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m134

Go to school or find work??

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Filed: Timeline

I’d like to ask the people here for some advice on our current situation. My fiance moved here about a year ago, married in October, and by January had the green card and driver’s license. She was already working by then. She worked for 6 months (at an office) and then she left to take full time ESL classes which will be done by the end of this year. She has a bachelor’s degree from her home country in business administration, she is 24 years old, and now the next steps are a bit unclear.

  1. Go to school. But to get a bachelor’s degree means four more years of school. It is very demotivating for her to do this since she just graduated before coming here. She wants to work, and not feel useless to depend on me financially for the next 4 years. On top of that, she is scared about the cost of school and student loans. Working while going to school is possible for some people (I did this in college) but for her would be difficult. That would mean working nights and weekends and we would have little time to spend together. Additionally, hard sciences (engineering, medical, law, etc…) are not her strong suit. So it would be some other type of degree.
  2. OR…Look for work. Does anyone have experience finding work with a foreign diploma? I guess her biggest concern about this route is not being able to find a decent job. Anyone can start flipping burgers, but this is not the point. Ideally, in the long term, she wants a 9-5 “regular” job… but what route must one take to do this? We are worried it will take a long time, or she might start at a lower position and never be able to get out of it. Experience counts more, as you accumulate it so the hope is that she can start somewhere and move up. It is obvious that currently starting such a job will not be easy. But is it worth trying? Or just go to school?

Often times a diploma is just important for your first job, a way to get your foot in the door. If that takes 4 years, wouldn’t it be more logical to try and find something anyway in those 4 years and not incur massive student loans? People say education is best, but I’m not sure if that is the correct path if she is just gonna try and get a non-science degree. I’m trying to think logically, but she is stuck about this decision and I guess looking for advice from people who have been down this path…

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Russia
Timeline

Totally depends on your profession. If you're a computer programmer with skills, I really doubt anyone cares where you graduated from. But you said she isn't a hard sciences person, so yes, it's a bit trickier then.

Some state schools offer "post-bac" programs for people who already hold bachelor's degrees, often foreign bachelor's are accepted as well. This mean she would be able to complete a new bachelor's in two years or more if she studies part-time. Seems like it could be a good fit for her. You should look into it. State schools and community colleges don't require "massive" student loans, often the prices for in-state residents is fair and affordable.

If she is still taking ESL classes, further education could only help. For more "white collar" work, good English is certainly expected and she'll be competing against native speakers, so studying at the university level in English would be practical just for that reason. That's my two cents.


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 🇷🇺  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow* (Dec 2016-Jun 2017) 🇺🇸 Info about my DCF experience here and here

Spoiler

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad in Russia (USC + Russian husband) 👩‍❤️‍👨
21-Dec-2016: I-130 filed at Moscow USCIS field office*
29-Dec-2016: I-130 approved! Yay! 🎊 

17-Jan-2017: Case number received

21-Mar-2017: Medical Exam completed

24-Mar-2017: Interview at Embassy - approved! 🎉

29-Mar-2017: CR-1 Visa received (via mail)

02-Apr-2017: USCIS Immigrant (GC) Fee paid

28-Jun-2017: Port of Entry @ PDX 🛩️

21-Jul-2017: No SSN after three weeks; applied in person at the SSA

22-Jul-2017: GC arrived in the mail 📬

31-Jul-2017: SSN arrived via mail, hurrah!

 

*NOTE: The USCIS Field Office in Moscow is now CLOSED.

 

I-90 GC Replacment (for Erroneous GC)

22-Jul-2017: GC arrives in the mail – error in middle name 😕

01-Aug-2017: Sent in I-90 online via website

05-Aug-2017: Biometrics scheduled

23-Aug-2017: Biometrics done @ USCIS office; told to keep GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for original card!! 🤬

31-Jul-2018: USCIS Appointment at local field office..

