One question that many readers ask me ever since I started this website is, how you can move to the U.S., if none of the most common ways to get a greencard is working out for you. While I’m not an attorney or immigration expert, I can still try to give you some ideas about alternative ways to immigrate or at least live in America temporary.
First of all, before you take any action I encourage you to just spend your next vacation somewhere in the U.S. It’s important that you’ve been in the country at least once to figure out if you could really imagine starting a new life here. Granted, a vacation is obviously not the same than actually living, let alone working, in America, but anything helps to get this first impression. If you don’t have the money for a vacation, read and learn as much as you can about the USA to get a better idea of how it would be to live there. A great source are blogs from immigrants, who write about the good and also challenging things that they’ve experienced during their journey.
And most of all, learn to speak English! You’ll need it. Every day! Don’t think you will pick up the language after you immigrated. It takes time and the more prepared you are, the better.
Your first language could be of great value
Whatever your native language is, it could be your ticket to America. Some companies, that are doing a lot of business with your home country, might be looking for people who are fluent in English and your first language. Of course you would need some skills in the job that they’re trying to fill, too. Language alone hardly ever lands a job, unless you work as a translator. Other companies might have their headquarters in your country with subsidiaries in the U.S., that need native speakers on staff.
Two ways to land a job
There are two ways for you to try landing a job in such a company. Check their websites and look for job postings. If you don’t know of any companies, search for “bilingual + your profession” jobs on www.indeed.com. Then apply for this job directly. Chances will be low, since they would probably have to fly you in for an interview and if they end up hiring you, they’ll have to go through the visa process which is costly and takes time. Time and money that some employers are not willing to spend, if somebody could do the same job and already lives in the country.
The other option is a little bit of a detour, but might pay off in the long run. Find companies in your country, that have subsidiaries in the USA, and apply for a job. Try to get a position, that would eventually be considered for a transfer to the company’s branch in America. After a little while, talk to your boss and mention your interest to be transfered abroad whenever the opportunity might arise. Also keep your eyes and ears open about any job openings in the American branch of this company. Employers are often more willing to transfer their own employees abroad than to hire a new person, that they don’t know yet.
Examples of jobs with potential for hiring/transfer
- Sales people
- Programmers and Web Developers
- Logistics Account Manager
The list does not stop here. There are many specialized professions that are in high demand for skilled international workers. If you don’t fit into the categories above, don’t worry, I’ve met so many immigrants with so many different backgrounds and stories to tell. There’s potential in any job, if you’re motivated enough and hook up with the right companies. But you’ll need to work hard for it and take action.
This is a great opportunity mainly for young female adults to experience the USA and live with an American family to learn more about the culture and every day life. You’ll get work experience by taking care of the host family’s kids as well as doing chores at their place. Au Pair opportunities are usually for one year, but can also vary, depending on the family that is looking for help. Applicants have to be between 18 and 26 years old in order to qualify for a J-1 visa for the Au Pair Program. Learn more about how to become an Au Pair »
I hope I gave you some hope and ideas to fulfill your dream of living and working in America. Hoping for a green card is only one way to get to where you want to be. You can take your fortune in your own hands and work on your career, because a job is the best way to get your American Dream started. A green card alone won’t earn your living.
Check out this website for even more ideas on how to gain experience in America with a J-1 visa.
Photo credit: © Olivier Le Moal – Fotolia.com