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I.T professional - move to USA (#2)

I.T professional - move to USA (#2)

Old Sep 4th 2016, 7:56 pm
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Default I.T professional - move to USA (#2)

Hi all,

The thread is a continuation of the one below as it's been closed since I last posted:

http://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-5...ve-usa-850528/

Many thanks to the people who replied with their informative posts and apologies I didn't reply to those who took the time to post.

I'm visiting the U.S on holiday so naturally it's made me think about moving here. In theory it's possible wih my company but very difficult given my junior experience level and as yet no in demand skill/ability. I may move back to London as the job situation in South Wales isn't great but I am considering putting the London plans on hold whilst I look into the US option...

I'm in the same position I was when I posted my last update. I work for CGI a multinational company who have a global presence, especially in the U.S and Canada as they are a Canadian company. As before, I'm still in 1st line support (Service Desk) so very low level but I'm ambitious and the thought of moving to America has often crept up. However, I've always thought it's unattainable as pretty much you need a sponsor, have an American spouse or have $500,000 to invest neither of which applies to me yet unfortunately! All the people I've spoken with before who transferred were in senior or specialist roles which I'm not.

This is a bit long winded but what I'm asking is for any advice as to what someone of my experience should/can do if serious about moving to the US? The London option involves working with SharePoint and Office 365 which I do want to pursue but wondering if that is a viable route?
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Old Sep 4th 2016, 8:06 pm
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Default Re: I.T professional - move to USA (#2)

It seems still your only option (aside from family) is to continue to progress in a company, reach a managerial position and then do the switch. You've mentioned multiple times you're only a junior. Nothing is realistically possible at that level.

Unless the job you've mentioned is with Microsoft then I can't see much coming of that in regards to a USA switch (based solely on being in Sharepoint/Office). Even then, I'd expect it to only come about if you were in the engineering or managerial side.

Living in the USA is different to vacation. Lots more things to worry about, rather than basically no worries of a vacation.

Make it a 15 year goal and perhaps it's possible.
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Old Sep 4th 2016, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: I.T professional - move to USA (#2)

The advice given to you a year ago is still valid advice, if nothing has changed since then.

This is what you posted a year ago:
"I have experience with Office 365/Sharepoint and want to pursue the Microsoft route further, perhaps go into networking or servers eventually. I'll probably relocate back to London when funds and experience allow."

And it sounds as though you're still thinking about exactly this a year later.

I think you probably know what you need to do - if you want to get a transfer, you need to work your way up into a more senior position and gain more skills. So, at the risk of sounding harsh, why not stop procrastinating about it if it's something you truly want to do in the long term?
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Old Sep 5th 2016, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: I.T professional - move to USA (#2)

Hello both,

Thank you for your insights, very much appreciated. I guess I was looking for an extra push hence my new thread. But yes the answers have been provided, it's a case of whether they are attainable and if I'm in it for the long haul.

What I will do is make some enquiries with my company and see what they say. I'm not expecting anything but nothing ventured, nothing gained. I think for now it's highly likely I will look to move back to London and further my career and prospects that way (as in generally not just for U.S ambitions). My two former co-workers and still friends made the jump to a big company and organisation respectively in central London both of which have an international presence so who knows eventually .

Incidentally where I'm currently holidaying in Florida, we're staying in a villa owned by a British businessman. He comes and stays here for about 3 months at a time which is better than nothing. I have considered venturing into property development which may enable me to do the above later in life but we'll see. I'm under no allusions as to the different barriers, obstacles etc one would need to overcome.

In the meantime I'll just vicariously enjoy reading people's success stories here!
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Old Sep 8th 2016, 6:15 pm
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Default Re: I.T professional - move to USA (#2)

I moved over a year ago on an L1B. Funny thing is that MsElui mentioned in part one of this thread that her husband is a manager in SAN storage and server management and I am an engineer in this area too.

For an L1B you need to be able to answer some tough questions about your experience and why you need to come to the USA rather than your company hiring a local in the USA. You really need some niche skills and IMHO Office 365/Sharepoint and Microsoft in general won't cut the mustard.

