Tag Archives: visa

USCIS Mini Update on April 20 for H-1B Visas in FY 2010

The USCIS noted today they have received 44,000 petitions now for H-1B visas for Financial Year 2010 which is still over 30% short of the 65,000 general H-1B visa quota.

They also announced that although they have recieved 20,000 applications for the US Advanced Degree extra quota which represents the full amount of the quota, the USCIS are continuing to accept applications given that many of these applicated may not be deemed suitable or may be withdrawn later.

Additionally to note those foreigners who hold US Masters Degrees will have their applications form part of the general quota if they don’t get a H-1B as part of the additional 20,000 quota.

If you filed your application in the intial 5 filing day window after April under Premium Processing then your processing began on April 7 and thus the 15 day processing time will end on April 22 and you will probably be notified of your success or otherwise in your H-1B visa soon after that date.

If your H-1B petition was filed after the intial 5 days and you opted for Premium Processing, then the 15 day processing time begins once the USCIS physically receives the application.

(to read the USCIS press release for April 20 on the H-1B visa click here)

How To Get Your E3 Visa Indirectly via the F-1 visa

Judging by the recent comments I am receiving and the regular emails from readers interested in the E-3 visa, the struggle most people are facing, particularly in the economy is finding jobs where employers will sponsor your E-3 visa.

With the above 2 links I have given a lot of background information to the E-3 visa beyond what official and other sites may tell you as well as great tips to finding a job.

Now today I think I will go into one of 2 indirect ways to get your E-3 visa (I will discuss the other in a suture post);

  1. via F-1 visa
  2. via J-1 visa

The F-1 Visa:
This visa is a full time student visa and used mostly by International students from all over the world to study at US college and universities for their undergraduate, masters/graduate and/or PHD programs. I will cover more on the F-1 visa in future posts including all its benefits and pitfalls, requirements as well as how to apply, etc.

It is very popular and historically has been the main way people from all over the world have been able to transfer from student to the H-1B visa. So in essence it is already used extensively as a stepping stone for Internationals to become full working professionals in the United States.

Of course this is not a cheap option, as outside of outstanding students and those in many PHD programs, chances are you will have to pay for your education in full. As you may be aware, college tuition fees in the US are not cheap.

Well short of having a source of funds to be able to attend one of the prestigious universities in the US like the Ivy League Group including Harvard or Yale, you can attend state universities where the tuition is much lower (although still probably expensive by global standards).

The tuition at state universities is subsidized by the Government and is even lower for residents of that state (normally you have to live in a state for 1 year to qualify for this so after a year of study your fees may even go down depending on the regulations of that state and university regarding foreign students).

The fees are generally charged by the amount of credits each subjects gives you and of course you need a certain amount. Without going into too much detail about this in this post, you are looking at up to $5,000 per semester for undergraduates but this depends on a large amount of factors and could vary. Here is a link from Sallie Mae to help you estimate costs. Of course Masters programs can be more but is generally only half the length of a undergraduate degree (2 years vs. 4 years)

Now it is very difficult for International students to get loans in the US, however Sallie Mae does have a program called Tuition Pay allowing to break up payments evenly over the months of a semester.

After all that what the F-1 visa does give you is the ability to do 4 things which greatly enhance your chances of finding an employer to sponsor your E-3 visa easily.

  1. CPT – Curricullum Practical Training which allows you to work for credits to your degree (don’t do more than 12 months as it makes you ineligible for OPT)
  2. OPT – Occupational Practical Training which is 1 year for undergraduates and now possibly up to 2 years for Masters or Higher Degree Holders to work at a US company. This is usually done by a student following graduation
  3. Network via University, Alumni and Above Work Training Programs – The contacts you meet will be invaluable probably for the rest of your life and you will have so much help, support and advantage compared to the average E3 visa hopeful
  4. Time – This may be the most important advantage as say you do a 4 year degree in the US or even transfer here for a part of your degree, you have so much time to do practical things like apply for jobs, build resumes and attend job interviews.

Finally I will give you the 2 final links that will help ensure you get your E3 visa and that is;
How to explain the E-3 visa to an employer
How To Change from an F-1 visa to an E-3 visa while in the US

I hope this gives you another option in your quest to obtain your E3 visa and begin your new life working and living in the US.