Moving to the US? Your visa options

The United States of America is one of the most popular destinations in the world, both for tourists and migrants looking for a new place to live. Each year, thousands of people from around the world flock to the USA in search of somewhere to start a business or a better life for them and their families. If you are considering moving to the United States, there are a range of different visa options which you may or may not be eligible for.

Temporary Work Visas

If you’re planning to stay and work in the USA on a temporary basis, there are a number of visas which you can apply for. The H1B Visa is available to those foreign citizens who have specialty occupations or skills which are in high demand, such as in the medical field. If the duration of your employment in the USA is limited by demand, season or unique circumstances you can apply for a H2B Visa. The H1 Visa is intended for those travelling from an international company to work in America.

Permanent Work Visas

Certain citizens are able to move to and work in the USA on a permanent basis. These visas, also known as ‘Green Cards’ are split into five different preferences. These cover those with extraordinary abilities who are priority workers, people with advanced degrees and abilities in the arts, skilled workers and professionals, religious professionals and people who are willing to invest in the American economy. There is also the ‘Schedule A’ Visa, which is reserved for exceptionally skilled healthcare professionals such as surgeons. Those planning to start a business in the USA may be eligible to enter with a Fifth Preference Visa. If you’re planning on starting an American business, you can employ a lawyer from Hirson Immigration to help with corporate immigration.

Family Visas

If you have immediate family members who are citizens of the USA and you would like to join them, you may be able to gain permanent entry into the country as long as you meet certain conditions. There are two different categories of family visa, non-preference visas which are not ranked via the preference system, and preference visas where your application will be assessed using the preference system. If your parent, child (under the age of 21) or spouse is currently a US citizen, you will be granted entry on application. These visas are not ranked by a preference system. If you are applying for a visa in order to join your sibling or adult child as a citizen of the USA, however, your application will be assessed via the preference system and you can expect it to take a little longer to be processed.

Before applying for your visa, it’s important to know exactly which visas you are eligible to apply for. This can help the application to run smoothly and increase your chances of being accepted. It’s a good idea to complete a visa eligibility test or speak to a trained immigration lawyer beforehand.


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