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Visa Options - Any Advice Appreciated

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Hi there


My husband and I are really keen to work in the USA and are considering which visas make most sense for us in order to come over to the USA.


We are trying to decide what the best route is to follow.


I work for a large Audit/Accounting firm and will be applying for jobs with them, to hopefully get a transfer! Hoping to get an L1 visa if this is possible. Is there a cap on the number of visas and do you also need to apply by 1 Apr? Does this mean my husband could look for work on my visa?


My husband works for a large bank in the SAP area and has had a verbal offer from a very small US company. Would an H1B or an EB visa be more appropriate for him? And would I be able to work on either of his two visas? Which visa is easier to get based on timelines etc?


Does anyone know which of these routes would be easier to follow?


thanks for the help!





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I can't give any proper advice but just to say, in either case, the companies should have attorneys who specialize in these visas and who should know which the best route is. (I assume you know that you don't apply for the visas, the company applies on your behalf.)

Edited by SJ27

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Waynedp - as SJ27 states - your employer will be the petitioner, will determine the visa type, and almost always have lawyers who handle it all - you won't really get to select which visa you want.


H1B - currently spouse CANNOT work. This is changing with new legislation this year, but even then, the H4 visa holder (spouse) can only petition once the permanent residency of the H1B visa holder is approved. This could still mean 1,2, 3 or more years where the spouse cannot work. (You still have to be sponsored to move 'up' from the H1B to Legal Permanent Residency - and that whole process can take years).


See: http://www.uscis.gov/news/dhs-extends-eligibility-employment-authorization-certain-h-4-dependent-spouses-h-1b-nonimmigrants-seeking-employment-based-lawful-permanent-residence


L1 - spouse can work - but must obtain labor certification.

See http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/l-1a-intracompany-transferee-executive-or-manager


Both of these are non-immigrant visas, as by far the most commonly used for companies such as the one you describe. I would guess that the L1 would be the preferred route for your company. In addition, some big companies (e.g. your international audit/tax company) does blanket applications for, for example 10 such workers.


Usually, they won't go for an EB right off the bat - it is a much more rigorous and expensive visa to sponsor as it is an immigrant visa. Once you have it, you can up and leave and go and work for who you want.

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