General Information – United States of America (USA)
The USA is the world’s strongest power with an economy and resources to match. It is a large country in every respect. The “Land Of The Free” provides economic and personal growth opportunities to those willing to invest their skills, energy, and money into the country.
The population is diverse and in many parts multicultural. The climate which is mainly temperate and the geography provide something for everyone – on a big scale. In some ways, the US feels like fifty countries but the American Spirit is common throughout.
The high quality of healthcare and education is world leading. The US provides a safe secure environment in a progressive economy that genuinely rewards success.
Immigration to USA | USA Immigration
Immigrating to the United States of America is consistently one of the most popular choices for overseas nationals wishing to make a new start, further their career, or join family members overseas. With huge cultural diversity and geographical variety, applying for immigration to the USA can provide a wealth of opportunities for potential US immigrants.
The American immigration service is notoriously complex and it can often prove difficult for those migrating to the US to grasp. In America, immigration incorporates a wide array of different services, with over sixty types of non-immigrant US visas, or temporary immigration services alone.
Short-Term USA Visa Services
If you intend to visit the USA for a short-term period and your country of residence is not a participant in the USA visa waiver scheme, you will need to apply for a B1 business visa or submit a B2 travel visa application. Alternatively, if you wish to enter the country for a longer period to live and work in the USA for a number of years, you will need to apply for an L1 visa or H1-B visa, or another non-immigrant visa for the USA which permits you to do so.
Longer Term US Immigration Solutions
For those wishing to immigrate to the USA on a permanent basis by gaining lawful permanent residence in the USA, the much coveted USA Green card, there are several routes available based upon family ties, employment, and the annual American “Green Card Lottery”. The employment-based routes for US Green Cards allow those with “extraordinary” or “exceptional” ability in their field to immigrate to the US via the EB-1 visa and EB-2 visa services respectively. The EB-3 visa, EB-4 visa, and EB-5 visa are also designed to allow qualifying individuals to apply for permanent residency in the USA through employment opportunities. Alternatively, you may be able to apply for a Green Card through specific categories of family connection as a sibling, parent, spouse or fiance, or through the annual lottery aimed at allowing candidates from under-represented countries to commence living and working in the USA.
America Non-Immigrant Visas
Non-immigrant visas for America come in a profusion of formats, each designed to cater for specific groups of temporary applicants. Unlike the United Kingdom, where the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme or HSMP allows candidates to undertake UK immigration to seek and carry out employment as they fit, in most cases the United States requires a job offer to be in place for economic migrants. With the exception of some permanent categories for those with extraordinary or exceptional ability, candidates wishing to live and work in the US will need to be in possession of a guaranteed, permanent full-time job offer from a US-based company. This is true of the H1-B (and its derivative the H2 visa), generally, the most popular work based United States visa, which functions much like a UK work permit application. Those who do not qualify for H1 visas may apply through the L1 visa, which once again is based upon a job offer and operates in a similar manner to the Intra Company Transfer or ICT in the UK.
In the United States, immigration on a temporary basis is also possible in order to undertake training or work experience on a J-1 visa; in addition, students may study in America through an F1 visa for study designed for academic students or an M1 USA study visa for those wishing to undertake a vocational course of study.
In America, visas for non-immigrant applicants are exhaustive in variation, with many individual classes including the K class of family visas, which incorporates the USA fiance visa and USA spouse visa. There is also a range of specific visas for spouse immigration and dependent immigration which are awarded in accordance with the immigration category of the primary applicant. Separate classes are available for governmental officials, diplomatic persons, athletes and entertainers, religious workers, victims of crime and people with extraordinary ability in their field.
Permanent Immigration to the United States
Whilst the options for permanent American immigration are not as numerous as those for temporary relocation, there are nonetheless several methods through which permanent resident status can be obtained. The process of applying for a Green Card can be an exceptionally long one, taking a number of years to complete. As a result, it is worth noting that a common practice is to enter the country through one of the temporary routes to working in America, visas such as the H1-visa for example, and to begin the permanent immigration process at the same time. H1- visas can be prolonged through applying for an American visa extension and since this route may endure for 5 or 7 years, proceedings for permanent residency in America can be initiated and can be allowed to progress separately during this time.
Those applying for permanent residence in the US based upon employment rather than family connections may migrate to the USA under one of the options in the EB class. This class comprises EB-1 visas for priority workers, EB-2 Visas for professionals with advanced degrees or persons with exceptional ability, EB-3 visas for skilled or professional workers, EB-4 visas for special Immigrants or EB-5 visas, often referred to as an immigrant investor visa, for those wishing to invest large amounts in the United States.
For potential applicants who do not qualify through an employment-based route, family immigration is possible when petitioned for by an existing American permanent resident, or someone who is an American citizen either by birth or by successfully applying for and obtaining a grant of US citizenship. In the case of permanent residents, spouses or unmarried children may be sponsored to come to the United States in this manner. For US citizens, the range of family members who can be sponsored is slightly broader, adding parents, and brothers and sisters.