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Partner moving to Boston, MA - how can I join him?

Partner moving to Boston, MA - how can I join him?

Old Sep 17th 2014, 9:54 am
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Default Partner moving to Boston, MA - how can I join him?

Hi everyone,

New to this site so any help/advice would be most appreciated!

A little about me....

I have a First Class (BA) Honors Degree in Business, 5 years experience working for a UK defence company in various roles (procurement, project management, business devleopment and bid management) and 1 year working for a B2B conferencing company in London, where I am the Programme Director for my company's European portfolio of Supply Chain and Logistics events.

My current situation...

My partner (not "yet" husband) works for a manufacturing company in the UK - it is a family business, his dad is the CEO. They have sites all around the world including one just outside Boston, MA in the US (where his dad's brother is the current MD). He is looking to retire in the next 2 years and move back to the UK and my partner is being lined up to run the US office for an (approximate) 5 year stint which would mean relocating, within the next 18months - 2 years.

I obviously want to go with him and have just started doing some preliminary research into how this would be feasible as I understand that because we are not married, I would need to apply for a Visa on my own merit.

I am not expecting this to be an easy process but from what I gather so far, the easiest way for me to get a Visa would be to have a transfer to a US branch of a UK company that I have been working for for at least a year (I have enquired with my current company who have an office in NY, which would mean be "working from home" from Boston, travelling into the office a few days each month). I am not yet sure if this is even a possibility and if it is not, then I need to start thinking about other options.

Some questions I have......

If my partner and I got married before we moved, would I be able to get a Visa as his spouse? If so, what would I then need to do to get a Visa to permit me to work in the US (we can probably live off his salary in the meantime) and how long would that take?

Could his current company employ me in a low-level adminstrative position and sponsor a joint Visa application? And then I can find alternative employment once I am settled?

Could I apply for a new job with a new company in Boston and get my Visa via them?

Any other advice or general tips would be great as this is all very new to us and we are curently on a massive "fact-finding" mission.

Many thanks in advance!

Charlotte
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Old Sep 17th 2014, 10:09 am
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Default Re: Partner moving to Boston, MA - how can I join him?

Get married. This is your best option.

You might be able to get a working visa, but it's unlikely from what you've said - it doesn't sound like transferring with your current company is an option (L1 visa), and H1-B visas are oversubscribed and so a lottery, plus you might not qualify in your current role.

To answer your questions:
1. Yes, the spouse of an L1 visa holder gets an L2 visa, which gives employment authorisation. It takes something like a couple of months for employment authorisation to come through after you apply once in the US. Others can be more precise.

2. No, low-level admin roles don't qualify for US working visas. And working visas are always restricted to the sponsoring employer anyway.

3. Potentially, yes. But you'd have to find a company who can justify sponsoring your visa, both the cost to them and the role being suitable for a working visa.
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Old Sep 17th 2014, 10:49 am
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Default Re: Partner moving to Boston, MA - how can I join him?

Originally Posted by Owen778 View Post
Get married. This is your best option.

To answer your questions:
1. Yes, the spouse of an L1 visa holder gets an L2 visa, which gives employment authorisation. It takes something like a couple of months for employment authorisation to come through after you apply once in the US. Others can be more precise.
Thank you very much for your help - with regards to getting married and moving out there on an L2 visa, appreciate it will take a couple of months for working authorisation (I'm sure I won't mind being a lady of leisure during this period!), will there be any restrictions with regards to what kind of job I can apply for? And what is this type of visa/working permit called so I can research it a bit further?

Many thanks
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Old Sep 17th 2014, 11:08 am
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Default Re: Partner moving to Boston, MA - how can I join him?

Originally Posted by charlottefhutton View Post
Thank you very much for your help - with regards to getting married and moving out there on an L2 visa, appreciate it will take a couple of months for working authorisation (I'm sure I won't mind being a lady of leisure during this period!), will there be any restrictions with regards to what kind of job I can apply for? And what is this type of visa/working permit called so I can research it a bit further?

Many thanks
No, no restrictions. And it's just called an L2 visa!
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Old Sep 17th 2014, 1:27 pm
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Default Re: Partner moving to Boston, MA - how can I join him?

