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    1. #1
      pcoghlan

      Moving to the US, some advice...

      I am posting this to try to help set expectations for what seems to be a lot of people on this site looking to move to the US. Most seems to have little idea as to what chances they have and simply have a strong desire to move to the US. In some instances they have mistakenly heard that having family in the US is a key to the door. It does help in certain instances but is absolutely not the major step up many think.

      First, this post is not meant to try to put people off moving to the US. It can be done but is NOT easy. I wish anyone starting out on the journey every success and will be happy to answer any questions I can.

      Next, a little about myself. I left the UK in 1995 and moved to Ireland where I was lucky enough to start a business which gave me the foundation to move to the US. I entered the US on an O-1 visa 5 years ago which basically means I had skills that were in short supply and considered to be in demand. This is not a typical route into the US and the bar is set very high. I had been the CTO of a public company I founded and that is typical of the level they set unless you are in the arts (well known actors, singers etc often use this visa). I married in 2007 and used the AOS process to adjust my status from O-1 as a result of marriage. This resulted in a 2 year green card and I am now converting this to a 10 years green card. I have no plans to apply for US citizenship in 12 months as I am entitled to do. This is purely a personal decision as it would cause me issues outside of the US.

      So, I see many in here looking for information on how to move to the US. I think it is worth pointing out the typical routes to moving to the US that exist:

      Money
      If you have money to invest ($1M) you are good to go. This is reduced to $500k if in an area in need of investment.

      Business
      If you buy/own a business that will employ 10 US citizens then that is another route. Bear in mind that if the company folds, you must then leave.

      Family
      If you have a CLOSE relative (parent, child, spouse) they can indeed petition on your behalf but bear in mind that the processing times are not short.

      If you have a US fiancee/spouse or parent (and you are under 21 for the last one) it is about 5-6 months. For the rest (brother, sister, parent* (* and you are over 21) it is 7-10 years!

      Skills (H, O and P visas)
      There are a myriad of visas in this category. H-1B, H-2A, H-2B and so on. With the US in a recession and unemployment rising fast this is worth a try but you need to realize that most US firms will prioritize US citizens and almost none will make an offer to a non US citizen that doesn't already havea green card. It is the proverbial chicken and egg situation.

      Bear in mind the US Gov't also looks for immigrants to be able to support themselves and preferably have a US sponsor that agrees to support them.

      There are certainly other work related visas awarded to those with exceptional skills (O and P viasas) but you really do need to have an unusual trade and amazingly highly accredited skills. This was the route I took but it required international awards and recognition from industry experts that I was in the top 10 people in my field worldwide.

      Diversity Visa Lottery
      Forget this if you are a Brit as it doesn't apply to natives of the United Kingdom. This is because there were more than 50k immigrants from the UK over the prior 5 years.


      This is not a definite list but probably covers 99% of those coming into the US.

      Moving to the US can obviously be done, thousands do it every year. Just don't think it is, as I saw in another thread, simply a case of filling in some forms, it isn't.

      Good luck to those that decide to make the move. I am very happy to be living in the US but I just wanted to set the tone on how much of an uphill battle exists for those wanting to make the move.

      Check out this link to research different visas and processing times. This is the USCIS site and basically the home page for those that will grant immigrant status. DO NOT trust other sites that offer to fill forms for you or guarantee a visa, they cannot. They will rip you off and leave you no better off than before you contacted them.

      USCIS Home Page

      Good luck,
      Paul
      Last edited by pcoghlan; 08-08-2009 at 03:12 PM.

    2. Moneycorp - Commercial foreign exchange since 1979
    3. #2
      daveandjac

      Mydream

      Your advice is realistic and great,i still want to try and persue my dream although its looking further than i thought Thanks:no:

    4. #3
      Florida Redhead
      Quote Originally Posted by pcoghlan View Post

      Diversity Visa Lottery
      Forget this if you are a Brit as it doesn't apply to natives of the United Kingdom. This is because there were more than 50k immigrants from the UK over the prior 5 years.
      The exception is Northern Ireland.

      If you were born in Northern Ireland, according to the USA you are Irish, and can apply for the Diversity Visa Lottery.
      The USA treats the whole island of Ireland as one Country.

