Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Moving to United States of America

The United States of America is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world, due to a long period of immigration from countries all over the world. It is also one of the most geographically diverse countries in the world and consists of 48 continental states and 2 other states, along with some overseas territories. From the tropical weather on the Big Island of Hawaii to the snow-covered landscape of Alaska, the US offers a location that matches the perfect climate choice for just about everyone. It is the third largest country in the world, by size and by population.


Work Visas

H1B Visa

The H1B visa is the primary and most popular work visa in the US, and it is available for International Professionals to live and work in the country. It is considered a “dual intent” visa, meaning it allows you to apply for a Green Card. In order to get one of these permits, you must have an employer sponsor a job for you, and then starts filing your H1B application.

To qualify for an H1B, you must be able to fill a specialty occupation. These include jobs in IT, Business, Computing, Financing, Engineering, Teaching, Hospitality and many others. You generally have to have at least a Bachelors, 12 years work experience, or a mix of a degree and some work experience. This visa usually lasts for six years, and allows your spouse and children over 21 to join you in the US.

H2B Visa

The H2B visa is temporary and meant for seasonal workers or when there is a shortage of workers in a specific field. You can work as a camp counselor, sales representative, security guard or ticket salesperson under such a visa, among other jobs. You must first have a job offer to apply for this visa, and meet the minimum qualifications for that job. Your employer begins the application process, and you are expected to return home once your visa expires. The visa lasts for as long as your job contract lasts, which is typically not over one year.

If you are applying for a job from outside of the US, you must apply at your nearest consulate. You must submit the following:

  1. Evidence of job offer
  2. DS-156 nonimmigrant application form
  3. DS-157, if male, between 16-45
  4. Copy of notice of approval of H2B petition
  5. Passport
  6. Passport photo
  7. Evidence of ties to your country of origin
  8. Fees

Green Card

A Green Card allows you to permanently work and live in the US legally. There are a number of different reasons to qualify for a green card, such as Amnesty or Political Asylum, or international broadcasting employees.

Click here for information on the application process, as it is different for each reason you would qualify for a Green Card.

Student Visa

In order to study in the US, you must be accepted into an accredited institution. You also must be able to speak English, unless you are going to an English training program.

You can apply for a student visa at your nearest US embassy or consulate.

You must submit the following:

  1. Application form DS 156, completed and signed
  2. Valid passport
  3. One photograph
  4. Evidence of funds
  5. Form I-20A-B (F-1), Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status and Language Students OR Form I-20M-N (M-1), Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status for Vocational Students (your school will send you this)
  6. Evidence of funds
  7. Fees

You must satisfy the officer that you have ties to your country of origin, and will return.

Moving Pets

There are different rules depending on which type of pet you are bringing into the US. Click here for a complete list of the rules of different pets.

Cats must be free of communicable diseases. They can be inspected at customs if they do not appaer in good health. Dogs must also be free of communicable diseases. They have to be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before coming into the US, and you must have a certificate to prove this.

Other Information:


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