Florida has breathtakingly beautiful beaches
There are plenty of reasons why people from all over the world are moving to Florida. It has a great climate, it has breathtakingly beautiful beaches, it has a booming economy, real estate is affordable, there is no state individual income tax, and it has unbelievable amusement parks like Walt Disney World. Florida is accessible in terms of transportation worldwide, it is a Mecca for retiring seniors, it has first-rate colleges, the seafood and restaurants are amazing, it has beautiful golf courses, it hosts many pro sports teams, it offers world-class fishing, it has iconic ice cream parlors, it offers varying landscapes and it is a multicultural state.
It’s no wonder then why Florida is the Number 1 state in the nation for attracting immigrants. Those who want to immigrate there need to explore what are the best options for them. While immigration in the United States is under federal law, many of the alternatives listed below involve sponsorships, particularly in the employment area, that may be specific to Florida in that the sponsors would be located in that state.
Basically, the immigration alternatives involve three categories: those sponsored by employment, those sponsored by family, and those who are self-sponsored. Let’s run down each category to consider what is best for you.
Getting a work visa is part of the employment puzzle
If you are a professional and your occupation is on the list of the USMCA/NAFTA free trade agreement, you can immigrate to Florida based on a job offer. You can get your work visa quickly, in the case of Canadians even right at the border while entering, and your work visa can be for up to three years and renewed in such increments indefinitely. However, this alternative is only open to Canadians and Mexicans.
If you are a manager, executive or person with specialized knowledge and are working for at least one year abroad for a company with a subsidiary in Florida, you can get a work visa to move to Florida. Think Toyota transfers a manager from Tokyo to Miami to run the office there – that would be a classic L-1 work visa. Usually, the visa is granted for three years and can be renewed for up to seven years. It can lead to a green card as well.
If you are a college graduate or have the equivalent in work experience, and you work in a specialty area such as for example, IT or management, (as opposed to say just having a B.A. degree) you can apply for an H1-B work visa. Similarly, if you have the same credentials and are from Australia, you can apply for an E-3 visa. If you are a seasonal agricultural worker, for example picking oranges in season, you can apply for an H1-A work visa. If you are a seasonal nonagricultural worker, for example, a hotel worker during peak seasons, you can apply for an H2-B work visa.
If you have an extraordinary ability, such as a celebrity like Andrea Bocelli the opera tenor, you can get an O work visa to sing in the USA. If you are in a professional athletic league, such as Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers NHL hockey team, you can get a P visa to play in the United States. Finally, if you are a pastor or priest, you can get an R visa to work as a religious worker.
In all of the above cases, spouses and children of the applicants can also accompany them to the United States. In all cases, children can go to schools and sometimes to college at discounted rates. In some cases, notably the L visa cases, spouses can even obtain employment authorizations, although that is not possible in many of the other cases.
If you are married and your spouse is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, your spouse can sponsor you and your children to immigrate and get permanent resident status. U.S citizens can sponsor their parents as well as their children from abroad. Adopted children can also be included.
If you have siblings who are U.S. citizens, they can sponsor you from abroad. However, the waiting times are very lengthy, over a decade.
In order for an adult applicant to claim U.S. citizenship, the applicant must fulfill all of the following three requirements:
1) Transmission – The U.S. citizen parent(s) must have been a U.S. citizen at the time of the applicant’s birth and have sufficient physical presence in the U.S. to transmit citizenship. The transmission requirements depend on the date of birth of the applicant and the legal relationship between the parents at the time of the birth of the applicant. See the Transmission Requirements for Citizenship.
2) Legitimation – A child born to a female U.S. citizen (and a non-U.S. citizen father) is automatically legitimated. Proof of legitimation is, however, required for a child born to a male U.S. citizen. Persons born to an in-wedlock U.S. citizen father and non-U.S. citizen mother are legitimated by virtue of the marriage. Persons born to an out-of-wedlock U.S. citizen father and non-U.S. citizen mother, and not legitimated by the natural parents’ subsequent marriage can be legitimated by following certain procedures.
3) Filiation – The applicant must establish a biological and legal relationship with the claimed U.S. citizen parent.
There are self sponsoring immigration options that can get you to the top
If you are an E-1 Trader (export/import) with a lot of business crossing the U.S. border each year you can get an E-1 work visa for five years renewable. If you are an E-2 investor, you can get a work visa to manage your business in the U.S. For example, purchasing a hotel or gas station. Again the visa is for five years renewable.
Foreign nationals who either have “extraordinary abilities” such as Andrea Bocelli or are “outstanding professors or researchers” such as Elon Musk, can apply directly to get green cards.
Foreign investors who invest $ 500,000 U.S. into a U.S. EB-5 direct investment project in which at least 10 jobs are created by the investment can apply for a green card.
First Nations/Native Americans can get green cards when entering the USA by virtue of their ancestral rights.
Victims of crime can get U and T visas, while battered spouses can apply for VAWA protection to remain in the USA. Students can get F and M visas to study in the USA.
That summarizes this round-up of immigration options for those looking to immigrate to Florida, or indeed, elsewhere in the United States. In most instances, immigrants should engage an immigration attorney to help them get these benefits.
See here for a webinar on this topic.
Florida has breathtakingly beautiful beaches