22-Aug-2018: Mailed GC back to USCIS in response to RFE

29-Aug-2018: GC received by USCIS

17-Sep-2018: Received CORRECTED GC in the mail! Finally!! 😂

 

📑 I-751 Removal of Conditions (Apr 2019-Oct 2019) 📝 Filed via mail, processed by MSC & passed interview

Spoiler

28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

01-Apr-2019: ROC in the mail to Phoenix AZ lockbox! 📫

03-Apr-2019: ROC packet delivered to lockbox

09-Apr-2019: USCIS cashed check

09-Apr-2019: Case number received via text - MSC 📲

12-Apr-2019: Extension letter arrives via mail

19-Apr-2019: Biometrics letter arrives via mail

30-Apr-2019: Biometrics appointment at local office

26-Jun-2019: Case ready to be scheduled for interview 

04-Sep-2019: Interview was scheduled - letter to arrive in mail

09-Sep-2019: Interview letter arrived in the mail! ✉️

17-Oct-2019: Interview scheduled @ local USCIS  

18-Oct-2019: Interview cancelled & notice ordered*

18-Oct-2019: Case was approved! 🎉

22-Oct-2019: Card was mailed to me 📨

23-Oct-2019: Card was picked by USPS 

25-Oct-2019: 10 year GC Card received in mail 📬

 

*I don't understand this status because we DID have an interview!

 

🇺🇸 N-400 Application for Naturalization (Mar 2020-????) 🛂 Online filers note: Use INTERNET EXPLORER! Other browsers may not work!

Spoiler

30-Mar-2020: N-400 early filing window opens!

01-Apr-2020: Filed N-400 online 💻 

02-Apr-2020: NOA 1 - Receipt No. received online 📃

07-Apr-2020: NOA 1 - Receipt No. received via mail

05-May-2020: Application transferred to another USCIS field office for review*

??-???-????: TBA... 

 

*NOTE: Moved to another state in May.

 

 

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It depends what country her diploma is from, but the US recognizes many foreign diplomas. They just need to be certified by a professional to make sure they are equivalent to an American degree. She may have to take a few tests to verify her skills and knowledge but I know many people who came from abroad and their foreign diploma was recognized just fine. Have you tried applying for any jobs in her field yet??

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Also, she can look into schools here that will vive her credits from the courses she took in her country. So she won't have to take 4 years to finish.


“When starting an immigration journey, the best advice is to understand that sacrifices have to be made... whether it is time, money, or separation; or a combination of all.” - Unlockable

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ecuador
Timeline

Here's a recommendation that can lead to her testing the employment waters, find mentors, etc.:

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/449151-the-steveandtiff-stupremacy/?p=6471637


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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She is the only person who can answer that question. A bachelor's degree does not guarantee a stable job or even getting a job at all. In the long run, you'll succeed not because of what you learn in school but your attitude towards work.

I think she was just like me when I started looking for a job here, I did job hunting "Philippine-style" sending 1 resume just for a job that I really want or waited for recruiters to find me in Glassdoor or Monster. And then it took months before recruiters were reaching out to me, and it's not even because I submitted my resume to their company, but because they found it through Linkedin. I eventually accepted a part time job close to what I was doing before but for a smaller company, no chance of career growth, but it's really close to home and I enjoy working with my office mates, what I like with my first job was that my officemates never made me feel alienated at all. It's a big thing for me. She doesn't have to take a part time gig, she could also start working from home, or maybe volunteer for events or do internship.

Moral of the story: Her 1st job will be more of stepping stone, and not the end game. She needs to weigh the pros and cons when accepting a job offer, what can she live with and live without, what is she willing to do and what will that contribute to her career in the future. Your 1st job is the best time to network, find friends, and know what's in the grapevine of the industry that she wants to penetrate. I know of some people who used to be executives or school principal in their home country but had to start from scratch when they came here. It's not going to be easy, but there's no elevator success.

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Filed: Timeline

Thanks everyone for the replies. We took this advice and now are going to send her diploma to ECE to get evaluated to the equivalent American degree. She is also creating her resume which I am helping her do. She understands completely that her first job won't be her career. Nevertheless, the choice is whether or not to start down the path of job "stepping stones" or just go to school. Anyway, once the evaluation is complete she will apply for as many jobs as possible, (not just 1-2 a day).

