Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will try to make this short! My husband and I are Canadians but we are currently living in the UK on a work visa. He is a geophysicist and we would love to move to Houston, TX for better job opportunities and to allow me to go back to school (international student fees in Cambridge are over £20000/year).

He would get a TN visa at the port of entry, valid for year. Apparently, it is much easier to convince an employer to go that route and then switch to the H1-B visa. As anyone gone that route? Do you have to leave the US when your H1B is being processed?

I have spend hours trying to find the right info but can't find anything on switching visas.

Also are dependants of TN and H1-b visas allowed to do volunteer work? I know I can't work and I have tried contacting the labor department about this but it won't work... I suspect it has to do with my IP! I would love to do some volunteer work with animals.

Thanks,

Cindy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,370 Posts
I will try to make this short! My husband and I are Canadians but we are currently living in the UK on a work visa. He is a geophysicist and we would love to move to Houston, TX for better job opportunities and to allow me to go back to school (international student fees in Cambridge are over £20000/year).
Depending on your studies and considering that you will apply either as international or out-of state - this is in the ball park.

He would get a TN visa at the port of entry, valid for year. Apparently, it is much easier to convince an employer to go that route and then switch to the H1-B visa. As anyone gone that route? Do you have to leave the US when your H1B is being processed?
Even Canadians have to apply at port of entry for a TN. You may want to unlearn the term "convince employer". An employer has to be interested enough in your husband to go through the process of sponsoring him. What do you see in his professional qualifications to make an employer go through H1B when all he has to do is apply in timely fashion for an extension of his TN?


I have spend hours trying to find the right info but can't find anything on switching visas. ?
I have seen it done from J1 OPT to H1B but never TN. Fatbrit will have the answer.

Also are dependants of TN and H1-b visas allowed to do volunteer work? I know I can't work and I have tried contacting the labor department about this but it won't work... I suspect it has to do with my IP! I would love to do some volunteer work with animals.
Anything you do and get compensated for no matter in what shape/size/form is considered work. IP? I do not think so.
Thanks,

Cindy[/QUOTE]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Depending on your studies and considering that you will apply either as international or out-of state - this is in the ball park.

I will not apply at uni until we are settled and this is NOT the reason of our move but an advantage.


Even Canadians have to apply at port of entry for a TN. You may want to unlearn the term "convince employer". An employer has to be interested enough in your husband to go through the process of sponsoring him. What do you see in his professional qualifications to make an employer go through H1B when all he has to do is apply in timely fashion for an extension of his TN?

I know, this is what I mentioned. By "convince an employer", I meant, prove that your skills and work are valuable. Why would an employer spend thousands of dollars on someone they don't know? The TN route is much easier for them. If they want to keep you in the company, they will then have to switch to a visa that can allow to obtain a green card. My husband has skills that are in high demand, this is why we are in the UK, it shouldn't be a problem to find work. Getting the H1B from the start would be great, but I don't necessarily expect it. In life, you've got to work and prove what you're worth.


I have seen it done from J1 OPT to H1B but never TN. Fatbrit will have the answer.


Anything you do and get compensated for no matter in what shape/size/form is considered work. IP? I do not think so.

Why do I get the feeling that all you're saying is negative? I know what work means and I know I can't be compensated for anything. That was not my question. I asked about volunteering and the basic meaning of volunteer work is that you are not compensated for it although you will most likely get personal satisfaction out of it.

Still believe that my IP address is the problem. Got the email address from the "contact us" on the government website and tried 3 times. Still comes with an error message. Anyways that was not the point of my message so please stop being rude.

Cindy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,370 Posts
Have you read up on some of the current changes to TN? Your husband's skills are high in demand. Great! "they will then have to switch to a visa that can allow to obtain a GC"??? You do not "obtain a GC" nor will "they" "have to". TN and H1B can be stretched for years.

Go ahead and yell - your worth for the US market is based upon your husband's skills. Not yours. No matter what you say - he will be the one negotiating his contract. Face-to-face is a considerable factor here. Yes, wife for an afternoon with the wives, dinner with management ... this is all part of the interview process.

I am not rude at all but on the other side of the fence:>) Geology I have worked in combination with oil. Tight industry; news travels fast ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,212 Posts
I will try to make this short! My husband and I are Canadians but we are currently living in the UK on a work visa. He is a geophysicist and we would love to move to Houston, TX for better job opportunities and to allow me to go back to school (international student fees in Cambridge are over £20000/year).

He would get a TN visa at the port of entry, valid for year. Apparently, it is much easier to convince an employer to go that route and then switch to the H1-B visa. As anyone gone that route? Do you have to leave the US when your H1B is being processed?

I have spend hours trying to find the right info but can't find anything on switching visas.

Also are dependants of TN and H1-b visas allowed to do volunteer work? I know I can't work and I have tried contacting the labor department about this but it won't work... I suspect it has to do with my IP! I would love to do some volunteer work with animals.

