A lot of people have eyes only for the US. It’s easy to see why. It’s a land of wealth and opportunity and one of few real superpowers in the world. If you want to live there, it requires a little more than upping sticks and getting on a plane. There are a lot of steps and a lot of boxes you have to tick before you can settle down.
Are you eligible?
This is the crux of it all. It doesn’t matter how much you would like to move over if you’re not eligible. Depending on where you’re from, for instance, you might have more luck. Some might be able to apply through the Green Card Lottery, whereas others might be able to move due to an update to US ESTA status that allows people from certain countries in political or natural turmoil to gain entry. If you have family or a spouse that is a US citizen, they can also sponsor you. Otherwise, you might have to look at the idea of getting employment or an education in the US. Note that while tourist visas can extend to up to six months, you’re not allowed to look for employment or permanent residence while on one.
Do plenty of prep-work
Moving to any foreign country is a big change. Besides looking for that visa, it’s best to be as prepared as possible. For instance, it’s a good idea to visit the US at least a couple times before moving so you know better what to expect. If your application is successful, then save as much money as you can, as well. The costs of saving up in an entirely new land can stretch much further than you might expect.
Be prepared for the process
Applying for a visa isn’t as simple as sending off a form and waiting for your green card, either. There’s a more extensive process that goes on after the initial application, including getting a health examination and a long wait, usually in the area of nine months. There might also be a need for you to hunt out plenty of resources, such as phone bills, birthday cards, and photos to prove that you are who you say you are.
Get mentally ready
Visiting can help you get used to the surface level of culture in the US. But you have to be ready to make some big adjustments. Some expatriates recommend trying to get out and really experience your new home once you get there. Find places and ways to make small talk with Americans and try new things, like visiting local museums and events, or even attending baseball or American football games. Even if your culture seems almost identical to American life at first, the small differences can catch you off guard if you don’t take the time to explore them.
The process of making the big move is a long one and it can be an even bigger change than any might expect. Make sure that emigrating is what you really want to do before you get the ball rolling.