For those of you who are ignorant of the experience that someone has of working under a visa in the United States, often you work for employers who pay before market rate in a form of indentured service, are required (forced is such an ugly word) to move from place to place in order to continue working, and, then when you apply for a green card, the government has as much interest in processing your application as most people have of eating liver smeared with peanut butter and smoked salmon.

Often it seems like paperwork is sent to a department without employees and left to languish for years until a few temps are hired to process a few of the requests.

Last week, a man contacted me who worked for a well-regarded professional services. I won’t reveal the nature of the work he does or the specific firm; frankly, neither matter. He was interested in changing jobs after many years with his current employer.

I saw he worked for his firm for more than 6 years so I thought he had his green card. No, he didn’t yet. his application was still caught in paperwork hell at Immigration after 3 years, his 6 years was about to expire, His firm was going to file for an extension PLUS he wanted a promotion into a manager’s job if he changed positions.

What did I tell him?

Stay where you are.

No one pays me to encourage someone not to change jobs but it was clear that his current employer needed to keep him legally in the USA (no other firm would) and for him to get the promotion he wanted, he needed to finish testing for the special certification he needed and spend a year performing the job with his current employer even if that meant sacrificing a few dollars in compensation to do so.

So, if you are working under a visa, don’t let impatience corrupt your normally good judgement.

Use the incredible patience you have demonstrated to obtain the legal right to remain in the USA (if that is what you want).

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