Are you tired of your little routine in the United Kingdom, and would like to see how life would be across the pound? Admit it, you fancy the opportunity to have a gigantic back garden for a lesser price than what your current house cost you, and wouldn’t mind at all a bit more sun all year round. Drop your habits and prepare for the green card lottery, because we’ll be telling you all you need to know in order to go and live in the land of George Washington!
Getting the authorisation to live in the United States
There are two main points to keep in mind for those of you who would want to live in the US: you will need documents. Further details are available here, but here’s what you need to know in short: in order for you to work in the US, as it is what you want, you will need either an employment-based immigrant visa, a temporary employment visa, a work permit, or a green card.
Now the last two ones are the most interesting as they are permanent; however the green card is, as you may already know, the ultimate goal of any person who immigrates to the United States. It gives you roughly the same rights as any American-born citizen, and has the advantage of being permanent: you won’t have to worry about renewing it. It isn’t a citizenship either, so you can keep your nationality should you prefer it.
To get a green card, there are several possible ways to apply, including one which gains in popularity: the green card lottery. The green card lottery may save you the hassle of going through a lengthy application which may be unsuccessful, and you may not have enough time on your hands for that, so it is worth giving it a try!
What happens once I have the right to work in the US?
Once you passed the green card lottery ordeal (we promise it’s actually not as hard as we make it sound), what remains for you to do is the usual, and you’ll feel quite at home: finding a job, finding a house, and start your new life!
You should be warned that US employers may not know what your UK degrees stand for in their country. You should be prepared to ask some specialist companies in the US to work out the US equivalence of each of your UK qualifications for you, possibly even before you start applying for job interviews—an employer may just not deem his or her time worthy of googling what your degree name stands for!
As for taxes, you may choose to keep paying them in the UK for one reason or another—say, if you plan on going back after a few years. There are plenty of resources available on the Internet for that, and you will know what you need better than we do!
As for life as a whole in the US, apart from the fact that the country is absolutely massive, you may not be that lost after all. People do speak English, though they will quite possibly want to make fun of your accent and ask you at least ten thousand times where the UK is, or what you mean when you talk about a ‘lorry.’ Also, you might want to stock up on Marmite if that’s your thing, because we cannot guarantee that you’ll manage to find anywhere you are going!
Anyway—you’ll be right at home in no time, and who knows? You might even adopt that very special American accent as you own.