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arrowN-400 Questions to study
October 23, 2014, 11:56 am Last comment by jenny2014wu
Rugby7

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Sending the form soon, but wanted to know what is the time frame until you have to take that test, so I can start studying now or later, and how that works? Do they send you a date for the test, is on a computer?

Thank you! 



 
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arrowN-400 Fees
October 23, 2014, 9:48 am Last comment by Dave H
Rugby7

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Hello I am trying to fill the N-400 but not sure if I should send one check with the sum of the Application fee + bio-metrics fee or send 2 separates checks.

I appreciate your help, thank you!



 
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arrowAnother I 864/I864A question
October 21, 2014, 8:56 am Last comment by USCHE
USCHE



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Hi Guys!

We are STILL trying to fill out our I 864/I 864A paperwork.  I tried calling the NVC for two weeks (every day at least 20 times a day) and have not been able to get through.  The issues we are having are whether or not we still need a joint sponsor (my wonderful brother-in-law).  We have been adding up our assets and they come to around US$100K.  This INCLUDES both of our 401K's.  While I understand this is not considered liquid/income, would the NVC consider us above the poverty line?  Without the 401K's we are above the poverty line with our savings but not much. 

My brother-in-law needs some time to gather the documents on his side, fill the forms out and then snail mail everything to us here in Argentina. It could take up to another two months whereas we would be ready to file, without his joint sponsorship, now.

We have been waiting since November 2013 just to get back to the US so (as I am sure everyone feels the same) any way we can speed this up, the better.

 

THANK YOU!!!



 
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arrowJob Search Tips
October 20, 2014, 10:24 am Last comment by d3adc0d3
d3adc0d3



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Looking for a job is hard, they always say, it's easier to find work when you have a job then when you don't! If you can find some part time work doing anything that looks better to any employer than having nothing. There are several volunteer opportunities that while it isn't a job it would look really good to an interviewer, and later on can lead to a career opportunity! Some of those are:

  • Volunteer firefighter
  • Neighborhood watch
  • Animal Rescue Shelters
  • National Parks
  • Food Pantries
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Local Libraries
  • Political Campaigns
  • Art Museums
  • YMCA
  • Retirement Homes
  • Red Cross

Some of these volunteer opportunities have perks, contact the local office that handles the chosen volunteer work, and ask if they require a citizenship, and how start! Some (such as a volunteer firefighter) require a citizenship, depending on the town/city. Others do not! My state and city do not require a citizenship to be a volunteer firefighter, but I know New York City does!
 
When you're looking for work, it can be hard, jobs are more competitive, and things can get very "cut-throat". If your English could use work, I'd recommend looking into lessons. How you present yourself will either land your application/resume in the reject list, or the accept list. You can get called back for 2nd, 3rd, even a 4th interview! Don't put all your eggs in one basket (that means don't count on one thing), keep your options open. Isolating yourself to a specific field, or salary requirement may end up working against you. You can always get a job outside your field, a part-time position, or below your salary requirement, and still look for a better opportunity. Remember above? It's always easier to find a job when you have one! Also if you're breaking into the US job market, or a new field don't dismiss an internship!
 
For anyone looking for a job I, personally, recommend the following:

  • Go to your local unemployment office and sign up for FREE classes on how to write a resume and interview. It's hugely informative for people trying to break into a new field, re-enter a field, breaking back into the job market after a long break (or newly unemployed after being with the same company for a long time) and those who are new to the US. There are many cultural expectations you may be unaware of, and times change! You do not have to be a citizen, just legally able to work in the US.
  • After you get those classes have your resume reviewed by a resume specialist (also FREE).
  • After your resume is reviewed submit your resume to 3 or more of the major job search databases: Monster.com, CareerBuilder, LinkedIn, GlassDoor, Indeed, etc. There are many to choose from, a simple Google search will link you to the major ones.
  • Check out Robert Half International. It's a temp agency and they have offices all over the country, typically have work in many different office fields. If you're more of a blue collar worker, you can visit http://www.tradesmeninternational.com/
  • Pick out your interview outfit, you want to go in dressed appropriately for both the dress code of the company, but also for interviewing. Below I have dress code tips, if you need help!
  • Have a friend who's brutally honest interview you. You need honest criticism not someone who'll play nice.
  • When a company or recruiter contacts you, look up the company's website. Inform yourself of who they are, and what they do. Check them out on GlassDoor, find out their employee reviews, it's always impressive when you've done your research on a company and makes you stand out from the hundreds of other applicants.
  • Write down a list of questions to ask them at the interview. Intelligent, well thought out, and relevant questions make you stand out. Examples are:
    • What can I expect in my day-to-day tasks in this position?
    • How would someone succeed at <company name> in a <position title> position?
    • What are your favorite things about working here?
    • What kind of hurdles will I need to overcome at this job?
    • What is the long term goal of this new position?

This is the best way to prepare yourself for an interview, and I have always been complimented on my skills on interviewing. Rarely do I interview without the company offering me the position, and have always interviewed well!
 
