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January 2011 Jeffrey Pilgreen Working in the United States U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver.

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Presentation on theme: "January 2011 Jeffrey Pilgreen Working in the United States U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver."— Presentation transcript:

1 January 2011 Jeffrey Pilgreen Working in the United States U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

2 Visa vs. Status – What’s the difference? U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver Gives you permission to apply for entry Gives you legal status and length of stay in the U.S.

3 Canadians do not need a visa to work! They can apply for their working status directly at the Port of Entry. They can apply for their working status directly at the Port of Entry. Canadians still have to prove they meet the requirements for the status they seek. Canadians still have to prove they meet the requirements for the status they seek. U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

4 Visa Waiver Program participants You cannot work in the United States on the Visa Waiver Program. You must apply for a visa.

5 General information about working visas Most U.S. employment visas are employer-initiated, petition-based visas Most U.S. employment visas are employer-initiated, petition-based visas Department of Homeland Security adjudicates all employment-based petitions Department of Homeland Security adjudicates all employment-based petitions Almost 450,000 employment-based visas issued in 2007 Almost 450,000 employment-based visas issued in ,000 H1B petitions approved each year 65,000 H1B petitions approved each year U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

6 Obtaining an employment visa 1.Find a job and an employer in the U.S. 2.Have your U.S. employer petition for your employment through U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 3.Once you obtain your approved petition, set an appointment for visa interview 4.Attend visa interview U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

7 Skilled workers are needed and welcomed Accountants Accountants Financial and business analysts Financial and business analysts Software engineers Software engineers Physical therapists Physical therapists Medical technologists Medical technologists Nurses Nurses Executives or managers Executives or managers Workers with specialized knowledge Workers with specialized knowledge U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

8 Petition-based working visas H-1B – temporary worker in specialized occupation H-1B – temporary worker in specialized occupation H-1C – foreign nurses H-1C – foreign nurses H-2A – seasonal agricultural workers H-2A – seasonal agricultural workers H-2B – laborers and tradesmen H-2B – laborers and tradesmen H-3 – trainees H-3 – trainees J – exchange visitor J – exchange visitor L – intracompany transfer L – intracompany transfer P – athletes, artists, and entertainers P – athletes, artists, and entertainers R – religious workers R – religious workers

9 Working visas that do not require petitions B1 – temporary visitor for business B1 – temporary visitor for business D – crew members D – crew members E – treaty trader/treaty investor E – treaty trader/treaty investor I – information media representatives I – information media representatives

10 H visas – Skilled and unskilled workers H-1B workers H-1B workers − Workers with specialized skills (engineers, computer professionals, and so on) Must have Bachelor’s degree or higher Must have Bachelor’s degree or higher − Doctors Proper licensing (state and USMLE) Proper licensing (state and USMLE) English language (ECFMG certification or graduate of U.S school) English language (ECFMG certification or graduate of U.S school) − Fashion models Must be prominent, well-known Must be prominent, well-known

11 H visas (continued) H-1C H-1C − Nurses − Full and unrestricted license to practice nursing − Must pass approved examination (CGFNS) − Must be able to practice immediately H-2A H-2A − Agricultural workers − Must be nationals of participating countries

12 H visas (continued) H-2B H-2B − Temporary and seasonal workers − Perform non-agricultural work (not medical workers) − Must be nationals of participating countries H-3 H-3 − Trainees − Receiving training in any field not provided by an academic or vocational institution − Special education exchange program participants

13 Total periods of stay on H visas H-1B H-1B − Total period of stay no more than six years, with one possible extension of an additional three years for models and specialized workers − Total period of stay no more than 10 years for DOD R&D project workers H-2A and H-2B – total period of stay no more than three years H-2A and H-2B – total period of stay no more than three years H-3 H-3 − Total period of stay no more than two years − Total period of stay no more than 18 months in a special education exchange program

14 L visa – Intracompany transfer Petitioner is same company for whom you are employed abroad Petitioner is same company for whom you are employed abroad You are a manager or executive, or have specialized knowledge, and are taking a managerial or executive position or a position requiring specialized knowledge You are a manager or executive, or have specialized knowledge, and are taking a managerial or executive position or a position requiring specialized knowledge You must have one year prior continuous qualifying experience within the previous three years You must have one year prior continuous qualifying experience within the previous three years

