View Full Version : Friend visiting the US now has a job offer in US--can she accept it?

12-07-2006, 07:58 PM
A friend of mine from Spain recently came to the United States (legally, with her passport and a plane ticket) for a visit. She was granted a tourist visa good for 90 days, but she was also half-hoping to find work during her stay. She did--a respectable employer has offered her a full-time job making a decent living wage, and she has already filed for a tax ID number as she intends to pay federal income tax and whatnot.

Considering her desire to be a tax-paying, contributing member of American society, and that she *did* come to the country legally, is there a way for her to stay and gain legal residence (ourside of marrying a citizen)? Can her employer assist with this, maybe with a work visa? Or can one get a work visa *after* one has entered the country? Or... does she have to go back to Spain, file for the visa at the embassy there, etc.?

12-07-2006, 08:19 PM
IANAL, I don't play one on TV and this is not legal advice. However, as an American living in Japan, and knowing many Japanese and other foreigners who work in Amercia, I've had some experience with immigrations, this is my experience. YMMV.

She'll need to obtain a work visa before she starts to work. Her prospective employeer will need to sponser her and she'll need to leave the country in order to change visa status.

Note that this visa is not necessarily easy to obtain.

I found some information for you on the US Embassy in Spain site (http://madrid.usembassy.gov/cons/immigrenemploymentbased.html).

12-07-2006, 08:34 PM
I did this - legally and can try and help.

What kind of employment is it? Working in a gas station won't do, Nor will being a clerical worker or secretary. Generally a degree is needed.

From http://www.workpermit.com/us/us_h1b.htm

The H1B visa is designed to be used for staff in "speciality occupations", that is those occupations which require a high degree of specialized knowledge. Generally at least the equivalent of a job-relevant 4-year US Bachelor's degree is required (this requirement can usually be met by having a 3-year degree and 3 years' relevant post-graduate experience). However, professionals such as lawyers, doctors, accountants and others must be licensed to practice in the state of intended employment e.g. a lawyer must generally have passed the relevant state bar exam.

There is also an H2-B..

Positions that are not "speciality occupations", or for which the candidate lacks the qualifications/experience for an H1B visa, may be filled using an H-2B visa. The disadvantage of the H-2B visa is that it requires 'labor certification' - an expensive and time consuming process that involves extensive advertising of the position, and satisfying the authorities that there are no US workers available to do the job. Also, H-2B visas are initially granted only for one year, extendable in one year increments to a maximum of 3 years. As each extension requires a new Labor Certification, it unsurprising that, of the annual quota of 66,000 H-2B visas, only a few thousand are ever issued.

12-07-2006, 08:43 PM
By the way OP, if she is working on a tourist visa, both she and the employer are breaking the law. If caught, she will be deported and maybe denied future entry. The company can be fined.

I am not a lawyer etc.

12-07-2006, 09:02 PM
And finally (boy I wish there was an edit here), yes, her prospective employer will have to sponsor her. The employer will have to provide basic financials to prove the company is real along with details of companies business and history. She will have to provide an extensive CV and employment history, she will need to provide proof of schooling and education including diplomas etc. She will need letters of reference form previous employers.

After submitting this, it took me about a month for it to be approved. I then had to leave the US, take my papers back to London, have a medical exam including XRays and an HIV test, be interviewed by an INS officer at the American Embassy and then I was issued the visa to re-enter the US.

My experience back in 1989. YMMV, things may have changed. There is no INS for example.

It ain't a walk in the park. People wonder why I'm pissed with the open southern border!

12-07-2006, 09:29 PM
Wowzers! Thanks for all the info. I'll pass this on to her and she can take it from there. Hope it works out for her--looks like she'll need to be a bit of a gymnast to jump through all these hoops, but she might be able to do it.

Eva Luna
12-07-2006, 09:41 PM
Wowzers! Thanks for all the info. I'll pass this on to her and she can take it from there. Hope it works out for her--looks like she'll need to be a bit of a gymnast to jump through all these hoops, but she might be able to do it.

If she needs an H-1B, it ain't gonna be for this year. The entire fiscal year quota was used up long before the fiscal year began. More details here. (http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=138b6138f898d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=91919c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD) And here (http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=c487d92e8003f010VgnVCM1000000ecd190aRCRD&vgnextchannel=2411c9ee2f82b010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD) is more detail on the H-1B category and how it works.

The H-2B category probably won't work, either; it's for jobs that are seasonal in nature. I just put together the first stage of the recruitment/prevailing wage info for a bunch of them last week.

If you post some more info about the job and her qualifications, I'll take a crack at it, but unless she and/or the job meet some pretty narrow criteria, she may not have a work permit anytime soon.

Eva Luna, Immigration Paralegal

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