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I'm exploring the possibility to move to the USA (possibly permanently).

I've already made some research regarding the different options (green card, visa types etc) but it seems that none of them covers my case, what I would like to do is to move there (with a good amount of money on my account to pay my stuff until I find a stable job) and then find a job.

Details: I own both French and Swiss citizenship, I have a master degree in IT and currently work as a software developer (I guess USA lacks developers).

The only option I found is to find a company that would sponsor me or to win green card lotery... but as a junior it would be easier for me to find a job once I'm already there, is it possible ?

Feel free to edit my question or to ask in comment for more details.

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What you've found is pretty much it, but "a company to sponsor you" could be a company that has offices both in the EU and the US. You might look for companies that you could begin working for in Europe and then try to convince them to transfer you to the US. And keep entering the lottery.

You can spend up to 90 days at a time in the US on the visa waiver program, or six months with a B visa. Whether you can hunt for work during that time is not clear. I think it should be permissible, but some users on this site and on Travel (and apparently some CBP officers) think it is forbidden. Since some CBP officers seem to think that it is forbidden, it is risky to seek entry into the US for this purpose, and you probably shouldn't do it without consulting a US immigration lawyer.

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  • Thanks for your answer, so, so far there is nothing like Australia offering Visa easily if you are qualified for a job they lack people (IT jobs are part of that program), or like in Canada where you have a target score to reach and if you speak the official tongue it gives you more points ? No way to get a working visa unless I get a sponsor, that's what I understand. – stbr Jan 6 at 15:24
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    @stbr that's correct. The current administration has made some noises about points-based immigration, but the chance of that passing in time to be of use to anyone who is currently looking for junior-level positions strikes me as rather remote. – phoog Jan 6 at 15:32
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Ultimately yes, for permanent residence (a green card) you will need to be sponsored by an employer (unless you happen to meet your future husband/wife).

However, asking an employer to sponsor you for a green card is a very big request, particularly for a junior developer. Remember, although there is a need for developers, there are also a lot of developers looking for jobs. The green card process is very expensive and time consuming. For me, it took several years and many thousands of dollars for my employer to sponsor me. They were willing to do it because I had proven myself to be worth it, but I initially came as a Canadian on a TN visa and proven myself that way.

You will probably have better luck finding an employer who is initially willing to sponsor you for a temporary visa such as an H-1B, or as phoog suggests working for an EU/US company and doing an inter-company transfer, and then after proving yourself work on the green card process. You may also during that time gain enough work experience to find a different employer to sponsor you for the green card. As a junior developer, this may be an easier approach, as it's a lower level of commitment for the employer than asking them to sponsor you for a green card (a very expensive and time consuming process) without having proven yourself as an employee first.

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