When a company wants to fill empty positions with workers from outside the country, they may sponsor them for an H-1B visa. Immigration law then allows the approved individual to move to California and work for this employer. However, there are times when the employee discovers another work opportunity he or she likes better. Now what?
Take charge of your employment situation and immigration status
The easiest course of action is to stay with the employer who hired you. When this does not appeal to you, immigration law offers you other options to maintain your status.
For example, you may take advantage of the Internal Entrepreneur Parole, found a business or have a 10%-ownership stake, raise $250,000 from investors, and then run your company. The law gives you two and a half years, after which you can request an extension.
Look ahead to the future
The goal is to show that your company can create jobs in the U.S. There is a possibility that doing so puts you in line for receiving a green card and enjoying permanent residency. If you do start a company, this firm can then apply for an H-1B visa on your behalf. When you want to step away from this visa type, consider qualifying for an O-1A, which identifies you as an individual with extraordinary abilities.
If you are coming from a country that has an active treaty of commerce with the United States, you may also come here as an investor in your own right on an E-2 visa. However, you do need to have the funding necessary to make your case. Doing so typically means having $100,000 to do so.