Working in NYC as a bartender from the UK
I'm looking for some advice. I'm a 32 year old bartender in London who wants to move to New York to live and work.
Now I know that it's apparently not legally possible to work in the states without the appropriate visa, which one would have to obtain via being sponsored by a company.
My question is, is it possible for me to go to NYC on a tourist visa, look for work as a bartender and then have them sponsor me?
I know bartending is not in the specialist occupation category, but my experience is vast and I always have huge interest from prospective employers here in the UK.
Has anyone reading this done this sort of thing before? Would the owners of some bars be willing to sponsor me considering my experience is so good? What are my options?
Thanks in advance
Sponsoring someone for a visa for employment is not a simple, nor a cost-fee process. There are filing fees for the paperwork and there may be legal fees for the employer. It is also absolutely illegal for the job candidate to reimburse the employer for any of those costs involved in getting the appropriate visa.
Secondly, if you were to succeed in finding an employer willing to hire you (and I'm not sure how likely that would be), you would probably have to return back "home" while awaiting the visa processing.
I know there used to be "seasonal" work in the hospitality industry, which definitely includes bartending, but I'm not sure what the status is these days of those types of visas - actually part of the H1B program, IIRC. Perhaps someone lurking has some recent experience of this sort of thing and could advise. (But these visas were limited to a few months at a time.)
Getting hired as a bartender
You can't accept employment in the USA on a tourist visa. A company can't legally hire you unless you are already in possession of a visa that allows you to work here, and you must already have a social security number (taxpayer id). You can't enter on a tourist visa and have it 'converted' - you'd need to leave the country while the visa was in process.
You might be able to get a job working under the table, but getting caught means deportation and a ban from re-entering the USA for you, and some hefty fines for the employer. The only way I could imagine a restaurant or bar doing the visa work on your behalf would be if you were actually partnering (bringing a financial investment) in the venue.
Wish I had better news, but it's tough to get a visa for that kind of job over here.
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