    5. #4
      purple
      Quote Originally Posted by Florida Redhead View Post
      The exception is Northern Ireland.

      If you were born in Northern Ireland, according to the USA you are Irish
      I doubt if too many of the loyalist people out there would agree with the US on their theory.
      Yet one more thing that "planet america" can't get to grips with apparently.

    6. #5
      Florida Redhead
      Quote Originally Posted by purple View Post
      I doubt if too many of the loyalist people out there would agree with the US on their theory.
      Yet one more thing that "planet america" can't get to grips with apparently.
      Or maybe in this case they have a broader view than some.
      In any case, I'm sure the people of Northern Ireland, loyalist or not, would agree it's nice to have the option of applying for the DVL.
      Personally I have found it an advantage over here to be Irish and have an Irish name, even though most Americans have a distorted and unrealistic vision of Ireland. There is a huge network of Irish organizations, strictly non-political, non-sectarian.
      So I wonder how long it would take those loyalists to call themselves Irish, once they got their visa....

      There are some interesting demographic trends in NI:
      Demography and politics of Northern Ireland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    7. #6
      purple
      Quote Originally Posted by Florida Redhead View Post
      Or maybe in this case they have a broader view than some.
      In any case, I'm sure the people of Northern Ireland, loyalist or not, would agree it's nice to have the option of applying for the DVL.
      Personally I have found it an advantage over here to be Irish and have an Irish name, even though most Americans have a distorted and unrealistic vision of Ireland. There is a huge network of Irish organizations, strictly non-political, non-sectarian.
      So I wonder how long it would take those loyalists to call themselves Irish, once they got their visa....

      There are some interesting demographic trends in NI:
      Demography and politics of Northern Ireland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Hmm, a broader view of things? Here in the USA? That'll be the day, and exactly why I refer to the US as "planet america" so often.

      I would agree totally that the extremists out there in Northern Ireland are closed minded though, but obviously ordinary people can be loyalist or nationalist in their views without being extremists, and many are. I wouldn't necessarily call any of the people there with a strong belief in either direction "closed minded" maybe, just a little bit narrow in their thinking due to the brainwashing ingrained into them through their lives and through the generations. Living in a situation will do that to people.

      Yes, it's good that they have the option of applying for the DL. I actually wonder how long it will be before Ireland as a whole exceeds the immigration numbers for the 5 year period and the DL won't apply for them at all anymore. Or in fact if that will ever happen. Who knows, it's even possible that the State Department may withdraw the Diversity lottery completely within 5 years.

      You don't have to try and educate me on the distorted and unrealistic views of the american people here regarding Ireland/ Northern Ireland, Scotland, or their relation to England either, Margaret. Unfortunately I've seen and experienced that many times for myself.

      Yes there are many Organisations for the Irish folk here in the US. Plenty for the Scots too... wonder why the English don't bother with the rigmarole of it? Weird huh?
      I also know exactly what some of those non-political and non-sectarian organisations were capable of for years (and in some cases still are) under their non political and non sectarian guises. For all the good and innocent people that belong to those organisations, there are still plenty within them with their own much darker agendas, and far more extremist warped views.

      For the most part, I do generally find that the american people here that somehow like to romantically link themselves to Ireland (and their sympathy for the so called "armed struggle" ) have never even visited the place, let alone understand the lives, politics, situation or thinking of the general population in Northern Ireland. I've even had some of these so alled "Irish decendent" people ask me where is Wales and Scotland in comparison to Ireland and England. For some reason they think they're all seperate islands.

      I guess some of the loyalists that came here "might" call themselves Irish, but from my experience (especially up around the New York and New England areas) most of those loyalist Northern Irish still proudly call themselves Northern Irish or British, and of course the Irish nationalist people still call themselves Irish.
      Kind of amusing that even when people have been here as citizens 25 years some still want to cling to their political roots. ;)

    8. #7

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      tdrake641 is on a distinguished road

      Inquiry

      Hi there.

      My name is Thomas Drake and I am a 17 year old student from Northern Ireland. I was wondering if you could shed some light on this diversity lottery. Would you know if I am eligible to apply and how would I go about applying?

      Thank you for your time.

      Thomas