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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 100009
Experience:  Private practice in several areas, including immigration
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Due to an unfortunate situation in the UK, we'd like our

Customer Question

Due to an unfortunate situation in the UK, we'd like our niece, Charlotte (age 6), and her mother, Michelle (age 37), to move to Iowa with us and to have Charlotte attend elementary with our children. The school has agreed to admittance and will issue Charlotte an I-20 and renew for the length of her schooling. Michelle, as part of the tuition package, will need to volunteer 20 hours per week at the school. She would like the opportunity to continue working in International HR/Payroll. Her visitors visa is good through May of 2017. Can she apply to work in the US without an employer sponsor in place? I've spent a week going back and forth between VISA and UICIS -- neither know the answer to the question.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Ely replied 3 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

An alien can of course apply for work in the USA without actually having a work visa. However, she would need to get it prior to beginning work. This means that the employer must be willing to file for the visa on her behalf in most circumstances. This limits her ability to find work unless the employer is willing to do this, and since this can be both time consuming and expensive, it does handicap her somewhat in her job search.

So in other words, she can apply for work, but cannot actually work until a visa is in place. Because of this, most of the time, the employer is already in agreement to hire and helps to file for a work visa while the alien is still abroad.

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