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Is it possible to transfer jobs within the US whilst on an L1 Visa?

(8 Posts)
ItchyFeet16 Wed 30-Mar-16 17:59:35

We've been here 18 months, bought a house, the kids are settled at school but unfortunately my husband is having a really awful time of it at work.

My question is, can he look for another job here and potentially transfer to that company on an L1 visa? The situation is pretty hopeless for reasons I can't go into but like I say everything else about the relocation is good so we don't want to pack up and move again so soon.


realhousewife23 Thu 31-Mar-16 06:23:55

Sorry to hear of your issues but to answer your question - in a word - no. The L1 visa is dependent on working for the company who petitioned for him, he cannot work for another employer or even be self employed on an L1. And if he leaves the employer, the visa becomes invalid and you'd have to return home.

Your only option would be to get green cards, then you can work for any employer but the current employer would have to sponsor the green card process which is a costly and long process and presumably if things are not going well at work he wouldn't want to go through that process with his employer as the sponsor?

How many years were you planning on doing? Did you ever think about green cards further down the line? If so, then maybe you could bring that process forward?

MyFriendsCallMeOh Sat 02-Apr-16 05:04:25

Sorry to hear about this but you have good advice from realhousewife. All our overseas moves have involved getting a residency permit that is independent from work asap. In the USA this meant a green card. We have seen too many families have to relocate "home" urgently (often within a few weeks) when the main visa holder has lost a job or, tragically, passed away.

If you can get a green card at all, I would advise you to go for it. Ours took 7 months so yes it does take time and yes it is expensive but unless the work situation can be resolved or you can relocate internationally again, it might be the only option.

InionEile Sat 02-Apr-16 05:21:56

Could he transfer roles within the company? I think he is allowed to do that as long as his job description doesn't change too much. He is not allowed to change jobs in the middle of a green card application though so you would be better changing jobs now rather than later if you want to apply for a green card.

If you change jobs significantly during a green card application, even for a promotion, you technically have to start the whole process from scratch, although not everyone sticks to the rules rigidly.

MyFriendsCallMeOh Sat 02-Apr-16 05:36:15

Apparently you can find a new job as long as your new employer apples for an H1B visa.... This is according to dr google, I have a friend who had visa / job issues and remember that it wasn't as cut and dried as I may have explained. There is a quota of H1 visas available each year. Worth looking into....?

Catastrophica Sat 02-Apr-16 14:34:18

You can get an O visa if you can go the "unique and unusual talent" route and then you can work for anyone, but you need the support of people you have worked for in terms of proving the talent is unique and unusual.

You may be able to get your own green cards - but its still expensive and quite a lengthy process. And there is more chance of getting them if the employer backs it up and uses their own in-house lawyers.

ksb76 Mon 04-Apr-16 00:22:17

The h1 b visa is a reasonable easy process, but the numbers are limited and the start of the h1b process year is something weird like the 1st September, so they run out of visas usually by January / February. You also have to be able to prove that a local hire couldn't do the job which could prove to be the tricky part in Houston right now, as unless your husband has some specific knowledge that a local wouldn't have, it might be hard to justify to the INS, with the current number of unemployed locals.

ItchyFeet16 Wed 06-Apr-16 01:43:54

Thank you all, your comments are very helpful, especially as we have no one we can turn to for advice in RL. I shall now research the Green Card process and H1B visa. ksb76, we're in the mid-west.

We have been living overseas for 13 years, since before we were married and have no property etc to return to in the UK so it really would be a big upheaval to move back. We are settled here, the quality of life is better than the UK - houses are half the price for starters, the public school system in our area is excellent, huge amount of sports, activities for the kids and so on.

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