Hua has always been an independent spirit.
Hua was born in China. Her family immigrated to Australia in search of better opportunities when she was young. She and her family returned to China frequently to visit relatives. Eventually, Hua and her family became citizens of Australia.
Hua came to the U.S. on an F-1 student visa to earn an MBA from a top business school here. During her final year of her MBA, she participated in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for F-1 students. She gained work experience at a tech startup that encourages STEM education for children.
The founder of the startup she worked for wanted to hire her when she graduated. He knew the startup would benefit from having Hua work on its investment in China. The startup needed someone right away who knew about investing, was familiar with the Chinese market and could travel between Silicon Valley and China.
Hua wanted to remain in the U.S. to accept the job that seemed tailor-made for her. But limited visa options exist for international graduates. And the options that do exist are increasingly more difficult—and take more time—to obtain with the Trump administration taking aim at reducing legal immigration.
Options for International Graduates
The entrepreneur who wanted to hire Hua asked the Alcorn Immigration Law team for help. We often field inquiries from established companies, startups, and investors asking about strategies for promising international students to remain in the U.S.
One option, the H-1B visa, has become a tough one, particularly since the H-1B lottery is held only once a year, and the chance of being picked in the lottery is just one in three. What’s more, H-1B denials were up 41% during the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to the previous quarter, according to a study issued by the National Foundation for American Policy.
Hua’s American boyfriend of one year offered another option: He asked her to marry him so that she could get a green card. She declined. Hua wanted to find a different route—one that didn’t make her dependent on him. She wanted to get a visa based on her own merit.
We suggested an E-3 visa for Australia professionals. The E-3 allows Australian nationals to live and work in the U.S. in a position that requires specialized theoretical or practical knowledge. The E-3 can be renewed indefinitely as long as the conditions under which it was granted do not change.
Two weeks after we filed the E-3 petition, Hua attended a visa interview and was approved on the spot. And she did it all on her own.
The Alcorn Immigration Law team supports immigration for innovation by assisting highly-motivated investors, founders, talent, students, and families obtain visas, green cards, and citizenship. Contact us if we can help you, an employee or a loved one. We can help whether an individual is inside or outside of the U.S.
* To maintain confidentiality, the name of the client has been changed, and details may have been omitted or slightly altered. Our success in a case does not predict nor guarantee the outcome in your legal matter. The result portrayed above was dependent on the facts of that case. Results will differ based on different facts.