Expat Guide for Living and Working in the United States 2024

The United States of America is the most popular country where many foreign people wish to work and live permanently. The economic stability of the country attracts a lot of people wanting to live and work there. Another factor that encourages a lot of people to migrate to the country is their culture. Mostly, migrants feel that they will have more opportunities and freedom when they choose to live in the U.S.

Although it seems that the U.S. is every migrant’s dream country, it is not that easy to hop on a plane and go and live there whenever we please. Before foreigners can enter the United States, there are some few things that we must know, so we can be able to live and work in the country, whether it is temporarily or permanently . There are some processes that we need to complete first. It should be before we can even step on the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” That is said in their national anthem.

If you wish to live and work in the U.S. permanently, here’s a guide for you.

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Of course, one of the basic requirements is that you must be living in a foreign country since you need to apply for the residency within your home country, but if you are within the U.S., there are some requirements you need to meet.

Before you can set foot in the U.S., with whatever purpose why you are going there, you must first have a U.S. Visa to enter the country. Having a U.S. visa allows you to travel in the United States whether by air, land, or sea if you are not a citizen. There are two types of Visa that can be issued by U.S. immigration to a person who wishes to go to the United States.

Non-immigrant Visa – if you are someone who only wishes to travel to the U.S. temporarily, then this type of Visa will be issued to you. Mostly, it depends on the person’s purpose of visit. They may be just a tourist, student, or business person. Some people go there because of medical reasons. Those could also be workers with short contract employment in the U.S.

Immigrant Visa – This type of card is issued to foreign individuals who wish to live and work permanently in the U.S. Once you have an immigrant visa, it’s much easier for you to apply for residency and to get a Green Card.

What is a Green Card?


A permanent visa, or a green card, is what foreign people who want to live and work in the U.S. permanently should acquire. Any foreign individual who has a Green Card can generally live and work wherever in the United States they want to, without any restrictions.

Again, it is not a walk in the park to get a Green Card. There are many processes that you should know before you even think of starting to apply for it.

How to get a Green Card?


As we have mentioned, you need first to acquire a visa to be able to travel in the United States. Mostly, those who want to get a permanent residency already have an immigrant visa for them to process their Green Card at any time soon. Now, if you are someone who has a non-immigrant permit, you don’t need to worry since you can still apply for residency.

All you need to know is how, especially for those who have worked for a while in a U.S. company and apparently after living and working in the U.S., they had a good experience and somehow made them decide to stay in the country permanently. They go first from non-immigrant Visa to immigrants as the immigrant visa can lead to a green card. Click here to know more about the process.

It would be best if you had someone to petition or sponsor you so that you can apply for it. There are many types of Green Cards, so you need to know which type you need to have. Here are two common ways to get them and the type of cards to acquire.

Family – Sponsored Green Cards

You can apply for this type of card if you have a close family in the U.S. It is only given to an immediate family member such as a spouse, children, siblings, or a parent of a U.S. citizen or a permanent residence. That is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get a Green Card.

Employment Green Cards


That is one of the conventional ways. It is given to foreign nationals if their U.S. employer sponsors them for a position within the United States.

If you already have someone sponsoring you to apply for residency, next is you should know the steps you need to comply with having a Green Card.

First, file the petition forms of whichever type you have chosen, this will be presented in the USCIS or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. You will pay a certain amount for the Green Card fee.

If the petition is approved, you will receive a package. NVC or the National Visa Center will send you a box to your country residence. It will contain the instructions and forms you need for your visa application.

Next, apply for a Visa at a U.S. Embassy in your home country. The NVC package will give you instructions on what to do. You also need to pay for all the necessary application fees. After submitting your application, a visa interview will also take place.


Once your Visa is approved, you will receive another package. That is an arrival package, and you must travel to the U.S. with it. You can only open the box once you are already in the U.S. at any point of entry whether you are in a border, airport or seaport. Only U.S immigration officers can open the package and decide whether you can enter the country.

Now that you are in the U.S., you must file the form for the application of Permanent Residence or Adjust Status in the USCIS. It will provide you with the Green Card. After they process your form, you need to wait for more or less a month to receive your card in the mail.

As a Green Cardholder, you can now live and work in the U.S. without any restrictions. You can now enjoy living in the land of your dreams and seize every opportunity that you have.