How many designers here are working somewhere other than their home country? Where are you from, and where are you now?
From France, working in Japan. My work visa expires in 10 days, but I should be able to get a regular, non-work visa instead.
I won't be allowed to work of course, so I guess I'll just browse DN all day instead…
Not even remotely???
As far as I know, most countries including Japan only have laws concerning working/not working, whether it's remote or not doesn't make a difference. I might be wrong though.
Yes, check. In a few countries and situations, if you're not getting paid in the country which you performed the work, it's not considered "work". For example, you could get paid through foreign Paypal account or other digital means, pay all your bills and expenses with your credit from a different country, in my case was Brazil, and not do any banking transactions on the country you currently stay. I used to pay all my bills with my Brazilian credit card and get paid through my brazilian Paypal account. It may not be worth it due to fees that you have to pay for using a credit card abroad but it's an option. Not sure about Japan though.
Question: do you speak Japanese? If yes, how and how fast did you learn it? If no, is it a problem on a daily basis?
From a French person interested in Japan.
Not really, or rather I speak just enough to get by. It's not really a problem on a daily basis even if you don't speak the language, apart from the fact that it'll be harder to meet people and have interesting conversations.
Okay, thanks for the input :)
I'm a Swede, working from Goa in India. It's easy to get a visa here, so why don't you all just come here :)
Now there's something you don't hear every day... How are you liking it there? Did you find it hard to adapt to such a radically different culture and climate?
Radically different culture.. Seriously?? Just visit South Goa you can get people from any country easily. It is the best place for party and hangout.
I'm sorry Rizwan, I didn't mean it as an offense :)
I see your point about Goa being a cultural melting pot, but doesn't that then make it radically different from countries where cultural diversity is not so great?
I agree with your point and i didn't take it as an offense :)
In fact, I’m at the tail end of a trip back to Blighty to finish my change of status from a J1 to a H1B. Now working in San Francisco as a full-time Dropboxer.
I am working in the US, from Brazil. Actually, this is a good conversation, I suppose many people struggle on this matter, Visa, etc... I can share some info since I have been through this process and it's a pain... indeed.
Yeah it's not easy! Were there any resources or websites that you found helpful?
Hey! That's awesome! I'm also from Brazil. Where do you live? We should connect!
Brazil here :) Please, share your process with us Al Lucca
You should look for info on the O-1 visa. We can talk by email or connect on twitter @all_lucca
To those working in the US from the UK, do you mind if I ask how you went about it? Was it a case of finding a job and getting sponsorship or getting a visa first and then job hunting after that point?
Can't speak from personal experience (although I do plan to do it soon!), but Nicolas Gallagher's written up his experience moving from UK to US.
Not easy, but possible.
Yes, you need to find a company who will sponsor your visa. You need to plan this well ahead. To get an H1B visa, which opens in April 2015, you need to start getting on peoples radar now (winter 2014). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-1B_visa
Spend January/February applying and March April probably interviewing. You'll want to have a firm offer by the end of March so that on 1st April, your visa can be filed.
IF there is a lottery and your visa application is accepted, you can't move to the US until October 2015. So try to find a company that will let you start remote.
There are lots of other options, I'm not a lawyer etc etc.
happy to share my experience over email http://edlea.com/about
Ah, I thought that might be the case.
I'm actually looking at getting a years working visa to head to Canada at some point next year. Looking at the process for that seems a lot easier than getting into the US.
From all of us in the U.S. :
Australian in my 4th year in Berlin, Germany
F1 student visa in OPT now! From Taiwan, just graduated this May with master degree and started working in San Francisco. Hope I'm lucky enough to get H1B next year!
457 Visa in Sydney, British. I think I've been very lucky though, aside form having to fly to New Zealand to apply for the initial working visa, the process was pretty seamless.
Canadian working as a designer in San Francisco. TN1 visa!
I'm from China and currently studying/working in Canada. I'm thinking about moving to US but I'm so worried about the visa problem....
I am French living in the Sillicon Valley since Feb 2012
- Entered the US in Feb 2012 with a J1 Visa
- Applied and activated my H-1B Visa on Apr 2013
- Applied for the Green Card in Oct 2013 and obtained it. Waiting to activate the status.