For the "post-bac" education, I have never heard of this before but after doing some research it seems that kind of stuff is mostly related to the medical field.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Wales
Timeline

Why not do a Masters, not sure what another BA would achieve.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Russia
Timeline

Masters programs cost more and are a lot more competitive, generally speaking. But if you can get in, it might be a good choice.

PSU (Portland State) offers post-bac programs for almost everything. Guess it depends on the university.

There are also associates degrees. Getting a one year associates degree is pretty common for people who already hold BAs but want to switch to a new field.


03639.png     

 🇷🇺  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow* (Dec 2016-Jun 2017) 🇺🇸 Info about my DCF experience here and here

Spoiler

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad in Russia (USC + Russian husband) 👩‍❤️‍👨
21-Dec-2016: I-130 filed at Moscow USCIS field office*
29-Dec-2016: I-130 approved! Yay! 🎊 

17-Jan-2017: Case number received

21-Mar-2017: Medical Exam completed

24-Mar-2017: Interview at Embassy - approved! 🎉

29-Mar-2017: CR-1 Visa received (via mail)

02-Apr-2017: USCIS Immigrant (GC) Fee paid

28-Jun-2017: Port of Entry @ PDX 🛩️

21-Jul-2017: No SSN after three weeks; applied in person at the SSA

22-Jul-2017: GC arrived in the mail 📬

31-Jul-2017: SSN arrived via mail, hurrah!

 

*NOTE: The USCIS Field Office in Moscow is now CLOSED.

 

I-90 GC Replacment (for Erroneous GC)

22-Jul-2017: GC arrives in the mail – error in middle name 😕

01-Aug-2017: Sent in I-90 online via website

05-Aug-2017: Biometrics scheduled

23-Aug-2017: Biometrics done @ USCIS office; told to keep GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for original card!! 🤬

31-Jul-2018: USCIS Appointment at local field office..

22-Aug-2018: Mailed GC back to USCIS in response to RFE

29-Aug-2018: GC received by USCIS

17-Sep-2018: Received CORRECTED GC in the mail! Finally!! 😂

 

📑 I-751 Removal of Conditions (Apr 2019-Oct 2019) 📝 Filed via mail, processed by MSC & passed interview

Spoiler

28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

01-Apr-2019: ROC in the mail to Phoenix AZ lockbox! 📫

03-Apr-2019: ROC packet delivered to lockbox

09-Apr-2019: USCIS cashed check

09-Apr-2019: Case number received via text - MSC 📲

12-Apr-2019: Extension letter arrives via mail

19-Apr-2019: Biometrics letter arrives via mail

30-Apr-2019: Biometrics appointment at local office

26-Jun-2019: Case ready to be scheduled for interview 

04-Sep-2019: Interview was scheduled - letter to arrive in mail

09-Sep-2019: Interview letter arrived in the mail! ✉️

17-Oct-2019: Interview scheduled @ local USCIS  

18-Oct-2019: Interview cancelled & notice ordered*

18-Oct-2019: Case was approved! 🎉

22-Oct-2019: Card was mailed to me 📨

23-Oct-2019: Card was picked by USPS 

25-Oct-2019: 10 year GC Card received in mail 📬

 

*I don't understand this status because we DID have an interview!

 

🇺🇸 N-400 Application for Naturalization (Mar 2020-????) 🛂 Online filers note: Use INTERNET EXPLORER! Other browsers may not work!

Spoiler

30-Mar-2020: N-400 early filing window opens!

01-Apr-2020: Filed N-400 online 💻 

02-Apr-2020: NOA 1 - Receipt No. received online 📃

07-Apr-2020: NOA 1 - Receipt No. received via mail

05-May-2020: Application transferred to another USCIS field office for review*

??-???-????: TBA... 

 

*NOTE: Moved to another state in May.

 

 

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