Anybody here moved to the US to live?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Amber, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. Amber macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2006
    I live in the UK. I'm 23 and trying to plan my future. My goal is to move to the US (California) and live there.

    I have spent a few months living in Los Angeles and loved it. I love how creative it is and it really inspires me being there.

    Now I need to plan my future to get there. Marriage to an American girl is out of the question.

    I'd like to hear your stories about what you do and how you got to the US whether it be with work etc. Hopefully this will help me see the possibilities.

    I'm thinking of doing a degree next year and thinking of what would be best in terms of letting me work in the US without years of VISA hassle. I'm interested in Philosophy but this will probably just lead to teaching. There's also music related courses (recording etc) Any other suggestions or ideas? I feel like I can't cope with all the things I have to think about and plan ahead so could do with some help.

    Right now, some of my music is going to be used for a documentry and short film from an LA Production Company. It's unpaid for the owner said she's might be able to sponsor me in the future. Not totally sure how this works but I'm glad to have got my foot in the door.

    Any advice is really appreciated as I feel like I'm getting older and going nowhere and making no progress.
  2. floriflee macrumors 68030


    Dec 21, 2004
    Are you sure you're not just moving to L.A. to follow Becks?

    In all seriousness, I can't give you any tips on how people immigrated to the U.S. since I'm a citizen, but from what I've seen on the east coast, tech jobs seem to be the easiest ones to use in terms of getting an H-1 visa. It may be different out west. I would think that something business-related, in terms of education, would give you a lot more versatility after you've finished your education. It's just a thought, but I'm sure there are others here that would be able to give more informative input.
  3. Amber thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2006
  4. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    What do you have against our women? :mad: :mad:

  5. valdore macrumors 65816


    Jan 9, 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri. USA
  6. Amber thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2006
    Haha, nothing I just have a long term girlfriend who I want to move to LA with!
  7. iKwick7 macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2004
    The Wood of Spots, NJ
    Generally speaking, I can't say I blame you. :)
  8. Amber thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2006
  9. Grakkle macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2006
    The fact is, the worst people to ask about immigrating are the people who live in that country. I've never met anyone but people who've actually immigrated who knew anything about the process.

    Check out the American embassy and government sites, and peruse the immigration info.

    That being said, it's incredibly hard to immigrate to the U.S. unless you marry an American or have some sort of skill that's highly in demand. Immigration restrictions are pretty tight.
  10. Amber thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2006
    I realise that. Does anyone know of the types of job would bein demand in the US expect for Law of Medical related? I realise Graphic Design is a waste of time because everyone is doing it.

    I'm trying to plan well in advance. I realise it's hard but people DO do it but a lot of people seem to be very secretive about it because they have got in via a loophole.
  11. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    Yeah, what you've already ruled out, marriage. :p Honestly, even having a child being born as a US citizen might not help you become one yourself as much as you'd hope (even if you and the long-term gf decided to have a baby ;)). My parents' dance instructors (a couple who immigrated to the States, and yes, CA in particular) had two children, and lived here for years with proper visas. They were ultimately denied citizenship over and over again. These are well-educated, affluent people w/ US citizens for children-- and still struggle to get US citizenship.

    It's hard. Especially now.

    As for a possible career? I don't have much advice... the whole tech industry is hurting. (My mom works at a high tech firm and they're hurting, as are their competitors.)
  12. Amber thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2006
    I know of one possible way but I'm not sure. I know how to open a US bank account without a social security number. Now, am I right in saying you can get a SSN once you have a bank account? Then with those you can apply for work? Once you have a job you can apply for a visa. It seems a very backwards process.

    How do famous people like George Michael, Geri from Spice Girls, The Osbournes, people from bad UK Soaps manage to live there WHILE trying to find work or just live there in general? Good lawyers?
  13. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    Hope to not be caught? :p Bribe people? I've heard of immigrants bribing people to get papers... but that's just through the gossip grapevine. I don't know what the facts are. Like you said in your post, for the few that manage to slink in w/out years of fussing and mussing, they're not about to divulge their secret entryway.
  14. Amber thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2006
    The SSN and Bank account isn't against the law it's just a loophole really.

    Many IT companies from Inida use the loophole of advertising jobs at low wages so no one will take them in the 6 months they have to advertise them and then they can bring workers over from India. I believe you have to have a business set up in both countries (guess it doesn't even have to make money)

    I don't want to do this illegally I want to do it all properly which is why I'm interested in what people do and what degree they had etc.
  15. extraextra macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2006
    Maybe they have tourist visas? Anyways, I think (I'm assuming you're a British citizen), you can stay in the U.S. for upto 90 days without a visa. There might be some sort of form you have to fill out though.
  16. Amber thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2006
    Well, those people listed now LIVE in LA. There's this awful UK pop band called S Club 7. Rachel Stevens from the band now lives in LA but isn't actually doing anything (as far as I know)

    They stay much longer than 90 days. Maybe they have a production/managment company sponsor them?
  17. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    The U.S. Department of State has information on various visas online at:

    Your best bet though is to speak to an immigration lawyer, though it's not likely to be cheap to hire one. I recall there being several with online Q&A forums, so you may want to do a Google on that. I think it's much more difficult to go from a student visa to a resident alien status, while work visas are easier to convert from. That generally means seeking employment with either a US-based company or one who has offices here.

