UK -> US VISA & role change?

Amazon gYLH88
Aug 28 8 Comments

I was researching UK->US transfers while in FAANG and it seems like they sponsor L6+ positions and/or SDE roles (so not Data Engineering/Science etc unless you have PHD) and/or people with 10+ years experience.

I have a BSc and 5 years experience but need to leave my FAANG soon (I am L5) and transferring to an SDE role is not possible from my current role.

I will complete a UK Masters in Comp Sci by May/June 2020 (though can be extended to April 2021 if I choose) so am exploring options. My ideal role is a Software Engineer/Data Engineer role - not a Database or BI etc Engineer (which dont seem to get sponsored anyway) so I am upskilling through paid side projects and my degree.

Is the best strategy to use the time to complete the Masters and prepare for SDE positions (leetcode etc) to then be able to move to the US once inside FAANG EU? If I complete my Masters does my experience even matter because I wouod be eligible for the E-VISA? But I seem to be eligible now also because I have 5 years experience.

Post-Masters could I then look at entry SDE roles in the US and move directly?

Will it reflect poorly to have left FAANG to finish my Masters and took up side jobs to keep knowledge fresh only to then return?

Side Note:

I have some US contracts and one guy offered to move me over if I wanted. It is a small startup in LA hence I am not 100% sure this is smart?

There is also a NY based Hedge Fund who likes my profile and wants to discuss moving with me hence I want to be informed.

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TOP 8 Comments
  • Cisco sidwj$
    If you have an undergrad from a European school a European masters probably won’t help your visa much.
    Transferring on an L1 is the simplest option but you need to work outside of the US for that company for a year first. So your current role would be best.
    If you find a fresh company willing to sponsor you’re in the H1B lottery, which leaves a lot to chance.
    If you are willing to study do a US masters and get an OPT after. Also no doubt about the higher category (European masters will need a certificate of equivalency, which again might not go your way)
    Aug 28 7
    • Amazon gYLH88
      OP
      I don’t think UK people are eligible for the lottery the last time I checked.
      Aug 29
    • Cisco sidwj$
      The diversity lottery is something else. More people apply for H1B’s than they have quota for. This means that you have to apply before the pool is allotted and then they randomly select winners who get the visa. If you have a recent US masters your odds are a little better. If you don’t get the visa you need to wait 12 months for the next chance.

      If you’re serious about doing the move L1 is the easy path. Otherwise you have a lot of reading ahead of you.
      Aug 29
    • Amazon gYLH88
      OP
      1. H1B - this relies on a job though? And it’s in April right?
      2. L1 - this I already investigated. Most non-SDE jobs do not fall under this ie even if you have a years experience here many US roles at L5 won’t let you move over. I have to leave my FAANG either way shortly.
      3. E-visa is the one I was talking about for BSc + 5 years or a Masters. This is not possible? I didn’t realise this had to be a US Masters? If this is the case do you recommend doing the Georgia Tech one after my Oxbridge one? 2 Masters though!?
      Aug 30
    • Amazon gYLH88
      OP
      The only L5 roles I’ve seen actually sponsor is SDE roles... hence my plan to just change job entirely? Seems a shame though. :(
      Aug 30
    • Cisco sidwj$
      DMed
      Aug 30