Life in the US?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Felipe C. Abala, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. Felipe C. Abala

    Felipe C. Abala New Member

    Just had my H1B petition approved in Feb/2006, and an employer is waiting for me to join them soon. The job (IT job) offer was a result of an online job posting/search (Monster, etc., and etc.).

    I'd like to hear views (both + & -) about this (shall I call it an opportunity or a situation). What life I could possibly have as an H1B employee? The employer will sponsor a Green Card application after working with them for at least 12 months.

    Any thoughts/suggestions/comments/advise?

  2. Congratulations - having held a couple of these you'll find that as long as you're paid fairly, there are no restrictions as to the type of life you can have.

    First, get your green card sponsorship in writing if there is no existing policy regarding immigration. Things can change and as a H1-B holder you are essentially locked into that employer - if things go sour you can't go elsewhere. I've known people who have landed a job and after 12 months certain "conditions" came or "changes" to the work environment that prevented them from being sponsored.

    Second, make sure you get a Social Security Number if you don't already have one. To apply for any sort of credit, open a bank account or even get cable TV they will ask for it. Your SSN card will have a special restriction on it but that won't matter.

    Good luck!

  3. Felipe C. Abala

    Felipe C. Abala New Member

    Re: Re: Life in the US?

    Thanks Mark. I am actually trying to weigh my options because recently (in January/2006) I was offered a position, which I accepted, in Abu Dhabi. The job is good, although the pay is a bit lower than what is offered in the US but tax-free, and the business is IT related. Additionally, the position is at senior level (next to the GM of a start up company). The business prospect is very promising as we are dealing with security agencies in the Middle East (Police, Military, and etc.), providing them with security related solutions, both hardware and software (I came the UAE Military and been there for 14 years). This is very interesting as I will be exposed to a new experience and new knowledge with new set of skills (aside from the managerial function). The downside, I cannot start a business on my own regardless of how long I stay in this country. In other words, I'll remain a worker so long as I am an expatriate.

    The US job offer is Software Engineer position, which will be a lower position than what I have now here in Abu Dhabi. But one thing I am hoping for is the possibility of starting a business of my own once a permanent residence/citizenship is obtained. This opportunity, I believe, is available to every legal resident/citizen in the US, which is not always true in the country where I had been for the last 14 years.

    I'm looking for inputs (both advantages and disadvantages) for both options (Abu Dhabi job or USA job).

    Thanks in advance...
  4. Felipe C. Abala

    Felipe C. Abala New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Life in the US?

    I meant, "I came from the UAE Military..."
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2006
  5. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Please come and see for yourself!

    Have you ever lived in or visited the U.S. in the past? If not, you may be in for a serious culture shock. The U.S. manages to be simultaneously saturated with religion and unbelieveably secular.

    Truth is, even many more or less secular Americans like myself are appalled by the complete public abandon with which many Americans lead their lives. Sometimes I think that the entire country is a red light district.

    But it IS a free society and you may find that real freedom to be and do ABSOLUTELY whatever you like is intoxicating as well as distressing. The freedom, you see, is not only legal and formal but also social and REAL.

    I hope you take advantage of your visa! I have travelled a bit and I really think that I'd rather live here than anywhere else I've been.
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It sounds like you're already happy in Abu Dhabi and that the positions are essentially comparable in pay, and that the position in Abu Dhabi is better experience for reaching your long term goals. Based on what you've said, if I were in your situation, I'd stay there.

    As far as not being able to start a business there, does that mean the whole of UAE or just Abu Dhabi? For example, could you start a business in Dubai and from that also do business throughout the Emerates? What kind of business do you want to start? IT consulting?

  7. Felipe C. Abala

    Felipe C. Abala New Member

    Re: Please come and see for yourself!

    I would honestly say that my first overseas job happened to be in Abu Dhabi and been here for 14 years now. And never visited the US or western countries. One thing though is, the many years of education + many more years of intermingling with people of various nationalities have brought me knowledge/skills on how to be with them. In other words, I'm good at adjusting to different cultures (co-existence has been the name of the game). Otherwise, I would not have survived for 14 years in the UAE.

    As far as religion is concerned, I have no problem seeing/interacting with people praying/worshipping in front of my face as long as they don't force me to believe things I don't believe.

