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Can I Move to America – Our Guide to the Logistics

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If you are planning on moving to the United States then there are a lot more requirements and circumstances you must meet compared to most other nations. However, this shouldn’t put you off and you can move to America if you meet these requirements. The key to making your move permanent is knowing what to expect and whether you meet the requirements for moving to the country permanently. That is why we have put together a guide to the logistics of moving to the USA to help make sure you have everything you need to make your move straightforward!

Times Square in New York City lit up in the evening

How to Apply for a Green Card

The first step you must take towards becoming a US citizen is to apply for a Green Card which grants you permanent residence in the US. However, these are notoriously difficult to apply for and your application may not be successful. A Green Card differs from a Visa, which grants you residence on a temporary basis. There are two main ways that most people apply for a green card in the United States and we have detailed these below;

  • Green Card through Family – possibly one of the best ways to apply for a green card and permanent residence is if you have an immediate family member that is an American citizen. You can also apply through any relative such as an aunt or uncle but this is less likely to be successful than you might be with an immediate family member like a parent or grandparent.
  • Green Card through Employment – you can also apply for a green card through your employer, and this is likely to be successful if you work in a specialist field such as the sciences or healthcare. If you are a skilled worker you can still apply but it may be less likely your application is approved.

You can also apply for a green card for a range of other reasons, such as if you’re seeking asylum, are a religious worker or a victim of domestic abuse. You can read a full list of all the reasons you might apply for a green card here.

Visa Application when Moving to America

If your application for a green card is unsuccessful then your dream doesn’t have to be over. You could still apply for a visa to move to America if you aren’t as concerned about moving on a permanent basis. There are a few Visas that you can apply for which could lead to permanent residence in the future below;

  • Exchange Visitor / J-1 Visa – this is a visa granted to individuals that are exchanging on a work or study basis for a fixed period. This would allow you to work and experience a US lifestyle for a fixed period.
  • Sponsored Employment / H-1B Visa – this allows employers to hire workers from overseas for specialised job roles. It can lead to permanent residence if the employer can prove you are the best person for the role.
  • Temporary Working Visa / H-2B Visa – usually given to manual labour positions where workers are in short supply. This can be granted for very short periods so is unlikely to turn into a permanent residence.

It is worth remembering that without a green card, you will not have the right to permanent residence regardless of the length of time you have spent in America. If your green card application is unsuccessful you will need to return to your country of origin. Find out more about visa applications here.

Getting Health Insurance When Moving to America

One of the most important aspects of your move to America is that you should carefully consider what kind of health insurance you have on arrival. If you are moving for work purposes then it can often be provided by your employer, but make sure you check this during your interview process. If you are moving with family you will also need to check about their coverage. Our GMS Xtra partners, William Russell are the leading independent provider for expat health, life and income protection insurance and will happily help you to sort out right insurance option for you and your family. Or take a look at the additional useful links below;

Container ships at a shipping port

How Do I Move My Belongings to America?

If you have been successful with your application for a green card or a visa, then the next question you will be asking is how do I move all of my belongings to America? The process can seem like a daunting task if you are moving all your worldly possessions to a new country, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. We recommend hiring a global relocation specialist to help with your move and arrange air freight or container shipping for your belongings. Global Moving Services can help you move to America and make sure you are set upon arrival.

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