7 Alternative job search options for H4 EAD applicants

OK, So you are an immigrant spouse and have finally obtained the H4 EAD card and ready to work. Congrats! And you may have started applying for jobs through the usual channels (aka Indeed, Dice, Monster, Linkedin, Linkup, Friend referrals). But if you haven’t landed on that job yet, it is a good idea to complement your job hunt through the following less common avenues

0) Friend referrals, Indeed, Dice, Monster, Linkedin, Linkup

OK, While this post is all about alternate avenues for job hunting, lets’s make sure you extracted full value out of the usual options.

  • Friend referrals are the most effective way to land an interview call and in many cases that job. Are you sure that you have already explored all your friends and contacts who can refer a job? Make sure you follow up in a nice way if it has been a while since you last asked them. Try to expand the circle by asking for friends of friends. And if you have already worked before the break, contact your old managers to see if they have any open positions.

  • Like most people, if you have location constraints and are looking for jobs in only certain locations, make sure to include positions that allow remote work as well. Also, expand to include nearby cities if you can commute over the weekend etc.And it doesn’t have to be permanent, you can give it a shot and meanwhile look in your city. It’s easier to get another job if you already have one.

  • Even though you may want to work in a specific location, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to apply nationwide. Read on to find why, There are several advantages in looking for jobs nationally, While the companies may not be open to considering offering remote jobs at the beginning of the process, they may be willing to consider once they have invested the time and effort and are willing to hiring you. Even if not right away, they may be open to let you work remote after some time like 3 months. Even otherwise, remember it’s easy to get a job when you are already employed. So, you are better off looking for a job in your city of preference when you are already employed elsewhere. Even if you didn’t get a job that was flexible, it will atleast help with brushing up your interview skills. You can use these interviews to smoothen the rough edges, so you are in top form when you land an interview for that dream job. So, don’t confine yourself to your geographic preferences. Look beyond!

  • Similarly, don’t be too fixated on the salary or experience level. For all of the reasons described earlier, consider going for jobs with slightly lower roles or lesser salary. Chances are that once you prove your performance, you could negotiate for a higher role or more salary or both, down the line.

  • Also, consider going in adjacent fields. For example, if you are looking for a Business Analyst position, consider positions like Technical Writer or even Quality Analyst. Or if you were a programmer think about becoming a Scrum Master. You never know, you may like the new roles and that may open up new opportunities. After all, in a long career, people tend to take different roles and this may be an opportunity to do so. And it doesn’t have to be always an adjacent career opportunity. If you had a desire to try totally different career, this may be a good time to try.

1) Craigslist

Not many people know that Craigslist has a section for job advertisements. Companies advertise in Craigslist because the ads are cheaper and location speific. For example, you can find plenty of Software Engineer jobs in the bay area

2) StackOverflow Jobs

While StackOverflow sites are known for Q & A, they also have a career section. Hence, it is a good idea to keep an eye on their job section http://stackoverflow.com/jobs

3) Career Fair

Most cities have career fairs all around the year. Search online, to see if you have anything coming up. In addition, most big universities also have their own department specific career fairs. And many of them allow external candidates for a small fee. If you are early in your career or looking to restart after a long gap, this may be worth exploring this option.

4) Non-commercial employers

Most non-commercial sector like universities, state agencies, city administration jobs are not indexed by the job sites. And yes, many of them hire people on visa. So, it may be a good idea to look in their own sites, especially the universities. The jobs may be more steady and relaxed. In addition, https://www.governmentjobs.com/ indexes government jobs.

5) AngelJobs.co

Startups and early stage companies use this site to hire people. While the pay may be less or even non-existent, you may be offered equity in the company. On top of that, you get to be in a fast paced and dynamic environment. While not everyone can work in a startup environment, it’s still a good opportunity to learn and quick growth. https://angel.co/jobs

6) redditt/forhire

Reddit is a popular social book marking site. And lots of people hang out around their topics of interests. And reddit happens to have an active “for hire” thread. https://www.reddit.com/r/forhire/


7) Freelancing

Beyond the conventional job market, there is a big parallel free lancing job market. With freelancing, you can look for jobs all around the world. Most of the freelancing jobs also come with greater job flexibility. While landing your initial gig may be challenging, once you get going things will become easy. http://www.guru.com/


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G-639 form basics

Form is a form used to request access to records held by the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), under the Freedom of Information (FOIA) and Privacy Acts. FOIA permits U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to gain access to information pertaining to themselves in Federal agency records. So, USCIS will be able to send you a copy of the records requested. Records can be requested for self or on behalf of others.

While USCIS uses form G-639, it’s not mandatory. An request letter with relevant information will be sufficient too. However, it’s better to use form G-639. The form g 639 is about 4 pages long and dated. What I mean by dated is that at the top right (sometimes bottom left) of the form, USCIS specifies the expiration date of the form. So, make sure your form G 639 has not expired before filing. While it’s better to use the latest edition of G 639, USCIS typically accepts recent editions of the form as well. As of this writing, USCIS accepts editions 3/31/2015 and newer versions. Check the latest accepted editions here, G-639.

Now, on to the form itself, Form G-639 is divided into five parts. Here is a general overview of the sections,

  • Part 1. Type of Request

  • Part 2. Requestor Information if you are requesting on behalf of someone, then give information about you.

  • Part 3. Description of Records Requested What kind of records are requested. Examples: Immigration petitions 1-129, I-140, 1-130 etc. Keep your information like the latest I-94 #, Alien #, Recipient # etc handy to fill this section. Not all of the information is mandatory, but more details will help USCIS locate the record

  • Part 4. Verification of Identity and Subject of Record Consent Basic details about the subject of record and important: Signature

  • Part 5. Additional Information You can include any additional information you want to include or even attach extra sheets if needed.

Things to take care while filling the form, People commonly forget to sign the completed form. USCIS rejects any unsigned Form G-639 causing unnecessary delays. Hence, make sure you sign the form before sending it to USCIS.

Also, make sure you have the correct address listed in the form. Because, that’s where USCIS would mail the details requested.

In general there is no filing fee, but USCIS may contact you about a fee for complicated and time consuming requests.

Use the form specifically for requesting immigration records held by USCIS. Don’t use the form to request status.

USCIS handles lots of FOIA requests in a year, hence there is a wait time involved in processing your application. In some compelling circumstances, you can request to expedite the processing, it’s always better to plan ahead.

More instructions to fill the form

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Fill Form G-639 to request Immigration records

This post contains information about how to fill the form G-639.

The form asks to give the purpose? Can I skip it?

Yes. It’s not required.

The form asks for a A-number? What is it?

Alien number (A#) is a number USCIS uniquely assigns to you after your I140 is approved. This number is carried all the way through to your green card. If you have obtained a visa extension with approved I140, your I797 should have the A-number. This is not the same as labour/PERM number (example: A-xxxxx-xxxxx).

People have indicated this is also not the same A# printed on the OPT EAD cards for people who studied in the US. However, A-# is not a mandatory item. Doesn’t hurt to have though.

Is it mandatory to get the FOIA application notarized?

No. You can also choose “Sign under perjury”. It’s up to you to decide.

Where do I send the documents?

You can either send using an email or a normal mail.

Email: [email protected]

Physical address: National Records Center (NRC)
FOIA/PA Office
P.O. Box 648010
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064-8010

What happens after making the FOIA request?

USCIS sends a physical letter to your address with a control # within 2-3 weeks. This number can be used to track your case

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