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What to do whilst on spousal non-work visa?

What to do whilst on spousal non-work visa?

Old Jan 7th 2020, 11:39 am
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Default What to do whilst on spousal non-work visa?

Hi everybody! I'm looking for advice on what I could do for 3-6 months in the Bay Area. I'm moving with my partner who is on secondment to the States and has a work visa, however my spousal visa does not permit me to work. I had hoped to do an internship with a company as a way of avoiding breaking any employment/immigration laws but have discovered that I even that is not permitted (due to California's progressive employee rights). So, now I'm looking at volunteer roles or maybe even a course of some sort. I just don't know what! Is there anybody else on here in a similar situation? I appreciate all suggestions and any advice. Thanks!
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 11:53 am
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Default Re: What to do whilst on spousal non-work visa?

you mention "partner" which suggests not married, and then "spousal visa" . Please could you tell us what visa you have?
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 2:32 pm
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Default Re: What to do whilst on spousal non-work visa?

Hi petitefrancaise
Sorry, maybe I should have clarified. The visa bit is irrelevant to my question as his company's HR department have already informed me that I will not be allowed to work on any of the visa options we go for. The visa's are in progress and it's just for simplicity that I call it a spousal visa. (I can't remember the titles and numbers of the different types of visas anyway). My question is more to do with what sort of volunteering positions I could do in such a short period, or any courses at colleges/universities or small institutions. I'd thought of doing an internship somewhere to learn some more skills but because California's laws protect employees/interns from possible exploitation, it's a requirement that interns be paid after a week or so. Or so I've been informed. So, internship and paid work are not an option for me. But I'll go bonkers if I don't have something to do in those 3 - 6 months. I've explored SF extensively on previous trips and have done most of the tourist stuff (which I'll do again no doubt because I love that city.).
Thanks x
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 2:38 pm
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Default Re: What to do whilst on spousal non-work visa?

You need to do something that is purely volunteer work, something nobody would ever be paid to do in lieu of you doing it. So, even looking after someone elses child would create a problem. Usually this will mean doing some volunteer hours for a charity, such as a Humane Society (if you like animals), or helping the homeless. I very much doubt you'll have trouble finding something like that to do, it's more a question of it being something you can truly help with and be happy with.
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 2:48 pm
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Default Re: What to do whilst on spousal non-work visa?

Courses and education that don't lead to a degree and therefore are not eligible for an F-1 education visa can be attended by those legally in the US on a visitor or non-working visa. Are you interested in learning or expanding a skill or hobby?
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: What to do whilst on spousal non-work visa?

Thanks Pulaski , That's helpful to know. Yeah I love animals so the humane society is a good shout. I'd already thought about helping the homeless and will look into that a bit more too.
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 2:54 pm
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Default Re: What to do whilst on spousal non-work visa?

Originally Posted by HarlsBarkley View Post
Hi petitefrancaise
Sorry, maybe I should have clarified. The visa bit is irrelevant to my question as his company's HR department have already informed me that I will not be allowed to work on any of the visa options we go for.
Thanks x
so, you are married?
if it's a company transfer, then one of the visa options is L1 (L2 spousal) and you would be able to work once your work permit (EAD) has been granted - 4-6 months after arrival. I'm querying the advice you've been given or the interpretation of what you heard.
Plenty of volunteer opportunities depending on your interests.
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: What to do whilst on spousal non-work visa?

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
....If it's a company transfer, then one of the visa options is L1 (L2 spousal) and you would be able to work once your work permit (EAD) has been granted - 4-6 months after arrival. I'm querying the advice you've been given or the interpretation of what you heard. .....
A good point especially re the accuracy of the advice, but the advice from HR might be "practical" advice as the period the OP is apparently expecting to be in the US is only "3-6 months", so if it takes 4-6 months to get an EAD then working in the US will be impractical given the expected length of time the OP will be in the US irrespective of what the visa's rules are on employment.
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: What to do whilst on spousal non-work visa?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
A good point especially re the accuracy of the advice, but the advice from HR might be "practical" advice as the period the OP is apparently expecting to be in the US is only "3-6 months", so if it takes 4-6 months to get an EAD then working in the US will be impractical given the expected length of time the OP will be in the US irrespective of what the visa's rules are on employment.
oops! missed that one
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 6:31 pm
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Default Re: What to do whilst on spousal non-work visa?

I wonder what visa the company is obtaining for someone who is only going to be in the US for 3 to 6 months?

.... and what is the partner eligible for? a co-habiting B/2?
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 6:46 pm
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Default Re: What to do whilst on spousal non-work visa?

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
I wonder what visa the company is obtaining for someone who is only going to be in the US for 3 to 6 months? ....
Probably an L-1 - there is no minimum time required living in the US for an L-1, and in fact no requirement to live in the US at all.

So some companies use an L-1 to allow their manager/ specialist to come and go from the US without needing to worry about whether the person is providing or receiving permitted training, attending meetings, installing imported equipment, etc, or is "working" and/or might exceed the 90 days in the US allowed under a B1/B2,
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: What to do whilst on spousal non-work visa?

There is plenty of volunteer work to be had in the Bay Area - animal shelters, old people's homes, homeless shelters, churches, charity shops, schools (although you'd need to be able to pass a background check if working with children and vulnerable people and that probably isn't possible without a social security number) etc. Warning: animal shelters are super depressing here and many of them are stuffed to the rafters with abandoned Pitbulls and Chihuahuas and various crossings of them. Try to choose a no kill shelter otherwise you'll be permanently in tears.

Look at Taproot and Idealist for 'pro-bono' opportunities if you have a business skill that might help a non-profit in their mission.

For courses, look into the University of California Extensions system (adult/career extension training) or the local community colleges (cheap non-credit short courses). There are loads of crafts, art, languages courses around too.

None of us understand what kind of visa you'll be on so best to find out the number and tell us so we can offer better advice.
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 7:23 pm
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Default Re: What to do whilst on spousal non-work visa?

Speaking as a trailing spouse here.

I left my well-paid job to come to California with my husband and kids. I wanted to support hubby's career. I initially thought I would be fine for not being able to work for one year (the minimum for getting GC). But 3 months in I am absolutely missing my job! And it doesn't help when a CEO of a UK local firm contacted me about an opening in their company...I felt I have lost my identity, my connection with the wider society, my finance independence, etc, not to mention the growing gap on my CV!

If your partner is only going to be in US for 3- 6 months, why you have to give up your career and follow? You can skype each other everyday and you can visit him. Unless the gig is for long-term, you shouldn't give up your job.

Giving up a career to move to a place where you are not ALLOWED to work is daunting. It's very different compare to you choose not to work. Oh have you looked at how expensive the living cost is in the area? Is your partner's income enough to support both of you?

Sorry for being negative but I think you need to be careful about the impact on your own career.

Last edited by park99; Jan 7th 2020 at 8:13 pm.
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 7:28 pm
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Default Re: What to do whilst on spousal non-work visa?

Hookers and blow. Usually does the trick.
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Old Jan 7th 2020, 7:35 pm
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Default Re: What to do whilst on spousal non-work visa?

Originally Posted by sherbert View Post
There is plenty of volunteer work to be had in the Bay Area - animal shelters, old people's homes, homeless shelters, churches, charity shops, schools ...
.
Just have to be careful that they aren't positions where they have paid people in some capacity, even a stipend.
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