If My Husband Gets Employment In The States, How Do I Go With Him?

Hi everyone! Long time no see.

My husband and I are Canadians, currently living in Toronto.

Let’s pretend for a minute that my husband gets a job in the States. We’ll assume it’s long-term, not contract work. As such, his employer will, I assume, arrange for a Visa. (Or would they help out with a green card? I don’t know how that works.)

What are the legalities regarding me as his spouse? Obviously, he would have to move to the States, and obviously, I’d need to go with him, for various and obvious reasons (apart from the fact that we couldn’t afford two mortgages/rents).

So how would I get to the States? Is there a special Visa/green card process for the spouses of employed non-Americans?

I believe all US work-related visas have provisions for bringing their spouse. You’d apply for it at the same time. If he’s getting a H1B visa, you’d get a H-4. If it’s a L-1, you’d get an L-2. It shouldn’t be a problem - the hard part is getting his work visa approved.

Whether the spouse can work in the US is a different matter. H-4 doesn’t allow you to work in the US, but the L-2 does.

Getting an H1B work visa isn’t easy these days. There’s an annual quota which is used up immediately every year - in fact, last year they had to do a random draw because the number of applications received on the 1st day exceeded the quota. Unless you’re working for a non-profit organization (including most universities and research institutions), in which case there’s no quota.

This site might help —> http://www.usavisanow.com/l1spouseEADoverview.html

Also try this —> http://www.querycat.com/faq/9a605639d16e354741e15a4e5349c455

However, my WAG considering the post-9/11 paranoia within the government may not bode well for you. You would do well to consult a professional immigration expert. There is a Doper professional immigration expert who might lend a hand if she reads this thread.

NAFTA created a special “status” for Canadians and Mexicans wanting to temporary work and live US, called TN for the worker and TD for the dependents. Having TN or TD status is similar to holding an H-1B and H-4 visa, with differences, I think, in duration of stay and ability to get a green card later.

There are no current quota limits for granting TN status.

I believe the process to receive TN and TD status is streamlined for Canadians.

See official government page: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1274.html

I’m the spouse of someone who got a J-1 visa to work and study in the U.S.
Being legally married (that’s your first issue there) I was eligible for a J-2, which let me live in the U.S.

As for working in the states, once I was there, I was allowed to make a separate application for an EAD (work permit).

Nice. Thanks guys. We’re legally married, or at least the chapel in Vegas said we were. :wink: