postdoc and moving to USA


Hi guys, another thread from me in 2 days, you can tell I've got too much work to be doing!!

I was just wondering if anyone knows what the craic is with moving to america post phd? Mr algaequeen has been offered a postdoc there for 2 years, and the plan is that when i finish next year I'll move out there with him. However, I've been hearing very different stories regarding my ability to move to USA and work. I though it would be relatively simply to get a temporary work visa, having a boyfriend living and working in america, but one of my supervisors has told me that it's very difficult to move over if I haven't already got a job, and that we will most likely have to get married if i want to get a visa! Anyone know any better?



Hi algaequeen, I'm currently going through this myself (my gf is a grad student in the US, and I've been offered a postdoc in a lab across the road). If you find a postdoc they normally issue a J-1 or a H1B. I'm not sure about the fiancee/spouse route but there is a helpful forum here which has some pretty informed users . (up)


Dependents of H1B visa holders cannot apply for a work permit but I believe those of J1 holders can. However I don't know if a gf can be classed as dependent?


Not too sure what it'd be like post PhD, I think it depends on your area and what 'unique skill set' you have to offer.

My boyfriend's brother tried to move over because their Mum lives over there. It took almost 2 years for him to find out that they wouldn't let him in (his lawyer messed up apparently, and it shouldn't have taken quite that long to get the decision, but it can be a very long process) and in the meantime he had sold his flat, bought a car over in America which he ended up selling for a loss, and been made redundant by work because he'd told them he'd be going and they didn't have a short term project for him to work on in the meantime. It was all a complete nightmare really.

I also know another guy who recently just finished his PhD and had been planning to go over, but he didn't end up doing, although I'm not sure whether it's because he couldn't, or because he decided to stay in England in the end.

But anyway, I have seen firsthand that it isn't a simple process!


Thanks for the replies guys! I've heard that it's possible to get a visa ok if I already have a job, however I would ideally like to move over straight away and job hunt while I'm there. My sup told me that if I try to change from visitor visa to work visa it's extremely difficult and usually customs request that you return home while your visa is changed, which isn't really ideal. But if we are married then it's easier, or at least engaged, I think there is something there for that anyway...

Anywhoo, thanks for the help!