    You may want to call the US Embassy and talk to someone in the relevant department- that should be a low-cost way to get advice on processes and procedures and what not to do (which is probably more important than what to do.)
  18. Amber thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2006
    I'm not bothered about being a US resident straight away. I'd be happy to live there on a work Visa. Just not sure of the type of jobs that are easiest to get into the US to work.
  19. Gaelic1 macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2006
    Mountains of No. California
    Best of luck in this matter. We can certainly use people, such as you, who are wanting to work and go about it all in such a responsible manner.:D
  20. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    The longest Visa you'll get is 3 months. I am not the one who moved but I'm with a guy who moved from Hinckley UK to California. It took years, lawyers, and money. The first two times he was denied residency as stated "California is Full" and I **** you not...that is what the paper said. The third time we sprung for a lawyer. All the while he did not work because he could not legally work. Unless you want to pick fruit you'll be hard pressed for cash. Your best bet is to stay where you are, work and save while you file ALL paperwork in your home country. Unless you can find an organization to sponsor you or a good lawyer to help you fill out the paperwork and teach you the ways of the land in getting residency.

    You can get a visa but not all will allow you to work. You can get a social security card but it'll be stamped in red "not permitted to work". The fact is, unless you contribute to society somehow (most companies sponsor those folk) then you have no other choice than to start your long haul in your home country.

    I will tell you this. To anyone thinking they will marry in the US to gain residency the INS is quite good at detecting this sort of thing. Their background check has proven to be the best and most in depth that I've ever been up against. Even as a US citizen I was under such scrutiny that stuff I did as a minor came up in interviews. I am also responsible for the boy if he ****s up (financially). I had to provide a lot of information just to be with him. In the end and like I said years later he is a permanent resident alien with a green card (that is actually pink). None of this would have been possible though had we not hired help. Just know it CAN be done but it's not easy and you'll have to be patient.
  21. Amber thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2006
    I realise I'm going to have to be patient. Thanks for the reply.

    Do you mind me asking what sort of work your boyfriend/husband does? Or did he get to work there by marrying you? How much does the legal stuff cost as a whole? Thousands I take it.

    I'm willing to put in the hard work and time to get to the US and willing to offer what I can to the country.
  22. Amber thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2006
    I've been thinking about architecture. Surely there must demand in the US? Maybe I could do my Masters in the US if I got a degree.
  23. true777 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2000
    California, Austria, Arkansas
    I have lived in the US for the last 13 years and still am not able to get a permanent visa *or* work permit for this year, despite a Ph.D. from Stanford University, two Master's degrees, several very high-end job offers in the US, etc. Right now, the situation is extremely difficult.

    A bank account won't help you at all, and a SSN won't help you, either, since your SS card will have the comment "not permitted to work" printed on it.

    You can only work with either an H1B visa, or a "green card". You can get a green card through marriage, or an H1B visa through a job offer *if* the quota for that year hasn't been exhausted yet (which it was in my case).

    The jobs most in demand are currently nursing jobs. If you are a medical nurse you will get a visa. I don't think there's great demand for architects.

    Celebrities get different visas, e.g. "O" visas for extraordinary achievements in the arts, sports, or sciences -- but you need to prove that you are a world famous celebrity or have a Nobel Prize in order to get one of those visas.

    Best way to immigrate would be to apply for a Fulbright fellowship at the US embassy in your country. Then use the Fulbright to get an advanced degree at a top US university. Once you've graduated you'll be allowed to work for 6-12 months. After that, try to persuade your company to apply for an H1B visa for you.

    If you can't get a Fulbright fellowship, apply to US universities' graduate programs directly.

    If you are serious about this, you should consult a US immigration attorney. I can give you references to 3 very good immigration attorneys I have worked with in the past if you PM me. Remember that it is currently extremely hard to do this.

    There's also a ton of useful information on the web about the various kinds of US visas (there are dozens), so a few afternoons of getting familiar with US immigration law should get you the necessary information.
  24. tonyeck macrumors 6502


    Sep 3, 2004
    Las Vegas, NV
    Like many have said, its an almost impossible thing to do unfortunately. Its not as easy as moving from one house to another. And its even harder if you plan on bringing someone with you. Especially if you are not married

    Currently I am the process of filling in applications for a K-1 visa which is a fiance visa allowing me to enter the US to marry my fiance within 90 days and from then I can start the process of changing my status to resident of USA.

    H1b visas (working visas) are granted but are extremely tough to get a hold of. only 65000 are issued worldwide and generally with employees who have delt with work visas before - needless to say you need to have a degree and two years of experience in the field.

    Best method maybe to study in the states? Its very expensive mind, and their education system is very different. If you already have a degree you could always do a postgrad, which again is always expensive and you will not be allowed to enter with your girlfriend.

    If you are currently in school, you may be able to enter on a J1 visa allowing you up to 18 months in the states. Which is how I met my fiance. :)
  25. YS2003 macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    It would be a good idea to test out the water first before you commit yourself to this plan you mentioned. After more than 10 years in USA, I am getting tired of this country and planning to move out soon (the only thing I would miss will be Apple; but, I can get Apple goods in my home country). From outside, it looks attractive (greener pasture). But, once you start living here, you would notice there are many unattractive parts of this country which you may have not yet noticed.
    As the other people on this thread said, I think immigration restrictions will get tougher. For some people, it may not be worth the hassle and expense.

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