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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone :)

I am in need of some advice about moving to the USA and even though I've spent an hour or so browsing through all the threads, I don't have all the info I need, or that is applicable to my situation, which is as follows:

I am both Croatian and Australian and I recently graduated with BA in English at the Faculty of Liberal Arts in Zagreb, Croatia. The reason I wish to move to America is because I have a boyfriend in Houston, Texas [we met in June 2009 for the first time in person]. My predicament is how to go about it. I don't feel like I'm ready to get married yet [and I wouldn't want to marry just so I could reside in the USA] so I figure the best way to be able to stay legally in America for a longer period of time is via a work visa. This works best for me because I am excited about the opportunities America has to offer as opposed to Croatia, with regard to work and prosperity.

I am not looking to become a USC [I already have a duel citizenship] and I don't plan on living in America for the rest of my life but I would like to build a career there. I may eventually get married to my boyfriend but this is something that will either happen or not happen, it's not something I plan on doing.

Now, I have done extensive research on the types of visas I am eligible for. My best chance is getting a US employer to sponsor an E-3 Australian Work Visa for me. However, I am not entirely sure I qualify. My BA in English is actually an MA in English according to the Bologna Process. But it is not a Master's Degree per say. I am not specialized in anything particular.
How can I find out what the equivalent to my degree is in America?

I have come to find it is increasingly difficult to get a work visa. So, I am aware of my other options, which are as follows:

1. Going to the USA on the VWP [Australian passport], finding a job, returning to my home country, applying for a work visa, returning to the USA on the work visa.

2. Going to the USA as a tourist [B-2 visa, Croatian or Australian passport], finding a job in the USA, changing status and staying in the USA].

Which of these is the better option, if I don't manage to get a work visa? Do I even have a chance of getting a work visa based on my education? I forgot to mention that I have worked as an English teacher [and tutor] and I have references.

I apologize for the lengthy post but I really need some advice from someone who is experienced in this field. Any advice is very welcome, thank you in advance! :)
 

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If you were studying in Australia you could be eligiable for a 1 year working holiday visa but unless you guys get married it isn't going to happen, sorry.
 

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Hi everyone :)
...
Hi and welcome.

Afraid I don't see much hope of securing a suitable status through employment with a single, non-vocational degree and no experience to boot. Your only saving grace is access to the E3 visa -- so if you did manage to find an employer, at least you'd have a good chance at getting a visa. Any job you find would have to be a degree-level position -- you can't apply for any job. Don't forget that if you are applying for certain jobs such as. teaching, you may have to become state certified first.

If you've only just completed your degree, you may qualify for an intern program.under the J1 visa.

If you'd asked 3 weeks ago, you could have got a diversity visa lottery application in -- but it's now closed for this year.

Travel on the VWP and do not apply for the B1/2 would be my advice. Your B1/2 application is more than likely to be denied -- which puts you one step backwards rather than forward.The fact that you would have to leave for a month or so to get your visa is neither here nor there.

If you marry or intend to marry the bf, all your immigration issues become manageable. But as merely a bf, he's actually more a hindrance than a help visa-wise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the replies.
Yes, I am aware that if I apply for a work visa it has to be a job that requires a degree. What I failed to realize is that for teaching positions I probably need to be state certified first.
I have just graduated from university but I am 28 and have about 3 years teaching experience.
However, it is not necessarily a teacher's position that I would seek. With my degree I am eligible for other jobs [e.g. editor] that require a BA in English, right?
All the same, it's not easy finding employment abroad; it would be much easier if I could attend interviews and such. That's why I figured to go as a tourist and try to get a job whilst there. It's not too much of a problem to come back and get my visa in order to return to the USA, though it's costly.
I plan to travel with my dog [ I can't leave him behind!] - do you think that would be an issue of any sort?
I know that if I married my bf everything would be easier. I'm not saying it wouldn't happen, it's just that I don't want to get married JUST so I can stay. Marriage is a big deal to me, not a means to an end.
I will check out the J1 visa, I wasn't aware I was eligible for it.
Thank you once again for the advice. Merry Christmas!
 