15 Readmission after maximum stay on BOTH H and L visas H-1B and L – must reside outside the U.S. for the immediate prior year H-1B and L – must reside outside the U.S. for the immediate prior year H-2A and H-2B – must reside outside the U.S for the immediate prior three months H-2A and H-2B – must reside outside the U.S for the immediate prior three months H-3 – must reside outside the U.S. for the immediate prior six months H-3 – must reside outside the U.S. for the immediate prior six months

16 J-1 – Exchange visitor Accepted into designated exchange visitor program Accepted into designated exchange visitor program Financial ability to pay for expenses Financial ability to pay for expenses Adequate English language ability Adequate English language ability Intend to return to country of residence Intend to return to country of residence Qualified for program Qualified for program Comply with INA 212(e), if applicable Comply with INA 212(e), if applicable U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

17 Categories of exchange visitors Physician Physician Au Pair Au Pair Camp counselor Camp counselor Government visitor Government visitor Intern Intern International visitor International visitor Professor Professor Research scholar Research scholar Short-term scholar Short-term scholar Specialist Specialist Students Students Summer work travel Summer work travel Teacher Teacher Trainee Trainee U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

18 Exchange visas and INA Section 212(e) Some participants in exchange programs may not be permitted to change status, obtain an immigrant visa, or acquire certain non-immigrant visas until they have resided in their country of nationality or last country of residence for two years following the completion of their exchange program.

19 NAFTA professional worker (TN) status Canadian professionals apply for TN status at the Port of Entry, not at the Consulate Canadian professionals apply for TN status at the Port of Entry, not at the Consulate − No visa is required, TN is status only − Applicants must show: Proof of citizenship Proof of citizenship Evidence of an offer of employment in a profession covered by the treaty Evidence of an offer of employment in a profession covered by the treaty Evidence of minimum education and/or experience Evidence of minimum education and/or experience − Complete list of skills and requirements: U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

20 B-1 – Temporary visitor for business Engage in commercial transactions which do not involve employment in the U.S. Engage in commercial transactions which do not involve employment in the U.S. Negotiate contracts Negotiate contracts Consult with business associates Consult with business associates Litigate Litigate Participate in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences or seminars Participate in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences or seminars Undertake independent research Undertake independent research U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

21 Other business activities allowed under B-1 Domestic or personal employee for U.S. citizen or foreign national Domestic or personal employee for U.S. citizen or foreign national Professional athlete Professional athlete Yacht crewperson Yacht crewperson Foreign airline employees Foreign airline employees Installing, servicing or repairing foreign-purchased industrial equipment Installing, servicing or repairing foreign-purchased industrial equipment Cultural program participants Cultural program participants Some musicians and other performers Some musicians and other performers Some religious workers Some religious workers Some trainers and exhibitors Some trainers and exhibitors U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

22 E – Treaty trader and treaty investor Hired by an E-qualified company Hired by an E-qualified company Must be executive, supervisory, or essential employee (similar to L visa requirements) Must be executive, supervisory, or essential employee (similar to L visa requirements) Employer applies for you Employer applies for you U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

23 Qualifying for an employment visa Are you qualified for the position? Are you qualified for the position? − Bring your degree, transcripts, etc to prove you do Is your U.S. employer qualified to petition you? Is your U.S. employer qualified to petition you? − Bring your employer’s financial documents Does the position you have been offered qualify as a specialty skill job? Does the position you have been offered qualify as a specialty skill job? − Bring the I-129 packet your employer gave you Will you be likely to be paid as petitioned? Will you be likely to be paid as petitioned? − Bring your employer’s labor certification U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

24 Studying in the United States U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

25 What kind of study visa do I need? F1 – for academic study F1 – for academic study − College, university, seminary, conservatory, or other academic institution or in a language training program M1 – for non-academic study M1 – for non-academic study − Established vocational or other recognized non- academic institution other than a language training program J1 – for exchange programs J1 – for exchange programs − Work/travel, au pair, company/medical internship, or academic research U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

26 Qualifying for an F1 or M1 student visa Students are required to demonstrate: Students are required to demonstrate: − Intent to return to their country of residence upon completion of their studies − Financial ability to pay for schooling (tuition plus expenses) − Commitment to full-time course of study − English language ability U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

