I was surprised that this blog does not yet have a story about moving to the USA, and decided to make its own contribution. Moreover, on October 5, the regular collection of applications for participation in the green card lottery began
, and perhaps someone will want to try their luck.
For those who do not know what a lottery is, I’ll briefly tell you: every year the US government plays 50,000 immigration visas among countries with low migration levels to increase national diversity. The conditions are minimal: do not have a criminal record and have completed secondary education. Russia dropped out of this process for several years, when there was a high percentage of adoptions from the country, and therefore not all Russians know about the lottery (in Ukraine, for example, it is difficult to find such a person). Since 2008, the Russian Federation is again included in the number of countries participating in the lottery (although it is not the citizenship of the participants that is meant, but the country of birth). This is probably the easiest way to get a green card, if you can win of course - according to various calculations, the probability of winning is about 2%. In the presence of a playing spouse, chances are increased by 2 times. However, there are other ways of immigration:
- H1b visa - a working visa for specialists with higher education. If you manage to convince your employer that you are worth spending from $ 5,000 on lawyers accompanying the immigration process and waiting for you (there is a quota for work visas, opened in April, and may end prematurely) - this is a good option. True, the spouse will receive a H4 visa without the right to work, but she can also apply for a H1b visa. Being inland, make it easier. Sometimes a work visa is obtained through bodyshops: these are companies that position themselves as “consultants.” They conclude a contract with a specialist from the CIS for two years and pay, say, $ 15 per hour, while their clients sell the working time of this specialist for 75 per hour. The conditions are enslaving, and the breach of contract threatens with a fine, but it is also a way for those who are ready “even with a carcass, even a stuffed animal”.
- L1 visa for employees of international companies. It is necessary to work in a company that has an office in the United States for more than 3 years and convince the management that you need it there (to spend money). Since American IT companies often open offices in other countries to save on labor, they are not too eager to transfer people to the United States. Those translations that I observed were often based on the personal relations of the manager (American) and the employee, who argued that he could be useful personally to him. When applying for L1, the original of a higher education diploma is not required, but if you then apply for a green card from your employer, then you will need a diploma. So, if you want, you don't want it, but it would be nice to get a crust of the state university.
- Graduate / Postgraduate with further obtaining H1b. Pros: local education improves your competitiveness in the market and it is easier to look for a job from the USA; the disadvantages are 2-5 years of a rather modest life, since the magistracy costs money, and the graduate students have small scholarships. It is also a good way for those who have a higher education is not in the field of IT, and they can not qualify for H1b - get a degree in computer science. Not all universities, but some allow it. So my friend entered a modest university in Washington after the Ukrainian philological university (his good knowledge of English and a high GRE score saved him), graduated from the magistracy, after she got a job at Yahoo. You can enroll in an MBA business school, but it only makes sense to enroll in a good school that is in the top 20, and this is a completely different money for tuition.
“Religion is suitable only for religious followers of unpopular movements, but the method is still long and unreliable.
- Marriage with a US citizen. It takes about six months to get the groom's / bride's visa; it is necessary to bring confirmation to the interview at the consulate that you have met in person at least once in the past two years (photos). After entering the country comes the "conditional green card". If the couple gets divorced within 2 years, the CC will be canceled.So, what happens after the move?
The beauty of the United States is that good work, including in IT, is not concentrated at one point. Depending on the climate you prefer, where you have friends, whether you like the unhurried image of “one-story America” or the dynamics of a big city, you can live in Silicon Valley and in New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Texas etc. In the latter, by the way, according to rumors, not very expensive housing.
We decided to go to Silicon Valley and because my husband managed to find a vacancy within his company, and because there is a wonderful (in my opinion, like Odessa) climate. It is October in the yard, and you can wear shorts outside (and even sunbathe if you wish), about 320 sunny days a year, in winter the temperature is on average 10-14 degrees Celsius. However, lovers of snow can get into the car and in two hours find themselves on the mountain slopes. In this case, however, the San Francisco Bay Area is considered the most expensive metropolis of the United States.
The average salary for the region can be viewed on Salary.com
, how much you will pay taxes from this salary here
. The cost of renting housing and cars is all on Craigslist
. In short, as long as you have a qualified legal work, life here is beautiful. How does the search for this work?
IT is the area that is known to have suffered the least in a crisis. Undoubtedly, there were layoffs at IT companies, and many people had to look for work for several months, but good specialists were arranged fairly quickly. Unless a salary bar moved a little lower, but due to this several start-ups appeared that decided to seize the moment while labor was relatively inexpensive. In August, I was able to join the RMA
excursion around Silicon Valley, so I wrote a blog
about the internal kitchen of some Internet companies.
I have not yet had to go through a job search personally; at the moment I am studying in a testing school - this is the fastest way to get into IT for people of other professions. But before my eyes, several people were looking for work (green card holders, which, naturally, simplified the situation). The main obstacles they faced were insufficient knowledge of the English language and lack of American work experience. Since the Valley is a multicultural place, no one will be confused by your accent or confusion of times. The main thing is that in principle you managed to convey your thoughts to the interlocutor. Thus, a specialist with 10 years of work experience, but who studied English only a year, was asked to write a few words in English in the interview that he used in oral speech. On the word "issue" he broke down, but still took)
If you focus on the average salary indicated on Salary.com, then for the first job the bar will have to be reduced by a factor of two (if it is important to find a job as quickly as possible, and in most cases this is justified). The first job (for green card owners) is likely to be a contract for 3-12 months. Contractors do not have such high demands: as a rule, they are urgently needed and not every specialist will chase after “short” offers. Although contract servicemen do not usually give any benefits, but after the contract you will have a long-awaited “American experience” and, quite likely, recommendations. The contract may offer to extend - the salary bar at the same time can easily be increased by 15-20%. It is also worth warning that the more "technical" you have a specialty, the higher the chances of good employment. It’s much harder for a designer to find a job than a database administrator.
Key resources for job search and resume posting: Monster
. And the Craiglist mentioned above. Since the latter is free, medium and small companies are most often looking for personnel there. It also does not hurt to have a well-designed Linked In
profile, preferably with recommendations from your managers, colleagues, and business partners.
Job search is a complete job. There are many jobs, but the competition is high. If you receive 10 calls from recruiters every day (starting at 7 am), but invitations to interview are no more than 1-2 per week - everything is fine, this is a normal workflow. If a Hindu calls you, asks a couple of questions with a terrible accent (although they are sure that you do not understand them because of your poor knowledge of English), and then, without saying goodbye, put the phone down - most likely they called you "for show". If you are not particularly attached to this area, you can search for vacancies throughout the country. Decent companies will cover the costs of moving: payment for the ticket, transportation of things and hotels for the first time. If they are even invited to an interview at their own expense, this is a good reason to refuse them already at this stage.
It is quite possible that after moving (especially if there was own housing in the homeland), the standard of living will somewhat decrease, but then a good IT specialist will get up pretty quickly and, I assure you, he will look after his own housing. Prices of houses, by the way, you can look at Redfin
. The mortgage rate is about 4%, so the monthly mortgage payment is often not much higher than the rental price. True, do not forget about the additional payments in the form of taxes and repairs made at their own expense, but at the same time mortgage payments are entitled to a tax deduction. In general, there is no need to hurry in this matter, but good housing here, as a rule, is more affordable than in Moscow.
The topic is very extensive, so if someone has additional questions - I will answer with pleasure.