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Difficulty finding a job...Advice please!!

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Seasons Greetings, I have been in the United States with my U.S. Citizen wife since December 2015. I received my Perminent Residency and work authorization card March 31, 2016. I have been applying for job after job afte job and I have not had any luck. We moved to Texas because I have. PHD in Chemical Engineering and I feel like I would've had a better chance at obtaining employment. So far I haven't had any luck. It's getting very discouraging because I can't provide for my growing family. I feel like the opportunities are for US citizens and that I don't have a chance. Does anyone have any advice on what I can do?

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Are you applying for jobs that are equal to what you have done?

You'll get a lot of different advice, but most of it will be along the lines of:

"Don't settle for less than you are worth!"
"US experience will ALWAYS help your resume even if it's a job that isn't in the same field, knowing you've worked in the US helps straight off"
"Don't consider ANY job to be underneath you, any money is better than no money"
"Look for something in the same field, but maybe not equal to what you can do. Work your way up"

I don't know where you live in Texas, but in most big cities it shouldn't be too hard to find a job, even if it's working at a grocery store or flipping burgers, but MOST people don't just walk right into the job they were doing prior to coming to the US.

Keep looking, and apply to anything you can. Don't have your heart set on an equal job, it's rare that you'll get it. Try to at least get yourself into a company that you could move up into your equal job in and work your way up from there.

Your job seems fairly specialized which could hurt you, but just for my city and searching "chemical engineering jobs San Antonio" I got this list. http://www.engineerjobs.com/jobs/chemical-engineering/texas/san-antonio.php
and then for Texas http://www.engineerjobs.com/jobs/chemical-engineering/texas/

Edited by Ash.1101

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With a PhD I'm assuming you are applying for high profile jobs. They are much more difficult to obtain than lower skilled jobs.

Unfortunately, the best advice I can give is search for lower skilled job that will hold you over. Then you will have income coming in until you find something that fits your skill level.

Trust me I have seen it and have had colleagues do it.

“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 any or all.” - NuestraUnion

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In the list provided I noticed many of the listings are with companies that are known to hire only USC's ( due to the type of work they do ) That is probably one of the rough spots with highly skilled jobs. The ones left in the US require that you be a USC. Frustrating.

This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this.

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“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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My husband (USC, also PhD in ChemEng, used to live/work in Texas) says that 99 % of jobs are filled through networks. His advices are to attend career fairs, reach out to companies and ask for "informational interviews", reach out to professors in the area and ask for insights (since they usually have knowledge of who is hiring). One way or another you need to get past HR, since they will rate your all-foreign education and experience low. Good luck, Texas should be an eldorado for someone in your profession!

If it isn't difficult, it isn't worth it.


K1 process

9/24/15: I129f sent

9/30/15: NOA1

11/2/15: NOA2

Delayed processing due to work

3/15/16: Medical

4/28/16: Interview (approved)

Delayed entry due to work

8/12/16: POE Detroit


9/4/16: Wedding!


AOS process:

9/9/16: I485/I131/I765 sent

9/14/16: Received 3xNOAs by text/e-mail (day 2)

9/14-18/16: Received 3xpaper NOAs 

9/23/16: Received biometrics appointment letter (day 11)

10/3/16: Biometrics appointment (day 19)

11/4/16: EAD+AP approved (day 53)

11/16/16: EAD status changed to card shipped (day 65)

11/17/16: EAD/AP combo card received (day 66)

12/30/16: Notice of interview scheduled (day 109)

2/1/17: AOS interview (day 142) - APPROVED

2/8/17: GC received (day 150)


ROC process:

11/3/2018: ROC window opens

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Definitely go for levels lower. I went for positions two levels lower than my role in Australia and got a job within five weeks. Yes, it was two levels lower and a lot less salary, but it got me in the door. Within six months I was promoted and up just below the level I was in Australia and earning the same money. My is, by end of next year, to be at the same level as I was when I left Australia and earning more.

As others have said, network. Get onto LinkedIn. Find people in your area. Reach out to them. Ask them to have a coffee with you. You can not only establish a contact, but you will find out about the local market, what they are looking for, and how you can position your resume.

Make sure your resume is in the US format and have someone proof read it for you.

Don't get disheartened! You'll get there!

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most usually finish their degree here or start a degree here and find a job easily since having a us school helps , sure more ppl will give their advice for ppl who have foreign phds



05/04/17 - Biometric appointment

05/17/17 - Case ready to be scheduled for interview

07/20/17 - EAD/AP Approved

07/25/17 - GC interview scheduled

07/27/17 - EAD/AP in hand

08/14/17 - GC interview , approved =)

08/18/17 - GC approval notice letter

08/21/17 - GC in hand




05/16/19 - Earliest  to apply 







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It's rough out there, I know, and it can be very discouraging.

