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I am currently working in Mexico as a Web Developer Engineer. This morning, I received an offer to work as a QA Test Engineer in Georgia, USA.

To be honest, I'm not afraid to change my location and I don't mind work as a Test Engineer so I accepted a telephone interview to have more details. I don't know much about working in the USA, but I know how tricky some companies in Mexico can be.

So, I'm having some doubts about what the recruiter said, and the reason is recruiters always say that the position they offer will be the best job in the world, but it may not be exactly that kind of job.

- He's going to pay a salary in MXN (pesos), plus the equivalent of $3,000 USD per month for travel expenses

I'll earn some more money. I don't know if $3,000 will be enough to pay rent, services, and food - but I know that what it's supposed I'm going to earn it's nothing there. To be honest, it is way less than travel expenses.

I am thinking of asking the recruiter about the following subjects:

- Ask for more money

This may be sounds greedy but, I searched the web and found out what a Test Engineer makes in the USA and it's a lot more compared to what I'll be earning. So, I feel I need to ask for more money.   - VISA / Contract

They said they will work to take care of my eligibility to work in the US and any details in terms of a work contract, but what happens if you quit a job in the USA? I don't know, maybe I'll be there for 1 year or so, and I get bored and I decide to quit. Does that affect my "title" as an engineer or anything? I mean, in the USA, does a typical job contract say things like "you can not work with other IT companies in N months / years" or something like that?

I do not know what else to ask, but thanks in advance if any of you has any advice about what I should ask the recruiter or any extra tip to help me.

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    Is that 3000 a month USD or Pesos? The US government has standard rates for travel expenses that are used by the IRS. For Georgia this is a minimum of $USD90 per day for accommodation and $USD50 per day for food. See gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/per-diem-rates/per-diem-rates-lookup/… – Peter M May 29 '18 at 2:25
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    Is this a contract or a permanent position? Will they be paying you in the US or in Mexico? What class of Visa are they suggesting to apply for? – Peter M May 29 '18 at 2:42
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    @PeterM Let me answer all questions. They said 3000 USD / month + my salary (around 1000 USD) and thats the tricky part.. It's like im gonna be working for a Mexican Company but my work place will be in Georgia, so they will be paying me while im in USA . The time for the contract is undefined and for for the Visa they only said it's supposed to be a kind of "Working visa" (dont an mentioned the exact name). – WiLLyxVKei May 29 '18 at 2:54
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    I am going to edit your post to make the currency for the travel expense a little more clear. In a comment you just said $3000 USD, which is about 20 times what 3000 pesos is worth. At first read, I thought you meant 3000 pesos (about $150 USD) – dwizum May 29 '18 at 13:24
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    "but what happens if you quit a job in the USA? " -- as a TN visa worker, you have a limited amount of time to look for another job in the same IT industry or have to go back to Mexico. Have you asked if they can sponsor you to a H1B visa? – Isaiah3015 May 29 '18 at 17:33
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In thinking about it, these questions are probably better answered on https://expatriates.stackexchange.com but I'll answer here anyway. Maybe someone will move the question across to that site.

Salary/Travel Expenses

The amount of travel expenses are on the low side for US government recommendations for Georgia as per FY 2018 Per Diem Rates for Georgia. However these rates are based on staying in a hotel and buying every meal at a restaurant. But if you are staying for an extended period in your work location, you should be able to obtain a lease on an apartment etc that will be cheaper than a hotel room - which also allows you to cook your own food for cheaper prices etc. You need to look at hotel and apartment prices in the location that you will staying to see if these travel expenses make sense.

The salary of $USD1000 is very low for the US, but it may be more than what you would get in Mexico. And this is the equation the recruiter is looking for - pay you more than Mexico (but way less than the US), but charge the client less than US rates and profit from the difference. It is up to you to decide if this is acceptable - however I would try and push for more money. But remember that the more they pay you the less profit the recruiter makes.

But as per the comment from bharal, you will also be gaining valuable experience. In addition you should be making valuable contacts that could help you move-up to a better paying position (EG you might be able to get future employment without using this recruiter and hence make more money)

Visa

I am concerned that the recruiter has been vague about the class of visa you would require, because if you are a Mexican national you are potentially eligible for Visas for Canadian and Mexican NAFTA Professional Workers

The nonimmigrant NAFTA Professional (TN) visa allows citizens of Canada and Mexico, as NAFTA professionals, to work in the United States in prearranged business activities for U.S. or foreign employers.

