The United States of America has held a special allure as a land of endless opportunity for at least a century now. In that time, American has emerged as a superpower, the only superpower in the world today, in fact. As the world’s strongest economy, and with a hugely influential cultural output in Hollywood, America still holds a special appeal that draws people in search of a new life from across the globe.
The quintessential tale of the first-generation immigrant to the United States is that of the immigrant who arrives with a buck in their pocket and no knowledge of English. Slowly but surely, working odd jobs and learning English from watching Seinfeld, they are able to work their way up to paying for their own college education and graduating with honors. From there, the sky is the limit!
If you are hoping to move to the United States to pursue your own American dream, then before you go, you are going to want to make sure you understand the US’s intricate visa system. The following tips will help you with what they don’t tell you.
When applying for a US visa, many applicants are taken aback by the price required. The filing fee, which comes as a surprise to many, is upward of $1,000. If you wish to apply to register for permanent residency, you will need to pay a fee of $1,070. To put this into context, consider that you are moving to the United States with a trade you can sell, plumbing, for example. Compare this with a plumbers salary in the United States and you will get an idea of what that amount represents.
The Amount of Paperwork Involved
If you don’t enjoy paperwork – and let’s face it, who does? – brace yourself because things are going to get very tedious for you. No matter what type of visa you apply for, you are going to find yourself filling out a lot of forms and submitting various documents and pieces of evidence. Of course, if you are one of those rare people who enjoys this kind of thing, you’re going to have a hell of a time! For most of us, though, it’s just really tedious.
The Long Wait
Once you’ve finally made it through the sea of paperwork and jumped through every hoop that’s been asked of you, you’ll probably be exhausted but still eager to get on with your plans. The amount of time that it takes to process your application will depend upon the specifics of it. For example, a typical residency through marriage application takes around nine months to process. The agency responsible, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), does make every effort to process such applications within six months but this isn’t always possible. You can find out more here.
If you are planning to relocate to the United States, or even take a temporary trip there to conduct some business, you will want to make sure that you understand the visa system. Not having your paperwork in order can have disastrous consequences, so make sure you research first.