First thing you want to do is look carefully over your resume, make sure that it's all into US format. Make sure that it's not overly long or 'wordy' and use clear concise 'buzzwords' to highlight your skills. Tailor each resume to the employer you're applying to. Make sure that you put up front somewhere on the resume that you are a ''permanent resident fully authorized to work in the USA''.

Think creatively and outside of the box for jobs where your skills could be applied but wouldn't be in the same position you had in the UK. You may need to seek out a new profession. Check out universities and community colleges too. You have a PHD which might be valuable asset for teaching.

You're going to find a lot of applications don't understand the concept of the UK education system, so you may need academic translations for your degrees.

Use LinkedIn, it might be useful for networking purposes.

Be prepared to investigate jobs that may be in a position that were lower than you were used to and it may not always be full time depending on the job situation in the state.

The hardest part my husband found in the job search was getting past the blanket application process, and an often tardy HR, to get an interview. Once he got an interview he found that his accent was one of his strongest assets. And why? Because it makes you stand out from the rest! If he didn't get the job he was memorable enough to be put on a shortlist several times for consideration.

Expect to be waiting around a long time. He had applied for jobs for months without hearing a peep from various companies HR, until one day they all started contacting him. Employers these days seem to be taking their good ol' sweet time, and don't care about how long you're being made to wait.

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First met: 12/31/04 - Engaged: 9/24/09
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NOA 1 email + ARN assigned: 10/10/14 (hard copy 10/17/14)
Touched on website (fixed?): 12/9/14 - Poked USCIS: 4/1/15
NOA 2 email: 5/4/15 (hard copy 5/11/15)
Sent to NVC: 5/8/15 - NVC received + #'s assigned: 5/15/15 (estimated)
NVC sent: 5/19/15 - London received/ready: 5/26/15
Packet 3: 5/28/15 - Medical: 6/16/15
Poked London 7/1/15 - Packet 4: 7/2/15
Interview: 7/30/15 - Approved!
AP + Issued 8/3/15 - Visa in hand (depot): 8/6/15
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Wedding: 9/30/15

Filed I-485, I-131, I-765: 11/7/15

Packet received: 11/9/15

NOA 1 txt/email: 11/15/15 - NOA 1 hardcopy: 11/19/15

Bio: 12/9/15

EAD + AP approved: 1/25/16 - EAD received: 2/1/16

RFE for USCIS inability to read vax instructions: 5/21/16 (no e-notification & not sent from local office!)

RFE response sent: 6/7/16 - RFE response received 6/9/16

AOS approved/card in production: 6/13/16  

NOA 2 hardcopy + card sent 6/17/16

Green Card received: 6/18/16

USCIS 120 day reminder notice: 2/22/18

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NOA 1:  5/29/18 (12 mo) 8/13/18 (18 mo)  - Bio: 6/27/18


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It took my husband 10 months to find a job in his field(computer engineer). That job was as an intern for $10 an hour. No one was willing to hire him with no US experience. If you want to get you foot in the door, unfortunately you are going to have to start at the bottom. He now has a good job in his field, but it took time. Good luck.

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Google Upwardly Global. You have a PHd and they helped me gain the skills I needed to succeed in my job search in the US.

After three months of looking, I landed a high profile job that matched my skills. They helped me and it was all for free.

Upwardly Global dot org.


:yes:Intelligence trumps muscle... Imagination trumps both! :yes:

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I-130 NOA2 : 2015-05-14

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Case Created at NVC: 2015-06-10 (from Julian Date calculation)

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AOS and Civil Docs received at NVC: 2015-10-13

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Here's some excellent advice:



[Moderator hat on]

Thread is moved from the Working & Traveling forum to the Finding Work forum.

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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Google Upwardly Global. You have a PHd and they helped me gain the skills I needed to succeed in my job search in the US.

After three months of looking, I landed a high profile job that matched my skills. They helped me and it was all for free.

Upwardly Global dot org.


Slight hijack of this post but... How long did it take UPGLO to contact you after signing up? I signed up over a month ago and they haven't contacted me like they said they would.

Cateogory: CR1

  • NOA1/Notice of receipt: Sept. 15, 2015
  • NOA2/I130 Approved: February 8, 2016 (NO RFE) :)
  • Process slowed down by us
  • Sent documents to NVC: April 11, 2016
  • Scan date: April 14/ May 7th (NVC said both I dont know why)
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