Originally Posted by BunnyGirl View Post
No, no restrictions. And it's just called an L2 visa!
But the work permit, which OP would have to apply for separately after entering on an L-2 visa, is called an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Last edited by rpjs; Sep 17th 2014 at 1:29 pm.
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Old Sep 17th 2014, 2:39 pm
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Default Re: Partner moving to Boston, MA - how can I join him?

Originally Posted by rpjs View Post
But the work permit, which OP would have to apply for separately after entering on an L-2 visa, is called an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
I have done some reading on this EAD form and if I understand correctly I can apply for one once I have my L2 visa and am physically in the US, and it takes approximately 2-3 months to be authorised?

Are there any major pitfalls or barriers I need to be cautious of when it comes to applying for the L2 and EAD?

Thanks again for all the comments, most helpful
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Old Sep 17th 2014, 2:49 pm
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Default Re: Partner moving to Boston, MA - how can I join him?

One of the easier routes and with fewer hassles.
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Old Sep 17th 2014, 3:19 pm
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Default Re: Partner moving to Boston, MA - how can I join him?

Get married.

Get a company transfer, so you get a L2 and are allowed to work. Once you get the EAD, but it's usually needing to be renewed every year, the EAD that is. Sometimes it is valid for two years.

You can apply for work and look for a H1 but realistically, chances are slim.

Other tips, the wiki has some info, plenty of past threads on Boston and the burbs.

Facebook, search out the Boston Brits group, lot of good info there...and if you're in the burbs, there's a Metrowest group that has some info and then both the North/Southshore, but they're even less busy.

Oh and how much outside of Boston are we talking? People still describe Worcester as a suburb of Boston if they want to sound fancy but it is a million miles away from being considered Boston, I also saw a company in Northampton describing themselves as outside of Boston, they're 2 odd hours west.
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Old Sep 19th 2014, 1:24 pm
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Default Re: Partner moving to Boston, MA - how can I join him?

What they said above:
Get hitched
He applies for an L1 visa (Probably an L1-A by the sounds of it)
You get an L2 Visa to boot
You arrive and apply for an EAD which should come through after 60-90 days
Simples!

We're doing it right now and will hopefully touch down in January.
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Old Sep 19th 2014, 5:57 pm
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Default Re: Partner moving to Boston, MA - how can I join him?

and once you have the EAD - your partners company can THEN employ you for that admin role which would a) help finances in the meantime and b) demonstrate that you are employed in 'a job' as opposed to unemployed and looking for one - which can make it easier to get a new role. I suspect you may want to come up with a better title then 'admin assistant' tho :P
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Old Sep 19th 2014, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: Partner moving to Boston, MA - how can I join him?

'Executive Assistant' seems to be the current choice. Eurgh.
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Old Sep 20th 2014, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: Partner moving to Boston, MA - how can I join him?

Originally Posted by hungryhorace View Post
'Executive Assistant' seems to be the current choice. Eurgh.
Current choice? They're not the same job, how can an admin assistant just 'choose' to be called an EA?
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Old Sep 20th 2014, 5:16 pm
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Default Re: Partner moving to Boston, MA - how can I join him?

Originally Posted by charlottefhutton View Post
I have done some reading on this EAD form and if I understand correctly I can apply for one once I have my L2 visa and am physically in the US, and it takes approximately 2-3 months to be authorised?
Correct - and all of this presupposes that your (then) husband is getting an L-1 visa. You've hinted at it, but you haven't actually said it. Whether you'll be allowed to work or not is completely dependent on the visa your (then) husband gets - unless you qualify independently for your own visa and not a derivative visa (such as an L-2).

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Old Sep 20th 2014, 5:23 pm
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Default Re: Partner moving to Boston, MA - how can I join him?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
Current choice? They're not the same job, how can an admin assistant just 'choose' to be called an EA?
People call themselves whatever they wish to in these type roles. It's how the title, Marketing 'Executive' came about.
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Old Sep 20th 2014, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: Partner moving to Boston, MA - how can I join him?

I don't think they can just choose their own title. The title is affixed to whatever the company calls a person in that role. My title used to be Sr. Admin Assistant. The company changed my title to be Facilities Coordinator, but my job duties stayed the same. I can't choose to call myself whatever I want to.

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