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I plan to travel with my dog [ I can't leave him behind!] - do you think that would be an issue of any sort?
Yes. Attempting to enter with a pet on the VWP or a B1/2 is almost a guarantee of denied entry since it shows strong immigrant intent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh no!!! Are you serious?? But I can't leave him. I don't intend to immigrate to the USA, I have strong ties back home; isn't there any way I can prove that? I'm just taking my pet with me on vacation, how does that show strong immigration intent?
 

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Oh no!!! Are you serious?? But I can't leave him. I don't intend to immigrate to the USA, I have strong ties back home; isn't there any way I can prove that? I'm just taking my pet with me on vacation, how does that show strong immigration intent?
The normal denied entry rate on a VWP is around 1 in a thousand.
I'd put you at 1 in a 100: young, no fixed ties, love interest in US.
Bring the dog and I'd raise it to 1 in 10 or even higher.

I'm totally serious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok I see where you're coming from. But I do have strong [fixed] ties back home - my whole family and all my friends are here and I own an apartment which I never intend to sell. The only thing that doesn't really tie me to Croatia is work, which is precisely why I am looking to find work in the US. Also, I don't wish to live in America for the rest of my life, just a few years. Could you please explain how taking my pet with me on vacation would put me in a situation where they would deny me entry?
 

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Ok I see where you're coming from. But I do have strong [fixed] ties back home - my whole family and all my friends are here and I own an apartment which I never intend to sell. The only thing that doesn't really tie me to Croatia is work, which is precisely why I am looking to find work in the US. Also, I don't wish to live in America for the rest of my life, just a few years. Could you please explain how taking my pet with me on vacation would put me in a situation where they would deny me entry?
VWP entry is totally at the whim of the CBP officer you encounter, or rather probably their supervisor. You have no right of entry. Everyone is assumed to have immigrant intent and it is up to them to prove otherwise.

You have: no career, a love interest in the US, and you've brought the dog. What is the logical conclusion of the man atop the Clapham omnibus?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, sure it could appear as such, but there has to be a way I can prove I'm only there on vacation. Looking for a job while I'm there is legal and I would never jeopardize myself by pulling some sort of stunt, for which I could be deported and that's where my troubles would begin. Wow, this is harder than I ever thought. I figured as long as I'm honest and adhere to the rules I wouldn't have a problem..seems it's not like that, eh?
 

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a) Teaching is out as you do not have the required certification. Not to mention a current cut back on teachers particullarly in non-essentials such as arts.
b) Even with your Aussie passport you cannot show up and go job hunting. Sorry!
c) Congratulations to your degree but in the US a BA/BS is what ten yeas ago a high school diploma was - the basics.
d) The dog may be an issue. Most Americans have a somewhat difficult to understand approach to vacation - take as little as possible and run your IPhone hot.
e) Either you have an MA or you do not. WES is one of the more popular and reliable transcription translation services.
 

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b) Even with your Aussie passport you cannot show up and go job hunting. Sorry!
Job hunting is probably okay on a VWP entry. Of course, it's another reason for the nice CBP officer to bounce you. But I don't think I'd go so far as to say it's illegal.

On the passport front for non-immigrant entry, use one only, probably the Aussie one. They don't like you trying to circumvent the system using two, and the fact that you now have biometrics means they'll know immediately.
 

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You could go over an international student. you would be restricted to work, have to support yourself and pay high student fees but it is a way in.

I agree with the setiments of some of the posters here no disrespect even in Australia a BA is a high school diploma 10 years ago even here you need a masters now.

If you decide to study in America after you studies you would be allowed to work in the US for a bit.

Another option to work illegally but you will be paid poor and reduced to menial jobs if you could get one.

I'm really sorry but migrating to the US is absolutely impossible even more so now. In the US ex professionals now deliever pizzas or do anything just to get by.

If you want to live that sort of Lifestyle Australians get a really good VISA to Canada I dunno another option?
 

