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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am currently working remotely for a US-based startup company in the internet sector (I live in London, UK), who wish for me to move to the US to work with them there in California.

I don't have a college degree, however, so I'm thinking that pretty much precludes me from getting a H1-B visa? However, I did read that it is possible to still get a visa with no degree, providing that you have industry experience. In total, I have around four/five years' experience, but there is exceptionally high demand for people working in the specialty I work in (programmer in a particular language in the IT industry) and few people able to do my job.

I have never had any problems getting a job — even in the present economic client, and a degree is certainly not a prerequisite for doing what I do — industry experience is way more valuable to employers at least, just not the US government, clearly (and I can see why). I've been to the US many times before, I have many friends there, and know that there would be no problem from a personal standpoint at least living there. There's just the visa issue to tackle :)

Oh, I forgot to mention. I have never been arrested, I have no criminal record whatsoever. None of my relatives have a US visa.

I was just wondering if there are any others out there that have either been through this or can offer any advice on if it would be possible to get a visa to live/work in the US with my situation?

It'd be great to be able to get this straight in my head at least… the USCIS site is a total maze and I find myself getting muddled up all the time, haha.

Any help/advice anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated :)
 

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The H1b is out. You need 12 years of experience to substitute for a degree.

You should investigate whether your work for them abroad will qualify you for an L1. If you work as an independent contractor, this will be difficult. But if you worked for a UK subsidiary for at least one year, this would be possible. There is no requirement for a degree for the L1b visa but you do need to show specialist company knowledge

The only other way they could sponsor you is as an EB3 with an immigrant visa. The long line is a major negative, though. They're currently processing application from June 2002!
 

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I' m not sure which visa it would be, but when my husband was initially hired to help start up the French branch of an American company, they brought him over for an extended period of time (6 months at least) for what was called training - though he definitely did some real work during that time, too.

It will be up to the legal experts for the US company to figure out, but there might be some possibility of using some form of visa designed for training to at least get you over there for 6 months or a year.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I' m not sure which visa it would be, but when my husband was initially hired to help start up the French branch of an American company, they brought him over for an extended period of time (6 months at least) for what was called training - though he definitely did some real work during that time, too.

It will be up to the legal experts for the US company to figure out, but there might be some possibility of using some form of visa designed for training to at least get you over there for 6 months or a year.
Cheers,
Bev

Internship on a J1? Don't think it'd fly. But worth a look, I suppose.
 

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Internship on a J1? Don't think it'd fly. But worth a look, I suppose.
I don't know if it was a J1. I do know that he brought his (then) wife and kids over for the six months or whatever it was - so it was something that allowed bringing the family with him.

The "catch" is that he was setting up the French office - and I suppose the OP here would have to be returning to the UK (or wherever) to get the company up and running elsewhere at the end of his tenure.

But it's a way to get some time in the US.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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