a sponsor would usually be required (although you might
be able to self-sponsor for a Green Card based on similar criteria), but
that may not be too difficult to do. My recommendation would be to find a
competent immigration attorney and ask some questions.

I don't think there is a need to prove that you *have* to be in the USA.
After all, that is not a criteria for any of the other employment-based
non-immigrant or immigrant-categories, either.

As far as the other issues in this thread:

- - the "two-year retirement visa" indeed is a myth (although there has been a
proposal a few years ago to introduce a four-year tourist status for
visitors over 55 years old. Never became law). Maybe they got a tourist
visa, and then extended it a few times - with luck, you might make it to
two years that way.

- - Working in the USA the way the OP proposed is a legal grey zone at best. I
think it is not legal, because his work product ends up on the US market.

- --
Please visit my FAQ at http://www.kkeane.com before asking a question here.
It may answer your question. Remember, I am strictly a layperson without
any legal training. I encourage the reader to seek competent legal counsel
rather than relying on usenet newsgroups.
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Old Sep 27th 2005, 6:08 pm
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Default Re: What kind of US Visa can I get?

Originally Posted by Kevin Keane

I think you are a genius.
Well, I wasn't going to be the first to say it...

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Old Sep 28th 2005, 8:41 am
  #11  
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Default Re: What kind of US Visa can I get?

Kevin Keane (see Web site for email) wrote:
    > -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
    > Hash: SHA1
    >
    > dandc wrote:
    >
    >
    >>>There is no such thing!!
    >>>Easiest and quickest = marriage to the GF..
    >>What about about a P or an O visa for him? If he is published worldwide
    >>he might meet the requirement of 'sustained international achievement'
    >>for one of those categories.
    >>I might be way off, but surely that's how other foreign artists work and
    >>live in the USA?
    >
    >
    > I think you are a genius. I wouldn't have thought of that one. Yes, as
    > others point out, a sponsor would usually be required (although you might
    > be able to self-sponsor for a Green Card based on similar criteria), but
    > that may not be too difficult to do. My recommendation would be to find a
    > competent immigration attorney and ask some questions.

A literary agent could qualify as a sponsor for an O-1. P does not work
since he is an individual and not an athlete.

Self-sponsorship is possible with an EB-1.

In general, there is no visa for self-employment, as others have noted.
However, the OP's writing would not necessarily be considered
self-employment if his presence in the U.S. is associated with promotion
of the publisher's product -- for example, a series of book tours would
permit extended B-1 presence.

I also point out that depending on what kind of writing the OP does, if
he can receive accreditation from an appropriate entity he could qualify
for an I visa.


--
Above intended as general commentary, not specific legal
advice. Your mileage may vary.

================================================== =============
Jonathan McNeil Wong Voice: 510-451-0544
Donahue Gallagher Woods LLP Facsimile: 510-832-1486
P.O. Box 12979 URL: http://www.donahue.com
Oakland, CA 94604-2979 E-mail: [email protected]
================================================== =============
 
Old Sep 28th 2005, 3:55 pm
  #12  
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Default Re: What kind of US Visa can I get?

Thanks all for your responses. I'm sure my US publisher would vouch for me and a case could be made that it would be more convenient to US sales if I was in the country to do book tours etc. Also, I write movies, one of which is a healthy way down the pipe to getting made, and I could make a case that being near LA (where girlf would be living) is advantageous because Hollywood runs on face-to-face meetings. How do other non-American screenwriters do it? There must be loads in LA, and they must be on some kind of visas, but they're all essentially self-employed.

My books are all fiction, by the way. Details at www.chriswooding.com or just bang it into Amazon. Forgive the self-advertisement, it's just easier than explaining it all.

In response to the comment about the legality of working/not working in the US, it's true my books end up on the US market, but they have to be licenced from the British publishers, who are the only people I have contractual links with. I don't know if this affects anything?
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Old Sep 28th 2005, 9:27 pm
  #13  
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Default Re: What kind of US Visa can I get?

SuperLuckyCat wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I live in Britain and am a British citizen. I want to move to the States
    > to be with my girlfriend, who's American, but I have an unusual set of
    > circumstances and I was hoping someone on this forum could help me
    > before I have to go through the red tape nightmare of the US Embassy.
    >
    > Y'see, I want to live in the US but I don't need work there. I'm an
    > author, and as such I can work anywhere and operate via email. I am
    > published all over the world (including the US) but all money from
    > royalties etc goes to my publishers in the UK and is released to me from
    > there, so technically I am being paid from the UK. I ought to be able to
    > change this if necessary so my US publishers pay direct to me (giving me
    > a US income) but what I was intending to do was to simply earn money in
    > the UK and then wire it to a US bank account every so often.
    >
    > So that's my situation. I wouldn't be taking any work from anyone in the
    > US but I wouldn't be benefiting it much either as I'd be paying taxes in
    > Britain rather than the US. However, if necessary, I suppose it's
    > possible to rearrange the way I am being paid so that I do have a US
    > taxable income. Basically my living there will make very little impact
    > on the USA.
    >
    > Can anyone tell me what kind of visas I'm eligible for? I can get a visa
    > waiver for 3 months due to my nationality but I intend to be there for
    > years, so this isn't long enough. I've been told about a 2-year visa
    > that is granted as long as I don't work out there, that pensioners from
    > Britain use to retire to Florida or whatever. This would be ideal as
    > technically I'm not working in the US (ie I'm not doing anything that
    > would require a Social Security number). Alternatively, am I eligible
    > for a work visa? I can get my US publishers to vouch for me, but I'd
    > have a hard time proving I work for them full-time as authors are
    > essentially self-employed and freelance.
    >
    > I would appreciate any help or advice anyone could give me.
    >
    > Thanks in advance.
    >

It would only be good good for a few months at a time (max 6months), but
what about a B1 visa? Can you be researching a story here?

Brett.
 
Old Sep 29th 2005, 7:31 am
  #14  
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Default Re: What kind of US Visa can I get?

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Hash: SHA1

SuperLuckyCat wrote:
    > In response to the comment about the legality of working/not working in
    > the US, it's true my books end up on the US market, but they have to be
    > licenced from the British publishers, who are the only people I have
    > contractual links with. I don't know if this affects anything?

As I said, it is at best a legal grey area. Given that they do end up in the
US, and that you presumably even receive a royalty from every single copy
sold in the US, my guess is that your ties to the US economy are too close.

- --
Please visit my FAQ at http://www.kkeane.com before asking a question here.
It may answer your question. Remember, I am strictly a layperson without
any legal training. I encourage the reader to seek competent legal counsel
rather than relying on usenet newsgroups.
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Old Sep 29th 2005, 4:25 pm
  #15  
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Default Re: What kind of US Visa can I get?

It would only be good good for a few months at a time (max 6months), but
what about a B1 visa? Can you be researching a story here?

Brett.
As it happens, I am writing a movie right now set in LA, so there's very credible grounds for claiming research. Will check it out. Thanks.

(edit) The site I looked on said it was good for max 1 year. Is that right?

Last edited by SuperLuckyCat; Sep 29th 2005 at 4:29 pm.
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