I consider myself extremely lucky. I have hired 2 international designers from the USA and they haven't been as lucky as I've been.
The fact that I am french and have a master degree in engineering surely helped me a lot.
Is it so much easier to obtain a visa with a degree?
not really, depends on what you do. But, when obtaining a visa, they want to make sure foreigners are highly valuable. One of my friend obtained an american "Artist Visa". Easier to make because there's less demand, but still a pain ;)
The thing is that, from one country to an other, getting a visa will be more or less easy, depending on your country relationships with the other country (Like getting an american visa will be waaay easier if you are from canada than from, let's say Nigeria).
For getting an H-1B the minimum requirement is a Bachelor Degree. If you can prove work experience, every 4 years of work experience counts as 1 year of education. You'll need a total of 16 years of proven experience if you have no degree.
There is many other type of visas you can apply to.
J-1 are internships of maximum 18 months.
If the company that wants to hire you has an entity abroad (in UK for example), you can hire someone in UK, make them a B-1 (Business) and have them come to train in the HQ for a maximum of 6 months within a year.
After a full 12 months experience on the UK entity you can then apply for a L-1 visa to enter the US
There is also the O-1 visas that I don't know very well but they apply to people that have a "Individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement"...
I am sure there is other ones. From my experience in the US the most common one is the H-1B. If you have the bachelor degree (or minimum requirements) you fill up the application and submit it on April 1 of the current year. There is around 120k submissions for only 65k H-1B, so even if you have the requirements, you'll pass through a "lottery algorithm"...
I filed two H-1Bs on 2014 for two UI hires and only one of them got it.
I know some people that have applied 3 years in a row to the H-1B having the minimum requirements and haven't got it yet. Just unlucky at the lottery.
Hopefully this is going to change one day. There is clearly a VERY high demand here for talent in the USA. Both in design and engineering. I have been faced to the choice of either getting international people and invest a lot of my time to bring them here while starting to build a team remotely or just spending (even wasting) a lot of time finding local talent. I chose the first option and deal with the remote management, but it's definitelly not ideal...
I am from india finished my B.E (ECE) and working in one company as a UI/UX designer... Could you please give me some suggestion
I'm from the UK, trying to move over to the USA at the moment. The problem I have is that I own a UK based company, but work remotely.
Essentially I need a visa which allows me to work remotely for a UK based company, whilst living legally in the States on a proper visa. Best tourist visa I can see is 6 months...with little chance of it being extended/re-issued afterwards
I'll pay taxes in whatever country necessary, but I'm not sure that's even an option for the states. Do you have any advice for this? Would seriously appreciate some guidance from someone with experience...
This is a tough one because you are not making any business here in the US. You have a UK company but just wants to live in the USA while working for a UK based company.
I don't see many options besides a tourist visa of 6 month unfortunately. You can also come on the 3 month tourist one (just ESTA) and come back a couple of months to the UK and come back. You'll be able to do it a few times before they'll require you to get either a tourist visa or a student visa.
Most of the other visas are given so you can come here and work (or create your own business).
From the US, currently living and working remotely (with US clients) in London. Technically on a tourist visa, so can't pick up any local work.
So, how is going with different currency? I'm planing to move to london but pound is killing me.
I tried to get US work visa this year but I didn't make it to the selected. Will try again next year.
Brazillian designer living in San Francisco with a H1B visa.
Mexican developer currently on the process of getting a french work visa, let's see how that goes ! Any mexicans in France ?
from india.Now in the process of getting Z visa for shanghai china. If anyone out there in shanghai let me know
I'm from France and I got a Z visa for Shanghai as well. This city is really crazy and amazing. Design and technology-wise you can learn a lot from here.
That is what am expecting. Want to attend meetups and hackathons :D So you are still living in Shanghai or moved out?
You could pay attention to Hangzhou, a city near Shanghai. From what I've heard, it's becoming the silicon valley of China. A lot of startups there. Aalibaba's headquater is there for example. It's also a great city to visit and they have great food.
Thanks for the info. It is great to hear that :D
I lived in Shanghai for 2-3 years and started a company there. Visas are a nightmare unless you have a company taking care of it for you.
My going to work in my company subsidiary only. So i didn't find any difficulty in getting Z visa till now.
