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10 regarding fair ways to stay in the USA (5 and 6 mode - family reunion and work visa)


Ten relatively honest ways to stay in the USA (5, 6 way - reunion, work)

"Forum" dealt with the most popular ways to become an American or get a green card. This time - family reunification and work visa.

A list of all ten ways see here. The first four ways look here.

  1. Reunite with family.

To suit: those who have a family in the USA.

How long to get: 1 - 15 years.

Difficulty level: medium to high.

How much is: $ 1500 to $ 10000.

It is important to know:

  • need a good lawyer
  • a lot of paperwork
  • There are four categories of relatives, each has its own line, there are quotas.

More about categories

There are four categories depending on the closeness of kinship. The first one gets the green card faster than everyone else, the last one gets the slowest. Quotas often include unused visas of other categories.

Category 1 (F1)

Quota: 23 400 visas per year.

Waiting time: at least 1 of the year, but not longer than 5 of years.

Category 2 (F2)

Quota: 114 200 visas per year.

Waiting period: 1-4 of the year.

Category 3 (Fxnumx)

Quota: 23 400 visas per year.

Waiting time: about 9 years.

Category 4 (Fxnumx).

Quota: 65 000 visas per year.

The waiting time is at least 7-10 years.

You can check the status and terms of the application on a monthly basis. Visa Newsletter.


Georgina Kesler from Uzhgorod came to America in 1989 on a work visa. A few years later, she won a green card in the lottery, and in 2001 she received citizenship. Dahlia has filed a petition for a reunion for the two brothers - this is the fourth category, with the longest line.

Dahlia Kesler. Photo: from the personal archive

Dahlia Kesler. Photo: from the personal archive

Ten years later, the brothers received documents, but they had to prove their relationship anew. Then it turned out that the quotas for this category had been exhausted. “As soon as the line comes up, we'll call again,” Kesler recalls the words of the immigration officer. I had to wait another two years. But when the brothers finally received the long-awaited green card, they changed their minds and stayed in Lviv, and visit their sister. “They are successful doctors, and all this red tape dragged on for too long for the elderly,” says Kesler.


- A US citizen or permanent resident submits an immigration petition, I-130 form в US Immigration and Naturalization Service (USCIS).

- Approval of the petition to (USCIS).

- If the petition is approved, it is sent to (National Visa Center) National Visa Center (NVC).

- NVC asks for a list of documents that need to be sent back to them.

- If this package of documents is approved, the NVC itself records the relative for an interview at the US consular department in the country of his or her stay

“It will be necessary to bring the originals of all documents to the interview at the consular department, copies of which were sent to the NVC” - reminds Vladislav Salaridze, immigration lawyer from Miami.

If the relative is already in the United States, then the US citizen submits Form I-485 (Petition to Change Status). In addition, it is necessary to prove that the relative is wealthy - that is, he will not sit on the neck of American taxpayers. As a rule, such a certificate is the Affidavit of Support - a document obliging a US citizen to provide financial assistance to his relative. “In order to issue Affidavit of Support to a relative, you must have an appropriate average annual income,” says Salaridze.

  1. Get a job (visas H1B, H2B, L1)

To suit: qualified workers, workers of religious organizations.

How long to get: up to 6 months.

Difficulty level: light.

How much is: free for the employee, $ 1500-10000 is paid by the employer.

It is important to know:

  • A work visa of categories H1B, H2B, L1 gives the right to apply for a green card. Usually corporate lawyers do this;
  • there is an annual quota - 140 thousand immigrants can receive green cards for work categories;
  • in theory, an employee, only after receiving a green card, can say goodbye to the employer who sponsored the move. However, the immigration service, upon learning of this, may suspect a person of fraud. If the employee broke up with the sponsor due to circumstances beyond his control (for example, the company was closed), then there should be no problems;
  • employer requirement - more than 15% of workers who arrived in the US on an H1B work visa.


A graduate of the cybernetics faculty of Kiev National University, Taras Galkovsky, came to America at the invitation of the Google company for the post of software engineer three years ago. According to him, the procedure for obtaining a work visa lies entirely on the employer, he was not even required to incur any costs.

Taras had to wait a year, since there was a quota for his visa category, and in the first year he did not get into it. Like most labor migrants, as soon as the opportunity arose, Taras applied for a green card. Again, the employer took care of everything. “The company helps to collect all the recommendations that you are a specialist of a certain category and level that America needs you,” recalls Galkovsky.

Taras Galkovsky Photo: from the personal archive

Taras Galkovsky. Photo: from the personal archive

Migration lawyers remind you that in the case of labor immigration it is very important to monitor how you pay taxes and not spare money for a tax consultant. Unlike many other countries, the tax inspectorate in America has direct access to financial information, income, bank accounts, securities, and other assets. Filling out a tax return may jeopardize a green card.

Details on the limitations of the employer and employee:

  • the length of stay at work is monitored by the immigration service and the labor department. Both will not ask any questions if the employee works for the sponsoring company for at least six months;
  • a person without a higher education can come with a H1B visa to the USA if he is a specialist equivalent to a graduate, has more than 12 years experience in a particular field of study;
  • for work that is not a “specialty occupation” or for which the candidate lacks qualifications / work experience, an H-1B visa can be issued instead of an H2B work visa. A “labor certificate” is required to obtain such a visa. It involves advertising a vacancy (the employer must convince the authorities that there are no American workers capable of performing the job offered to the immigrant). H-2B visas are initially issued for one year only, with the option to extend for up to three years;
  • Specialists cannot individually obtain a H1В visa for work in the United States. The employer must petition the applicant;
  • Those who wish to stay in the United States for more than 6 years with a valid H1B visa can apply for a permanent residence permit (Green Card). If such employees do not receive permanent residency at the end of a six-year period, they must remain outside the United States for at least one year before applying for a type H or L visa;
  • As soon as the company brought an employee to the United States on a H1B work visa, it must dismiss the employee before the visa expires. The company is responsible for any reasonable costs that an employee incurs in moving back to his last permanent residence. This condition applies only to certain fixed costs for dismissing an employee;
  • The L1 visa allows international companies to transfer their employees from other branches to work in the United States for up to 7 years (originally 3 of the year). The employee had to work in a branch or office of your American company outside the United States for at least one year during the previous three years;
  • at the end of the maximum permissible period, according to the status of the L-1 visa, the employee will have to work in a branch of a company outside the United States of America for at least one year until a new application for the status L or H is made.

Read the following materials in the other ways (as soon as the links are ready, they will become active)

1. Win the lottery

2. Ask for political asylum

3. Marriage with a US citizen

4. Study

7. Invest or open joint business

8. Go to serve in the us army

9. Become a witness in a high-profile case

10. Stay illegal and wait for amnesty

Come to our groupwhere you can ask for advice and share experiences.

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