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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Q. What's the situation on moving to LA from Canada? Is it hard to get work permits
I haven't the slightest idea; I'm a native New Yorker.

Readers: how hard is it to get a work permit in LA?


Have fun trying! It's basically impossible, especially in this sad economic climate. There are enough unemployed Americans in California - they're not going to go through all the red tape necessary to allow a foreigner in. You'd think as Canadians we'd get brownie points but it's a huge pain. I know, because I just came back to Toronto after trying (and failing) to get a work permit in LA.

I can go into more detail if you're interested - in fact I'm working on a blog post that should be up soon regarding my experiences in Los Angeles as a wannabe TV writer.

By Blogger amita, at 10:00 AM  

A student visa is a popular "back door" into the U.S. I think it allows you to work part-time.

By Blogger Lisa Hunter, at 12:51 PM  

An Australian friend is going there in June after building a good relationship with a local company who is willing to sponsor her. It's a big commitment for a company but apparently worth trying.

By Blogger Karel, at 6:24 PM  

Being in the same situation (international writer wanting to work in LA), I wrote last year two Visa breakdowns on my blog, one dealing with a few of the temporary Visas, and the other one specifically dealing with Green Cards.
It's not the greatest breakdown ever, but I feel it's at least quite comprehensible.
Getting a work permit in LA, let alone a Green Card, is next to impossible as Amita has already pointed out, but knowing the various options out there is a good first step.
Good luck to everyone trying!

By Blogger Lex, at 6:32 PM  

As a Canadian, I've worked in the States before - under a TN Visa and an Visa.
The easiest is the TN Visa, which is valid for one year and is renewable. Your U.S. employer gives you a letter saying that he's going to hire you, states the name of the position and how much he's going to pay you. You take the letter to the border (drive or fly), present it to US Immigration - they stamp your passport and I-94 form as proof of entry, and away you go. It's simple and straightforward.
Forget trying to get a green card. It ain't happening until you've spent 5 years+ in the U.S.
Hope that helps.

By Blogger Terence Kenneth, at 10:31 AM  

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