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How hard is for an european to move to the USA? I want to hear someone else's experiences. How hard it was to find a job there?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Mark Mayo Dec 17 '15 at 10:44

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There are basically two ways to move to the USA: 1) Get a green card (residency/work permit), then you look for job like you would in Europe. 2) Get a work visa like an H-1B. This is sponsored by a company and they do all the work. If you leave that company, you have to either find a new job within a very short time period or go back home. There is a limited number of them, and they are released only once a year. H-1B is time limited but can be extended, and you can convert it to a green card after 5 years, but that is not that easy.

So if you really want to move more or less permanently to the US you need to obtain a green card. There is a yearly lottery (diversity visa lottery). It is open once a year, for about 1 month. It is actually open right now, so you have about 2 more weeks to apply. It is free, and only use https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/ to apply. Do not pay any scam companies.

What you win is a chance to apply for a green card. If you win, you still need to be eligible (have enough education, not committed any crimes, etc). Around 100,000 applicants will win, and 50,000 green cards will be given out.

  • Many of the H-1B visas are used up by large companies like Microsoft and Google, or even Disney: nytimes.com/2015/06/04/us/… So I don't know how easy it is for a smaller company to get hold of that category of visa. – Karl-Henry Martinsson Oct 17 '15 at 16:55
  • Technically, most of H-1B visas are grabbed by consulting firms. They in turn may supply people to Microsoft, Google, or Disney. I found a 2007 report of which only Microsoft was in the top 10. Google was 16. The number of visas "grabbed" by the top 3 were far greater than Microsoft's (Number 1 was >4000 versus MS's 900). – mkennedy Oct 17 '15 at 17:17
  • I thought H-1B visas were tied to a person applying for them, sposored by a company. Can a consulting company just grab say 100 no-name visas and then send over anyone they like? Sounds like a great opportunity for ISIS Consulting or Al-Qaida Software Development to get some of their "consultants" into the US... – Karl-Henry Martinsson Oct 19 '15 at 13:46
  • No, you're right that they're tied to a person. But the big consulting firms make a ton of applications, I guess. I did just hear from a new hire that if you have an advanced degree you end up in two "draws" so you're more likely to get a visa. There are 20k advanced degree visas. If you don't get one, your application goes in the general pool of 65k visas. – mkennedy Oct 19 '15 at 16:25

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