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US: Visas


To work in the US, (if it's not in the framework of a relocation in a multinationale), you will have to go through the sometimes difficult and costly path to obtain a H-1 Visa, which will allow you to work for a specific company, or a green card which will allow you to work for any america company but which is of course more diffucult to get. If you are a nobel price, a J.O. gold medal winner or a renamed chef, then you will have no problem with the american immigariotn to get a O-1 visa reserved for foreigners with extraordinary qualities or accomplishements. For everybody else, be prepared to queue!!!!!

Visa : H-1

The H-1 visa is the most common form of work authorisation for foreigners which services are requested by an american company. The creterias are:

ˇ Having completed a 4 years study of undergraduate course or having the equivalent of an american "bachelor degree" américain (minimum).
ˇ The company has to emply you for a qualified job with a minimum level requirement of a "bachelor degree".
ˇ The company has to be eligible to get foreigns workers (easy if the company has more than 3 years of existence).
ˇ The salary has to be equivalent to the average salary offered for the job position in the area your are working. Try to get this info on the average salary from a governemental organization. Your candidacy will have less chances to be rejected.

The H-1 visa is usually given for 3 years with the possibility to renew it for 3 years quasi automatically. You ill be able to apply for a H-1 visa after 1 year living outside the US.

Visa : L-1

The L-1 visa is used for the transert of employees within the same company or branch. The qulified companies for this type of transfert are either american or foreign companies which work and will continue to work with the US and at least another foreign company during the lenght work of the holder of the L-1 visa. The notion of work is important and it's good to have an advice from a lawyer.

To get this type of visa, you need to be either:
ˇ "Manager"
ˇ "Executive"
ˇ Employee with specialized knowledge vital for the company survival (this notion if subject to many controversy).

A few tricks…

We advise you, if your company doesn't offers you a juridical assistance, to get in touch with a lawyer in order to avoid getting lost in the american administration labyrinthe. Send a 99.99% correct document and they will refuse it and will send it back to you. You will then have lost 1 to 2 additional months. The lenght for getting an H-1 visa varies from one state to the other. In Massachussets, a H-1 visa will tak between 4 to 8 weeks with the help of a lawyer. As an example, with a bad lawyer, I got my visa in 4 months!!! The layer costs are between $1000 et $2000.
A good website to start looking for a lawyer is , which will give you a list of immigration specilists.




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