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Moving to the USA (Informal Questions!)

Moving to the USA (Informal Questions!)

Old Jun 18th 2012, 5:45 am
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Default Moving to the USA (Informal Questions!)

Hey there everyone, I'm new on this site so forgive me if this post is one that seems recycled! My name is Charlie, I'm 21 and have been a British citizen my entire life.

I'm currently studying for an undergraduate degree at a fairly well renowned British university. I've always loved the idea of living and working in the USA but, to cut a long story short, a girl became involved in the 'mix' a long while ago and over the past few months I've been considering my options. I want to point out at this stage, to those of you who might be wondering, I'm not about to throw my entire life in the UK away to go chasing a girl in the states- at this stage I'm simply having a glance at what options are!

Mainly what I'm asking is this- should I decide at the end of my degree/ in a few years that the USA 'option' is looking promising, how does it all work for a student in my situation? How would I go about applying for jobs/ visas/ permits/ green cards etc? It'd be great to hear from anyone who has experience in this area.

Thanks in advance everyone, hope you're all well!
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Old Jun 18th 2012, 5:59 am
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Default Re: Moving to the USA (Informal Questions!)

Get married. Other than that you are unlikely to qualify for permanent residence so soon after graduation.
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Old Jun 18th 2012, 6:06 am
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Default Re: Moving to the USA (Informal Questions!)

Thanks for the reply. When you say 'it's unlikely' that I'll qualify for permanent residence status, what does that actually mean? Am I allowed to move and work in the US without holding that status?

My cousin was in a similar situation a few years back when it came to marriage: her ex boyfriend was on a temporary visa from South Africa in the UK, he needed to be married to her in order to stay- she couldn't marry him and it ended badly. To be honest asking a girl to marry you so you can get your visa, no matter what situation you're in does come across as a little false!
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Old Jun 18th 2012, 6:10 am
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Default Re: Moving to the USA (Informal Questions!)

No. There are several route to PR status, but in the first instance you would require a valid visa to move to the US. Take a look at the Wiki at the top of the page, it gives a list of the most common visas and go from there. Im sure someone more experianced than i will be along shortly to give a fuller answer too

Just to add - I'm not suggesting you get married to gain residence, that would be illegal, but in point of fact it would be one route, should it be appropriate for you and your partner, to gain residence in the US.


Oh and to BE!
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Old Jun 18th 2012, 6:18 am
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Default Re: Moving to the USA (Informal Questions!)

Apologies for what might have seemed like a rude reply there!

Who knows really, I seem to have found myself at the beginning of an incredibly long journey. We're still in very early days yet so as I mentioned this is really a cursory look for me, no marriage in the pipeline for a good few years yet, if at all! This all seems very confusing, over the next few months I'll have a deeper look into visa options, thanks a lot for pointing the link out to me.

And thankyou, it's great to be here!
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Old Jun 18th 2012, 8:04 am
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Default Re: Moving to the USA (Informal Questions!)

Here's a good place to start researching visa requirements...

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=585898

In your situation, it might make sense to seek a position with a multi-national company once you graduate and then perhaps in the future you might be in a position to get a transfer to the US.
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Old Jun 18th 2012, 1:45 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the USA (Informal Questions!)

Most realistic option is get married, or spend a fortune and do a masters.

Possibly, short term, get a J1 internship or a BUNAC summer camp type thing for a few weeks.

If you don't want to study further, get married and want something a bit more long term, then you're realistically looking at a few years to get the experience for a H1 or to work yourself into a position within a company that has a US presence that would transfer yourself. Look at a 10 year game plan, be happy if you shave a couple of years off that.
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Old Jun 18th 2012, 4:49 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the USA (Informal Questions!)

Originally Posted by CharlieJustSmiled View Post
Mainly what I'm asking is this- should I decide at the end of my degree/ in a few years that the USA 'option' is looking promising, how does it all work for a student in my situation?
We don't really know your situation. It all depends on whether you qualify for an H1B visa with your degree, with no or little experience. It depends on whether you're interested in doing a higher degree in the USA. It depends on whether you're ready to marry your USC girlfriend by that time.

How would I go about applying for jobs/ visas/ permits/ green cards etc?
You can scratch "permits" and "green card" off your list for now...those will come later.

Regarding applying for jobs, you'd apply the same as you normally would...job hunting, networking, applying, getting your resume out there, being headhunted if you're good enough, etc.

Regarding visas, again it depends what you are able to do after graduation. If you qualify for an H1B, the employer will offer you a job and then begin the visa petition process. If you want to do higher education in the USA, you'll look into a student visa. If you want to marry your girlfriend by that time, you'll look into the two marriage-based visa options.

One route many people take is to first get a job with a UK company that has offices in the USA. After a year of employment, seek to get transferred to a USA branch.

