Realistic options for immigrating to the U.S. 

"It all started with a thought, a wish, a hope or a dream." - Brian Tracy  

Many people contact our office asking how they, as ordinary people, can immigrate to the United States, or what practical ways to immigrate to the United States actually work and are relatively quick. There is a lot of misinformation or downright misleading information in this area, which is also present in social media (closed Facebook groups, etc.) on the subject of so-called "American immigration". There are many theories and a lot of information online, but they do not really give a clear starting point and guidance for individuals on where to start or what to do if they want to immigrate to U.S.  

"It's not enough to know, you have to do." - Béla Hamvas

We summarize the experience of the last 25 years in the field of immigration to the USA, because there is a big gap between the theory as a paper option and the reality of life. There are categories of immigration to U.S., and we hope that our informative and helpful article will give some guidance to people who want to settle, live and work in America.  

"No matter how carefully you plan and organize everything in advance, your life will usually be a series of 'two steps forward, one step back'. From the moment you set out for your destination, you will have to constantly adjust your route." - Brian Tracy  

Real life shows that the success of immigration to the U.S. depends on how well an individual works his or her way into the American system.  

(1) Family-based immigration: This is a common and frequent way of immigrating to the United States for individuals whose close family members (spouse, child, parent) are U.S. citizens or residents, details here:

Marriage to a U.S. citizen is perhaps the most common case of immigration to the U.S. because it leads to residency status in 7-8 months, even though the person came to the U.S. on an ESTA (Visa Waiver - or B1/B2 visitor visa (tourist) and has been living in the U.S. as an out-of-status (overstayer) for years: working, paying taxes, running a business, etc. 

Note: The process of immigrating to the United States for LGBTQ or same-sex couples is no different than for any other male-female couple. USCIS does not recognize domestic partnerships; therefore, legally, LGBTQ or same-sex couples must also marry in a state where that state's jurisdiction recognizes the marriage of same-sex couples. The list of US states that recognize same-sex marriage can be found at  

(2) Asylum: a means of immigration to the United States for persons fleeing persecution or fear of persecution in their home country, details here:  

In recent years, asylum has become one of the most requested immigration categories. This can also be explained by the poor perception of a current (e.g., Hungarian) government in most Western liberal democracies. All the NGO reports (Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, etc.) - for real or imagined reasons, it is not for us to decide - vilify and condemn the current government, e.g. for not respecting the rights of members of the group of sexual difference (LGBTQ), for not respecting the basic requirements of democracy, for widespread corruption in the country, in the bidding for economic tenders, in the judiciary, etc.    

This is something the Hungarians are well aware of, and they are taking advantage of it, because presumably this opportunity will not last forever, because in a year and a half there may be a change of government in the form of a Republican administration, which presumably will not be as understanding about asylum as the current Democratic Biden administration, but there could easily be another Covid-like global virus that could close the borders again and impose comprehensive travel restrictions etc. Currently, in August 2023, travelers to the U.S. do not need to prove they have the Covid vaccine.  

(3) DV Visa Lottery: The 'Diversity Visa Program' to obtain formal residency status in the United States.  

The official website makes the DV lottery application completely free(!) and easy to do from anywhere, as it is done online. It is worth taking advantage of this opportunity every year, wherever you are, in whatever country. Visit in the first week of October each year to find out the exact 'DIVERSITY VISA PROGRAM' deadline for that year. Everyone should give themselves a chance(!) if they want to settle down in the United States and live life as a great adventure :) and realize their childhood dream of becoming an American.  

Warning: there are a lot of fake DV lottery websites that promise and offer everything the client wants hear! The only legitimate website to apply for the DV lottery is the official one: Do not fall victim to the scammers!    

(4) Investment-based immigration: We will not go into detail here because it is not an optional or viable route for ordinary people. Investment can be an immigration route for those with substantial financial resources who are willing to invest a substantial amount of money (usually hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars) in a U.S. business. Anyone who says otherwise is not telling the truth!  

(5) Employment-Based Immigration: Again, we will not go into detail, because although employer-sponsored immigration works in principle (on paper), in practice only people with highly skilled or specialized knowledge that is in short supply in the current U.S. labor market can be expected to immigrate on a U.S. work visa. It is not impossible to meet the requirements, but as you can see from the description below, the process is cumbersome and lengthy.  

This is one of the most complicated and expensive ways to immigrate to the USA. Unless you are an extraordinary achiever in a particular field of art, sports, science, etc., you must find an employer to "sponsor" you. An employer must offer you a job and prove to the U.S. government that they could not find a U.S. worker for the job whose qualifications meet the minimum requirements for the position. Now, if the employer's petition is approved, the employer must file Form I-140 on your behalf, and if approved, you must apply for an immigrant visa. There are numerous regulations issued by the USCIS and the Department of Labor that govern this process. The employer needs to understand this and their firm commitment is required for the process. Ideally, if the process goes smoothly, PERM certification ( can be obtained relatively quickly. However, the application for PERM certification is subject to a random audit and sometimes a "monitored" hiring process, where the government tells the employer how and where to advertise the position and the government reviews the resumes. Of course, it is the employer who actually screens the resumes (it is the employer's money that is used to pay for the advertised position), but the Department of Labor can significantly increase the cost of the process for the employer by imposing its own advertising requirements. Therefore, even though many foreign workers have superior qualifications, many employers are reluctant to sponsor them.

In summary, essentially the following US immigration options (categories) are available to the average person as a viable and realistic option:

Family Reunification 


DV Visa Lottery 

"I try to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You must go through it." - Morpheus in The Matrix  

Over the last quarter century, many immigrants have come and stayed (B1/B2 visas or ESTA - visa waiver), then lived, worked, paid taxes, or did business in America for shorter or longer periods as overstayers (out-of-status), and later as family-based immigrants, settled their residency status, or applied for asylum within 1 year of entering the United States (which allows them to legally reside, work, study, work, do business, etc.), but if they fell in love, they eventually settled their status by marrying a U.S. citizen, because it's a quick process, resulting in permanent resident status in about 7-8 months; see details of marriage to a U.S. citizen:  

"The bondage of habit is so light that we don't even feel it until it becomes so heavy that we can't get rid of it." - Warren Buffet  

Our office has more than two decades of experience in the U.S. immigration field; in addition to expertise and professional experience, a fair and correct approach is of great importance because it is essentially the life and fate of the client at stake, as a misguided, unprofessional petition can put the entire case on hold for a long time or even permanently.  

"A true teacher only opens the door, but you must walk through it. - Eastern proverb  

In conclusion, the US immigration information shared here is only useful if you use it. Feel free to contact us if you have any US Immigration issues as we are always available and happy to help. No matter where our clients live, our service is available and our reliable and affordable service is accessible from anywhere. Please share our office contact information with your friends and family because our business is built on integrity and our clients' trust is our priority! 

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