While immigration remains a hot-button topic that has polarised the UK electorate post-Brexit, it’s also a key talking point across the globe. In fact, global migration levels reached their peak in 2015, and this upward trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
Brexit has also had an impact on the outlook of EU migrants, who are increasingly unlikely to head to the UK following the 2016 Brexit vote. In fact, single bloc citizens are now making their way in droves across the Atlantic, with 2.9 million people of Western European origin now residing in the U.S.
Many people are making this move due to the demands of their work, but relocating overseas is never an easy process. With this in mind, here are some of the key factors for you to consider.
Green Card vs. Visa – Becoming Eligible To Live And Work In The U.S.
When relocating from Europe to the U.S., your first instinct may be to secure a coveted Green Card. These permits essentially enable foreign nationals to live and work permanently in the U.S., and they can be applied for on the basis of your employment status.
However, Green Cards are notoriously difficult to secure, with immigrant workers separated into different preference categories depending on their circumstances. Only supremely talented individuals or renowned academics are permitted to apply as first preference immigrant workers, with most people typically featuring in one of two alternative categories.
Regardless of the category that you come under, the Green Card application process is complex and extremely long-winded, while there’s no guarantee you’ll be accepted.
Impermanent visas are far easier to apply for, although there are different options available to EU citizens. The H-1B visa is the most common and popular visa, with a single annual application permitted on or around April 1st for individuals who meet the minimum salary requirement.
Applicants can stay in North America for up to six years on an H-1B visa, which may afford them time to build their credentials and apply for a permanent Green Card.
For those about to embark on an intracompany transfer, the L-1 visa will be required. This enables you to work for a U.S. firm that has a qualifying relationship with your employer, and it typically applies to multinational firms such as Google or Amazon. This enables you to reside in the U.S. for up to seven years, while there are slightly less stringent criteria here as applicants will be moving in-between reputable company departments.
The Last Word
As an EU citizen, it’s also possible to remain in the U.S. for a period of 90 days without a Visa, with the only exceptions being the residents of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, and Romania.
However, you’ll need to work with your employer to organize a more permanent solution during this time, depending on your unique circumstances and long-term goals.
We’d also recommend that you seek advice from reputable industry experts, namely seasoned immigration lawyers with an international presence. This will ensure that you receive relevant and actionable information while enabling you to select the right visa to suit your needs.
If you are interested in even more job-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.