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Working Visa for the U.S- Canadian Citizen

Travel Forums North America Working Visa for the U.S- Canadian Citizen

1. Posted by Virginie (Budding Member 37 posts) 7y

Hi,

I am planning to move to Chicago and stay there from September 2009 to April-May 2010 approx. I would like to know how hard it is for a Canadian citizen to get a working visa for the U.S for more than 6 months.

Thank you very much!

Virginie

2. Posted by Cool Paul (Travel Guru 611 posts) 7y

shouldn't be too hard. there is that whole NAFTA thing. I think that's what it's called. I think as long as you are educated and/or experienced in some sort of profession.

yeah, check this out:

http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1274.html#15

I think there is a list of professions on there somewhere

3. Posted by Virginie (Budding Member 37 posts) 7y

Thank you!

The thing is, I do have a baccalaureate, but I am not going to Chicago to work in some specific profession. I am going study overthere... well, take some specific classes and I would like to find a job in some random field... If I can use my degree to find a nice job, it is cool, but I could still work in a restaurant and be happy...
With Nafta, I think you need to show that YOU are the one to do the job... And you have to find the job before you leave... I would prefer finding a job once I am in Chicago.
If Nafta still is my best option, I will go for it...

Thanks a lot for your help!
Merci!

4. Posted by elliottk (Inactive 40 posts) 6y

Quoting Virginie

Thank you!

The thing is, I do have a baccalaureate, but I am not going to Chicago to work in some specific profession. I am going study overthere... well, take some specific classes and I would like to find a job in some random field... If I can use my degree to find a nice job, it is cool, but I could still work in a restaurant and be happy...
With Nafta, I think you need to show that YOU are the one to do the job... And you have to find the job before you leave... I would prefer finding a job once I am in Chicago.

Best of luck. I think for the type of visa mentioned you need an employer sponsor first. There may also be a bank account balance requirement for school. However, with a student visa you can stay an extra year to work after graduating. Unfortunately, I think you have to be in a formal program to get the student visa. Best bet for info on this is probably the State Department, though.

5. Posted by chrisvasil (Respected Member 102 posts) 6y

You'll probably have a hard time getting a study permit without being enrolled in a program.
For working, you can either get a NAFTA TN Visa for a specific profession (with a job offer specifying that it's a one-year contract) or work in almost any field if an employer will sponsor you for H1-B. If you go H1-B, you can only start working after you get it (they start once a year, beg-October).
If you get a study permit you get a one-year open work permit (OPT).
I'm Canadian, and got a masters in the US then worked in US for 2 years before losing my job and starting my travels.

6. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 6y

As far as I am aware, there are no options that would allow you to go and live in the USA without either employment or a full-time educational program arranged in advance.

NAFTA (TN Visa) requires you to be working in your field and employed, assuming it is one of the categories. H1-B requires you to have a job, and it is a time consuming and expensive process to get it, so is seldom used.

A J Visa might be your best bet. There are a couple of categories you could look at - Au Pair, full-time student (which allows some part-time work under certain conditions) or summer work & travel (which is only good for four months, unfortunately).

Ultimately, the USA is a tough place to get to. As a Canadian, your best bet is to get a job in Canada with a company with US offices, and get a transfer (either under NAFTA or an L visa).

Greg