Immigration Issues/Employer sponsor Canadian in TN status for green card?
QUESTION: Dear Ajay:
I am a Mexican citizen that came to the USA in 2011 to work as an Embedded Software Engineer under the TN visa.
First I started in Indiana and a year and a half ago I got a better job offer in Michigan in an Automotive Tier 1 Supplier (big German company).
Last week I had my performance review and I did really well. My supervisor told me that I exceeded their expectations.
After my review I asked him if the company would be willing to sponsor me a green card but since he just got promoted to Supervisor he told me that he would have to check if they can do that.
I believe that I would have to go into an H1-B visa first before applying for a green card? Am I correct that I cannot apply while I'm under the TN visa (in case they decide to sponsor me)?
To be honest I did not want to negotiate a GC sponsorship at the time of the job offer because I thought it would have been inappropriate. I mean, how would a company sponsor a green card to someone they don't know how they work.
That's why I waited a year and a half before making this request.
I also told him that to make the company more comfortable I would be willing to sign some kind of agreement in which I will pay part of the legal fees if I leave the company during a certain period of time.
Can you shed some light if what I'm doing sounds reasonable?
Thanks for your help in advance,
ANSWER: Dear Roberto,
Since TN status does not allow for intention to immigrate to the U.S., it is recommended that you change to H1B status before the commencement of the green card process. General information about the GC process is here: www.h1b1.com/laborcert.htm
Please note that you will be subject to the visa cap applicable to H1B cases. As the visa cap has already been reached for this fiscal year, the H1B petition should be filed at the beginning of April, 2014 to maximize inclusion within the visa cap at that time.
For public policy reasons, the Department of Labor does not allow the beneficiary to pay for advertising expenses, and the legal fees can be paid by the beneficiary if the attorney is retained to represent the beneficiary exclusively (which is rare, as the attorney in this situation cannot advise the employer whatsoever).
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QUESTION: Dear Ajay:
Thanks for the explanation.
I was reading the USCIS website and they mention something about persons who can be exempt of the cap. They mention advanced degrees.
So do people with a Master's degree are in advantage over someone like me with only a Bachelor's degree when it comes to the H1B or green card?
There is a separate cap for persons who have completed a Master's degree in the U.S., but this is generally reached around the time of the regular cap.
Persons already in H1B status and extending their H1B status are exempt from the visa cap. There are two more categories of exemption: if the employer is an institution of higher education or at least affiliated with an institution of higher education; or if the employer is a nonprofit research organization.
You may find the following link helpful: http://www.uscis.gov/h-1b_count