Visas in America
As there is no common travel area between the USA and UK it is vital to arrange a visa before travelling. There are several different types of visas. This can get complicated but the good news is that visas in America are not always required. Below you can find the information that you need to make sure you are able to travel to and stay in the United States.
Visas in America
Before you look into a visa it is important to research whether or not you need one. For a lot of countries, including the UK, the USA has a visa waiver program that allows entry to the country for up to 90 days called an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). You can find the online ESTA form on the US government website. You should primarily use an ESTA for tourism and brief business trips but you can also use it as a short term measure if you want to move the USA temporarily before looking for a more permanent solution.
Temporary work visas
For those wanting to work in the USA for more time than an ESTA allows there are the following types of visas:
- H-1B Persons in Speciality Occupations – This applies to workers with specific skills and knowledge who have completed higher education.
- H-3 Trainees – This visa type applies to all who are undergoing practical training, other than in the fields of medicine or academia.
- L-1 Intra-company Transferees – This applies to employees of international companies who have been transferred to a branch within the USA.
Many expats want to emigrate to the USA permanently. The way to obtain permanent residence status is through obtaining a green card. Therefore a green card allows you to live, work and study as an ordinary citizen. You are able to apply for a green card after you have lived in the USA for 5 years. There are expetions for those married to US citizen (3 years) or asylum seekers (4 years).
Due to strict immigration laws in the USA even after being granted this card it is not guaranteed that you will keep it so make sure to follow the rules carefully.
Green Card Lottery
Another way of getting a green card is through the Diversity Visa program also known as the green card lottery. The lottery makes available 50,000 permanent residence visas on an annual basis to people from countries with low levels of immigration in the five previous years.
If you are going to apply for a green card this way you need to make sure there are no mistakes with your application therefore Applications with mistakes will not be accepted.
- A valid passport.
- Two passport photos.
- Birth and marriage certificates.
- Certificates of Education
- Proof of financial support (bank statement, valuation of your property)
A note to the future
With the recent election of President Trump there is a lot of uncertainty over immigration. The Trump Administration have not currently successfully banned any groups of people. In addition, it is important to bear in mind that the administration would like to change the H-1B visa program. Furthermore the administration’s attitude toward illegal immigrants means that it is now more important than ever to ensure that you don’t make mistakes on your application.