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US visas?

(15 Posts)
louisea Sat 13-Oct-12 15:20:05

Can anyone point me in the right direction? I'm looking for information on US visas. DH is pushing for a move to Houston for 6 years sponsored by his current company. What type of visa does the family get? Are spouses allowed to work, would I have to apply for a change of visa?

Also, does US immigration require any compulsory vaccinations for these types of visas?

I need to find this information before DH gets too far down the road. I don't want him to put in a lot of effort just to find myself vetoing the whole idea.


NatashaBee Sat 13-Oct-12 15:41:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NatashaBee Sat 13-Oct-12 15:43:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

louisea Sun 14-Oct-12 15:11:36

Thanks for the info. Very helpful. I'm not worried about the vaccines as I plan to file an exemption.

As the post is likely to last 6 years (should it happen at all) I'm considering putting our boys in to a local private school rather than an International one. The only suitable International school teaches IGCSEs and IB. I think that one of the boys would struggle with the IB. They would finish their schooling over there. How much of an impact would this possibly have on Uni applications in the UK? Though I suppose that if we were to stay there that long that they could always apply for University in the US.

NatashaBee Sun 14-Oct-12 15:23:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mummytime Sun 14-Oct-12 15:32:29

If you are in the US that long, your sons will be seen as Overseas students for UK universities, which means much higher fees (3 years is long enough) and no access to UK loans.
To go to a UK Uni a High School graduation is not enough, but a combination of SATs may well be.
Do investigate on a few UK University websites, just to see what the implications of being an Overseas student would be.

louisea Sun 14-Oct-12 22:49:29

Once again thanks. I'll do some research.

kodokan Sun 14-Oct-12 23:45:10

If you're planning 6 years, it would have to be an L1-A (for multinational managers and executives) rather than an L1-B (for specialist knowledge workers); the L1-B is only renewable up to 5 years against the L1-A's 7 years. Obviously you don't 'choose' as such, it depends on job roles.

On the vaccinations - varies by state, I think; most places will accept a signed exemption. I was able to exempt my kids for chicken pox, as they'd both had the illness. If you want to go to a Green Card at any point, though, they'll need the age-appropriate vaccinations; there's no waivers for that.

louisea Mon 15-Oct-12 00:12:26

Thanks. DH is fairly senior so I think that the L1-A would be the visa to apply for. Not worried about Green Cards at the moment. I suppose that could change in the future. Texas has a philosophical exemption though I do need to check whether the schools will accept that as they are both private. At the moment the move is looking unlikely but that's what I said about the last one. So far this year Korea has come and gone, travel to Holland has increased above and beyond what was originally agreed and the job has grown and changed beyond the original parameters. So, who know what is likely to happen over the next few months. If it is to happen it must happen soon though. Kids are in Year 9, on the verge of choosing GCSE options. I can't mention anything to them though because they went through quite a roller coaster over the potential move to Korea. They are now very settled in their school. That took almost the whole of last year, having moved back to the UK after 3 years in Qatar. I'm actually very torn about telling/not telling them. It doesn't seem fair to spring something on them but then again why should they go through all of the ups and downs just for something to fall through again.

kodokan Mon 15-Oct-12 00:22:24

Hmm, tricky age, sympathies (mine are only 12 and 8, and the move from a French-speaking Swiss school to the local US one last year was pretty effortless). Another thing to consider is that your kids will get L2 visas, but they won't be allowed to work as it's only the L2 spouse who can apply for the EAD work permit. This might be restrictive for them in a couple of years. On the other hand, they'll be able to learn to drive much sooner!

louisea Mon 15-Oct-12 00:37:02

I like to think that they would actually jump at the opportunity to live in the US. We know quite a few people/family there and it would be a great opportunity to visit them. However, now that they are settled back here they may not want to move at all. DH made a spreadsheet earlier in the year with all of the dates and school years so that we could work out exactly where our windows are. I need to take a look again to check where DD would be when we came back. Of the top of my head, if we went next summer that would put DD at the end of Year 11, not a good time to move unless she did IB. Lots to consider. I'm in two minds as to how much effort I should be putting in to doing research as I've been down this road a few times. This year alone I've researched Korea, before we moved it was Holland, France and Perth, Aus. All of those options fell through. I'm getting tired of this but I also can't afford to agree to a move, if it becomes viable, without the information required. This whole thing is getting very frustrating. If nothing comes of this now it could pop up again in 2-3 years time when DH comes to his next "window". The Korea move fell through because HR refused to let him out of the "window". Officialy, he is only allowed to change job in the company on a fixed schedule unless a contract is for a specific time. At the moment he is very tempted to look outside the company for a new job. His value on the open market is very high but his field is narrow so not too many positions available.

I'm sure I'll be back again with more questions.

TheCatInTheHairnet Mon 15-Oct-12 00:56:42

Be aware that, if you're planning on staying outside the UK for over 3 years, you go onto international fees for Uni, and if you don't have a Green Card, you don't qualify for full student loans in the US. You're then competing against the rest of the world trying to get their kids into US Universities.

Unless you have enough money not to worry about that. In which case, don't worry!

kodokan Mon 15-Oct-12 01:04:10

From my reading around, the toughest move educationally seems to be moving back to the UK with a 16 who's done 2 years in a US high school, but obviously has no GCSEs, or any equivalent qualifications. The UK system seems to have no real idea what to do in that situation.

Liking your spreadsheet 'window' idea - will nab that if we move again with older kids. All our moves are 'forever' on local contracts, so we don't automatically have the repatriation problems to consider although I always keep one eye on where my kids are compared to their UK peers.

JessePinkman Mon 15-Oct-12 01:06:12

Sounds like Shell to me.
Go with the flow, I guess your Dc will have maths and a language. They will be fine.
Best wishes and don't worry.

kodokan Mon 15-Oct-12 01:08:52

Another issue to trying to do college on an L2 visa is that it's really hard to get a straight answer which fee structure you should be paying. I'm currently a SAHM on an L2, and thought it might be fun to do a couple of undergraduate courses at community college - Spanish, that sort of thing - but have given up for the moment as it was too complicated to work out if I was in-state, non-resident, etc for tuition; they wanted to err on the side of caution of me paying more, and the cost difference was considerable. We're currently applying for GCs which should be through in a few months, so I'll do courses then as it was just a bit of a whim and it's far, far simpler for the admin!

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