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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

My partner and I are considering a move in the next few years to North America. She is 25, soon to be qualified to degree level with a Business Management degree, I am 26 soon to be qualified as an Accounting Technician (AAT). We both have several years experience working in the fields we're to be qualified in, although as far as I can see AAT isn't recognised elsewhere. Additionally, she has a sister living in New Mexico, who left the UK around 20 years ago, as well as a brother and Aunt in Canada.

The first thing I'd like a bit of help with is where do we stand in terms of eligibility for a permanent visa? I know jobs are thin on the ground at the moment, but assuming we both found work what are our chances. I've read some other posts and as far as I can see we're both falling into the eligible category but I don't feel like I've got a full understanding. I'm aware that both countries have separate rules for migrants but most Westernised countries seem to have very similar requirements.

The second thing is, I have never visited North America, but since my early teens the idea has always been in the back of my mind that one day I'd like to live there - even if it all falls flat I would still like to give it a try. My partner has visited Canada a few times before, but never the USA. I have looked into this move to an extent in the past so am aware of some of the major issues or changes we'll face (healthcare will be the major one, as my partner has a blood disorder which means two visits to hospital every year for blood tests). I am hoping other UK expats living in USA/Canada could offer any ideas for what we might consider a major change, and maybe whether they recommend the US or Canada :)

If you've read this far thank you for taking the time to read, hope you can offer me some advice :)

Matt
 

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Unfortunately, your chances (for the US, at least) don't look good. To go the job route means you would somehow have to convince an employer to sponsor you for a visa - a long and expensive process that favors those with unique job skills and at least several years of experience in their fields.

For the accounting field in general, you'd be expected to have (at the least) a university degree in accounting (and again, your experience would probably get you closer to your goal than the mere qualification).

The sister in New Mexico could be of some use for your partner, depending on whether she has taken US citizenship or not - but Fatbrit keeps mentioning that they are considering eliminating that route, and even if they don't, it takes years before your file will get processed. Unless you and your partner get married, the sister in New Mexico does you no good whatsoever.

Your best bet for the time being would be to try and find jobs in your respective areas with large international companies and do your best to get experience related to international business or business in the US. After a few years and some "networking" with the US branches, you might manage a chance at a transfer (which is the "A ticket" way to get to the US under most circumstances).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Unfortunately, your chances (for the US, at least) don't look good. To go the job route means you would somehow have to convince an employer to sponsor you for a visa - a long and expensive process that favors those with unique job skills and at least several years of experience in their fields.

For the accounting field in general, you'd be expected to have (at the least) a university degree in accounting (and again, your experience would probably get you closer to your goal than the mere qualification).

The sister in New Mexico could be of some use for your partner, depending on whether she has taken US citizenship or not - but Fatbrit keeps mentioning that they are considering eliminating that route, and even if they don't, it takes years before your file will get processed. Unless you and your partner get married, the sister in New Mexico does you no good whatsoever.

Your best bet for the time being would be to try and find jobs in your respective areas with large international companies and do your best to get experience related to international business or business in the US. After a few years and some "networking" with the US branches, you might manage a chance at a transfer (which is the "A ticket" way to get to the US under most circumstances).
Cheers,
Bev
Thanks Bev, I don't know who to speak to to find out more, for example the US Embassy? I always find it easier talking to a person rather than reading their guidelines on the official .gov website.

Maybe the sister is a promising route then, I know she's taken citizenship and we're not looking to go for a few years in any case, maybe if I look at getting the ball rolling on that soon we'll have some luck (I'm working on the marriage side of things hehe).

One last thought regarding the US, how would I stand in terms of a student visa if I were studying for professional qualification through work, then take my chances on getting a job once qualified? The qualification I'm working towards isn't quite a degree, but in terms of further study in accountancy it's regarded as being the same level as a degree.

Lastly, can anyone give me an insight into my original question from a Canada perspective?

Thanks
Matt
 

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Thanks Bev, I don't know who to speak to to find out more, for example the US Embassy? I always find it easier talking to a person rather than reading their guidelines on the official .gov website.

Maybe the sister is a promising route then, I know she's taken citizenship and we're not looking to go for a few years in any case, maybe if I look at getting the ball rolling on that soon we'll have some luck (I'm working on the marriage side of things hehe).

One last thought regarding the US, how would I stand in terms of a student visa if I were studying for professional qualification through work, then take my chances on getting a job once qualified? The qualification I'm working towards isn't quite a degree, but in terms of further study in accountancy it's regarded as being the same level as a degree.

Lastly, can anyone give me an insight into my original question from a Canada perspective?

Thanks
Matt
The embassy doesn't really do advice for non citizens. It takes your money and processes your paperwork, period. The only professional advice you should take on US immigration matters is from a US immigration lawyer. Be wary of the many scam sites on the web.

Sibling sponsorship is numerically limited. They're currently processing petitions received in October 1999! There is a forthcoming immigration bill, and this is a category that could very well be scrapped since it's obviously got out of hand. What will happen to the those already in the line is anyone's guess. If you want to risk the $500 or so, get her to put the petition in.

On the work front, I don't see much hope -- you really need an academic degree or 12 years of experience as a substitute. BTW, I expect the substitution loophole might also go in the forthcoming bill. Your best hope would be a transfer from a UK office to a US office of a large accounting company. But I'd suspect you had to be quite high on the food chain to achieve this.

A student visa and suitable course of study can often prove fruitful. You get a free year after graduating to find yourself a sponsor. However, the drawback is the cost. International student fees are not cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The embassy doesn't really do advice for non citizens. It takes your money and processes your paperwork, period. The only professional advice you should take on US immigration matters is from a US immigration lawyer. Be wary of the many scam sites on the web.

Sibling sponsorship is numerically limited. They're currently processing petitions received in October 1999! There is a forthcoming immigration bill, and this is a category that could very well be scrapped since it's obviously got out of hand. What will happen to the those already in the line is anyone's guess. If you want to risk the $500 or so, get her to put the petition in.

On the work front, I don't see much hope -- you really need an academic degree or 12 years of experience as a substitute. BTW, I expect the substitution loophole might also go in the forthcoming bill. Your best hope would be a transfer from a UK office to a US office of a large accounting company. But I'd suspect you had to be quite high on the food chain to achieve this.

A student visa and suitable course of study can often prove fruitful. You get a free year after graduating to find yourself a sponsor. However, the drawback is the cost. International student fees are not cheap.
Well that's pretty disappointing! It seems that my girlfriends chances could be good - she'll have a BA within a year, and there's the aforementioned sister. As for me it looks like I'm screwed for the next 7 years or so (until I can get ACA, ACCA or CIMA qualified!). Maybe we should get married and I'll ride in on her coat tails with my fingers crossed :)

I don't think I could afford to stop working and become a student full time so that avenue is probably closed off eh. I'll just have to keep my eyes peeled for opportunities or something

Thank you for your advice anyway!

Matt
 
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