Top Ten Easiest Ways to Move to the United States

There are lots of things to recommend American living, including diverse geography, a melting pot of cultures, and the spirit of innovation.

Don’t forget that at the end of the day, there’s no end to the possibilities for entertainment. If you’re game for the challenge, following are the ten easiest ways to make a life in the United States.

1. High End or Needed Skills

If you have high end professional skills or fall into certain designated groups, you could get a visa from the EB series. This category is for permanent workers and is divided into five subgroups, only some of which require a pre-existing job offer.

Generally speaking, EB visas are open to people who can demonstrate an excellent level of knowledge and/or significant professional experience in their field, or who simply have skills that the US currently lacks.

2. Regular Job Offer

Even if you don’t fall into one of the special categories in the EB series, a regular job offer can get you in the door. In order to snag a work visa, your potential employer needs to get a labor certification from the Department of Labor and file a Form I-140, Petition for Immigrant Worker.

Unfortunately, the number of work visas available per year has been dropped to 140,000, and only a certain number of immigrants from each country are accepted.

3. Marriage-based

It’s not easy or recommended to fake this, but if you have an American partner that you intend to marry, he or she can file a U.S. Citizen Petition for a Fiancé(e) to get you to the States.

You must have met your potential spouse in person within the last two years! If the petition is accepted, you’ll be given a 90-day stay, during which time you need to get married in order to move onto the path toward marriage-based citizenship.

4. Family of a Citizen

If you have immediate family members who are U.S. citizens, you may be eligible for permanent residence. This category only extends as far as parents and children of Americans.

The first step is to have your relative file a Petition for Alien Relative that will legally establish the relationship between you. Once processed and accepted, you will still need to wait until a visa number becomes available before applying for permanent residence.

5. Student

If you’re willing to go a roundabout way, starting life in the U.S. as a student is a good option. While there, don’t forget to network with local businesses in your industry – with any luck, you’ll graduate with a job offer.

Once you are accepted into a program of study, you’ll be automatically enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System and receive a form I-20. This form is required to apply for a student visa. There are two categories of student visa: F-1 is for most academic institutions, and M-1 covers vocational training.

6. Play the Diversity Lottery

Every year 50,000 visas are available for people from countries that have a low number of applications for permanent residence in the United States. This is called the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. Unfortunately, you aren’t eligible to apply if lots of other people from your home country have already sought permanent U.S. residence, and the results are totally luck-based.

But if you win you’ll be granted an immigrant visa number immediately, making this one of the fastest routes to take. Note that you will be disqualified if you fail to meet minimum education standards or have a criminal record.

7. Invest

If you are interested in starting a company in the U.S., or coming on board a new business launched by Americans, you could migrate as an investor. This visa falls under the EB category for Immigrant Investors, and requires a minimum capital investment of $1 million into a new commercial enterprise.

To qualify, the company must create or preserve permanent full-time jobs for at least 10 U.S. workers. The minimum investment is reduced to $500,000 in rural areas and places experiencing high unemployment.

8. Seek Asylum

The United States is open to refugees who are fleeing persecution in their home countries, though new extreme vetting measures have been implemented under President Trump. To qualify you must be able to prove abuses at home and receive a referral to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).

You may include your spouse and unmarried, minor children in your application. Only limited circumstances allow for other family members. There is no fee to apply for refugee status.

9. Become an Au Pair

If you’d like to stay in the U.S. for a year to check it out and get a sense of other pathways to permanent residence, consider becoming a nanny for an American family.

Technically considered an exchange program, you will be placed with a family through a Department of State au pair sponsor. Once accepted, you will provide child care in exchange for room and board plus a weekly stipend and up to $500 in education costs. That makes it a great opportunity to take in some schooling, as well.

10. Land an Internship

Finally, even though it’s unpaid, taking on an internship can be a great way to get your foot in the door for permanent residence in the United States.

The key is to make yourself indispensible to the company that takes you on, and with any luck, you’ll land a job offer. But even if you have to return home after your internship, it will always look good on future job applications to American companies if you can list another U.S.-based organization under professional experience.

So there you have it – relatively easy ways to make the admittedly difficult transition to life in America. As long as you have significant time to devote and the willingness to stay flexible about the route, there are ways to achieve the American Dream, no matter where you were born.

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