Me and my partner are both Canadian citizens and have been living together for about 2 years, we're not technically common law yet (although I don't think that has any bearing) and not quite ready to get married just yet, although it is in the cards.

I am considering taking a position in the US and we have been trying to determine what type of visa, if any, she may be eligible for. She has only just graduated with a bachelor of arts undergraduate degree, nothing that is in high demand in the US.

Would she be likely to be able to obtain an H1B visa or is there any other possible visa type we should be considering?

  • What's her major?
    – Karlson
    Jun 6, 2014 at 16:23
  • @Karlson: Greek and Roman studies, not directly one the desired professions, work usually requires more experience or study.
    – Godwin
    Jun 6, 2014 at 16:30
  • There is a good graduate program in the destination city which she is considering but that would not be a possibility for more than a year and it is not an easy program to get into.
    – Godwin
    Jun 6, 2014 at 16:31

2 Answers 2


There are many possible visas that she may be eligible for: Work Visas, Exchange visitor Visas, NAFTA Visa, Student Visas

But in all of these cases you will need to find employment/sponsor program/college program that will accept her in the US and if necessary submit paperwork to USCIS.

As far as H-1B is concerned there are yearly quotas so I would suggest to start looking for employment right now if you would like to make an attempt in 2015.

Personally if you are looking to spend you lives together I'd get married and then have a big ceremony some time down the road.

It may also be possible for her to attempt to stay here long term on a B-2 visa see section: 9 FAM 41.31 N14.4 of the document but I would consult a lawyer before attempting this.

  • Thanks! Although I guess my real question is, aside from getting married, what would be our best option aside from causal visits up to 180 days? So far what I've been able to determine is that our best chance is for her to find her own sponsor, something that sounds unlikely considering her current experience. Even then, it seems as though it will take several months at least to get approved.
    – Godwin
    Jun 6, 2014 at 19:30
  • @Godwin Given the education and experience F would be the most likely option.
    – Karlson
    Jun 6, 2014 at 20:16
  • Thanks again! F (travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/study-exchange/…) won't be an option for at least a year, if at all but it's at least good to know for sure that our options are limited.
    – Godwin
    Jun 6, 2014 at 20:53

"Cohabiting Partners" visa is the way to go in your case. If your partner is a Canadian citizen, she can get a long-term TN visa on her own if she finds a sponsoring US employer, however if she just wants to accompany you in your relocation - then the "cohabiting partner" is the only way to go (unless you decide to get married).

Note that if you apply for green card - her status will be revoked, as the "cohabiting partner" is essentially a long-term B2 (tourist) visa for longer than "usual" 180 days periods. It cannot be used with immigration intentions. In that case you'll have to get married.

Keep in mind that the "regular" B2 visa she might already have (or WVP travel) cannot be used for "cohabiting partner". She'd need a specially endorsed B2 stamp, and the first entry should be with you and your long-term visa.

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