As for the hols, I get 15 days a year plus we shut down for a week for thanksgiving and between Dec 23rd and Jan 2nd. My understanding is that this is (exceptionally??) generous for the US.

Last edited by capin; Sep 8th 2016 at 7:17 pm.
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Old Sep 8th 2016, 7:23 pm
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Default Re: I.T professional - move to USA (#2)

Originally Posted by capin View Post
I moved over a year ago on an L1B. Funny thing is that MsElui mentioned in part one of this thread that her husband is a manager in SAN storage and server management and I am an engineer in this area too.

For an L1B you need to be able to answer some tough questions about your experience and why you need to come to the USA rather than your company hiring a local in the USA. You really need some niche skills and IMHO Office 365/Sharepoint and Microsoft in general won't cut the mustard.

As for the hols, I get 15 days a year plus we shut down for a week for thanksgiving and between Dec 23rd and Jan 2nd. My understanding is that this is (exceptionally??) generous for the US.
Tough questions? I moved over originally on an L1B, and my interview lasted about 10 seconds. That was in 2007, not sure if anything has changed since then. I know a lot of people with skills which wouldn't be considered particularly niche. Not to get his hopes up, it's still very unlikely he'll be able to get over here, but I feel like people overstate the difficulty of justifying an L1B.
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Old Sep 8th 2016, 7:34 pm
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Default Re: I.T professional - move to USA (#2)

Originally Posted by pejp View Post
Tough questions? I moved over originally on an L1B, and my interview lasted about 10 seconds. That was in 2007, not sure if anything has changed since then. I know a lot of people with skills which wouldn't be considered particularly niche. Not to get his hopes up, it's still very unlikely he'll be able to get over here, but I feel like people overstate the difficulty of justifying an L1B.
My interview was less than a minute in the embassy in Dublin and was a breeze, the 3 hour wait was the worst part by far. The tough questions I was referring to were in the application paperwork (and the bit where they came back to ask for more information) , I struggled with them, In fact I found it really tough.
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Old Sep 8th 2016, 8:02 pm
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Default Re: I.T professional - move to USA (#2)

Originally Posted by capin View Post
My interview was less than a minute in the embassy in Dublin and was a breeze, the 3 hour wait was the worst part by far. The tough questions I was referring to were in the application paperwork (and the bit where they came back to ask for more information) , I struggled with them, In fact I found it really tough.
You had to fill out the paperwork yourself?? I guess I was lucky then. I had to update my CV and give it to them, and that was it. I didn't even see any of the application process.
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Old Sep 8th 2016, 8:16 pm
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Default Re: I.T professional - move to USA (#2)

Originally Posted by pejp View Post
You had to fill out the paperwork yourself?? I guess I was lucky then. I had to update my CV and give it to them, and that was it. I didn't even see any of the application process.
I gave our lawyers my CV and they filed the petition but they had a lot of questions. Here's an example (and a very simple one at that) -

As you may know, L-1B petitions that are submitted to USCIS tend to be much more highly scrutinized than petitions presented directly to the consulate. We have been seeing an uptick in the issuance of Requests for Evidence (RFEs) in response to L-1B petitions. We therefore wanted to reach out to you to request further documentation for you regarding your L-1B petition in order to head off a potential RFE and avoid any delays an RFE might cause.

We find that USCIS tends to be swayed by visual representations of your specialized knowledge, and ignores overly technical descriptions of your specialized knowledge. Do you perhaps have any visual representations you can send us that show your work or accomplishments with xxxxx? Perhaps any presentations you've given or work that has been featured in internal memos or external communications to developers which you can send us links to or screen shots of? We also find that documents such as flow charts or organizational charts showing your singularity on the team often provide USCIS with a more conceptual understanding of your abilities as a specialized knowledge employee.

Further, we'd like to request your help in filling out these two tables that we will include in your petition. The more information we can collect from you, the better we will be able to form our argument that you possess specialized and proprietary knowledge which is required to perform your proposed role in the United States.

The first is a table which we request that you fill out listing your job duties. Please also include the specialized knowledge you use to perform each duty, describe how you gained that knowledge (this is usually by completing specific training or by learning on the job), and the number of other employees within xxxx who have that same knowledge (this is usually something like 0 in Europe and 1 in the US).


