How to move to the U.S. on permanent residence legally: reliable ways

Residence permit
USA (United States)


How to move to the U.S. on permanent residence legally: reliable ways

In 2020, obtaining an immigrant visa to the United States was almost an impossible task. First, due to the coronavirus pandemic, which paralyzed the whole world. Secondly, because of the policies of then-US President Donald Trump, who banned immigration for all countries by his decree.

However, in 2021, everything changed when newly-elected President Joe Biden canceled Trump's order and the pandemic gradually declined. So even for those who were rejected because of Trump's executive order, a second chance opens up. You can now apply for all types of visas at every country's U.S. Embassy.

We found out how to move to the United States for permanent residence, how much money and time it takes, and what documents are needed.

There are the following legal ways to stay in the U.S.:

win the "Green Card";

start your own business;

obtain a student visa;

obtain a work visa.

Let's take a closer look at each type of stay in this country.

Your lucky chance with a Green Card 

Green Card is a well-known lottery, upon winning you can move to America legally. At the same time, not everyone succeeds. Some people managed to win the card immediately, while others had to submit documents for several years in a row. The Green Card allows a person who is not a U.S. citizen to reside in the country. They can study and work on an equal basis with American citizens and are issued after a fairly lengthy collection of documents and only upon arrival in the United States.

You can apply for a Green Card every month on this website. The results are made known in May. Participation in the lottery is free, you do not need to go anywhere – just fill out an application online.

To apply for a Green Card, you need to:

fill out the application form;

check the status of your application on the website;

in case of winning, you need to fill out a questionnaire form ds-260;

send photocopies of documents;

make a medical certificate (Important: at the time of crossing the border, it must be valid, with its period expiring in six months);

pass the interview, confirming your financial solvency (there must be at least 5,000 dollars per person in your bank account).

Why can they refuse you a visa?

Even if you win a Green Card, you may be denied a visa at an embassy. To prevent this from happening, carefully comply with all requirements and collect documents. In no case does not provide false data. Even photos of poor quality can cause suspicion of the illegality of your intentions by consular officers. You also cannot fill out an application more than once a year – you will be disqualified.

Starting your own business in the USA

America has a very developed economy, so this region is attractive to investors. If you want to conduct business in the United States, you need to apply for a visa. 

Important: for starting your own business, you will not be suitable for B1 or B2 business visas because they are intended for short-term visits. If you plan to move to the United States to run a company and conduct business, you need to apply for a visa of the following categories: L-1, E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, and E5 / EB-5.

In this case, there is a high probability of obtaining American citizenship later, you can easily do business, having received all social guarantees.

Obtaining a work visa to the United States

To obtain a work migration visa, you need to get permission from your future employer. Most often these are international companies whose offices are located in the United States. Of course, you will need to show a diploma of higher education, if possible, to prove your worth as an employee (at an interview).

If you receive a positive response from the employer, then they must submit documents about the intention to hire you to the Citizenship and Immigration Services. After that, you need to decide on the type of visa. There are plenty of them.

The main types of work visas:

L – for employees of international companies;

R – representatives of different religions;

H – seasonal workers, agricultural sector;

O, P – scientists, athletes, and creative people;

After that, the would-be migrant must apply on forms  I-797  and ds-160 and wait up to three months for a response. This means that the employer must apply to the Immigration Service three months before you start working in the company. The validity of different types of work visas varies, after their expiration you can apply for an extension. They are usually approved without problems.

Another option to stay on permanent residence in the United States is to go there to study. Many people study in the U.S., then apply for a work visa. Then there are several options – apply for citizenship, marry a US citizen, etc.

How to obtain U.S. citizenship?

There are several main ways to obtain U.S. citizenship. They are being married to a US citizen or born on American territory if at least one of the parents is a citizen of the States or has lived here for 5 years. You can also obtain citizenship through naturalization after 5 years of living in America. This option is only available to Green Card holders. In this case, you need to fulfill several conditions and apply on the website of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS.