I am a UK Citizen - I lived in MD for three years with my parents as a child (ARMY). I now live in the UK permanently.

I have entered the USA on a Visa Waiver Program. I have found a small town company whom has requested I work for them for 6 months. Am I able to apply for this visa whilst in the USA already? Or will I need to return to the UK and apply there?

Which visa do I need to apply for & what are the chances of it being approved? I have just finished university in the UK and have a permanent residency in the UK. My parents are able to fund me completely and I have friends here I am able to stay with.

I am stressing as I am aware I can only stay 90 days.

Any help would be fantastic as I cannot afford an immigration lawyer myself.

  • Possible duplicate of travel.stackexchange.com/questions/107967/…
    – Traveller
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 7:13
  • 1
    Is this company prepared to go through the process of sponsoring a work visa? The process depends on the exact details, but for many employment situations, it's a pretty lengthy process if a visa is available at all. It may well be that this small company has no understanding of how the system works or what they need to do. Really, it's on them to get an immigration lawyer to handle this, not you. Most of the process must be done by the employer; it's not something you can just apply for yourself. Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 7:17
  • In reality your chances are slim and none (practically zero). The process to get any work visa currently takes longer than 3 months by which time you will have to leave because you’re out of status.
    – user 56513
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 8:53
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Getting my work visa after traveling on the VWP (USA)
    – David Richerby
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 10:03
  • @user56513 in any event, VWP visitors are not allowed to change status (except to apply for a green card as an immediate relative, which obviously doesn't apply here). See 8 CFR 248.2(a)(6) and 8 CFR 245.1(b)(8).
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 21, 2019 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


Generally, you may not "change" to another nonimmigrant status after entering the US as a VWP visitor, so you will have to leave the US before you can work for this company.

See 8 CFR 248.2(a)(6):

(a) Except as described in paragraph (b) of this section, the following categories of aliens are not eligible to change their nonimmigrant status under section 248 of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1258:


(6) Any alien admitted as a Visa Waiver Pilot Program visitor under the provisions of section 217 of the Act and part 217 of this chapter.

The exception in paragraph (b) concerns U visas, which are for victims of crime who are cooperating in the investigation of that crime.

Although this doesn't directly concern you, it's also not generally possible to "adjust" to lawful permanent resident status, but there is an exception for immediate relatives. See 8 CFR 245.1(b)(8):

(b) Restricted aliens. The following categories of aliens are ineligible to apply for adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident alien under section 245 of the Act, unless the alien establishes eligibility under the provisions of section 245(i) of the Act and § 245.10, is not included in the categories of aliens prohibited from applying for adjustment of status listed in § 245.1(c), is eligible to receive an immigrant visa, and has an immigrant visa immediately available at the time of filing the application for adjustment of status:


(8) Any alien admitted as a Visa Waiver Pilot Program visitor under the provisions of section 217 of the Act and part 217 of this chapter other than an immediate relative as defined in section 201(b) of the Act;

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