The second table is a comparison of your proposed role with xxxx to a similar role outside of xxxxx. We find that USCIS tends to get bogged down in generic job titles that mislead them as to the truly specialized nature of your role. We request that you fill out this table with your proposed job duties, and then compare those job duties to an employee who may have a similar job title but does not work for xxxxx, and therefore is not responsible for the high-level specialized duties requiring proprietary knowledge that you are. Please also feel free to say that no equivalent responsibility exists for some of your job duties.
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Old Sep 8th 2016, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: I.T professional - move to USA (#2)

Originally Posted by Come Ere Butt View Post
Hi all,

The thread is a continuation of the one below as it's been closed since I last posted:

http://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-5...ve-usa-850528/

Many thanks to the people who replied with their informative posts and apologies I didn't reply to those who took the time to post.

I'm visiting the U.S on holiday so naturally it's made me think about moving here. In theory it's possible wih my company but very difficult given my junior experience level and as yet no in demand skill/ability. I may move back to London as the job situation in South Wales isn't great but I am considering putting the London plans on hold whilst I look into the US option...

I'm in the same position I was when I posted my last update. I work for CGI a multinational company who have a global presence, especially in the U.S and Canada as they are a Canadian company. As before, I'm still in 1st line support (Service Desk) so very low level but I'm ambitious and the thought of moving to America has often crept up. However, I've always thought it's unattainable as pretty much you need a sponsor, have an American spouse or have $500,000 to invest neither of which applies to me yet unfortunately! All the people I've spoken with before who transferred were in senior or specialist roles which I'm not.

This is a bit long winded but what I'm asking is for any advice as to what someone of my experience should/can do if serious about moving to the US? The London option involves working with SharePoint and Office 365 which I do want to pursue but wondering if that is a viable route?
Hi there.

I run an IT Staffing company here in the USA and if I had to be brutally honest with you, a tech support professional is highly unlikely to have a skill set deemed worthwhile to sponsor to move to the US. The wealth of available talent here in the US that provides that skill set would mean it virtually impossible to get the H visa for you.

My advice is to do what I did... Find an American, have them fall in love with you and move here that way.

Alternatively, work for an American based company in the UK and see if you can find an internal secondment/transfer.
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Old Sep 8th 2016, 9:34 pm
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Default Re: I.T professional - move to USA (#2)

Originally Posted by njmackem View Post
Alternatively, work for an American based company in the UK and see if you can find an internal secondment/transfer.
FWIW That's what I did. Started a tech support position with Adobe UK around 94. Worked up to specialist position and moved L1-A in 2000. The irony is I didn't want to come but they were closing our UK dept and it seemed a good idea at the time.
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Old Sep 9th 2016, 5:28 am
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Default Re: I.T professional - move to USA (#2)

I work in IT too.
Help desks are almost becoming commoditized and as a result employees don't appear to be well compensated, sadly. My company uses a CGI-like outsourced managed service that have a leveraged warehouse out in Ohio full of helpdesk guys. Lots of bluechips simply outsource to offshore locations now.

My advice to you is to concentrate on a niche area. Level 1 gives you a good background, but it's simply too broad. Concentrate on network/security. Get your certifications. Work your way up the greasy pole. In a few years' time with some application you could be at a high enough level to transfer internally within CGI (good company, work with them a lot and they hire decent people in the apps dev space, at least).

Good luck.
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Old Sep 9th 2016, 5:38 am
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Default Re: I.T professional - move to USA (#2)

Originally Posted by njmackem View Post
Hi there.

I run an IT Staffing company here in the USA and if I had to be brutally honest with you, a tech support professional is highly unlikely to have a skill set deemed worthwhile to sponsor to move to the US. The wealth of available talent here in the US that provides that skill set would mean it virtually impossible to get the H visa for you.

My advice is to do what I did... Find an American, have them fall in love with you and move here that way.