However you still need to fall under one one of the defined categories. From the job description I think you might fall under:

--Computer Systems Analyst--Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma (3) or Post Secondary Certificate (4) and three years' experience.

(3) "Post Secondary Diploma" means a credential issued, on completion of two or more years of post secondary education, by an accredited academic institution in Canada or the United States.

(4) "Post Secondary Certificate" means a certificate issued, on completion of two or more years of post secondary education at an academic institution, by the federal government of Mexico or a state government in Mexico, an academic institution recognized by the federal government or a state government, or an academic institution created by federal or state law.

Note that I am not qualified to give legal advice on Visas. But if the recruiter suggests that you work under an inappropriate visa then I would walk away from the offer as the penalties for visa fraud can be very strong. EG Up to 10 years permanent ban from the USA. I would suggest consulting a Visa specialist not connected to the recruiter in order to evaluate the eligibility of your application.

Note that part of the eligibility of this visa category is that you have:

.. a contract or employment letter from your employer in the United States confirming your upcoming employment..

This says to me that you can only work for the one company and that if you quit or your contract is terminated, that you have to return to Mexico (Note again I am not a Visa specialist).

Non-compete

You have said that you will be employed by a Mexican company, so to me that means any non-compete clause of a contract would be adjudicated under Mexican law. So there would be no restrictions on working for other US companies - as long as you can get employment with them! However, again I recommend you get legal advice from a professional in Mexico.

Taxation

You didn't ask this in your question, but taxation is an important issue and can have huge financial consequences if you get it wrong. You may be eligible to pay US or GA taxes depending on where you are paid. (Again I'm not a tax specialist .. blah blah blah). However if you are solely paid in Mexico, to a Mexican bank account you may be able to side-step paying tax in the US.

And if you can structure it correctly you might even avoid paying some taxes in Mexico assuming there are legal loopholes. EG In the US money paid as travel expenses is tax deductible up to the amount specified in the Per Diem tables. So if I was paid $USD93 per day for accommodation and $USD51 for Meals and Incidentals, but I only spent a total of $72 per day on those items, I can still claim the full $144 per day as a deduction - thus effectively giving me $72 per day tax free.

  • Taxes are based on residence and work location, not where your bank account is. If the OP is being paid for work done in Georgia, then the IRS and Georgia are going to want taxes. – Acccumulation May 29 '18 at 15:12
  • @Acccumulation Actually no depending on the Visa class. I have previously worked in the US for an Australian company for an extended period on a L1/L2 visa and have been paid in Australia and taxed in Australia, not the US. – Peter M May 29 '18 at 15:14
  • Did the IRS know about it? – Acccumulation May 29 '18 at 16:04
  • @Acccumulation it was nothing to do with the IRS. That's the whole point. – Peter M May 29 '18 at 16:14
  • Omg, there are too many things that I have to consider ... now my answer is more inclined to a "Thanks for the offer but no". I do not want to have a bad time. Thanks for everything! – WiLLyxVKei May 29 '18 at 16:32
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If they aren't offering a comparable wage to that of a QA tester in the region, don't take the offer. If they include a no-compete clause in your contract, also don't take the offer. If they won't handle visas for you, don't take the offer. Really, this seems like they are just trying to hire you to save money on hiring a local QA tester, and don't really appreciate your skill-set enough to pay you fairly.

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    Yeah, i noticed that after searching for a while. It's like im going to be paid for this like a common job here where i live – WiLLyxVKei May 29 '18 at 3:00
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    might be good for the OP to get some US experience though, which would presumably increase their value in Mexico and/or lead to new, better paying work in the states? – bharal May 29 '18 at 3:36
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    That is objectively poor advice. The average QA tester in Georgia makes 6261 dollars a month, and he would be making 4000 dollars. That's 2/3rds the average, and it isn't an entry level position. He should be paid a reasonable amount of money for the job he is being asked to do, where he is being asked to do it. indeed.com/salaries/QA-Tester-Salaries,-Atlanta-GA – DeepS1X May 29 '18 at 5:19

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