Dress code DO'S:

  • If they are business formal:
    • LADIES: suit pants or skirt, a nice blouse or button down shirt, pumps or dressy flats.
    • MEN: a well fitting suit, button down shirt, a nice tie, and dress shoes. 
  • If they are business casual:
    • LADIES: suit slacks/skirt, a nice shirt, a blazer, and pumps with a low heel.
    • MEN: slacks/dress khakis (NO CARGO PANTS), button down shirt, dress shoes that are comfortable. Tie is optional. 
  • If the company is casual (jeans allowed):
    • LADIES: clean dark jeans (no holes, no stains, no faded spots), a blouse, plain t-shirt, or button down shirt, a blazer, and pumps or dressy flats. 
    • MEN:  clean dark jeans (no holes, no stains, no faded spots), a plain t-shirt, or button down shirt, a blazer, and dress shoes. 
  • Always be well groomed: freshly shaven/trimmed facial hair (men); clean, freshly trimmed hair; natural hair colors, light & natural looking makeup (women), minimum jewelry.
  • Always make sure your clothes and shoes are clean, ironed/wrinkle free, free of holes, stains, tears, and in good condition (no scuffs, fading, etc).
  • Keep in mind knowing what the dress code at the company is, is hugely important. Call HR, and if in doubt, go business formal!
  • Wear clothes as if you're going to be judged on your appearance! Keep is dress code appropriate, wholesome, and tidy!
  • Dress code DON'TS:
    • LADIES: Do not wear short skirts! You should always wear a skirt that is at least at the knee. Not above... at. That is for a club night, not an interview!
    • MEN: Do not wear sneakers! That is for the gym, not for an interview.
    • LADIES: Do not wear low cut blouses and shirts, you should never show more than 1" of cleavage! That is for a date, not an interview!
    • MEN: Do not wear graphical t-shirts. No sports jerseys, no printed shirts. That is for at home, not an interview!
    • LADIES: Do not wear sneakers, clogs, sandals, open toed shoes, or very high heels... keep the pumps to 3" heels, and make sure they look professional, clean, and not too beat up, ballet flats and Maryjanes are okay!
    • MEN: Do not wear work/bike/cowboy boots! Those are far too casual for an interview!
    • LADIES: Do  not wear heavy makeup! Keep it natural! Foundation, blush, mascara, lip gloss and a little naturally colored eye shadow. You want to look like you woke up fresh and dewy, not as if you're going out on a date!
    • BOTH: Do not wear heavy cologne, or perfume. Some people have allergies and this can leave a bad impression. Clean skin is all you need!
    • BOTH: Do not wear heavy jewelry! Keep it simple, excluding your wedding rings, keep it to 1-2 necklaces, a nice watch/bracelet, and one additional ring on your right hand. Men: no earrings. Women: Nice diamond/CZ studs.
    • BOTH: Do not wear facial piercings! Remove them all, for the interview, you don't know how the interview will respond to them, and better to leave a good impression than a bad over something as small as a piercing!

 

Job to AVOID:

  • Door-to-door salesmen jobs. They usually offer "a guaranteed amount" but this is only if you do "x" amount of shows per week, and they'll avoid scheduling you with that many shows if they can!
  • Any job that requires you to purchase a kit, pay a fee, or otherwise invest money into it. This does not count for jobs which require a license, permit, or formal education.
  • Any job that says "Earn $xxx a day/week/month" That is typically a "pyramid scheme" type job. Not many people succeed at those, and it would be a waste of your time and effort.
  • Unsolicited email jobs: Especially one that requires you to process payments. Chances are it's some shady person hoping you'll process unauthorized payments so they don't get caught and you take the fall!
  • "We made a mistake". Example: You're told you have been hired and will be paid a weekly salary for an online marketing job. Then, the company sends another email saying that there was a mistake and they had accidentally sent four times the amount of your paycheck. You're told to wire the rest of the money to someone else when you receive the check. If anyone asks you to send money back to a 3rd party, it's a money laundering scam. RUN!!!
  • Work from home jobs: Unless you're in IT and working as a freelancer, these are typically scams or very hard to make a decent living. Don't even bother.
  • Under the table: This is illegal, and can mess with your immigration if you get caught! Not to mention you often get paid much less, and are expected to work harder. You can't use them as an employment reference, and if they violate your rights, you can't really file a complaint! Best to avoid these jobs.

 

Options to CONSIDER:

  1. elance.com : This is a website which allows people to post short term "contracts" up an for potential contractors to bid on the contracts. Being in the US typically gives you an edge on these postings! there are jobs from data entry, to programming, to graphic art, to marketing, to translation services or even writing! Elance works as the middleman to ensure everyone gets paid for the work they do!
  2. freelancer.com : much like the above.
  3. Temp Agencies: Great way to get your foot in the door at a job, many will hire a contractor and if they like them, they'll hire them full time when their contract runs out!
  4. Recruiters: They have access to jobs which are not posted! Try contacting several recruiters and send your resume to them! Ask your friends and family if they know any and can refer you! Many times recruiters offer bonuses to those who refer someone who is hired!
  5. Online search engines: These are a huge database of job postings, it can be confusing at first, but if you use the "advanced search" you can really narrow down a job. Search for job titles, or skills, and narrow it down to your local area. Expand the area if you find nothing.
  6. Craigslist: Keep in mind the jobs to avoid, but there are some legitimate job postings on craigslist. Most search engines charge companies to post their jobs there... craigslist doesn't. 


 
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arrowReceived NVC Welcome letter, with no NOA2?
October 18, 2014, 12:03 pm Last comment by NLR
John1017



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4 Replies



Just received email from NVC with case number and invoice number, with instructions on what to do next, choose agent, pay fees... Etc

Should I be worried or concerned I never received NOA2? Or does the fact that case is with the NVC make the NOA2 history?


 
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