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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I don't know if there is any chance of getting a Visa but here is my story.
I'm interested in moving down to Florida to partner up with my friend that does real estate photography. He's been in business for a few years.

I'm self employed, and have been for over 15 years. I have a corporation, but only employee. I do web design, marketing, search engine optimization, etc., but don't have a degree.

My girlfriend has an expired Green Card, as her dad moved to the US 20 years ago.

The thing here is I have two kids, one starting kindergarten next year, so I would need something that he could get started in kindergarten. I'm lookng for something somewhat quick, not 1-5 years time.

Do I have any options?

6,189 Posts
You might be able to qualify under the NAFTA Professional Worker visa category, a special category available to qualified Canadians (and Mexicans). Your lack of a degree is not helpful to qualify for this visa category, but for certain professionals it's tolerable. I'd recommend checking the list of professions to see whether non-degree experience is suitable and whether you could qualify.

You could also take a look at investor visas (E-1 and EB-5) to see if either is possible.

141 Posts
Generally, the longer a person overstays a visa the greater the penalty.
I would approach U.S. Immigration immediately, knowing that they may deport her, but hoping that they could provide an extension. In this way, she is showing that she did not intentionally overstay her visa. Hopefully, this will reduce any penalty she may suffer.

I know somebody who overstayed her visa by four months in another country.
Her overstay was identified as she departed the country.
The country felt this was a lengthy overstay and penalized her two years.
She was able to return after the two years.

The point is, never overstay a visa.
Always take action in plenty of time before a visa expires.
If one does overstay a visa, report the issue as soon as possible to the host country and hope they can help with some type of administative extension, but prepare to leave the host country.
The idea being to minimize the consequences of the overstay with the hope that you will be able to return someday.

2,465 Posts
Pick a visa

There are basically NINE ways that you can get a visa to live and work in the US:

(1) Marriage (or engagement in anticipation of marriage) to a US citizen.

(2) You have skills that are in short supply in the US e.g. scientific or medical training. A degree is normally a must. Or you have superior specialist skills with at least 12 years experience. (H visas)applications next received on 1st April 2015 for an Oct start

(3) You have an Employer who is willing to transfer you - but even the employer has to make a good case for you - so you have to be a manager unless you fall under category (2) above.(L visas)

(4) You may get a Green card in the diversity lottery (UK citizens, except N.Ireland, are not generally eligible unless you, your spouse or parents were born abroad or held a different citizenship.

(5)You own or buy business (does not get you permanent resident status i.e. no green card)You must be a national of a qualifying Treaty countries. The business must have a minimum value of around $150k (more the better) bearing in mind you will need somewhere to live and with any startup business you will need at least 2 years living money as back up. So a figure of $350k would be a nearer minimum (E-2 visas)

(6)You are an "investor" i.e. you have at least US $1m in assets to bring with you. half of that in a few areas. And your background will be investigated to the hilt. (EB-5 visas)

(7)You have a close relative (mother, father, brother, sister and no further) who is an US citizen who would sponsor you, approx time this take 2-12 years?

(8.The R1 visa is available to foreign members of religious denominations, having bona fide non-profit religious organizations in the U.S., for entering the U.S. to carry on the activities of a minister or religious worker as a profession, occupation or vocation

(9)THE UNUSUAL You are in a position to claim refugee status/political asylum. or You get a member of Congress to sponsor a private bill with legislation that applies just to you.
The S visa issued to persons who assist US law enforcement to investigate and prosecute crimes and terrorist activities such as money laundering and organized crime

Recruitment agent will not take you seriously if you are not already in the US. Writing for jobs is really a waste of time; likewise US employers have no idea what foreign qualification are or mean (except Degrees) it may pay you to get your qualification translated into a US equivalent, there are Companies that do this (International Credential Evaluation | World Education Services) ..
But if you are getting a visa under (2) above then you need a job offer before you can get the visa. Your Employer will be your sponsor this will cost them upward of $5k. So you can see you have to be offering something really special to get considered They may also have to prove to the Dept of labor that there is no American who can do the job if the position is to be permanent ©

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