27 Qualifying for an J1 exchange visa Students are required to demonstrate: Students are required to demonstrate: − Intent to return to their country of residence upon completion of their studies − Financial ability to pay for schooling (tuition plus expenses) − Adequate medical insurance for the duration of the program − English language ability − If you are entering as an intern or resident for clinical training at a hospital, you must present evidence that you have passed the VQE or FMGEMS exam U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

28 Exchange visas and INA Section 212(e) Some participants in exchange programs may not be permitted to change status, obtain an immigrant visa, or acquire certain non-immigrant visas until they have resided in their country of nationality or last country of residence for two years following the completion of their exchange program. Some participants in exchange programs may not be permitted to change status, obtain an immigrant visa, or acquire certain non-immigrant visas until they have resided in their country of nationality or last country of residence for two years following the completion of their exchange program.

29 Can I stay in the U.S. after I graduate? You can stay up to 14 months after you graduate to do an Optional Practical Training (i.e., work after graduation). You can stay up to 14 months after you graduate to do an Optional Practical Training (i.e., work after graduation). Beyond that you must obtain an employment- based visa or immigrant visa. Beyond that you must obtain an employment- based visa or immigrant visa. The J visa may require that you return to your country of residence for a period of 2 years. The J visa may require that you return to your country of residence for a period of 2 years. U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

30 Can spouses or children also work or study in the U.S. ? F1 and M1: F1 and M1: − Dependents and spouses cannot work − Children of F1 and M1 applicants MAY study full-time − Spouses cannot study full-time unless they qualify for an F1 or M1 visa in their own right. J1 dependents may work if authorized by DHS J1 dependents may work if authorized by DHS U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

31 Can I work while I’m a student? On an F1 visa, you can: On an F1 visa, you can: − work on-campus for up to 20 hours a week while school is in session, including breaks if you intend to register for the next term − work off-campus for up to 20 hours a week during subsequent years of study IF you have been authorized by the designated school official − engage in off-campus practical training only after receiving permission from DHS and with certain other limits

32 Can I work while I’m a student? However, on an F1 visa, you may NOT: However, on an F1 visa, you may NOT: − work off-campus during the first academic year of study − continue to work on-campus after you have completed your course of study On an M1 visa, you may NOT: On an M1 visa, you may NOT: − work except for practical training

33 Applying for a visa U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

34 How to apply for a visa Make an appointment: Make an appointment: − − (Vancouver) − (toll free) Pay the MRV fee Pay the MRV fee Attend the interview Attend the interview Please plan ahead; you may not get an appointment immediately: Please plan ahead; you may not get an appointment immediately: − U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

35 DS-160 form DS-160 form Proper form (I-797, DS-2019, I-20) Proper form (I-797, DS-2019, I-20) Passport and photo Passport and photo Proof of legal status in Canada Proof of legal status in Canada For complete list: For complete list: What to bring to the visa interview U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

36 What to expect at the Consulate Be prepared to answer questions about your qualifications and abilities. Your documents alone are not enough. Be prepared to answer questions about your qualifications and abilities. Your documents alone are not enough. BE HONEST! BE HONEST! Some applicants will require additional administrative processing which can take days to months to complete. Some applicants will require additional administrative processing which can take days to months to complete. U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

37 Visa approved! Do not finalize your travel plans until your U.S. visa is in your hands! Do not finalize your travel plans until your U.S. visa is in your hands! Go to the U.S. with your visa and obtain the proper status. Go to the U.S. with your visa and obtain the proper status. U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

38 Visa refused – Why? Presumption of immigrant intent Presumption of immigrant intent Failure to meet the requirements of the visa for which you are applying Failure to meet the requirements of the visa for which you are applying Fraud trends Fraud trends Economic and immigration trends Economic and immigration trends Each case is determined on its own merits Each case is determined on its own merits U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

39 Administrative processing Reasons for further administrative processing include: Reasons for further administrative processing include: − Insufficient documentation − Fees unpaid − Criminal or other ineligibility − Prior inadmissibility U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver

40 Questions on working in the U.S.? Temporary Workers in the United States Bureau of Consular Affairs U.S. Consulate General Vancouver

41 Questions on studying in the U.S.? Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Study in the United States For international students The student visa

42 THANK YOU! U.S. Consulate General - Vancouver


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