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Newbie here and in need of help

Travel Forums North America Newbie here and in need of help

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1. Posted by jibbyreznor (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y


I have recently joined this forum after being really pleased with reading the great help people have been getting with their travel issues. So hopefully you guys can help me too :)

Ok a little about me, I'm 24 and a British citizen with a masters degree in Criminology and an undergraduate degree in History from Lancaster University. I currently have a steady but boring job here and looking to travel to America to hopefully start a new life for myself there.

I know that alot of people must have this thought and that it by most looked at as a hairbrained idea but this is something I have wanted to do for a long time, its just a question of logistics really.

So questions and advice from you guys would be really helpful. Things like is it even possible?? should I go travelling round the U.S for a bit before trying to get a job? ( I have no real job preference by the way, I have plenty of retail experience if thats any use, though obvisouly the dream would be for me to go and get a job that has something to do with my degrees.) Any ideas as too how much money I will need would be good too. Also any recommendations for books I could read on the subject would be great.

One question I am sure to be asked is have you been to the U.S before, i did two years ago for 2 weeks, i went to Washington and New York. I would love to see the lesser touristy areas, but also want to go to New Orleans and Los Angeles.

After looking into this for sometime I feel that their is so much information out there for what I want to do its kind of overwhelming trying to sift through whats fact and ficition. Thats what brought me here and I really hope you guys can help me, it really is much appreciated.

Thanks again,


2. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1997 posts) 4y

First of all, you're probably breaking the law by looking for work on a tourist visa. Second of all, your chances of finding work here are 1 in 5,000 in the current economy. The only thing you have going for you is your age and your British accent (in demand by radio stations and certain high class stores/hotels). This is an extremely difficult time to think about relocating, and the job picture in the US is grim at best, currently.

3. Posted by jibbyreznor (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y

Yeah i understand that that would be breaking the law, and certainly don't intend on doing that. What is the procedure for getting a visa to work in the U.S? I do have some media experience so maybe I could work for a radio station, that would be great :) . I also do understand that these are hard times, but they can't last forever its not as if I am going to fly to America tomorrow and go for it, its more of a 6month/a year plan.

Thanks for your reply and help, much appreciated.

4. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 4y

To receive a working visa requires you to either be transfered here by your current employer or (a big OR) have a position already set up with a company (US-based or International conducting business here) so they can sponsor you. It requires a lot of paperwork on both sides - theirs and yours. Anything else would be considered 'under the table' work, regardless of the position. You would be considered an illegal immigrant and sent home on your own dime.

Read through: Travel.State.Gov - Visas

5. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 4y

Quoting Daawgon

First of all, you're probably breaking the law by looking for work on a tourist visa. Second of all, your chances of finding work here are 1 in 5,000 in the current economy. The only thing you have going for you is your age and your British accent (in demand by radio stations and certain high class stores/hotels). This is an extremely difficult time to think about relocating, and the job picture in the US is grim at best, currently.

What a ridiculous statement! Of course you are not breaking the law looking for work on a tourist visa! You would only be breaking the law if you took work.

6. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 4y

Jamie, just go for it man! That's the American way, and what made it such a successful country in such a short time. Go on your visa waiver and worry about the legal side once you find a job! America isn't for everyone and you may find you don't like it there as much as you thought when you were on your previous holiday. Living in a country and traveling in it on holiday are two very different things.

Certainly a country like American needs all the help it can get in criminology! I'd start with researching the universities and government offices, both federal and state, for jobs with research grants.

7. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 4y

My edit button seems to have disappeared for that last post, but here is a link to a college that just received more federal funding. I'd say could be a good start. $3.6 million grant at Maryland Uni

If you can convince them that you are someone they need, and that can't be found in the US then they will do the immigration paperwork for you, or at least help with it. You may also come under a different immigration status on a temporary work visa, which you could then apply for permanent later on. Don't ever let anyone tell you you can't do something!

8. Posted by Pdemarsico (Budding Member 11 posts) 4y

Dude, im an american and I'm saying go for it..Going and exploring the country should be your first priority as you have no idea where you would want to live or work..The States are totally different from every where in the world. Every state holds something different, different food, culture, music, fashion, accents. Thats what makes it exciting to travel through the states. I would recommend you yes visit New oreleans. Also go up the west coast. You'll fall in love with california as everyone from outside the states does and especially and this is a big especially. head north to oregon and washington, Portland Oregon is one of the most amazing cities i have ever been to and i would move there in a second if i wasn't out and about in this massive world. As far as work goes, you'll meet someone along the way who will offer you a chance doing something.. Its all about who you talk to and who you impress because although these other people posting are correct, its very difficult to find a job, theres something unique about you, coming from the UK and having an accents and traveling around that will draw others towards you. Tour the country with no expectations and a job will definitely come your way, either that or you'll fall in love and wind up marring into our country as so many people do lol. Have fun man and stop thinking just do it.

9. Posted by jibbyreznor (Budding Member 3 posts) 4y

Hello everyone,

Much thanks to all of you for your advice. I am a bit clearer now about what I would like to do. I think my plan will be to apply for jobs and research jobs as Dodger suggested over the next 6 months while I save up some money. If nothing comes of it then I will just head their to travel for about 6 months and see what I make of it.

The major issue surrounding all this has to be money. My first question regards travel costs? what is the best way to do the states? I do drive and that is an appealing option. Also 6 months any rough estimates of how much funds I will need?

And again any books by people who have done something similar would be of great help to me.

Thank you again guys, it means a lot.


10. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1992 posts) 4y

There are a few ways to get permanent jobs here--which in time may lead to possible immigration status.

Look into H1-B visas. These are primarily for high-demand jobs in the technical sector. Right now the main groups that do the hiring (and help you qualify are foreign consulting firms (about half of all Infosys, Tata Consultancy, Cognizant Technology) or else firms like Microsoft, HP, Facebook, or Oracle. Your best chance with your major would be to find a job in the Criminology area (maybe something like cryptography or signal processing).

Another possibility is to work for a major research firm (I know there is a designation for this). A last possibility is to be working on a PhD in something associated with one of these areas (this also allows you to stay in the country for awhile). The problem with this, of course, is that you would be spending money, not earning money

After five years in the country, you can qualify for citizenship (providing you were here legally). I'm not a lawyer, so I can't advise you further--but these are the options that are clear. One other possibility is to marry an American citizen. Then you qualify for a green card, but the problem with this is that you still can't work until you get the green card--and that takes years even after getting married.

Okay--one last option. Enlist in our army, navy, or marine corps while stationed overseas. Then you can apply for citizenship after a two year period.

Best of luck with your visiting the US--and with your long-term options.

I will mention one other thing going on in my next post, that may interest you.