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US immigration is crap
singapore sunset
amw
So last week i was talking to A and J at coffee (one is a Canadian expat) and they said hey, if you want to move to America why don't you just apply for a skilled migrant visa? When i said you need a sponsor to get a skilled migrant visa in the US they were very surprised; while a sponsor counts for additional "points" in Canada and Australia, you can make up the "points" you need to be approved just by being a skilled worker in the first place.

Now i last went through all of this about 6 years ago. I remember seeing the waiting lists on the INS website published as being 2+ years. What kind of cracksmoking employer is going to sponsor you then wait 2+ years before you can even work for them? The whole system is fucking broken. But i figured what the hell and had another look on the website (it's USCIS now). And yes, i wasn't imagining things, you do need an employer to apply for a skilled migrant visa in the US. Oh yeah, unless "you are a worker with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, [and waiving the requirement for a job offer] would be in the national interest". WHAT THE JESUS.

It's so fucking fuckassed and rooted. I've got a bachelor's degree. I've been working as a programmer for 7 fucking years. I'm a very good programmer. It might not be the career i want for myself but i'd be happy to stick around a while longer if it could get me where i've ALWAYS fucking wanted to go. FUCK! I'm in tears it just makes me so angry that the dream i've had my whole fucking life is STILL no closer and i'm almost 28 now. This is why i've stopped dreaming about this because i know how fucking depressing it is. There is no simple way in. Unless you slip across the border and work under minimum wage to keep the bottom end of the economy going. Or you're straight and get married. Well fuck that. Fuck this. I shouldn't have bothered looking. It just kills me. It fucking kills me.

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You experience is the biggest reason why I'm going to Canada, and not bringing down Emily to the US.

However...

...get in touch with http://www.livejournal.com/~nathan_r (also known as AGMk's Klingon730). He works for an immigration lawyer. He may be able to help you come up here.

Is Emily a Canadian citizen? I think Canadian citizens get TN visas quite easily. Of course you still have that ridiculous sponsor requirement to get over *sigh*

I just checked out the Canadian immigration page and i easily qualify in points without a sponsor. It's frickin ridiculous. Anywho...

Also, Emily is really unemployable (jn the US and Canada) for reasons I'd rather not get into here. At least she has SOME source of other not-very-stable income in Canada.

My move to Canada is a Gordian Knot I plan to dive into come the time I move to Seattle. Not looking forward to that either.

HOWEVER...

...my mom is friends with a LOT of illegals (mom's very immigrant friendly). A friend of hers just got citizenship by coming across the border onm a toursit visa, then simply went into hiding for a few years. Once she hit her yeear requirement, she put in for citizenship and got it.

Really? Man that sucks dude...can you get sponsored by not marrying someone? Is there any way that you can go to the country as a holiday maker with a skilled working visa? Then you could get employment and that would help you with your migrant application?

I'm sure you've already thought of this...good luck babe.

There's no such thing as a working holiday visa in America. There are basically four ways you can get a non-migrant work permit...

- seasonal work (e.g. working at a summer camp or ski resort)
- work permit while studying
- intracompany transfer
- skilled temporary worker

The former is pretty much pointless for use as a green card launchpad, because you need to leave at the end of the season (few months).

To study in America (F-1 visa) you have to prove you have cash up-front to pay for study and accommodation for TWO YEARS (i.e. us$20,000+) so that's pretty much out.

An intracompany transfer (L-1B) is an option, but having now worked at a US company it's clearly quite rare in my industry. If you're a good programmer it really doesn't matter where in the world you are - and in fact, they'd rather you work in Australia because they don't have to pay American salaries or health insurance to their Australian workers. L-1A is probably more practical, but that requires being a manager/executive.

And the last is the controversial H-1B visa where you need an employer to sponsor you as a skilled worker who they take on during a "temporary" skills shortage in the field. A lot of IT people have gotten into America on an H-1B, and because they last up to six years you can apply for a green card while you're there. That's the path i wanted to take back in 2001/2002. Unfortunately IT people aren't in quite as much skills shortage as they were in 99/2000 so it's not as easy as it used to be, plus if you do apply for a green card you're pretty much beholden to the company that sponsors you for several years.

It's completely fucked.


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