Ways to get work permit in US


I'm an architect and have specialized in Landscape architecture. I was working with AECOM in India before moving to the US. I'm h4 visa (husband has h1-b). Even though AECOM US wants to hire me, the h1-b visa for the year are exhausted. Now I'm not sure if I should even wait to get h1-b for next April, because even if AECOM agrees to file for h1-b in April, I won't be able to work until next October (more than an year from now). 

I want to know what other options can I look for.

- I learnt that NGOs are exempted from the yearly h1-b quota. Could someone please recommend me few architecture NGOs in NY area?

- I already have a masters from AA School of Architecture, London. So don't think I really need another masters degree. But is it recommended to switch to F1 visa for another masters, just to make sure to h1-b next year? If so, could someone recommend few not-so-expensive universities (preferably in NY area).

- I also thought about working voluntarily on architecture projects. I can utilize my skills and work sitting at home. Are there any websites that post small architecture projects? That would keep me learning in my field and keep me busy!


Any advise will be much appreciated
Thank You

Jul 27, 13 10:14 am
Go ahead and file for the h1b at least you'll have it eventually. In the meantime your other ideas are good . Unfortunately I don't have any NGOs for you.

Perhaps get the f1 and study something other than arch-cheaper? Or take some post professional classes to improve your skill set.
Jul 27, 13 2:44 pm

Id recommend some post-professional courses, or even volunteering at community centers and applying your experience. In addition to being good on the resume, they will give you a more well-rounded experience and feel for the city. I dont think there are any architectural non-profits who will file a H1 visa for you as most of them are stretched thin anyways...

And keep in touch with AECOM on a regular basis, because April 31st 2014 is not too far away (thats the final filing date for H1 visas)

I dont *think* that getting another Master's degree is worth it, and seeing that school has already started, youd be eligible only for next fall. Feel free to ask more questions!

Jul 28, 13 3:04 pm
( o Y o )

Black market prices:

US social security card, $2,000

US green card, $8,000.

Isn't capitalism great?

Jul 28, 13 10:46 pm

get married to an American.

oops.. no.. scratch that.

Jul 29, 13 3:52 am

unfortunately, i'm afraid you'll be one out of many many highly qualified people sitting on their hands again this year due to the unbelievable immigration policies the us currently implements. seeing as there is close to no social security in this country except through one's work, it continues to astonish me the amount of hoops you have to jump through to be allowed to stay and/or work here. there is no system to parasite off of, people! anyway that's besides the point, below here are some things I've learned in my dealings with these things.

your options:

h1b: filed from april 1st 2014 and start work on october 1st 2014. correct. did not know about the ngo:s (assuming it refers to those ngo:s that operate not-for profit, which isn't always the case)

o1: sponsored by employer same way as an h1b but not subject to any cap. exponentially harder to get than the h1b though as it supposes "extraordinary skill" (no offense, the application process is just extremely tedious and uncertain).

f1: after having been a student on an f1 enrolled for 9 months in a recognized course, you can apply to the school and then to the USCIS for Optional Practical Training (OPT) which needs to be in your field of study but you're otherwise free to choose your employer. OPT is valid for 12 months in the typical case but with the 9 months minimum enrollment it wouldn't get you there much quicker than next year's h1b, aside from that you'd have to pay for the studies in the first place.

j1: murky waters, it seems pretty much anyone at anytime can apply for, and get, a j1 visa. what the criteria are exactly is still something that no one (including USCIS employees) have been able to comprehensively explain to me. employer-based.

L1/L2: this is something i would have thought you knew about seeing as you're working for a multinational wiling to hire you in the US. not sure about minimum time of employment etc (>2 years?) but many people use this to make an intra-company transfer into the US. it would tie you to AECOM however and any new job would send you right up to the top of this list again.

as for the bs here above on black market prices it might very well be possible although the price for being discovered is likely deportation and ban from the US for a number of years, if not life.

best of luck to you!

Aug 3, 13 3:38 pm

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