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How to emigrate to USA?

  1. Oct 20, 2011 #1

    I'm not sure why I'm posting here but because Physicists generally know everything...

    Im British and I have a First Class Honours degree in Physics (the highest grade possible in the british system) and I'm currently doing a masters in applied mathematics and computing (finishing next september) and I really want to work in the USA after completion.

    So how would I go about doing this? I literally have no idea where to start and I want to do my research early. Obviously I need a visa and a job offer, both are extremely difficult to come by - but I just need a starting place! I would be looking for anything mathematical such as finance (I do a lot of finance modules) or I.T.

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2011 #2
    Anecdote, take it FWIW: I know someone that emigrated from the Arab Emirates and did his undergraduate degree in the US, later got a job there. The employer basically has to be willing to "sponsor your visa" or something to that avail, generally it'll only happen if its a high paying/skilled job. After that, getting a permanent residency status is apparently easier.

    However I have no idea how this works for EU nationals, perhaps obtaining a greencard is easier. You could start by looking at the INS' webpage.
  4. Oct 24, 2011 #3
    I would be interest in having details too. I am finishing my master in theoretical physics this year in France, I would like to have an experience in the US/Canada. I think it's too late to apply for a Phd starting next September but maybe for an internship starting in March?
  5. Oct 25, 2011 #4
    NO! Now is the time to apply for doctoral programs if you want to enroll in Fall 2012.
  6. Oct 25, 2011 #5
    Is there a chance for student who needs internship?
  7. Oct 25, 2011 #6


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    Note that most graduate schools in the USA require you to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for admission, both the general exam and the physics exam, and you need to take it next month if you want your scores to be available in time for your application:


  8. Oct 25, 2011 #7


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    from what I've heard unless you have some, umm, special channels, you need to have some spectacular talents and skills to obtain a PR. such as an internationally competitive athlete or a job offer from an employer who can prove your skills are unable to be acquired locally.
  9. Oct 25, 2011 #8
    As far as I know, that's generally how it works in most countries.

    I know of people who went to X place with a tourist visa, found a job and then got their PR...
  10. Oct 25, 2011 #9
    Hi, I have been in your position and I would say that emigration to the USA is very tough. By far the most straightforward path would be a PhD/Masters over there leading onto a job. You will not stand a chance by just putting your CV on job websites or sending it directly to them etc, they will only interview you when you are already living in the country. A great website for all info about this is http://britishexpats.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=57

    The visa you need is a H1B I believe and empoyers need to show that you have some exceptional skill that no US national could be employed to do, these visas are limited in number. I think if you are not keen on the US PhD route (which is definitely a long slog if you'd only be doing the PhD for some job at the end of it) the only other realistic route is to get a job in the UK for some multinational company with a view to get transferred to one of their US offices after a few years of working for them (of course this probably wouldn't be guaranteed either).

    As far as I know these are the only two serious routes for someone in your position, the others are more exotic, like start your own business with x million amount of turnover, or marry a USC, unless you have some family there.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  11. Oct 25, 2011 #10


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  12. Oct 25, 2011 #11


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    I agree with ZapperZ.
    Besides, Norway is a much nicer place than the USA, since we have fjords and reindeer.
    You are welcome to emigrate here! :smile:
  13. Oct 25, 2011 #12
    Actually, I keep hearing that the best country in the world to live in is Denmark!

    Anyways, I'm a second-generation German-American, and I've thought of emigrating myself. I've thought of moving to Germany, but the economy there is awful, and I've thought of moving to Canada, but they're even more of a police state right now than the US is.

    I've heard so many people say that "England isn't England anymore", but America isn't America anymore, and Canada isn't Canada anymore, and Germany, well, thank God Germany isn't Germany anymore.

    By the way, as I said on another thread, I'm part Viking myself, as my great-great-great grandmother was named Bystrom. She wasn't born in Scandinavia, but in Prussian Poland (then the far eastern portion of the Kingdom of Prussia), so she was likely descended from Norse settlers in that part of Europe.
  14. Oct 25, 2011 #13
    Until you hit winter, then you can't see the place coz it's permanently night time.
  15. Oct 25, 2011 #14


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    Woe and be gone!
    Bystrom is a Swedish name.
  16. Oct 25, 2011 #15


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    Use your contacts, that's very important. Talk to people and find out if you get a sponsorship through one of their contacts. I stayed three years in the US on a J-1 scholar visa, my first contact was through my teacher, who knew a researcher in the hospital, who had a collaboration in the US.

    I also know many Dutch students who do their PhD in the US, they don't need to do a GRE or TOEFL or pay tuition: they have a professor in their home country sponsoring them. They're working in the US, but their defense will be back home. I suspect they are also on a J-1 visa, I can ask if you'd like to know.

    If that also doesn't work out, you can always join the lottery for a green card, I know people who won PR through that :biggrin:
  17. Oct 25, 2011 #16
    If your intent is to emigrate, be careful about a J-1. These often come with a requirement to return to your home country for two years after graduation. F-1 is a student visa without this requirement.

    And to get an H1B, you don't need to have to prove that no US citizen could do the job... the company only has to make a "good faith" effort to find a US citizen. There is no real enforcement mechanism though to say that a company didn't try hard enough.

    I've known a *lot* of people who went the F1 -> H1B -> green card route.
  18. Oct 25, 2011 #17


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  19. Oct 25, 2011 #18


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    Start looking for a spouse in the relationships subforum - preferably someone that only wants to get hitched temporarily.
  20. Oct 25, 2011 #19


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  21. Oct 25, 2011 #20
    I thought the German economy is the best in Europe at the moment. And the Americans keep moaning about their economy so it can't be that great.
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