For many, coming to America is a dream come true. This country of space and opportunity draws many to it’s shores daily, from all parts of the world. However the process can be daunting for some, turning the dream into a nightmare. Originally from the UK, I moved to Singapore for 6 years and then arrived in the USA almost 17 years ago. Even though I was moving back to a ‘Western’ culture, there was a certain amount of culture shock than I had not anticipated.

Throughout this website, I hope to provide pertinent information, practical pointers and an insight into the culture into which you are assimilating.

Firstly – by what means are you able to immigrate into America? No matter whether you are planning an extended vacation, a two year trial period or perhaps a permanent move, you will require a visa. Here are a list of visas that are available – you should consult an immigration lawyer to understand fully the implications of each, and be aware that information changes frequently so check with US Immigration Services.

A Visas – reserved for diplomats, officials and employees of foreign governments coming to America on official business

B Visas
– B1 – visitor visa for business
– B2 – visitor visa for pleasure

C Visa – for those ‘in transit’ such as those from island states that have to transit through the USA in order to fly elsewhere

D Visa – for crew members on board ship

E Visas
– E1 – treaty trader. Temporary non-immigrant visas requiring a treaty between the U.S. and your home country.
– E2 – treaty investor. Temporary non-immigrant visas requiring a substantial commercial investment in the U.S.
– EB5 – entrepreneurs (spouses and unmarried children under 21) – must make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the US AND plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified US workers.May apply for a green card if they comply.

F Visa – for foreign students

G Visa – for representatives of foreign governments and international organizations, along with their families and staff.

H Visas
– H1B – for professionals or hose engaged in ‘specialty occupations’
– H1C – limited to 500 per federal fiscal year
– H2A – reserved for seasonal agricultural workers
– H2B – apply to seasonal non-agricultural workers
– H3 – for those coming for training with U.S. companies

I Visas – non-immigrant visas for members of the international media

J Visa – ‘exchange visa’; wide range of temporary positions such as research, trainees, visiting scholars etc.

K Visas
– K1 – for those who are engaged to be married to a U.S. citizen. Must marry within 90 days of entering the U.S.
– K3 – for those who have married a U.S. citizen but do not yet have their Green Card.

L Visa – for those who have worked abroad for at least one of the prior three years for a company that now has a common ownership with a company in the U.S.

M Visa – exclusively for students at ce -rtain vocational school. Strict rules make it difficult for schools to comply and very few now participate

N Visa – very restrictive and reserved for parents and children of G-4 visas and NATO employees

O Visa – non-immigrant visa for persons of extra-ordinary ability in the sciences and arts, education, athletics or business – tough criteria

P Visas
– P1 – non-immigrant visa athletes and entertainers who perform individually or as part of group or team.
– P2 – non-immigrant visa for performing arts or entertainers on a reciprocal exchange program.
– P3 – non-immigrant visa for persons who wish to teach, coach or perform in a culturally specific program.

Q Visa
– Q1 – non-immigration visa for participation in international cultural exchange program
– Q2 – Specifically for someone under the age of 35 who resides in Northern Ireland or certain counties in the Republic of Ireland who come to the U.S. to participate in a cultural training program for the purpose of providing training, employment and the experience of coexistence and conflict resolution in a diverse society.

R Visa – for religious workers who have been a member of their religious denomination for 2 years and will be coming to work at their place of worship, church, synagogue, temple or mosque for a temporary period of time. This visa is being strictly monitored.

S Visa – temporary visas for those who have critical and reliable information relating to a criminal organization and are willing to supply this information to aid in prosecution. Only 200 per year – need backing of key government players.

T Visa – 5000 visas per year for those people who have been subject to severe trafficking, are physically present in the U.S. and have complied with investigation of trafficking crimes.

TN Visa – NAFTA visas (North American Free Trade Association). Treaty between U.S., Canada and Mexico for certain occupations, particularly in science and medicine.

U Visa – similar to T visa. 10,000 visas per year for those who can prove they have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of being a victim of criminal activity and can be helpful in the prosecution process.

V Visa – reserved for spouses and children of permanent residents if the resident filed sponsorship for them before December 2000 and if the papers have been pending for more than three years. These visas were an attempt by congress to alleviate family separation due to the backlog of paperwork.

Ironically there is no Visa for anyone wishing to retire here in the USA. If you wish to retire here you should use one of the following Visas: B1/B2, E1/E2, H1B and/or the F.