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Well, sure it could appear as such, but there has to be a way I can prove I'm only there on vacation. Looking for a job while I'm there is legal and I would never jeopardize myself by pulling some sort of stunt, for which I could be deported and that's where my troubles would begin. Wow, this is harder than I ever thought. I figured as long as I'm honest and adhere to the rules I wouldn't have a problem..seems it's not like that, eh?
If you're serious about looking for a job in the US, you'd probably do better to launch a job hunt from where you are at the moment, saying that you are planning on being in the US in the near future and would be available for interviews at that time. When and if you get some interest in your resume, then you book a short vacation trip to the US to take interviews - leave the dog at home. (Surely you can find a friend or family member to care for the dog for a couple of weeks.)

Given that any employer is going to have to go through the process of "petitioning" for a visa for you, it's better to lay the groundwork before you turn up and have at least a couple of interviews lined up before you arrive. If you can't get the interviews, you'll have saved yourself an expensive trip, or else you'll be able to take a genuine vacation. In either case, you'll wind up having to return home before deciding on any kind of longer-term arrangements.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Even with your Aussie passport you cannot show up and go job hunting. Sorry!
I don't think this is true. I am not going to be working per say, just checking out jobs and possibly attending interviews. Nowhere does it say that this is illegal, at least from what I've read.

Either you have an MA or you do not.
I haven't been able to find the equivalent to my degree, but logically I do not have a Master's precisely because I did not study for 6 years [ I studied for 4] and I have no specialization, which is what an MA is. The Bologna Process made a mess of things, in my humble opinion. Still, in Europe I am considered to have an MA. Go figure. :confused2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Job hunting is probably okay on a VWP entry. Of course, it's another reason for the nice CBP officer to bounce you. But I don't think I'd go so far as to say it's illegal.
I don't see a reason for the nice CBP officer to bounce me for when I am asked if I plan to work while in the US, I will say no, which is true. Right?

On the passport front for non-immigrant entry, use one only, probably the Aussie one. They don't like you trying to circumvent the system using two, and the fact that you now have biometrics means they'll know immediately.
Yes, I wouldn't go with 2 passports, I'd go only with my Aussie passport. The fact that I am a citizen of another country doesn't mean anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If you decide to study in America after you studies you would be allowed to work in the US for a bit.
I have thought about getting my Master's in the US and I would love to, but this is something I would undertake while there with a steady job, if I was allowed to.

Another option to work illegally but you will be paid poor and reduced to menial jobs if you could get one.
There is no way I would work illegally. Like i said, I am not willing to jeopardize myself in any way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you're serious about looking for a job in the US, you'd probably do better to launch a job hunt from where you are at the moment, saying that you are planning on being in the US in the near future and would be available for interviews at that time. When and if you get some interest in your resume, then you book a short vacation trip to the US to take interviews - leave the dog at home. (Surely you can find a friend or family member to care for the dog for a couple of weeks.)

Given that any employer is going to have to go through the process of "petitioning" for a visa for you, it's better to lay the groundwork before you turn up and have at least a couple of interviews lined up before you arrive. If you can't get the interviews, you'll have saved yourself an expensive trip, or else you'll be able to take a genuine vacation. In either case, you'll wind up having to return home before deciding on any kind of longer-term arrangements.
Cheers,
Bev
This sounds like the best option. I am serious about finding a job in the US, despite all the hurdles I am faced with. Cheers Bev!

p.s. I apologize for the 4 posts in a row, I didn't know how to do it any other way!
 

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I don't see a reason for the nice CBP officer to bounce me for when I am asked if I plan to work while in the US, I will say no, which is true. Right?
Let us know how it works out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok so I've been trying to find a suitable job in the US but it's really difficult in terms of applying and then explaining that I need to be sponsored for a visa in order to work. So I was thinking that maybe the second best option would be to head on over to the US on the VWP for about 6-8 weeks [not the full 90 days I am eligible for] to visit not a love interest but a friend. The fact is that I have friends all over the US and I do plan to visit some of them while on vacation but I am also visiting my bf. Does this put me in a better position overall? I don't know how else to prove I do not plan to move to the US..
Taking my dog with me poses a problem and I understand that for the most part but is there ANY way I could take him with me without it seeming suspicious?
 
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