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Thread: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

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    Post How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    Hi

    I'm from the Netherlands and I'm dying to move to the US. Especially Miami since this city stole my heart!
    I collected lots of information about relocating there but it seems so difficult, yet I know that many European live
    there too. Is this only because of their jobs?
    I stopped chasing my dream because of my relationship, but now I know chasing my dream is more important
    so I'm ready now

    All ideas etc. are very welcome

    Thank you!

    Jane.

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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    same prob is whit me i am from Croatia

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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    'oi, I'm from the Netherlands as well and relocated to Miami in October 2011.

    Right now I am back in Tilburg but that is just to stuff the whole house into a sea container, and I'll be returning to Miami on the 29th with my wife and daughter.

    As you already assumed, I'm in Miami just and only because of my job. Without that job, and the associated US employer who petitioned for my H1B visa, there is no way to relocate to the US and have the right to work.

    The best you can do without a visa is a series of three-month stays, interrupted with returns to your country of residence.

    Of course you can, and should, participate in the yearly Diversity Visa Programme (http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigra...ypes_1318.html) which at least offers a chance to win a Green Card. No up-front costs involved, so no reason not to apply.

    Your best serious bet is to find an employer over here who needs you and is willing to spend time and a few thousand dollars on the H1B petition. This totally depends on your qualifications and experience. The (sad) fact is that Miami isn't the greatest of all US places to offer a large variety of jobs that require highly skilled or highly qualified people which cannot be found in the US. And this is a prerequisite: your employer must convince the Department of Labour that he really tried hard to find an American for the job, and failed.

    Personally I have been extremely lucky to get an unsollicited job offer to come over to Miami for a great job. I did not come out of that industry and all my previous European employers have nothing at all to do with my current US employer. But I had put my head to it for about 20 years, not as a Grand Plan, but in hindsight with quite some perseverance. So when the offer came, my wife and I did not need to think about it very long.

    It may help the great people on this Forum if you can outline your background a bit, so that they can guesstimate your chances of finding an employer who would petition for you.

    The reasonable other option is to save money in the Netherlands and spend a few weeks or months per year on holiday in Miami. This is not as weird as it may sound: Miami as a holiday destination is totally (I mean totally) different from Miami as a work destination. Driving to work in between palm trees under bright sunlight seems wonderful, but you get used to it in about three weeks, and then it depends on your work whether you still like to drive to work. I do, but don't let the palmettos fool you.


    Dutchie

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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    As Dutchie says, using the Diversity Visa is recommended. I know of one person here now who won it from Russia.

    http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigra...ypes_1322.html

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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    registration period ended :'(

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    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    Thanks for your valuable input, Dutchie!

    We have an article on relocation for foreigners here. The info may be outdated, but it gives you a sense of what you need: http://www.miamibeach411.com/news/us-visa-options

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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    People ask me daily sometimes how I moved here from Europe. I am blessed to be a dual citizen thankfully, and I thank my mother frequently for getting my US passport when I was only days old.
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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    To live here more than a few weeks at a time, you will need a visa, or a green card. Neither is trivial to get, but not impossible. I posted the options in an earlier thread a few months ago, and am re-posting it below as most of it is relevant to your question, plus this question gets asked a lot. Feel free to post any follow-up questions. The original thread is at: Would like to find a job in Miami!!

    First, please note that a "work visa" is not the same thing as a Green Card. In fact the Green Card is not a visa at all. A "Green Card" (it used to be green at one time) is an ID card issued to people who have been legally allowed to enter or stay in the USA as "immigrants". These people may stay and work in the USA indefinitely (with some limitations).

    Since you are not currently in the USA, to enter and become an immigrant you would need an "immigrant visa", of which there are three types: Family based, Employment based, or Refugee/Special. You would only qualify for the second type (Employment based) and you should certainly look around employment sites to see if there is an employer who may sponsor you for an immigrant visa. However, I can tell you that this has a very low probability of success. The country is overrun with people with Business degrees, and employers don't like the hassle of sponsoring for visas unless you have a special skill or benefit. You can read about employment based immigrant visas here: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigra...ypes_1323.html

    Still, all is not lost, because about 20 years ago our wise leaders in Washington (Ted Kennedy) invented something called the "Diversity Visa Lottery". This allows people from some countries to apply for a an immigrant visa each year, and 50,000 are selected and given an immigrant visa for no reason other than applying. Assuming you were born in Spain (UK born won't qualify) you may apply for this lottery, and entries for the 2013 lottery begin tomorrow (Oct 4), so apply soon. Chances of getting one vary by country and depend on how many others apply, but usually about 1% of applicants. You can apply each year and increase your chances. You can read about the Diversity Visa Lottery here: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigra...ypes_1322.html

    In addition, many people enter the USA each year on temporary (non-immigrant) work related visas. These visas are easier to get than immigrant visas, so large employers tend to use them in bulk to hire large groups of foreign graduates each year. These visas are issued for limited term employment (usually a couple of years) and can only be renewed for a limited time, but these are often used as a backdoor entry point by immigrants, as after the limited term visa expires, the applicant is free to apply for an immigration status adjustment based on a number of criteria. People with immigrant intent are prohibited from applying for non-immigrant visas, but this seems to be widely ignored and rarely enforced. You can read more about it here: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1271.html

    Another visa you can consider is a student visa (F-1). This allows you enroll in a US college for graduate studies for a 1 or 2 year program (in your case, probably an MBA) after which you can apply for a job and visa status adjustment to one of the above categories, with the added benefit of being here already and having local contacts/knowledge. Even though it seems indirect, a student visa is often the easiest to get, and used by many, many people to convert to immigrant status later. You can read more here: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html

    The final category, which I will not talk about because I neither condone nor advise it, is illegal immigrants, i.e. those who overstay tourist visas, or enter the country without a visa etc.
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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    Past the visa (which is definitely step one) you need to also remember that Miami has the highest (or maye 2nd highest now) unemployment rate in the country. So even if you get the RIGHT to work here, it doesn't mean you can. jobs here are VERY hard to find, and the cost of living - while not what it is in Europe - is still very high compared to what you will be getting paid.

