Even techies might agree that server rooms aren’t the most romantic places to fall in love — but it happens. And with foreign-born workers making up nearly three-quarters of Silicon Valley’s labor force alone, many tech-sector romances now come with a romcom-ready complication: What happens when one or both partners are immigrants?
The good news is there’s no reason to put your life on hold just because you’re on an employment-based visa. It’s perfectly possible to fall in love, get married, and — assuming you’ve picked Mr. or Mrs. Right — live happily ever after in America.
The bad news is the immigration system is growing more complicated, with longer delays and policies favoring perceived talent over family unification. If you’re planning to put a ring on it, move quickly because it’s only getting harder to secure a green card and citizenship for you and your partner.
Here are 10 less-than-romantic — but seriously important — immigration tips to consider when Cupid comes calling:
1. If you’re on OPT, get an upgrade
Many tech workers’ first U.S. job opportunity is the up-to-three-year professional training period, or Optional Practical Training (OPT), that comes with student visas.