I'm a Swedish citizen, currently studying computer engineering here in Sweden. My life plan has always been to move to the United States when I'm done with school. I've read that you need to have lived in the U.S for 3-5 years before you can become a citizen. My question is, how do I take that first step and be legally allowed to live and work in the U.S before I can apply for a citizenship?
To become a permanent resident of the U.S. a person needs an immigrant visa. There are two main types of immigrant visas, family based and employment based. Family based includes U.S. Citizen [and sometimes Lawful Permanent Resident] spouse, parent, brother or sister, or son or daughter over age 21. Most employment based categories require proof that there are not enough U.S. workers available for the job.
The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case.
Many in your situation end up finding an employer here in the United States to start the process as a nonimmigrant worker, but were you to fall in love and marry a U.S. citizen you could also consider a family-based route instead. Depending on which of these options you choose, the amount of time you would need to plan on before you would be eligible to receive U.S. citizenship via naturalization would vary. An experienced immigration attorney could advise you on timing events and general steps, but the specifics of your plan would be linked to how you start. Best of luck!
The above response is general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. Any comments offered on Avvo are only general in nature, and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You are strongly encouraged to seek independent and private counseling for legal advice and a complete review of your case that is based on careful analysis of your particular circumstances.
Talented computer engineers are in high demand here. You might be able to start through an employer that wants to offer you a job. The other route is often through U.S. citizen family members. Consult an immigration attorney for your specific facts. Good luck!
There are also investment-based opportunities to work and live in the United States: the E-2 and EB-5 visas. If you are interested in starting or investing in a business here, this can be a very good way to go.
All responses to this question are based on incomplete information and will not form an attorney-client relationship. All persons seeking help are encouraged to schedule a consultation from a qualified immigration attorney.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.
Years licensed, work experience, education
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Publications, speaking engagements