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donnanicuarta1

non immigrant visa as a contractor for a us company

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I have worked as a contractor for a US based start up  for the past year. I am an Irish, EU Citizen. I would like to relocate to the US for 1 year to work there and help the company scale. I only work for this company. Can anyone tell me if it is 

a. possible to get a work visa when you are a contractor

b. would it be better to be an employee - if so, how long do I need to be an employee for?

c. what visa I need and how much does it cost?

 

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated

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No

 

You can be an Employee when you arrive.

 

Well your Employer sorts it out so nothing.


“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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You could find a local Immigration Lawyer to refer them to.


“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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Normally the business's attorney takes care of any petitioning for a foreign worker. It's not a simple process nor one that the beneficiary is particularly involved in.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/17/18: Approved

10/24/18: Green card produced

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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Either an attorney does it or somebody from the business spends a bunch of hours trying to figure it out and hoping not to make a mistake.

Note that a work visa isn't just something one typically applies for...almost all require the employer to file a petition with USCIS and having that adjudicated (usually with a labor certification requirement showing that no US work authorized person is able or wants to fulfill the position) before being eligible to apply for the actual visa.

 

L-1 (intra-company transfer) is one potential option if you are hired as an employee and meet the requirements.

 

H-2B is possible if the desired work timeframe is limited. has a lottery component involved and I believe the cap has been reached for this year.

https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/h-2b-temporary-non-agricultural-workers

 

A brief overview of H-1B costs are below, which is another potential option, although it has a very strong lottery component involved and is also capped for this year IIRC.

https://redbus2us.com/h1b-visa-filing-fee-summary/

 

O-1 is another option if you have an "extraordinary ability". No labor certification required or lottery or cap involved, but it's a pretty high bar (like actors, athletes, etc., but is in no way limited to that "extraordinary" skillset).


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/17/18: Approved

10/24/18: Green card produced

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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Another thing to remember, in terms of contractor vs. employee, is that US companies do not generally provide health care insurance for independent contractors.  You will need health insurance to be able to live here safely.

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All work visas are temporary

 

 


“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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L-1 is a non-immigrant visa (so no permanent residency) initially valid for 1-3 years (depending on if they are setting up a new office) and can be renewed for up to a total stay of 5 or 7 years (L-1A vs L-1B) IIRC.

 

The challenge may be showing the work relationship (so the company can't just hire people to get them US visas) since you're a contractor. How exactly that is (or is not) considered is beyond my knowledge.

 

"To qualify, the named employee must also:

  • Generally have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding his or her admission to the United States;"

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/17/18: Approved

10/24/18: Green card produced

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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Okay, just reading through the requirements, the reason I would be working in the US would be to scale a client management programme, I'm Head of Client Management now but in order to scale, it would take client visits in the US, some training of the team etc, does this come under One Time Occurance, I will continue the job after I return to Europe but hopefully the company would have scaled by then.

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14 minutes ago, donnanicuarta1 said:

@geowrian thanks, I think I would need to change to become an employee for 1 year and then apply for a L-1. It's possible but would seriously delay our scaling plans.

 

Not necessarily, depends on the details.


“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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Exactly...the 1 year part is generally needed but not a strict requirement, and I don't know how the contracting piece would be considered or not.

Edited by geowrian

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/17/18: Approved

10/24/18: Green card produced

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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