The United States is an ideal destination to find work as an IT contractor for many Britons.
Relocating to an exciting new country with a good economic climate, equal worker rights and a shared language makes the move even more desirable. However, the USA is noted for its tough immigration stance to tackle illegal migration into the country.
This means looking for IT contracting work in the USA has a low success rate for the average Brit.
There are 2 compulsory requirements for working in the US as a migrant. Firstly, you will require sponsorship from an employer who’ll need to guarantee you work and act as your petitioner during the application process. A close family member can also act as your sponsor although working as a freelance contractor is not an option.
Once a sponsor is secured you will then require a work visa, known as an H1B Speciality Occupation Visa. A visa won’t be issued without the equivalent US bachelor degree qualification, specifically relating to an I.T or accounting field in this instance. Once achieved, the visa is valid for 3 years which can then be extended to a maximum 6 if required.
For permanent residence in the US, a green card is required which also can be received on the offer of permanent employment. The above steps are again needed in order to secure this, although priority acceptance is unlikely to be granted for general IT contracting work in the USA.
Chance of Success
Gaining eligibility to work in the US is difficult due to the stricter immigration laws and increasing demand.
If you have credit problems or possess a criminal record then the chances of success are diminished even further.
Finding a legitimate sponsor can be the hardest part of the migration process – many employers don’t want the hassle of hiring foreign workers and the paperwork which it entails.
Benefits of Working in the US
Working conditions for IT contracting work in the USA are very similar to those in the UK as 8 hour working days and 40 hour a week arrangements are common.
Two weeks annual leave is also granted, with paid leave for national holidays also. If your H-1B visa application is accepted then you are entitled to bring your spouse and children under 21 with you also.
Tax laws are different between the UK and US however and rates will vary according to national and state regulations.
If you’re planning on relocating permanently to the US and not returning (apart from short stays), then no tax payments to the HMRC are required. However, if you wish to make frequent returns or live back in the UK for sustained periods, you will officially still be classified as a resident here. Your visits need to be less than 183 days in any tax year, or an average of 91 days per tax year over a period of four years, to become exempt.
If you’d like any more information about IT contracting work in the USA or would like to speak to a specialist contractor accountant then do give us a call on 020 7099 6477.