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From a PhD to a Green Card? Going to the US or UK?

  1. Apr 13, 2015 #1
    I am a Canadian citizen planning on obtaining an MS or PhD in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering. Unfortunately I am locked out of 99.9% jobs in the US due to ITAR issues, except the NASA Postdoctoral Program, which I know 1 person working in right now.

    Is there any way I can obtain Permanent Residency in the United States after doing a Masters or PhD? I have been doing extensive research into this, but all the information is from atleast 4-5 years ago. I would prefer the status as of 2015.

    Also, I am also considering the UK as they're aerospace industry is huge (third largest). What are your thoughts?

    Although the industry exists in Montreal (ICAO) and other places, it is extremely small in Canada (I think less then 1% the size of America). Bombardier has been laying off people so please don't mention it. My only options are P&WC and small companies.

    Thank you for reading all this.

    Sorry for the weird 'New Member Introduction'. I am currently studying Mechanical Engineering at McMaster University!
     
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  3. Apr 13, 2015 #2

    davenn

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    I would be looking at sponsorship programs from various companies or universities
     
  4. Apr 14, 2015 #3

    ZapperZ

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    First of all, it is imperative that you read and understand the instructions given to you, even in this forum, such as not posting this type of question in the Member Introduction forum (I see that your post has been moved out of that forum). Otherwise, it will be a waste of time for any of us to give you any advice or answer to your question.

    Secondly, look at the list of eligibility to apply for a Green Card from the USCIS website:

    http://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/green-card-eligibility

    Notice that there's nothing here that says that you are eligible to apply just because you have a Masters or PhD.

    What most international students go through in getting permanent residency is via employment. They get a job offer, and through their employer, they apply for permanent residency either via First, Second, Third, etc. Preferences. But take note that for most employers in the private sector, they will not hire someone without employment eligibility in the first place, so there is a Catch-22 here. The application process can be rather involved and expensive, and the number of employment immigrant visas granted per year may have a cap.

    Thirdly, you appear to also include Postdoctoral program. You do not need a permanent resident status to do a postdoc. A postdoc is not a permanent employment. It is considered more of a short-term "training". International students doing postdocs are often given H1-B1 visa, which is a non-immigrant temporary work visa.

    Zz.
     
  5. Apr 14, 2015 #4

    George Jones

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    I think that (for limited-term contracts) Canadians and Mexicans have other options under NAFTA. From Columbia's website

    http://www.columbia.edu/cu/isso/faculty/TN.html

    My wife and I are Canadian citizens. I taught at West Virginia University using TN status, and my wife worked as an intern at the General Motors Technical Center under J-1 status. When we did it years ago, getting TN and J-1 status took less than an hour; you apply and get status as you cross the border.

    I also taught at the University of the Virgin Islands under H-B1, as the U.S. Virgin Islands is a U.S. Territory that opted out of NAFTA, so I had to go this route. Getting the H-1B took a few months, and my employer made the application.
     
  6. Apr 14, 2015 #5

    ZapperZ

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    But the OP is specifically asking about getting a permanent residency in the U.S. I was the one who brought up the fact that if he is seeking a postdoc (which he brought up as an example), he doesn't need to get a PR status to be able to seek such a position.

    Zz.
     
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