Immigration question

Not to hijack a previous thread on immigration I have a question …

I have a friend in Germany who would love to come over to the US, but he has not had much luck applying for jobs from over there. What are the odds that he could just put in some generic request for a visa to immigrate and actually be allowed to move over here? What would be the best way for him to actually manage to get over here, get a tourist visa and apply for jobs and home he can fond something with an employer willing to put in the paperwork for a work visa?

I don’t know specifically about U.S. law, but tourist visas usually don’t allow you to take employment or practice a profession. Technically, that wouldn’t stop him from applying for jobs and hoping he’d get a visa including a working permit after finding a job; but I think his chances of actually finding employment if he’s in the U.S. solely on a tourist visa are rather slim.

Maybe participation in the Green Card lottery and just hoping for the best would be an idea.

By “generic request for a visa” do you mean simply applying saying something like, “Um, I’d like to come to the USA for no particular reason”? I think that would be the greencard lottery mentioned above.

Other than that, his chances of getting a visa without a job or family connection (spouse, for example) to the USA are, I would WAG, zero.

There’s nothing to stop him coming over on a tourist visa/VWP and asking around about jobs, but he wouldn’t be able to work on those visas. He’d have to return to Germany and have his prospective employer sponsor his application for an appropriate working visa.

General advice from the US Consulate in Germany

Great, thanks!

American immigration laws are kind of silly in that they want to control your intentions, not only your deeds, so if you come to the USA on a tourist visa with the intention of looking for work and later staying then you are technically violating the law. Immigration people will often question people about their intentions and try to trick them into incriminating themselves. If you say you have no intention of seeking for work and ou later find work the issue has to be handled very carefully because if they determine your intention was to look for work in the first place they will have grounds to deport you.

A Mexican friend of mine married an American citizen and recently went to the interview to get her Green Card. She was coached by her lawyer very clearly that she should not say she came to the USA with the intention of getting married and to say that she had never even thought of getting married until she arrived in the USA as a tourist and later the guy popped the question and that was the first time she had even thought of marriage. Because if they determined she had entered the country with the intention of getting married then they could kick her out on the grounds that she her misrepresented her intentions.

In other words, you can come on a tourist visa with no intention of looking for work and then find work by chance but you cannot come on a tourist visa with the intention of looking for work and if they determine you did this then they will deny you a visa.

That is one reason immigration officials are routinely rude and confrontational: they are trying to make people nervous and hope they will give away this kind of information.