General Question

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Any tips on how I can get over and work/live in the United States?

Asked by Mama_Cakes (9320 points ) April 24th, 2012

Canadian born. Lesbian, in a relationship with an American girl. I would like to move to Michigan and live with her.

I have a B.A. in psychology and education.

Obviously, marriage is a no-go. There is the TN Visa with a list of 50 occupations that they’ll take you in for.

I know of an old friend from high school who works as an elementary school teacher in California. She’s not married. I wonder how she managed to get a VISA. We’ve lost touch, so I can’t ask her myself.

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31 Answers

janbb's avatar

Go to the US Embassy nearest where you are and talk to them.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Jan, I could become a librarian! It’s on the list!

gailcalled's avatar

Swap ID’s with my daughter, who is living in Squamish, BC and would like to establish residency there. After four years she has had no luck.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

@gailcalled Yes, I’ve heard that it is more difficult for Americans to get over here.

wilma's avatar

I was going to say you might qualify as a librarian or perhaps a research assistant? Good luck with this. I hope you can figure it out and make the move.

janbb's avatar

@Mama_Cakes You would be a good one. WAnt to get an MLS?

Mama_Cakes's avatar

@janbb I’m reading up on it now. :)

Plucky's avatar

From what I’ve seen it is very difficult to do so if you aren’t rich.

I know a Canadian woman who married an American man and it was still difficult. It took many years and cost a lot of money. I’m not sure why, or if that’s the norm. She seemed to think it was normal. I’ll see if I can get a hold of her sister (I can ask what the issues were exactly).

I was just reading up on it and, apparently, the USA has an annual lottery for citizenship…wow.

Here’s a good link on becoming a U.S. citizen.

janbb's avatar

@Plucky It wasn’t that difficult for my husband to get a green card after we married. Citizenship wasn’t that hard either bu it was a number of years after he lived here.

JLeslie's avatar

Getting married is the easiest way, otherwise it isn’t very easy for Canadians from what I understand. Seems a lot of you like to come down for the warmer weather. Of course that doesn’t apply to the state you want to go to. Nursing is probably one of the easiest ways to get a working visa in the US. Have you talked to an immigration lawyer? It’s expensive to use a lawyer, but maybe meeting with one will give you an idea of whether there is a chance. And, if @Plucky is right about the lottery still being around, do it. I know two people who got in through the lottery years ago, but I did not know they still did it.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

There are 5 million people living and working here right now, with no visa or paperwork at all. They could be axe murderers, for all we know. Until our government decides to do something about it, I would say it’s a free-for-all. So, come on down and enjoy the party, I guess.

JLeslie's avatar

Don’t risk it as @Skaggfacemutt suggested. I knew a woman whose friend got caught after living here over 8 years. She was picked to have her bags searched one time while traveling back to America, and they found some of her American business cards. She was held, and then turned around on a flight back to Chile, her tourist visa revoked, never allowed to return.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@JLeslie Really? I work at a high school, and the “illegal immigrant” students are constantly traveling back and forth, a month here, four months there, and then back here, with no problem either coming or going. If your friend got dinged for being here illegally, I think she should have gotten a lawyer and fought it. The US has set a precidence, now. I can’t see how they could justify in court, legally prosecuting one individual when there are 5 million others doing the same thing and not getting prosecuted.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt Thanks, but, no thanks.

JLeslie's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt People are deported more often than people think. This particular woman was not here illegally, she had not run across a border. She flew in on a tourist visa from Chile. I don’t know what happened afterwards, she was a friend of someone I worked did business with. The woman I knew did not even know she was without proper working papers, she had no idea her status. She was shocked to hear what happened. I don’t know where you live, but the type of back and forth you about I am assuming is border crossing by car?

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, by car. I guess it would be much easier to catch people who are flying, since they have to have all kinds of ID, passports, etc. The border patrol is supposed to be doing that, too. I have no idea why they don’t.

I agree that I would not want to be in a country illegally, so my responses weren’t really serious for @Mama_Cakes . She really should jump through all the right hoops, which would be to contact the US embassy. However, it just irks me to no end that nice people are put through the ringer and more often than not refused entry, when millions can just waltz in here with no consequence.

I have relatives in South Africa that would like to come, but the US is the hardest place to immigrate to, so they are trying Canada. Yet, they are all well-educated and honest, so it really makes me mad that millions are here already, most of which would never pass the requirements if they actually applied to immigrate here.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

For Americans, it is harder to live and work in Canada than the other way around.

JLeslie's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt I think the thing is the Mexican border, I assume that is the border you are talking about, has people legally cross constantly who spend lots of time in both countries. My husband’s cousins go to school M-F in America, commuting every day. I assume the border’s biggest worry is criminal activity, drug running, and evading taxes on things not declared, but I don’t know for sure. Illegal immigration is a racket the US government turns a blind eye to in my opinion for the sake of cheap labor in various industries. The toughest immigration I have ever been through was the Canadian border coming by bus from Montrael to Vermont, and I have travelled a lot of places. I don’t know if there was some sort of alert going on there, but it was a lot of questions, and three people out of the 20 some on the bus were taken behind closed doors for a more thorough check.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Could you two people stay on topic? Thanks!

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Sorry, @Mama_Cakes . I hear that we do have a shortage of teachers, so if you would like to go into education, I think your chances would be good. You should contact the embassy to start the paperwork, but it wouldn’t hurt to contact the school district where your girlfriend lives and see if they would be interested. Even if you can’t marry your girlfriend, I think she can still sponsor you.

JLeslie's avatar

@Mama_Cakes My apologies.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Change of plans. We’re going to do our best to get my partner over to Canada. Northern Canada (near Mackinac).

Mama_Cakes's avatar

(to a place like this)

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I went to Canada to meet my Canadian fiance and get married. No problem at all. I don’t think I even asked anybody – I didn’t mean to break any rules, I just wasn’t thinking of Canada as being a foreign country. No one asked me anything at the border, and after we were married I figured I was legal. Anyway, no one ever said anything and we lived there for a couple of years. That was in the late 70’s – things might be different now.

gailcalled's avatar

@Mama_Cakes: From my daughter’s experience (having consulted with several very expensive immigration lawyers), it is very complicated.

Go to grad. school and work in several specific fields.

Invest several hundred thousand dollars in a Canadian business.

She made noises about getting a MSW, which would have done the trick in BC, but finally admitted that it was’t going to happen.

Do your due diligence.

JLeslie's avatar

One thing to mention: if an employer wants to hire you, they will do the paperwork to make you legal. Some industries do this all the time, and others don’t. My husband came here for his college education on a visa for school, after graduating he had 6 months before the visa expires. His first employer said they would do the paperwork, and then they changed their mind, which was awful. He had to quit and look for another job. Three weeks before he would have had to leave the country he secured a job that did his paperwork for his work visa.

gailcalled's avatar

PS.3) Marry a Canadian citizen.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Yes, but Gail, how beautiful is this?

gailcalled's avatar

@Mama_Cakes: That is a really charming cottage…much, much nicer that the homes being sold in Squamish, which are motel 6 in style and character. My daughter says that the garages are more attractive than the houses. Probably because Ontario was developed earlier than BC?

wilma's avatar

Sault Ste. Marie?
Beautiful, but a whole lot of snow in the winter.
Will one of you commute across the border to work

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