To all of you: Welcome to China! Hope you guys enjoy the life there :)
Thanks Tori Zhao. A note of thanks followed you in twitter. :) Looking forward to work in china.
Thanks :) I'm not in China now but I'm planning to go back and build my own startup someday :D
Australian, on an O-1, in NYC.
Australian living in the UK (Home Counties) on a spousal visa. Was originally a tier 5 youth migrant but married a Brit
Coming over here, taking our jobs, taking our women...
Where is Farage when you need him?!
He's in the European Parliament, collecting paychecks from the "enemy". :)
Who is this Farage? Seems like a nice chap. I wonder if he'll be my friend.
From Belgium, working in Hong Kong. So a regular working visa for me.
+1 for Belgium but why Hong Kong?
I've been thinking about doing this. Are you working somewhere or remotely? How did the visa process go?
Were there any weird things you encountered that I should be aware of? I'm in the US, but I'm pretty sure some things are universal.
I moved over from UK to San Francisco in Sep '13 on H1B. Feeling lucky to get it as I know some people have had a terrible experience.
If there are any H1B brits moved over to South Bay/SF, get in touch (esp if you have family). We've made a great group of friends that really helped us get settled. Reach me here http://edlea.com/about/
Hi Ed, I'm from the UK & trying to move over to the states at the moment. Do you mind if I ask what the process involved for getting an H1B visa was like? i.e. what skills did you need to present, was there an interview process, did the employer have to fight to justify your 'speciality'...etc
I used to live in China, terrified the US will have a similar visa policy in regards to work
I own a company in the UK...looking into how to get to the states without quitting and working full time for a different company, but the results are pretty dubious so far :/
By the sound of it, you're looking for a green card. H1B is tied to an employer and you have to be full time for them. I think that's similar to O and J visas.
As for how to get a green card, I think you can effectively buy your way in to the US if you have a few million dollars lying around. Or if you come over on an H1B you can apply for one also.
I know that companies can open an office here, but I'm not sure what the criteria is for that.
I could tell you more about my H1B process but it doesn't sound like that's what you're after.
I'm Irish, working in San Francisco.
Got a green card last year and moved out to California - my wife is a US citizen. We did all the paperwork ourselves, it took about a year from start to finish and cost close to $1K in government processing fees.
Online communities like visajourney were invaluable resources, but it's still a huge, stressful undertaking if you don't want to pay lawyers to handle your case for you, or have a company sort a H1B for you.
thanks for sharing. any other resources that were helpful?
Best advice I can offer would be to become very familiar with [VJ](visajourney.com) - their guides are pretty solid, and the forums are full of thousands of people going through the same confusing steps that you're going to be going through.
1. Research every step in advance - checkout this guide overview page, identify the parts you'll need to go through and get familiar with the details of each. Print out the applications and fill them out - even the ones for much later stages - so you can see what supporting documents are needed.
The flowcharts on VJ are very helpful too (example).
As I went through the process, I uncovered lots of small details that presented additional complications and delays in my process. Always be prepared to send the next follow through package of forms at the drop of a hat (regardless of whether the current step is completed or not); so you don't lose valuable weeks in between chasing down paperwork from banks, police, doctors, etc.
2. Find peers - once you send off your main filing and start the process, find the forum thread for the month you applied and subscribe (example). You'll be in sync with what other people around you are going through over the next year of beauracracy. You'll get a sense of how the timeline is shaping up as you move forward.
3. Localised knowledge - find and subscribe to the sub-forum for your local embassy so you can follow people's progress going back and forth there for interviews, documentation, etc. You'll get insights into what localised issues pop up - what constitues 'certified originals', how you gathering documents on your medical history, police certs, that sort of thing.
Russian working in San Francisco on H1B. It's not too hard to get it if your company really need you.
From Northern Ireland. Working/living in San Francisco on a H-1B.
The worst thing about it is if you have a spouse dependent on your H-1B (called an H4) they don't get a permit to work in the US. Which sucks.
Any ex-pats in SF give me a shout. Always down for a pint.
Dutch, working in Canada now.
I'm an Australian working at Etsy in NY on an E3 visa.
Was it hard to get the Etsy job? I'd love to work in NY but have heard that it's hard to find employers willing to take on international employees.
