Get good legal advice about visas and immigration before planning a move to the US

When it comes to immigration to the US, there are many false assumptions and rumors. The process is much more difficult than most people imagine, so it is always best to consult with an immigration attorney before you make any plans for moving to the US. We are not attorneys, but we do have quite a lot of experience with immigration issues and we do know that unless you were born in the USA, or marry a US citizen, or you are the minor child or parent of a US citizen, or buy or start a business (under strict guidelines), or invest in a legally recognized project which will give you a visa such as the EB-5, or are lucky enough to find a US employer who will go through the extreme hassle of employing you (lots of luck with that one!), then there really isn't any other way to legally move here.

Many people falsely assume that they will be allowed to stay here if they own property here or they are retired. Unfortunately, no amount of property ownership, nor being retired, gives you the legal right to stay in the USA. Unfortunately, many TV programs and magazines in the UK are telling people all about those lucky people who move over to Florida and lead a wonderful life in the sun, making it look very easy. This is just not true! There is very definitely a lot more to it than the UK media portrays. Even having family in the US will not get you in here, because although a US citizen is allowed to sponsor immediate family, in reality, there is a backlog of some 12 or 15 years, during which time you must wait in your own country.

If you have $500,000 available, you may be interested in the EB-5 visa, which is probably the easiest and best way for you to obtain permanent residence in the US. If you don't have $500,000, then the easiest way is to buy an ongoing business, but there are strict requirements for that. While the guidelines are not actually set in stone, a rough guide of a minimum investment for a business is now close to $200,000, with most of that coming from the buyer's personal (documented) funds.

Here are some websites containing useful information on visas and immigration:

US CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES (USCIS) IN THE USA

US EMBASSY & CONSULATES IN CANADA

US EMBASSY & CONSULATES IN THE UK

US EMBASSY IN DUBLIN, IRELAND

USEFUL INFO FOR CANADIANS - CANADIANSINUSA.COM

IMMIGRATION ONE (Specialist immigration lawyers with offices in US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand)

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