The U.S. Government offers the H1B visa to enable highly skilled International Workers and International Students, from all over the World, or already in the U.S.A., the opportunity to legally live and work in America."
The process of obtaining one of the H1B visas involves many steps (H1B Program (http://www.h1base.com/).
A to obtain an H1B visa, an applicant must 'first' find an H1B job with an H1B visa employer company in the U.S.A.; commonly known as your 'H1B sponsor (H1B Program (http://www.h1base.com/)'."
Your H1B sponsor then applies for / files your H1B visa application. Individuals can NOT sponsor or apply for their own H1B visa - ONLY your new employer (sponsor) can (H1B Program (http://www.h1base.com/)."
An H1B visa is typically valid for up to six (6) years and entitles your spouse (husband/wife) and children to accompany you and 'live' in America (H1B Program (http://www.h1base.com/)."
One of the main advantages of the H1B visa (U.S. work permit) is that it is a 'dual intent' visa which means that you can apply for a Green Card (Legal Permanent Residency) (H1B Program (http://www.h1base.com/)."
The first step in getting an H1B visa is to find an employer willing to sponsor you in the United States as an employee.
One way of doing this is to locate an attorney who works with international concerns and find out if he or she has the names of companies who have in the past sponsored workers in particular graphic designers (H1B Program (http://www.h1base.com/).
There are limited quantities of such visas available each year and approximately 65,000 are given out beginning April 1 of each year.
In 2004 it only took until October 1 before the 65,000 cap was reached (H1B VISA - USA WORK VISA - USA WORK PERMIT (http://www.apwa.net/Publications/Reporter/ReporterOnline/index.asp?DISPLAY=ISSUE&ISSUE_DATE=022005&ARTICLE_NUMBER=977).
The process takes about 180 days to complete once the paperwork is filed.
Effective March 8, 2005 and each fiscal year thereafter, the first 20,000 applicants who earn a master's degree or higher from U.S. institutions of higher education are not subject to the annual congressionally mandated H1-B visa cap. This now adjusts the total annual amount of H1-B petitions for non-immigrant workers to 85,000(H1B VISA - USA WORK VISA - USA WORK PERMIT (http://www.apwa.net/Publications/Reporter/ReporterOnline/index.asp?DISPLAY=ISSUE&ISSUE_DATE=022005&ARTICLE_NUMBER=977)."
The initial work period allowed with this visa is three years and can be renewed for another three years if needed. While working under this type of visa it will be important to be constantly working on obtaining legal residency status so that one can work in the U.S. indefinitely.
The cost of such a visa can range from $2,000 to $3,000 every three years and during this time the employee can work at obtaining a permanent resident card.
In April the United States government put a temporary hold on H1B visas however it is expected to be a temporary hold so it is still important to find an attorney who specializes in international workers and get the paperwork filed.
Interviews interviewed two people who currently work as full time graphic artists. Sara and Charles are both doing what they love and willing spoke to me about their lives and careers.
1. What does working in this career entail?
Sara: It entails lots of customer service, artistic ability and the ability to meet deadlines.
Charles: It entails being able to see the big picture and see how to visually expose that picture in a way the customer will understand.
2. What are the job prospects?
Sara: The job prospects are almost endless because everybody needs something designed and printed.
Charles: Magazines, newspapers, books, brochures, pamphlets and other things all have to be done by someone. You can work anywhere in the world including your living room.
3. What does someone engaged in this career do?
Sara: I have a free lifestyle because I work from home. As long as I meet my deadlines nobody cares when I do the work so I can shop when I want, do laundry when I want and work when I want. I don't have benefits though so that is a cost factor to consider.
Charles: I generally work from 8 a.m. To about 6 p.m. Monday through Friday except on deadline night and then I stay late.
What is a typical day for them like?
Sara: A typical day starts with coffee, then I look over what I need to do that day and decide whether to work in the morning and afternoon or run my errands first and then do the work.
Charles: A typical day for me starts at the office with coffee, and then going to the desk and not leaving for nine hours. People come in to talk to me about design and we collaborate like that.
How did you get started?
Sara: My brother is a graphic designer and I followed him.
Charles: I started out as a painter and a sculptor but then my wife got pregnant and we needed a steady income with health insurance.