Mauritius > NYC.
Canadian living in Germany, transitioning from Visitor Visa to Partnerschaft visa since i'm married to a German now. Just working on passing the language tests.
I'm Mexican living in NYC, on an H1B Visa what a pain
I'm an Australian with a student visa in Gothenburg, Sweden. That means I can work... as long as I'm studying at the same time
US & UK Citizen hopping around South-East Asia. Saigon, Vietnam for the past year but just moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand for 2 months.
Always on 3 month tourism visas. Renewed by doing border runs to nearby countries or renewing locally through visa offices. Of course working for any local employers / on the ground jobs is banned, but remote online work falls into a grey area. There are hundreds of other remote online works (dare I use the buzzword "digital nomads") over here working too. The work permit / visa laws just haven't caught up with the way most of us work online now. Location is irrelevant, and clients are spread across the world.
How do you deal with taxes?
I file US taxes as self-employed and under the Foreign Tax Exemption. Just limits the amount of time I can spend in the US every year (less than 90 days).
Can you talk a bit more about what you've been doing and how you've been going about it, in terms of border hopping and visas. Any advice you have would be great. I quit my 9-5 a month ago and plan on doing this or something similar starting around January. How hard is it to get visas? Do you just go to the embassy and handle it?
I did a 3 month travel visa to Australia but realized as soon as I got there that it would have been way easier and to do the year long work/travel visa there. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford a random trip to NZ at peak season to get that visa so I came home and then got stuck in the 9-5 cycle for a couple years. I'm ready to do the remote work / travel thing again...ASAP.
Mexican working in the UK under a T2 visa. It's been stressful as fuck but oh so worth it.
Take me! I love London..
Haha, caile tocayo! aunque NY no ha de estar tan mal
Nada mal, pero bueno ya sabes explorar no esta de mas!
Moved to London, from Australia on a T5 youth visa. Still looking work unfortunately :(
(Mexican working in Spain)
Definitely not easy! I would have really loved nice websites with useful information to get started when I arrived. That would be a great project: a place to get started as a newbie in a foreign country.
This could help designers connect right from arrival. I would definitely join to contribute to such project!
Each place has a different process, and most could really use design to be clearer, at least. Especially when it comes to freelance work. Information is grayish, and I see a lot of designers working on student internships only, because the working-visa process is so complex for some startups.
Anyways, any Mexicans in Spain? Let me know!
From New Zealand working in Tromsø, Norway on a skilled worker visa.
I work for a small Biotech company as their in-house web and graphics guy. It's pretty fun as my job varies greatly and it helps to be a jack of all trades.
Also there is nothing like walking home from work and looking up to see the Northern Lights in full swing - a little self promo...
Living & working in Dubai, UAE. From the UK.
From Slovakia, working in San Francisco.
First I worked remotely for a year from Prague (CZ), then I was on J-1 for 10 months and I've transferred to H-1B just recently. One hell of a ride.
From Hong Kong, I am currently working in Brisbane with 457 sponsorship visa. I am very lucky to find my first job here after my graduation in university. Still have a year until I can apply for a permanent visa though.
From the US, living in Thailand. Work for a US company, do no business in Th, so no work permit necessary.
E2 Visa here, 3rd year. Working on EB1 now.
I'm from the Philippines and I'm on Employment Pass here in Singapore. Curiously exploring other gigs outside. I find it amusing that later in interviews people usually choke when it's time to talk about visa. I'm not sure how to react but it keeps me uncomfortable. Thoughts?
Originally from Malaysia. Previously in worked in London on a Tier 2 Visa for about 4 years, now moved to Singapore with an Employment Pass, it's been the easiest and stress free country with it comes to acquiring work visa.
Im in the process of getting an O1a visa for a job in the states... Will see how it goes in the coming weeks!
I am working in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I'm originally from the Netherlands. Visa was quite easy to arrange as long as you have right company it setup.
H1B here, first year.
Working in NYC, from Israel.
J1 US Visa here. British citizen in the midwest.
How did you find the culture transition?
I was surprised by how friendly everyone here is. It's a rather conservative area, for a British liberal like myself, but everyone is so kind I can't help but love it here.