    My aunt and cousins (1st cousins) are in the US and been there since the 60s, so I think cultural adjustment will not be an issue.

    Freedom is the "word"... freedom to further explore my full potentials and free to be just myself without being (always) at the mercy of a sponsor.

    Thanks to that, I'll add it to my + points.
  8. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    This kind of makes me wonder. On one hand, Americans complain that there are not enough IT jobs as there is a trend to outsource them overseas but on the other hand they are still hiring IT professionals from abroad.

    What is the deal here? Is the IT saturation really not happening or the H1-B just a way to bring cheaper professionals from abroad? Why would a company hire a foreign IT professional when there are american IT graduates complaining that there are no opportunities in the field?

    I would investigate the situation and find why you are being hired over local candidates. Is it really your skills? or because you are cheaper? or may be your experience? I just would be cautious about an empoyer taking advantage of foreign candidates for some reason.

    If things are ok, I wouldn't hesitate to come to the US as you will have the opportunitty to apply for permanent residence. Thing that is not feasible is many countries. The opportunities in the US are endless due to the huge american economy.
  9. Felipe C. Abala

    Felipe C. Abala New Member

  10. Felipe C. Abala

    Felipe C. Abala New Member

    Re: Re: Life in the US?

    That I could not tell what's really in the mind of my H1-B sponsor, unless I try it by joining them. I would not consider (and never in my life I have considered) myself an expert as if a Nobel Prize holder, but one thing I'm sure is I have 12+ years IT experience in addition to my engineering background (degree + experience) and business knowledge (degree + experience). If this kind of background is not workable in the US (to command a fair pay rate) then I'll give it a second thought. No rush, no desperate move. (That's me)
  11. JLV

    JLV Active Member

    One thing is clear, Felipe. Once you get your working papers in the US, you could kiss good bye your employer, and find better opportunities elsewhere or try to establish your own business. Of course, you know better than anyone else, but many (and I mean many) would kill themselves for a job opportunity in the US. Unless, of course, you really don´t like the American lifestyle. In any case, good luck with your decisions. I think you have a very nice CV, an excellent attitude, and I suspect you will succeed anywhere.
  12. Felipe C. Abala

    Felipe C. Abala New Member

    "Diversity, co-existence", words I learned from the 16+ years of education and real life experiences. Words I still believe in, and will continue to believe and practice, specially that market globalization is the trend of this current generation. In other words, life style is not at all an issue, in fact that is one of my deciding factors.

    Thanks for that + thought...

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2006
  13. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    That's not true with an H1-B. In fact, if his employer fires him, he has until midnight that night to get out of the country or become out of status.

    Once he has permanent residency then what you say is true. Until then he's at the mercy of his employer, and if what they say about sponsoring him for a greencard isn't true, well, then it just sucks to be him.

  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I see. Can you incorporate elsewhere, like Nevada or Delaware in the U.S., and still just run things from the Emirates? Or would that leave you with no standing to stay in the country? In other words, do you have something akin to Permanent Residency there, or must you be working for a UAE employer to stay there? (If the latter, after all this time and having done military service, that would be really lame of them, IMHO.)

  15. JLV

    JLV Active Member

    Oh, OK, I had an F-1 visa, and I imagined this H1-B didn´t have restrictions. Yeah, if he depends on an employer´s having a bad or good day, I would definitely think about it twice or thrice. Felipe, please, disregard my previous comment. Regards to both.
  16. adelx

    adelx New Member

    as far as I know, you don't have to have a sponsor to start your bussinss in UAE. you can simply start your bussiness in the Free Zone. it doesn't require a sponsor.

    I totally disagree. USA sticker will get you no where.

    I know both places. and I can tell you that there are far more opportunities in the UAE then USA.

    finally, remember that the US is big. one place might be nice and the other is awful. for example, I lived in Lawrance, Kasnas and it was wonderful. Chicago , in the other hand, was awful.
  17. Felipe C. Abala

    Felipe C. Abala New Member

    It's the latter, unfortunately...
  18. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I agree, it is so easy to open a business in Delaware or Nevada and just run the business for other country and call your self american company.

    The same issue with UK companies, I have dealt with so many scammers that run their business from other countries but they call themselves american or british.

    Virtual offices in the US would cost you as little as 100 bucks a month with 1800, PO box and mail forwarding service.

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