    Unless you're bringing some kind of special skill that nobody here has, you will find it very difficult to get employment.

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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    Speaking as a EU citizen, it's very hard to get a visa to stay permanently in America. Like the others have said, if you do not have family there, arent married to a US or green card holder, have no job sponsorship or do not have a lot of money to start a business, moving to the US is almost impossible. You can try the green card lottery like me and maybe you get lucky. I know of some people who even bought a house in Miami Beach and can't stay longer than 6 months a year.

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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    Why buy a house without a visa to live here?

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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    Can you get a visa if you own property? Like all the "Rich South Americans" who are alleged to be buying every single empty condo in Brickell?

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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    Can you get a visa if you own property? Like all the "Rich South Americans" who are alleged to be buying every single empty condo in Brickell?
    As far as I know, this is not possible.

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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    Tjane,

    What kind of work do you do? I actually met someone the other day whose family came to the US because they won the Visa Lottery.

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    rk
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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jess View Post
    Why buy a house without a visa to live here?
    Several reasons. The top three are:

    (1) To live here part time, usually in the winters

    (2) As an investment/rental property.

    (3) As a tax shelter or to hide money from foreign govts.

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    rk
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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Meltzer View Post
    Can you get a visa if you own property? Like all the "Rich South Americans" who are alleged to be buying every single empty condo in Brickell?
    No, there is no visa advantage to be gained simply by buying a normal house or condo (unless it is an entire large building that generates several jobs, see below)

    We discussed this in another thread recently. I am repeating what I posted there as this question comes up every so often. The original discussion is at Ready for the move!

    ...in the sense you are asking, No, just buying property such as a home or a condo does not get any special consideration towards a visa or permission to stay.

    If your property is of a type that generates at least 10 jobs (e.g. a store or a hotel) and is worth over $1M (or $500K in depressed areas, not sure if south beach qualifies for that...) then you become eligible for the Entrepreneur green card that Ikon mentioned above.

    The other possibility is a Treaty Investor visa (E-2) available to investors from certain treaty countries, which is a temporary visa that allows you to visit to develop and operate your investment. In this case the investment amount can be less, but the visa is temporary, and not available to citizens of all countries.

    Re. staying temporarily on a tourist visa, that is certainly possible. The Immigration Service does not publicize exact numbers and durations, but the main criteria is intent, i.e. you must be able to convince them that you maintain a permanent residence elsewhere and are just visiting temporarily. I suppose visiting for less than 6 months per year might be a start.

    A couple of links:

    Entrepreneur Green Card: http://tinyurl.com/278bwwg
    Treaty Investor (E2) visa: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1273.html

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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    Hi you all!

    Thank you so much for all your reactions!

    First of all I already applied for the Green Card when it was still open for applying...
    I also own a B2 Visa (Tourist Visa) so I can stay for 6 months in a row, have to cross the border
    and enter the US again for another 6 months. Still this is not what I want because of the many
    limitations of this visa.

    I'm also aware of the fact that Miami has a high unemployment rate and that the hospitality sector is
    one of the biggest sectors over there. I studied international communications & media which is a very
    broad study. For example, I'm skilled to work as an editor or news reporter because of my journalistic skills (traditional and new media),
    and most functions that are needed in a communications or marketing department (consulting/projects/corporate/analyzing). Of course I will not limit myself to this but it's what I studied for. To start off a (temporary) job as a host/bartender/tourguide/receptionist would be fine too because from there I can look around, network etc.

    Applying for a student visa could be an option too because I'd like to get my MBA. But isn't it very expensive to study in the US as a foreigner?

    I can also try to find a job with a international company in the Netherlands so that I can be an expat or that I can be transferred to the US...

    It's hard, really I know but I won't give up easily on something I really want All advice or comments are very welcome!

    Thank you so much.

  18. #18
    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    It is very expensive to pay international tuition here. Which is why schools like UM have so many Chinese now, they'll pay a lot more so we'll admit them. It's about money, really.

    That said, PR is actually a field that hires fairly well here in Miami, provided you are good at it. You may have a shot with that if you can get your paperwork in order.

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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    I'm not sure if the original question was about how to get in the US and live here or about how Europeans manage do adapt to living in Miami. The former was already answered, about the latter, I can say I'm European, I moved a bit over a year ago to Miami, I have a job, I speak 3 languages and I've adapted, I'm doing ok so far, I suppose, but I can also tell you that I do NOT intended to live here forever. Miami has its pros, no doubt, but too many cons as well (at least in my opinion).

    I guess if you're rich and only come here to enjoy a couple of weeks of Sun every now and then, then Miami is fine, to actually live here indefinitely, not so much.

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do people from Europe manage to live in Miami?

    Thank you LArgo. I try and explain that to people all the time. Few seem to get it until they experience it.

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