Thanks,

Cindy

TN is fine for geophysicist. And yes, he could also move on an H1b. At the moment, the visa allocation has not been used up, so it's not too difficult. The best FAQ I've found for TNs is here.

The large oil conglomerates are used to foreign workers and will have contracts with immigration attorneys. If they're interested in him, they'll do the paperwork. However, it's often wise to have your own attorney following the process, too, so someone has your best interests rather than the company's at heart.

There's always an option of doing a change of status in country. However, he will need to visit a consulate the first time he leaves the country to get a visa regardless. The lawyer will guide you.

You can do volunteer work as an H1b (H4) or TN dependent. However, there must be no remuneration of any kind and you cannot replace a paid post. If you want to be in the situation where you can work freely, he'll need permanent residence (green card).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you very much for your response and your suggestions. I will have a good read at the website you mentioned.

I'm also glad to learn I will be able to do volunteer work. I would love to help at the SPCA or a dog rescue centre. I can't stay at home all day, it would just drive me nuts!

My husband's company actually has an office in Houston (their HO is here, in Cambridge, UK) but they don't have any processing department. He just has to apply for jobs now, we're getting ready on this end to be able to move at any time.

The dogs now have their pet passports. I know it is not necessary but it does make things easier. We've sold a few pieces of furniture and we're going to open a HSBC bank account to facilitate money transfer and account opening in the USA. When we moved over from Canada, we brought almost all our stuff (minus electricals) but it was a mistake. We'll ship the photo albums and the meaningful stuff but will sell or give the rest!

Best wishes and thanks again!

Cindy



TN is fine for geophysicist. And yes, he could also move on an H1b. At the moment, the visa allocation has not been used up, so it's not too difficult. The best FAQ I've found for TNs is here.

The large oil conglomerates are used to foreign workers and will have contracts with immigration attorneys. If they're interested in him, they'll do the paperwork. However, it's often wise to have your own attorney following the process, too, so someone has your best interests rather than the company's at heart.

There's always an option of doing a change of status in country. However, he will need to visit a consulate the first time he leaves the country to get a visa regardless. The lawyer will guide you.

You can do volunteer work as an H1b (H4) or TN dependent. However, there must be no remuneration of any kind and you cannot replace a paid post. If you want to be in the situation where you can work freely, he'll need permanent residence (green card).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,212 Posts
Thank you very much for your response and your suggestions. I will have a good read at the website you mentioned.

I'm also glad to learn I will be able to do volunteer work. I would love to help at the SPCA or a dog rescue centre. I can't stay at home all day, it would just drive me nuts!

My husband's company actually has an office in Houston (their HO is here, in Cambridge, UK) but they don't have any processing department. He just has to apply for jobs now, we're getting ready on this end to be able to move at any time.

The dogs now have their pet passports. I know it is not necessary but it does make things easier. We've sold a few pieces of furniture and we're going to open a HSBC bank account to facilitate money transfer and account opening in the USA. When we moved over from Canada, we brought almost all our stuff (minus electricals) but it was a mistake. We'll ship the photo albums and the meaningful stuff but will sell or give the rest!

Best wishes and thanks again!

Cindy
If they already have an office there and he's worked for the company for a year, then the L1 visa should also be in the equation if he continues to work for them. The L2 spouse derivative allows permission to work for anyone should you want it. It's one of the big advantages over the TN or H1b. There's possibly also an E visa in there, too, which also includes work for the spouse. You're really spoiled for choice here!

What are your long-term plans for the US? If you're going to live here long-term, the only comfortable seat is a green card. And for employment-sponsored visas, the company has to sign you up. It's a good idea to know your options and write them into the contract at the get-go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We're not quite sure about our long term plans. We moved to the UK thinking we might settle here but it turned out differently and now we want to leave. To be honest though, I think we would like to settle down in the USA. Very similar to Canada without the socialist attitude (although that might change!) and a nicer weather (especially south).

Working for the same company in Houston might be an option although like I mentioned in a previous post, they don't have a processing department like they have in Cambridge. My husband is more comfortable with the idea of applying for jobs and start negotiating with his actual company when a job offer is made by another company. His current employer doesn't know we want to leave the UK so it's a rather tricky situation. It's good to know thought and we will keep this option open and see if we can negotiate something when the time comes. He does love his job but not the life we have here.

Thanks again for your replies, it does shed some light on our situation.

Cheers,

Cindy




If they already have an office there and he's worked for the company for a year, then the L1 visa should also be in the equation if he continues to work for them. The L2 spouse derivative allows permission to work for anyone should you want it. It's one of the big advantages over the TN or H1b. There's possibly also an E visa in there, too, which also includes work for the spouse. You're really spoiled for choice here!

What are your long-term plans for the US? If you're going to live here long-term, the only comfortable seat is a green card. And for employment-sponsored visas, the company has to sign you up. It's a good idea to know your options and write them into the contract at the get-go.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top