Alternatively, work for an American based company in the UK and see if you can find an internal secondment/transfer.
Hi njmackem,

Thanks for your post. As I mentioned in my follow-up reply, I'm under no allusions that I'm easily able to move over wit my curgent . Quite the opposite, just good to ask around and gather a good consensus.

At the moment I'm looking on moving back to London and build on what I've been doing so that later on I may be in a better position to emigrate possibly. This is the best move for now and London's a great city in its own right.

Meeting a compatible American lady would be awesome in of itself (and not for a green card!) but that's extremely unlikely in South Wales. As it happens I work for a Canadian MNC and I would happily move to Canada as well. I don't expect anything to come from asking them about transfer opportunities but it's always worth asking. For now I'm just going to concentrate on moving back to London. Anything else that comes from that is a bonus.

Originally Posted by username.exe View Post
I work in IT too.
Help desks are almost becoming commoditized and as a result employees don't appear to be well compensated, sadly. My company uses a CGI-like outsourced managed service that have a leveraged warehouse out in Ohio full of helpdesk guys. Lots of bluechips simply outsource to offshore locations now.

My advice to you is to concentrate on a niche area. Level 1 gives you a good background, but it's simply too broad. Concentrate on network/security. Get your certifications. Work your way up the greasy pole. In a few years' time with some application you could be at a high enough level to transfer internally within CGI (good company, work with them a lot and they hire decent people in the apps dev space, at least).

Good luck.
Thanks username,

Our service desk in the UK is in just one location (typically where wages are below market average) and fairly transient but it's good for those looking at an entry level job in I.T. Once you get out of the Service Desk such as into SAN or Wintel then prospects and progression is much better. I don't see much progress realistically in the time frame I'm looking at when I can do much better for more in London. There's a variety of reasons why I'm looking to move on. But yes once you get off the SD you are looked after better.

Last edited by Come Ere Butt; Sep 9th 2016 at 6:12 am.
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Old Sep 9th 2016, 6:03 am
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Default Re: I.T professional - move to USA (#2)

Originally Posted by Come Ere Butt View Post
As it happens I work for a Canadian MNC and I would happily move to Canada as well. I don't expect anything to come from asking them about transfer opportunities but it's always worth asking.
Sorry, but I don't think an intra-company transfer Temp Work Permit would be an option, as I'm not sure you'd come under one of the three categories for that visa from what you've said - http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Intra-...ransfer-Canada

You could ask if the company will support you going on a 'normal' TWP, although I don't know what the chances of a positive LMIA would be (that's the bit of paper that you'd need to get a work permit, the company has to apply for it at a cost of $1000, and to get it they need to prove that they've advertised the job across Canada and been unable to find a Canadian to do the job - only you'll know how likely that is).

Canada's definitely easier than the US for most, but a company transfer's still going to need specialist skills. You could look at other visa options on the CIC website though and see about moving independently of your company, an IEC springs to mind as an easy way for you to try out Canada - it's a 2 year open work permit for those aged 30 or under.

Best of luck.
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Old Sep 10th 2016, 3:46 am
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Default Re: I.T professional - move to USA (#2)

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
Sorry, but I don't think an intra-company transfer Temp Work Permit would be an option, as I'm not sure you'd come under one of the three categories for that visa from what you've said - Intra-Company Transfer-Canada : British Expat Wiki

You could ask if the company will support you going on a 'normal' TWP, although I don't know what the chances of a positive LMIA would be (that's the bit of paper that you'd need to get a work permit, the company has to apply for it at a cost of $1000, and to get it they need to prove that they've advertised the job across Canada and been unable to find a Canadian to do the job - only you'll know how likely that is).

Canada's definitely easier than the US for most, but a company transfer's still going to need specialist skills. You could look at other visa options on the CIC website though and see about moving independently of your company, an IEC springs to mind as an easy way for you to try out Canada - it's a 2 year open work permit for those aged 30 or under.

Best of luck.
Thanks for the reply. I did read the wiki page on this before and figured I'd be stuck on the 'specialised knowledge' part. But I'll ask anyway just so I can check it off and in case there is a niche I'm unaware of which I can fill. It's a free play at this juncture so no harm in asking . Otherwise I'll be off to London.
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