Emigration to the US – Living in the land of opportunity
A picnic has never been the emigration to the US. For centuries, Europeans have been heading west; mostly to escape the harsh living conditions in their homeland. America, with its rags-romance and seemingly unlimited possibilities, was not just a place of longing, especially for Irish-Americans, Italians and Germans at risk of famine, but something of a life insurance policy.
It is not that dramatic today, at least for those wishing to emigrate from Europe, but even the newest generation of migrants does not have it easy. Now it is harsh immigration regulations and a strict bureaucracy that can make the dream of living in the US a troublesome walk through the instances. For anyone who wants to emigrate to the United States, one thing is clear: The key to success lies in the careful preparation of the project. And: The US is picky. Whoever has a criminal past or is deeply in debt, will, to put it mildly, have a little harder with his immigration than anyone else.
Tasting is about studying. It does not always have to be the Green Card
Immigrating to the US is not a walk, but it is not a forced march. Especially if you are relaxed and try life in the US. A legal longer stay than with a tourist visa (for Germans up to 90 days) is indeed possible without the legendary green card, which entitles to a permanent stay in the USA. The solution between these two poles could be an internship visa or an au pair visa. In fact, there are a variety of visas that regulate the temporary residence of students over seasonal workers to executives. Under the button “Visa” informed the US Consulate General in Frankfurt at length about these possibilities.
The advantage of such a stay to the sample is obvious for those willing to emigrate. They can measure their dreams in reality and decide more reliably about their future after this phase. Because no matter how beautiful and exciting a journey through the USA may have been, the everyday life at the dream destination is guaranteed to be a little more sober. The possible reasons are manifold. Does the newcomer understand the climate and dialect in his new environment? What are the job prospects and what about social integration? Who grants himself a limited period of time for this “reality check”, will not immediately break off all bridges to his ancestral home. Not bad, if the US did not turn out to be the country where milk and honey flow!
Errors excluded? Then the time is right for the green card
If the decision for the US has been final and unequivocal, then the so-called green card is the ticket to legal unlimited residence in the United States. To get the “United States Permiss Residents Card”, as the Green Card is officially called, you need support – or good luck. In fact, 55,000 green cards are being raffled year after year and about half of them go regularly to citizens of the European Union. Anyone wishing to take part in the lottery will find all relevant information on the website of the US Consulate General in Frankfurt under the subsection “Diversity Visa”.
To anticipate it right away: Without a perfect police certificate of good conduct, things should be very difficult. If Fortuna has been held by an applicant, many documents still have to be submitted. After all, however, the lucky one will be spared the application fee, which otherwise can easily add up to several hundred euros.
Much lighter (but not cheaper) …
… on the other hand, all those who are expected in the US, be it from a family member, from a future spouse, or from an employer. If a close family member already lives in the USA, if you want to marry a US citizen, or if an employment contract has already been signed with a US-based company, then there’s nothing to stop you from getting the green card , Nevertheless, the administrative burden is not to be underestimated. And even in this almost ideal case, a white vest is required in terms of crime as a prerequisite for a commitment.
In addition, there are still a few “little things” to consider. Thus, in addition to the birth certificate and proof of academic and professional career, a health certificate is required for the green card, which must be issued by a doctor. Also not insignificant is a well-filled account. Nobody really needs to be rich for the US restart. A reserve of a few months’ salaries, which are a necessity for, for example, the return home, but it may be in the eyes of the US authority but already like. When the whole paperwork is finally won, then the real and sometimes all-important step follows: a personal interview at a US Consulate General. Good luck!
Speaking of luck. It has already happened that, out of sheer joy at a successful application for a job in the US, people have not scrutinized where the company is. This can lead to disappointment. The North American continent is big, very big even. Its climate ranges from desert-like Nevada to sun-drenched California and Arctic Alaska, to name but a few. The regional peculiarities should therefore be observed before signing a contract.
Immigration is approved – and now?
Everything went well and after the final interview, the green card actually arrived a few weeks or a few months later. Now it is time to lose no more time. Since the green card for the first move is only valid for a limited period of time, you should move quickly to the United States. Once there, it is advisable not to leave the country for at least one year.
In principle, the Green Card entitles travelers to travel outside the United States, but in practice the authorities are reluctant to do so. Why? The owner of a green card is expected to move his center of life to the USA. Especially in the beginning, that means in their eyes that the new citizen actually stays in the country. Later, according to experienced emigrants, this situation relaxes. Anyone who would like to make home visits or holiday trips to other countries, can do that easily. For the total of ten years valid green card then, however, still the “Returning Resident” visa needed, which one with the “United States Citizenship and Immigration Services” requested. There you have to take care of the renewal of the greencard later – before it loses its validity.
Emigration to the US – practically
Beyond all immigration and immigration formalities, Europeans really expect a new and different life in the United States. Which does not necessarily mean that everything is better there. Here, too, one thing above all helps against nasty surprises: good preparation and planning, planning, planning. The more information you can get in advance, the better. For example, what is the housing market in the region you are traveling to? What about medical care? These are almost existential questions that should not be neglected. It certainly helps to think in the new currency early on. A weekly shopping in the supermarket for $ 80, is it cheap or expensive? And what would you have to spend in euros?
Of course, certain experiences can not be made in advance and should not be. But a little precaution would be quite good. Then you do not get together with the police, if you completely harmless on a summer evening, a bottle of beer in the public uncork. For Europeans, this is self-evident, in the US, however, it is prohibited almost everywhere. Also, the units of measurement pose a challenge, as well as the dimensions of bedding. The brought cuddly cushion cover from Germany fits guaranteed on any American “pillow”.
Even with the greatest anticipation and unwavering optimism, emigrants should also “waste” a few thoughts on the case that the new life is not sustainable. After all, the new company could go bankrupt and marriages break here as well. What is your own status in the US then? Will you stay or go? It is worthwhile, at least for peace of mind, to think about this in advance and to explore the legal consequences.
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