Immigration to the United States: The pursuit of the American Dream

A main reason the United States is one of the most sought-after destinations by immigrants is the famous “American Dream,” a concept that represents the success that individuals can achieve in the country. The term represents the chance for prosperity and greater social mobility that one can achieve there through hard work.

When we think of living in the United States, we almost immediately think of the great advantages and better quality of life available there, where the opportunity for change and growth, regardless of social class or the circumstances of one’s birth, keeps alive the hopes of many immigrants who choose the country as their ideal destination.

The United States: A destination for immigrants

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As the world’s most influential nation, the United States has an impact on international culture, politics, and finances. The country has a vast cultural and ethnic plurality that also extends to natural aspects, such as climate, fauna, and flora. It is considered one of the most attractive territories for immigrants.

The United States is the third-most populous country in the world and consists, according to a United Nations report, of approximately 10% of the world’s immigrants, mainly from Latin America and Asia. In recent years, this migratory flow has contributed to large-scale structural, population, and social transformations in the country.

With a stable economy and English as its official language, the United States offers not only career opportunities but also a more solid life, with access to culture and world-renowned educational institutions, such as Harvard and Stanford, which are the best universities in the world, according to Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Institute of Higher Education.

Children of immigrants in the United States

The university system in the United States has a very high-quality structure and renowned professors, with excellent courses in practically all areas. Moreover, the teaching model of US colleges is more flexible, giving students more freedom and autonomy to adapt in the best and most globalized way. The world sends its students to the United States to receive the professional training they need to run international business, law, medicine, and academics, among many other fields.

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Sundar Pinchai, current CEO of Google and Alphabet

Studying in another country is one of the best ways to build rapport with qualified professionals and to do the networking to place you in an international job. The story of Pichai Sundararajan, known as Sundar Pichai, the current CEO of Google and Alphabet, is an example. He left his home, a small town in India, with a limited budget to study in the United States. After winning a scholarship to earn a master’s degree at Stanford University, he was hired by Google to work in product management and development, and he paved the way to success until he reached the leadership of one of the largest technology companies in the world. In an interview with the Guardian, he expressed his sense of wonder at arriving in the United States as a grad student: “People would take me seriously for my ideas, not because of who I was or where I came from. It’s the remarkable thing about America we take for granted: that I could come and, after day one, my opinions mattered.”

The United States is filled with examples of large companies led by the US-born children of Indian immigrants: Microsoft, Adobe, Twitter (until recently), IBM, Albertsons, Micron, Netapp, Palo Alto Networks, and Novartis, reinforcing the idea that it is possible to change lives through following the American Dream.

Opportunities in the United States

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The US job market is booming, offering immigrants opportunities of all sorts, with rising wages and public investments in diverse areas, especially in infrastructure and technology. These markets increasingly seek qualified foreign labor; however, fewer companies are willing to bear the immigration costs for professionals who pursue a career in the United States, which means that having a green card is more important than ever.

The job market in the United States reached 10.7 million vacancies in October 2022, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, which means that there were 1.9 vacancies available for each unemployed individual in the country.

The United States continues to be one of the best countries in the world for job creation and opportunities. In such a competitive market, international experiences enrich the value of professionals. With the right visa and an established goal, either temporary or permanent, individuals who choose the United States as their “home” for a change of life will be able to enjoy all the advantages that the country offers.

How does the USA create better opportunities for immigrants?

According to the 2022 QS World University Rankings, five of the top 10 colleges in the world are in the United States, which makes the country extremely attractive for foreign students who want to study at a renowned undergraduate or graduate institution with a high-quality education.

The country’s economy continues to expand, and the US job market continues to forge its own path. In 2023, the number of applications for the H-1B work visa once again broke a record, with nearly 800,000 applications for only 85,000 visas available.

Moreover, initial requests for unemployment benefits are below historical standards, and although wages vary from state to state, and we must take into account different points in the career of each professional, the average wage per hour increased by 4.6% between December 2021 and December 2022, according to Infomoney.

The opportunities for professional and personal development that the United States offers are major reasons that this country receives the most immigrants in the world.

Why does having a green card increase opportunities in the US?

When immigrants choose the path of legal immigration to the United States, they avoid detention or even immediate and permanent expulsion from the country. Therefore, knowing about these consequences is the first step to making the immigration process successful and safe, both for people applying for international job vacancies and for employers who want to hire those applicants.

The so-called “green card” provides permanent residence in the country, with the right to live, study, and work there, and it can be the first step towards obtaining US citizenship. There are many ways to obtain a green card, but one of the simplest and most direct ways is through applying for the EB-5 Investment Visa (for individuals who have financial ability for a minimum investment of US $800,000).

Other benefits of having a green card include being able to enroll in a US health plan, using the US education system, and being protected by US legislation.

Some restrictions on the green card are that individuals cannot vote or run for public office, and they must renew it periodically, every ten years.

Can I find a job without a green card?

It is possible to apply for a work visa, but work visas (such as the H-1B and others) have become increasingly competitive, because considerably fewer visas are available each year than the number of applicants. What’s more, they do not come with a green card. For those who are lucky enough to get work visas, they offer the ability to be legally in the United States for the period during which the professionals carry out work directly related to the company that sponsors their visa.

There are different types of visas for living in the United States, temporarily or permanently. A conversation with a qualified immigration attorney can help you choose the best type of visa that accounts for your particularities and specific needs.

The great advantage of visas that grant a green card is having the right to live in the United States indefinitely, with the possibility of working in any capacity, except those that require US citizenship.

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