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TedJ
 TedJ
(@TedJ)
New Member

I'm a young Canadian male who has decided to leave my country in seek of freedom. I am looking for any sort of inside information or just information in general on the best way to get a temp resident permit and temp work visa. How long does it take to receive the necessary paperwork if I simply show up with bags in hand? What should I be bringing with me from Canada that may speed along the process of getting a temp visa and resident permit? Are there any red flags that may stop me from acquiring the necessary paperwork to begin working? Basically just anything that has helped you along the way and may also help me. Thanks a million in advance. Oh! Also I will be looking for bartending work in St.John and any additional informational that may help with that would be greatly appreciated.
-cheers

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Topic starter Posted : October 31, 2015 2:50 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

Welcome, TedJ!

This isn’t an immigration forum, but… The immigration laws of the USVI are the same as for the US, so I’m pretty sure the first red flag will be to show up at the border and indicate that you want to live and work here without a proper visa already in hand. They will turn you around immediately.

The easiest ways that I can think of for a foreigner to live and work in the US legally are: Have a close relative who already lives here, and apply for a visa through them. Marry an American citizen. Have a highly-desired profession, such as doctor or nurse. Have a lot of money and/or start a business that employs Americans. Beyond that, I believe you’ll have to deal with the usual applications and long wait times, often with slim chances of success.

50% of our (stateside) transplants leave again within 6 months, so consider coming over on a tourist visa first, just to make sure you like it, before putting a lot of effort into a work visa.

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Posted : October 31, 2015 4:40 pm
Afriend
(@afriend)
Trusted Member

As STXBob says, immigrating to the US legally can be quite a challenge for those with "unique skills" and virtually impossible for someone who wants to be a bartender. Basically you'll have to first find an employer who can use your skills and is willing to sponsor you. That employer will have to advertise the position and prove to the US Department of Labor that there are no US Citizens qualified to fill the position. That's where you'll run into difficulty as there are literally hundreds of thousands of US Citizens that are "qualified bartenders" who are looking for work.

Regardless of your qualifications you should start your research by visiting the following websites which will give you some idea of the hurdles you'll have to overcome:

http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/immigrant-process.html

http://www.wikihow.com/Immigrate-Into-the-United-States-Permanently

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_the_United_States

http://www.canadiansinusa.com

Also, if you do google search for "Immigrating to the US" you'll find lots of useful information.

The application process to get a "Work Visa" can take years, durning which time you cannot reside in the US. You'll need to hire an immigration attorney to assist you and either you or your potential employer will have to pay the require governmental fees (which can be substantial). Even if you are fully qualified for the position and have a willing employer there are never any guarantees the "Work Visa" will be granted.

Being young without an extensive work history and looking for a bartender job which probably will not qualify as a "unique skill position" you face an uphill battle. As an example, I spent over 3 years and well over $5,000 trying to obtain a "Work Visa" for a foreign national to fill a position for which he was uniquely qualified (10+ years working in a highly skilled environment) and the Labor Department kept throwing up "road blocks" . They kept denying the application on the theory that I could hire & train a US Citizen who would then become as skilled as my preferred candidate.

Let me add one more caveat - you'll probably find the same type of strict "Work Permit/Visa" Laws on just about every Caribbean island.

Sorry this is not exactly what you want to hear but it's reality.

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Posted : October 31, 2015 8:47 pm
stxisbest
(@stxisbest)
Advanced Member

Just alter your course and come in thru Mexico. At that point you will have all the free you could ever ask for. Education, medical, license, dental, phone, housing, food, and the list goes on. See you soon as you don't need a passport to get here, but as I said you will be afforded a license anyway.

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Posted : October 31, 2015 8:59 pm
daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member

Afriend has hit it pretty much on the head. My wife is Canadian and it took almost a year and a half, plus almost 10,000 in fees and other various expenses to make it happen for her an her daughter. To be honest, unless you are one of the following, it's not going to happen anytime soon:

Category EB1 is for employees with extraordinary ability and skill in:

• Business
• Science
• Education
• Arts
• Athletics
• Professors
• Researchers
• Ph.D holders

Category EB2 is for employees with extra skill and ability in the business, arts, or science fields. This is also for advanced degree professionals.

Category EB3 is for professionals with Bachelor or Graduate degrees. Other skilled workers will also fall into this category.

Good luck, but it's really not that easy.

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Posted : October 31, 2015 9:11 pm
jj00802
(@jj00802)
Advanced Member

Have you considered the BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS?

Although the BVI is under the British flag and many Canadians have moved there, it is still not easy to move to BVI without some "road blocks". They have there own strict rules that must be followed for work permits, etc.

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Posted : October 31, 2015 9:53 pm
eagleray
(@eagleray)
Advanced Member

I agree, the BVI or even Belize. But go for it!

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Posted : November 1, 2015 12:34 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

As a permanent resident Canadian here in the VI, I can attest that most of the information presented above is correct.

My journey started with a TN Visa (good for 12 months, renewed three times), then an H1B (good for 3 years), then on to my Green Card (renews every 10 years). The total cost for me and my two kids to get green cards and my Canadian wife to upgrade her existing green card to naturalization was $35,000. Its nearly impossible to accomplish without a very competent immigration attorney and you'll definitely need a solid job offer (in a field that is under-represented by American citizens) with an employer who is willing to go all the way with sponsorship. The only other way is to become a Mexican or Cuban.

I may eventually opt for naturalization since Canadians are allowed to have dual citizenship but the fact that the US taxes on worldwide income might ultimately deter me.

But why the USVI? There are plenty of better Caribbean islands and/or countries that have easier immigration policies and are much less expensive to live on. I highly recommend that the poster get a subscription to International Living magazine and learn where the real expat opportunities are.

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Posted : November 2, 2015 11:37 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

I may eventually opt for naturalization since Canadians are allowed to have dual citizenship but the fact that the US taxes on worldwide income might ultimately deter me.

I have always wondered about people in the VI (mostly from down island and from the DR) who come here to become citizens but then say they have "dual citizenship", because the oath one takes states:

"I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."

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Posted : November 2, 2015 12:09 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

Maybe this will help you understand the concept a bit better:

http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal-considerations/us-citizenship-laws-policies/citizenship-and-dual-nationality/dual-nationality.html

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Posted : November 2, 2015 1:39 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Hmm:

"The U.S. Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Claims of other countries on dual national U.S. nationals may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist nationals abroad. The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person's allegiance."

If you take an oath to renounce allegiance and fidelity to any previous state, but then retain allegiance and fidelity to that state, how does that work?

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Posted : November 3, 2015 11:26 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

I don't question such things because it doesn't matter to me how it works, only that it does.

There are thousands of people with dual (or triple) citizenship and I believe it is very important to be a citizen of more than one country these days if possible.

I feel very fortunate to be able to enjoy the many benefits that both countries offer.

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Posted : November 3, 2015 3:00 pm
sheiba
(@sheiba)
Advanced Member

In Turks and Caicos...purchase property worth at least $250K qualifies you for citizenship.

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Posted : November 3, 2015 6:40 pm
Afriend
(@afriend)
Trusted Member

I believe the minimum amount of real estate investment needed in the T&C's is now $300,000 and it gives you "residency" not citizenship. Residency does not allow the "investor" to work unless that individual qualified for a Work Permit.

I seriously doubt OP has the necessary funds to make such investment and the ability to support him/herself without working.

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Posted : November 3, 2015 9:26 pm
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