Immigrant electrician desiring to move to the USA

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by dprocket, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. dprocket

    dprocket Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    Kansas
    I have a relative that lives in Croatia.

    He has some sort of residential electrician's license. He has a desire to come to the US to work are an electrician [or at least look into the possibility].

    Unfortunately, I don't know where to begin to help him figure out how to navigate the process. He would be looking to work in Kansas and Missouri.

    Coming on a tourist Visa and working for cash is not an option. He really wants to figure out how to do this the correct way.

    Does anyone have any ideas on how this process works, or where you would start?
     
  2. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    01609
    If you can find an electrical contractor willing to hire him as an apprentice you might be able to pull an H1B visa fairly quickly. The down side to an H1B is that he's somewhat at the mercy of the contractor, and isn't allowed to work for other employers (or independently) while he's here unless the initial employer agrees to transfer the visa.

    I'm not an immigration lawyer, so I'm not totally up on the details of how to legally change employers under an H1B. But those restrictions has been a means of financially abusing Indian & Chinese software engineers working in the US under an H1B, hiring them for less money than the local US market would normally pay, and giving them no leverage for getting pay raises, since they can't just take a better paying job.

    But while he is in-country & employed he can work on upgrading his visa & immigration status, and would be able to work on getting local licensing credentials, which would make him more valuable to the employer than as just an apprentice. Since immigration in the US allows a fixed number of green cards per year from a given country, being from a comparatively small country like Croatia ( a population of about 4 million people) he probably has a better shot at getting permanent residency status than if he were from Mexico (about 130 million) Pakistan (about 200 million) or India (about 1300 million). Of course that COULD change in the event of comprehensive immigration reform (but don't hold your breath! o_O )
     
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  4. dprocket

    dprocket Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    Kansas
    Thank you for this. This is really helpful. The hard part is finding that electrical contractor. Based on some early inquiries, Union contractors are a no-go, because the union training centers in my area all seem to require, as a baseline a GED/HS diploma + SSN + Birth Cert. Of course he can't supply the SSN. I'm also finding it a bit difficult to talk with people as most people aren't interested in spending their valuable time talking to me about it. Ha! I understand.

    Thanks again for your feedback.
     
  5. fitter30

    fitter30 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2020
    Occupation:
    Retired service tech
    Location:
    Peace valley missouri
  6. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2014
    Occupation:
    self-employed plumber-electrician doing residentia
    Location:
    Georgia
    The demand for trades people is not uniform across the States. Choose a place to come to where there's a lot of growth in construction. Kansas and Missouri may not have enough going on to have the employment opportunities that you are looking for, though I'm not sure about that. In metro Atlanta right now, you could probably walk on a job within a few days and you would take it from there and start working on your credentials.
     
  7. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    For one does he know english? And none of his electrical experience will apply in the USA. To become an licensed electrician usually takes about five years. You must work under a licensed electrician and worked in the field for five years. During that time you must attend training. Pay is all over the scale. If you are in big cities like NY and Chicago, it's big dollars. Other places it's good pay but if you need to make more, self employment is usually better. Another important part of becoming tradesperson is knowing when you need permits and how to read job specifications bid and dozen of other things you need to know. It's more than running wires and making connections.

    https://www.electricianschooledu.org/florida/#gain-experience
     
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