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As a British Citizen What Type of Visa Will, I Require to Live & Work in the USA?

Type of Visa a British Requires to Live & Work in the USA

America is known for providing a wide variety of opportunities for immigrants from across the world. British workers have great appeal in the USA and they can move to the USA for their existing jobs, new jobs, to set up their own business or any other relevant opportunity. To avail of these opportunities, you have to start working on getting the right permit to enter and work in the USA.

Can UK Citizens Live in the USA Permanently?

Yes, British citizens can live permanently in the United States, but they must receive a green card, which is the legal licence to live and work in the United States as a permanent resident.

If you want to enter and work in the USA it is very important to make sure that you apply for the type of visa required to travel into the USA, The type of visa depends on the tenure of your stay in the USA & the reason for your travel. Here are some questions with answers that will make you clear about the visa options that are available for you. 

How to Obtain a Green Card for a British Citizen Wanting to Live and Work in the USA Permanently?

Obtaining a green card is the process of becoming a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States, which permits a person to live and work permanently in the country. A British national wishing to live and work permanently in the United States has various options, including:

  • Employment-based immigration: This involves having a U.S. employer sponsor you for a green card. Your employer would have to go through a process of demonstrating to the U.S. government that there are no U.S. workers available for the job you will be doing.
  • Family sponsorship: If you have a close relative who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, they may be able to sponsor you for a green card. This can include spouses, parents, or adult children.
  • Diversity visa lottery: The diversity visa lottery is a U.S. government program that provides a limited number of visas each year to individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. To be eligible, individuals must meet certain educational and work experience requirements, and they must also go through a lottery process.

The process of obtaining a green card can be complicated and time-consuming, and there may be a number of requirements and limits to consider, such as health and security screenings. To increase your chances of successfully acquiring a green card, it may be advantageous to consult with an expert immigration consultant.

As a British Citizen What Type of Visa will I Require to Live & Work in the USA?

The visa type will depend on the following whether you are going temporarily or are planning to move to the USA permanently.  It also depends on the purpose of your visit.

Types of Visas for Temporary Stay in the US:

Listed below are some of the types of US visas you may require for a temporary stay in the USA:

  • Student Visa F & M

If you are a student and possess an admission letter from applying to apply to the student visa category to M to get a visa from the US embassy to travel to the USA. 

  • Traders & Investors Visa  E1 & E2

If you are a trader or investor and intend to visit the USA for trading and investment in small businesses in the US then you will be required to submit your visa category E1 & E2. These types of visas are non-immigrant visas and are provided to nationals of countries with which the USA has signed a treaty of business & commerce. The UK is one of those countries and UK citizens can apply for E1 & E2 VISA to travel to the US. 

For those applicants who already have established economic ties with the United States, at least 50% of your foreign trade must be with America to be able to apply for a treaty trader visa.

Suppose you want to invest in a US company. In that case, the minimum amount for a treaty investor visa is usually US$100,000, in some unusual situations, amounts as little as US$50,000 may also be considered.

  • Intra-company Transfer Visa L1-A & L1-B

If you are working in a British company and your employer transfers to any of the British company’s branches in the US you need to apply for L1-A & L1-B. The L1-A category is for managerial-level executives and the L1-B is for employees of the company with a speciality in any process of the organization.

The L1 type VISA is a temporary visa and it is a non-immigrant visa, which allows, the applicant to travel to the US because of the employer with which the applicant is working. For this visa type, the employee must have completed one year of service with the organisation through which their visa is processed. 

  • Work Visa H1-B

If you wish to move to the USA and apply for a visa for workers in speciality occupations, you will be required to apply for an H1-B category visa. This type of visa is a temporary visa for professionals who want to work in a job role and possess technical knowledge and expertise in the job.

To qualify for this visa you must have a graduate degree or higher with job experience along with a valid job offer from any US company that can process your visa and immigration services on your behalf.

  • Visa for Persons With Extraordinary Ability and Achievement O1-A & O-1B

This visa category is for people who have been recognised for their remarkable aptitude or have a track record of extraordinary performance in one or more fields. The O1-A visa is for persons with extraordinary ability in science, business, education or related fields.

The O1-B is for persons with extraordinary ability in Arts, the television industry and related fields. To qualify for this type of visa you must have national or international recognition in your field and be willing to travel to the US to continue working in your field.

  • Media Professionals I-Visa

If you are a British citizen and are a media professional needing to enter the US for a short-term assignment or related matter, you will be required to apply for an I-Visa type to travel to the US. To qualify for this Visa you will have to prove your purpose of visit and tenure in the US.

  • Immigrant Visa for the US

As a British citizen if you want to move to the US permanently you have options to apply for an immigrant Visa in various ways. The best way is through your family member sponsoring you from the USA if they have US citizenship and if you have no family ties in the USA you can apply on different employment routes. This includes individuals with extraordinary ability or specialisation in a specific field, who can move to work in the area of specialisation. You can apply for a skilled workers visa for moving to work in a special role in the US.

A green card will give you permanent lawful residence in the United States, but it will not allow you to stay in the country permanently because, after every ten years, you will have to renew the green card.

However, after a certain number of years as a lawful permanent resident, you may be eligible to petition for US citizenship. There is also an option of a dual intent visa, which will lead to permanent residency in the US. The category L & O is considered a dual intent visa because this visa can lead to permanent residence in the US after entering the US.

  • Visa Waiver Program for the US

Through the Visa Waiver Program, the US permits 38 countries' citizens to enter the US for 90 days without a visa for business or tourism purposes. But through this program, you cannot use it for employment or permanent residency purposes.

This visa will not be suitable for British citizens wanting to live and work in the US permanently or wanting to migrate to the US always. We can help you get your visa for the US. Contact us & discuss your case with our immigration expert.


DV Solicitors

DV Solicitor, a leading law firm in Bedford & London, offers a wide range of legal services including commercial property, corporate, employment, personal injury and human rights/immigration law. Known for their expertise and client-focused approach.
By: DV Solicitors
Date: May 12, 2022

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