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Relocation/Visas from Europe to Usa/Canada


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#1 VladR   Members   -  Reputation: 722

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 03:37 AM

Let`s say, I have a ~4 yrs experience on PC (DirectX/C++) developing several projects in areas like - Engine,Graphics,GamePlay,Front-End,AI - which could theoretically land me a job as a senior programmer or just a regular programmer. What is the current situation regarding obtaining the necessary VISAs for me (and my family) ? Does this happen at all (transfers from Europe into USA/Canada) ? I understand, that I would pay the costs of relocation (flight tickets) and VISAs on a monthly basis back to the company where I would work. But I found out that you need to wait 4 yrs before you can obtain PR status in Canada (from the time you submit the application). That is, only if you don`t get rejected. Employer can`t wait even 4 months, not 4 yrs. Is the situation any different if the employer shows to relevant organizations/offices (that issue the VISAs) that he wants to hire some specific applicant ? I mean, in this case they would immediatelly (i.e. within 2-3 months) issue the VISAs ?

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#2 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 21315

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 04:32 AM

I have worked at a company that helped match international students with schools and obtain visas so I know a tiny bit about them. [grin]

It mostly depends on what type of visa you are looking for and if you already have sponsorship. Each visa has different rules.

Student visas, for example, can often be obtained in under four weeks if there is an agency sponsoring the J-1 visa. An F-1 is 3-4 months to process. Although I don't have much experience with the work visas, an H-1B visa with a sponsor can take 3-6 months for approval. Permanent Residence (PR) take much longer.

It also depends on the source country, some are very fast and allow almost anybody who passes a background check and embassy interviews. Others will deny the requests out of principle or avoid the 'problem' of visas altogether by not scheduling or keeping embassy interviews.


All but one of the companies I have worked with since 1994 have had a few people on visas, usually from any of the UK, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa.

#3 cbenoi1   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 480

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 09:09 AM

> Let`s say, I have a ~4 yrs experience on PC {...}

If your plan is to move over here and THEN apply at game companies, you will find there is a lot of competition for very few spots for that range of experience. It's only with the 7 - 10 years of experience slots that situation is reversed. The market lacks experienced producers and experienced tech leads right now. Many spots require at least 2 to 5 *shipped* games; with game development cycles of about 18 - 24 months, that's your 7 - 10 years of experience right there.

> But I found out that you need to wait 4 yrs
> before you can obtain PR status in Canada
> (from the time you submit the application).

I worked for a small 3D company and this was taken care of by the company. Your work permit gets renewed yearly until you get you become a permanent resident. I remember the process was relatively straightforward, but I was told that generally it helped a lot when you have an employer first.

-cb

#4 VladR   Members   -  Reputation: 722

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 11:19 AM

Quote:
Original post by cbenoi1
It's only with the 7 - 10 years of experience slots that situation is reversed. The market lacks experienced producers and experienced tech leads right now. Many spots require at least 2 to 5 *shipped* games; with game development cycles of about 18 - 24 months, that's your 7 - 10 years of experience right there.
LOL. 2 yrs ago, it was 3-5 yrs experience. Now it`s 7-10 and when I`m going to have 7 yrs, I might not even be in game industry (who knows ?).

Quote:
Original post by cbenoi1
I worked for a small 3D company and this was taken care of by the company. Your work permit gets renewed yearly until you get you become a permanent resident. I remember the process was relatively straightforward, but I was told that generally it helped a lot when you have an employer first.
Interesting. That would mean, that you don`t have to be a PR to be able to work there (which I didn`t know since I thought that you must have PR first and only then you can officially work in Canada). This is what I haven`t grasped from Immigration websites of Canada. Thanks for the tip, now it makes more sense to me. At all forums, everybody was talking about getting PR and only then going to find a work. But apparently, there`s the other way around this (which is logical, but that doesn`t mean it necessarilly had to be so actually).



#5 cbenoi1   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 480

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 02:18 AM

> I thought that you must have PR first and only
> then you can officially work in Canada

You can get a work permit if the company that employs you can reasonnably show that they need you to fill in the ranks and they have made some reasonnable effort to find local talent. That permit, IIRC, is renewable yearly. The process is even easier for US citizens because the Free Trade Agreement has a clause for workforce mobility between our two countries.

What I don't know is how to 'upgrade' your work permit into a permanent residentship and eventually into citizenship. The BIG question you need answered is what happens when you get laid off with only a work permit in your hands...

-cb



#6 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 02:30 AM

A game company is never going to sponsor you for a visa. For that you need to talk to an Intel, Microsoft, etc. I worked in a group of around 20 programmers at Intel for a year and about half were here on work visas. (ok maybe less, but pretty close to half)

I recommend getting a lawyer to help you. Or Hell, just come over illegally like all the Mexicans do.

#7 Obscure   Moderators   -  Reputation: 174

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 02:34 AM

Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
A game company is never going to sponsor you for a visa.
Actually game companies often sponsor overseas staff for US/Canadian visas but, as mentioned above, they need to be able to show that you have skills/experience which they can not find locally. That means it is very unlikely to get a visa if you are looking for an entry level position (and have no proven dev skills/experience) but becomes somewhat easier once you do have a track record.
Dan Marchant - Business Development Consultant
www.obscure.co.uk

#8 VladR   Members   -  Reputation: 722

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 02:35 AM

Quote:
Original post by cbenoi1
You can get a work permit if the company that employs you can reasonnably show that they need you to fill in the ranks and they have made some reasonnable effort to find local talent.
I believe that wouldn`t be an issue in a case of a company that arrives into UK for a week (or so) to hire the local candidates - which obviously means they must have used all available local resources.

Quote:
Original post by cbenoi1
That permit, IIRC, is renewable yearly. The process is even easier for US citizens because the Free Trade Agreement has a clause for workforce mobility between our two countries.
One has to wonder, why would a US citizen do that ? Though, due to recent dollar devaluation, the earnings start to be comparable, so the life standard could be somewhat more comparable than previously.
BTW, is that true, that after 5 consecutive yrs worked in Canada, one receives a H1B visa for USA (due to bilaterall agreements), and thus can freely enter the country and look for work in USA ?

Quote:
Original post by cbenoi1
What I don't know is how to 'upgrade' your work permit into a permanent residentship and eventually into citizenship.
I wouldn`t worry about citizenship at all. Provided I worked there, about 4-5 years after gaining your PR status, you can ask for citizenship.

Quote:
Original post by cbenoi1
The BIG question you need answered is what happens when you get laid off with only a work permit in your hands...
That`s the number one reason why I wouldn`t sell my apartment here in my country (even though I`d probably took a bank loan for an apartment there (you know, just in case)), so that I always have a place where to return in the worst case.

#9 VladR   Members   -  Reputation: 722

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 02:48 AM

Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
A game company is never going to sponsor you for a visa. For that you need to talk to an Intel, Microsoft, etc. I worked in a group of around 20 programmers at Intel for a year and about half were here on work visas. (ok maybe less, but pretty close to half)
It`s good to know that Intel/MS does that, I didn`t know that. Thanks for that info.

Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
I recommend getting a lawyer to help you.
That`s the most obvious solution, but I usually prefer to get my facts straight before approaching a lawyer. At least I know what specific questions need to be asked.

Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Or Hell, just come over illegally like all the Mexicans do.
Uhm, no. The idea of travelling packed with 100 other chinamen in a box somehow doesn`t seem feasible. Besides, what about social security number ? What about life/medical/auto insurances and relevant private medical care for me and my family ? Why would an employer risk employing a ghost person ? What about accounting ? I see, that was a bad joke from your side, but anyway just wanted to clarify that I wouldn`t transfer my family into a place with lesser quality of life.




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