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    Thread: A few questions about moving to the USA

    1. #1

      A few questions about moving to the USA

      Hi there, I am new.

      My name is George, and I am currently 17 years old, and a student in the UK. I am starting a physics degree next year, and I will do a PHD after that, if I can get one. After I finish my studies, I am very interested in moving to America. I know that I want to do it, after visiting many times, but I want to ask what is involved, and whether it is an easy process, and what I will need. My uncle finished his PHD in physics in the 1980s, and he moved to America quite easily. So did my mum. I want to do the same.

      Thanks a lot for your help!

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    3. #2

      Join Date
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      Welcome to the forum George, I can't help with your question sorry, hopefully someone will be along shortly with some advice for you.
      george7378 likes this.

    4. #3
      Thanks a lot! I hope someone can share their experiences.

    5. #4

      Moving to the US

      Hi George,

      Immigration into the US is a complicated issue made even worse by the events of 9/11 as we say here.
      Let me say that I am speaking as someone who came here over 18 years ago from the UK and am now 61 years old
      approaching retirement.

      First of all I would really look more closely at your motives for wanting to move to the US from Europe. I say Europe as opposed to "UK" because after all there are over 24 or so countries in the EU to choose from with no immigration or work permit issues. So first of all really examine that aspect.

      To obtain some form of legalised entry into the US and be able to work you would have to qualify for one of the many entry visas available.
      These range from being employed and sponsored by a company there who really needs your talents, or being transferred by a company in the UK with offices in the US, or investing over $100,000 in a business in the US etc.

      Another way of course is to find yourself an american girl and marry her. Bit of a drastic step for a 17 year old.

      Go to the CIS website. http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis
      They have a huge ammount of information there on the various entries available, but you have to dig for it.

      You mentioned that your Mum was over there. If she is a citizen then that might be a way to your own way in.
      Families of naturalised citizens qualify to enter and stay in the US under most circumstances.

      You will find a lot of immigration lawyers in the UK and in the USA who will supposedly help you achieve all this but in most cases you end up paying a lot of money for something that you probably can do yourself with a bit of research.

      If you could be more specific with your questions I would be very happy to get back to you with what I know and spend as much time with you as needed.

      Curiously enough, I didn't go through any of the above methods to become legal in the US. I actually won the "Green Card Lottery" way back in 1990. https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/ESC/ . It seems that you may have a few more years in the UK to complete your studies so why not give it a try.

      Regards from the US

      guest3160, queen B and george7378 like this.

    6. #5
      Hi phil,

      Thanks a lot for your post - it's given me a bit to think about. When I look at it, I am not really too bothered about becoming a permanent citizen - in fact it would probably suit me better if I could spend maybe a year or two living/working there. I say this because I am currently way too young to really decide where I want to spend ALL my life. I just kind of assumed that I would have to become a citizen if I wanted to experience life there, but I've done a bit of research and found that there are loads of visas available - perhaps the H1 visa would be a better option (this is where you apply for a job with an American company and then if they give you an offer, you can work in America as a non-immigrant, right?) - maybe this option will be open once I get my physics masters (and possibly doctorate). So yeah, I'm probably a bit ahead of myself when I look at what else is available.

      I saw that you can marry and American to get citizenship - maybe this will happen, but as you say, I'm not ready for that yet! Also, I certainly wouldn't want to marry someone just with the intent of US citizenship!

      My mum worked as a nurse in the US a while ago, but she never became a citizen. My uncle did something similar after he finished his physics degree. So there's no family there now (mum is in the UK, uncle in Italy, and dad is in Germany) so I guess this wouldn't help me.

      The green card lottery sounds interesting - it's nice to know about that, but I certainly am not yet at the stage where I would participate yet.

      I've also been looking at things like J-1 visas which seem to let you spend 4 months working there - can you only do this as a student, or is there no age limit? Also, you wouldn't happen to know what it takes to do a doctorate in the US would you?

      Thanks again for your help, and attention.

      Last edited by george7378; 30-12-2011 at 05:43 PM.