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The most popular ways to move to the USA: how each of them works

There are several ways to move to the United States. Edition MC.Today identified six of them and told what is needed for this and how long the preparation process will take.

Photo: Shutterstock

Open your business in the USA

One of the ways to obtain American citizenship is the EB-5 visa. To do this, you need to invest in the American economy at least $ 900 thousand and create 10 new jobs for American employees. At the same time, it is not enough just to have this money available - you need to prove that the source of income is legal.

You can invest in any area. For example, in the construction of hotels or commercial buildings.

The advantages of this method of obtaining a visa:

  • a high probability of obtaining American citizenship - for this you need to fill out a petition on the form I-526 и I-829;
  • the opportunity to conduct your business in the United States;
  • priority in terms of visa issuance.

Cons of this method of obtaining a visa:

  • a large amount of investment;
  • such migration is not complete without the services of a lawyer. In this case, the complete package of documents is often more than 500 pages.

Get a work visa

Obtaining a work visa in the United States can be difficult, but if you are a good specialist in your field, then you have a chance to get an H1B work visa and move to the United States.

The United States issues about 140 visas annually. You cannot work in the United States without a work visa. But getting it is not easy: you need to prove your worth as an employee.

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This can be done by showing your scientific work, videos from conferences, diplomas, awards, and other possible achievements. You must have a higher education diploma.

To obtain a work visa, you need to go through several stages:

1. The employer must obtain a work permit for a specific employee. To do this, he submits a special petition to the Citizenship and Immigration Service: he spends time and money on this (from $ 1440).

2. You should decide what specific type of visa you need to get. A detailed list of visas can be found at Citizenship and Immigration Services website... For example, visas:

  • R - for religious workers;
  • H - for workers of various qualifications, seasonal agricultural workers, trainees and their family members;
  • L - for employees of international companies;
  • O - for people of outstanding ability in science, art, education or sports;
  • P - for athletes, artists and cultural workers;
  • Q - to participate in international cultural exchange programs.

3. And only after that you can to file application form I-797 to move to the USA, as well as fill out a questionnaire in the form ds-160.

Usually, the embassy considers an application for this type of visa for up to 90 days. This means that the employer must file a petition with the immigration office three months before the expected start date of work. And in accordance with federal law in the United States, you can enter the states on a work visa no earlier than 10 days before the start of work.

Pros of this method:

  • the opportunity to immediately get a good job;
  • short waiting period;
  • there is no time limit, for example, as with a green card. You can search for a job and go through interviews all the time.

Cons of this method:

  • the chance of finding an employer is small;
  • according to this scheme, narrow specialists are in demand in the United States: programmers, microbiologists, engineers, paramedics;
  • consular fee is $ 190;
  • an immigration officer can refuse a visa even if the employer has an approved petition.

Go to study in the USA and stay there

After the F-type student visa expires, you have several options to legally stay in the States:

  • extend your student visa and continue your studies;
  • find a job and change the status of a visa to a work visa;
  • get married or get married and change status through marriage.

To obtain a student visa, you need:

  • Find a university and receive confirmation of admission from it using the I-20 form.
  • Fill in the form ds-160.
  • Prepare documents and choose the date of the interview.
  • Get an interview.

The advantages of this method of obtaining a visa:

  • a student visa is easier to obtain than an immigration visa;
  • the waiting period for a visa is from 2 to 12 weeks.

Cons of this method of obtaining a visa:

  • the visa officer is unlikely to allow your relatives to come to you by invitation: to see, for example, your parents, you will need to wait for obtaining American citizenship;
  • visa cost - $ 160;
  • The visa is opened for 120 days, then it needs to be extended or its status changed.

Win the green card lottery

The green card lottery is the cheapest and easiest way to get a US immigrant visa. Every year in the fall (from October to November) you can apply for This site. Participants will usually find out the results at the beginning of May.

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What you need to do to get a green card:

  • Fill out the form in detail ds-260
  • Send scanned copies of documents
  • Get a medical check-up
  • Pass an interview at the embassy and prove your financial condition. Your bank account must have at least $ 5 per person.

The advantages of this method of obtaining a visa:

  • the questionnaire is filled out at home in a calm atmosphere in front of a computer;
  • participation is free;
  • You can submit an application every year;
  • if you successfully go through all the stages, you can live in the United States in a year.

Cons of this method of obtaining a visa:

  • they can refuse due to any mistake in the application form - even the wrong photo quality can lead to disqualification;
  • you cannot make a duplicate of the application: you can fill in and send it only once a year;
  • the site often freezes and you have to start all over again;
  • the choice is really made by chance: you can win the first time or in 10 years, or you can not win at all.

Marry a U.S. citizen

If you marry a US citizen, then you can start the "family reunification" procedure. As a rule, it takes 14-15 months. To move to the United States according to this scheme, you need to go through five stages:

  • Fill out the form I-130: it is submitted by an American citizen, that is, the receiving party
  • Get approval from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services: you will be assigned a case number and a password will be sent to your personal account
  • Prepare and upload scanned copies of documents from both sides to your personal account
  • Collect documents in the form I-864
  • Fill in the form ds-260 and pass an interview at the embassy.

In addition to spouses, to move from Ukraine to the United States can claim:

  • minor children, including children from a previous marriage
  • parents: if their son or daughter is a US citizen and is 21 years old or older
  • siblings.

The advantages of this method of obtaining a visa:

  • ease of procedure
  • low immigrant requirements: no special qualifications required
  • if the procedure concerns the reunification of a husband and wife, then in a year and a half you can move to the United States.

Cons of this method of obtaining a visa:

  • long wait: about a year the cases of spousal reunification are considered - such applicants have priority in the queue; if the host is a brother and sister, you can expect a decision for 10 years, even more;
  • this service is paid: to file an I-130 petition, you need to pay $ 535
  • if the marriage is fictitious, you may be exposed; in this case, the US citizen can go to prison for five years or will have to pay a $ 250 thousand fine, and the spouse is deported from the country, his current visa will be canceled and permanently banned from entering the United States.

Get political asylum

You can apply for political asylum only if you are persecuted in your home country on the basis of ethnicity, political, racial or religious grounds. But one desire is not enough: you need to provide real evidence.

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To obtain the status of a political refugee, you must:

  • Fill out an application in the form I-589
  • Prepare and translate into English any materials that would prove: in your home country you are really oppressed
  • Have an interview
  • If your application is approved, submit your visa documents.

The entire asylum process can take 3 to 10 years. In addition, an application for political asylum must be submitted on time: a year is given for this. For example, if you arrived in the United States on January 1, 2020, you only have until January 1, 2021. Otherwise, they may not be admitted to the interview.

Pros of this method:

  • a high probability of getting a positive decision if the facts are real; participation is free.

Cons of this method:

  • in case of refusal - return to home country
  • long wait
  • if it is not possible to fill out the documents yourself, you will have to pay for the services of a lawyer.

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