Rene
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Old Jun 18th 2012, 5:31 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the USA (Informal Questions!)

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
... or spend a fortune and do a masters.
Everybody's situation is different, but for me, doing a masters in the UK was a great move. It cost around £6K which was much cheaper than being an international student in the US, and has got my processing time for the GC down from 6 years to 1 year.
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Old Jun 18th 2012, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the USA (Informal Questions!)

Originally Posted by CharlieJustSmiled View Post
How would I go about applying for jobs/ visas/ permits/ green cards etc?
You basically don't qualify to cut a long story short. Unless you marry said American girl. There are various other options but they're all long shots. E.g. you could do a master's in the US as a foreign student, but you'd probably have to leave once it was finished.

The simplest thing for you to do is look up the DHS immigration yearbook on-line, read the statistics, as you will see the US immigration system is heavily biased towards family-based immigration which is why people are telling you marriage is the best way.
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Old Jun 18th 2012, 6:24 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the USA (Informal Questions!)

Originally Posted by CharlieJustSmiled View Post
I've always loved the idea of living and working in the USA
Have you actually visited for any length of time though or have much idea of what living here is actually like? Not wishing to sound like I'm crushing your dreams, but you may be just as happy in the EU.
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Old Jun 18th 2012, 9:22 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the USA (Informal Questions!)

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
Have you actually visited for any length of time though or have much idea of what living here is actually like? Not wishing to sound like I'm crushing your dreams, but you may be just as happy in the EU.
You've got a very good point there- I've visited New York for a week when I was 15, and spent a month there two months in NJ visiting family and looking around, but job wise I'm clueless! As I said, I've joined this site so I can get an idea from other people about what life in the US is like, nothing is set in stone at the moment as you can probably tell!

Thanks to everyone who's replied to this thread, you're all lovely people and I'll be looking into your suggestions in the next few days.
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Old Jun 18th 2012, 9:33 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the USA (Informal Questions!)

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
We don't really know your situation. It all depends on whether you qualify for an H1B visa with your degree, with no or little experience. It depends on whether you're interested in doing a higher degree in the USA. It depends on whether you're ready to marry your USC girlfriend by that time.


You can scratch "permits" and "green card" off your list for now...those will come later.

Regarding applying for jobs, you'd apply the same as you normally would...job hunting, networking, applying, getting your resume out there, being headhunted if you're good enough, etc.

Regarding visas, again it depends what you are able to do after graduation. If you qualify for an H1B, the employer will offer you a job and then begin the visa petition process. If you want to do higher education in the USA, you'll look into a student visa. If you want to marry your girlfriend by that time, you'll look into the two marriage-based visa options.

One route many people take is to first get a job with a UK company that has offices in the USA. After a year of employment, seek to get transferred to a USA branch.

Rene
I'm interested by what you're saying. You say that Green Cards and work permits will come later- surely I can even begin to apply for jobs if I haven't got a work permit/ visa? It seems a long shot to apply for a job, as a new graduate, and ask for the employer to sponsor a visa?
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Old Jun 18th 2012, 9:39 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the USA (Informal Questions!)

Originally Posted by CharlieJustSmiled View Post
You say that Green Cards and work permits will come later...
Well, for sure a green card will come later, unless you go the marriage route and enter the USA using an Immigrant Visa. Anything else requires you to enter on a visa (work, student, fiance), and then at some point after your arrival, apply for a green card. You don't get one right away.

As for a work permit, that will come if you arrive via a fiance visa or a student visa (you have to apply for the work permit after your arrival in the USA). That's why I say those things come later, after you arrive in the USA on some kind of visa. Don't confuse a "work permit" with a "work visa".

...surely I can even begin to apply for jobs if I haven't got a work permit/ visa?
Correct. You can. It would be up to the employer to sponsor your work visa, if they really want to follow through on hiring you. But you have to apply first, unless you're head hunted. Otherwise the employer has no idea you exist.

It seems a long shot to apply for a job, as a new graduate, and ask for the employer to sponsor a visa?
I agree, as does almost everyone on this forum. That's why the H1B work visa is particularly difficult to get as a new graduate, and that's why people are suggesting you either work for a UK company with US offices for 1 year and then ask to be transferred, or come to the USA to do a higher degree, or go the marriage-based route.

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Old Jun 18th 2012, 10:04 pm
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Lightbulb Re: Moving to the USA (Informal Questions!)

Just a thought; were you born in Northern Ireland (ie. not England, Scotland or Wales)? Or indeed anywhere outside Great Britain?

You may be able to apply for the Green Card (Diversity) lottery...apparently anyone born in Northern Ireland is classed as being an Irish national by the USCIS when applying for the green card lottery.

Last edited by Englishmum; Jun 18th 2012 at 10:04 pm. Reason: grammar
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