Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Are You Ready for a ‘Change’?

I was at a wedding the other day and to my surprise there were quite a few Brits there. Some, like me, had emigrated from the UK in the hope of creating a better life for themselves,  and others were here on vacation. The wedding was in a place called Acton which is about 20 miles from where I live. The folks on vacation were in awe of where the house was located. Just off the 14 freeway in Los Angeles County but the property was situated off a dirt track which climbed up and up. Looking out from the veranda you could see mountain ranges and ranches spread across the horizon and it made me think of the old western movies where man and horse would travel for days to reach the nearest town. It made me remember part of the reason why I chose to up and move from London. I made myself a promise once we got here that I would never become complacent about the wonderful scenery that we look upon as our home.

An hour’s journey from my house is the heart of LA; an hour in a different direction and I am at one of the many beautiful beaches California is famous for; and half an hour in yet another direction and I end up in the Mohave Desert. I live in a little town called Elizabeth Lake where I am surrounded by mountains and where driving through the canyons is a daily routine. We have two lakes within walking distance, a golf course within spitting distance and our back yard critters range from skunk to Bob cat, from bears to mountain lions, although they are a rare sight – thank God! My point here is that I wanted a “change” and the guests at the wedding spent the whole night telling me how lucky I was, but the truth is, it had nothing to do with luck. It was sheer determination and knowing that our dream wouldn’t come true overnight. Our emigration to the USA took many years of patience but it paid off in the long run.

One of the guys I spoke to at the wedding was a plumber. He had owned and operated his own company for 15 years and he had around 8 employees. He asked me what chance did he have of emigrating and, bless him, you should have seen his eyes light up when I told him he could be in the perfect position to emigrate. His wife overheard the conversation and told me that it had been her dream to leave the misery of England to live somewhere like here. I asked her what she did for a living and she told me she was a registered nurse…their situation just got better and better! This couple was in a unique position because they actually had a more than one immigration choice. He could either keep the business running in the UK and open another one out here, (this type of immigration is done through an Intra-Company Transfer visa), or he could sell up and open a new company here in the US under the Treaty Trader Investor visa. His wife could then either get her UK qualifications recognized here, (if she hadn’t already done so),  and walk into a US nursing career within a fairly short period of time, leaving her a bit of time to find a new home and school for their two children. They were thrilled and couldn’t wait to get home and take a serious look at their options.

About an hour passed when a lovely young girl approached me and asked if I could help her with some information. She had been dating a young man who was an American and she was French. I asked her how old she was and she replied 23 years of age. I asked her how long had the two of them been together and she replied one year. She didn’t want to necessarily rush into marriage as she knew about the Fiancee visa (K-1) and the Marriage visa (K-3), but wanted to be out here so they could grow their relationship into something more permanent. I asked what she did for a living and she told me she was about to graduate from college. She was studying to become a vet. I asked where the young man lived and she told me San Diego. I then asked if she would be prepared to continue studying if she could be closer to him and she said “Without a doubt!”

I told her that she might want to look into colleges in San Diego to see if she would be interested in their courses. If this was the case and she had strong home-ties to France and finance to back her studies she might be able to come out on a Student visa which would give her anywhere between 1 – 3 years in the US and maybe more. This would be the ideal solution for them. This would buy the couple time to decide whether they were going to be a good match for better or worse, or she would come away with a fantastic education which could then open up doors to an exciting career either here in the US or back in the UK.

I don’t think for a minute that California is the best fit for everyone but hey, you’ve got 49 other States in the US to look at! It blows my mind when I meet Brits who come out here on vacation who would love nothing more than to change their lives for the better but have no idea how to start the ball rolling. There are many Immigration websites who say they are willing to help but are not prepared to discuss your options without getting your credit card details first, or who will tell you some of the information you need just to get you hooked but will not fill in the gaps until you fill up their bank account. This immigration law firm is NOT one of those. We say what we mean and mean what we say –  Your indepth consultation with an attorney will be free. We will tell you the best course of action to take if we think you fit the immigration profile and tell you the truth if we don’t think you’d qualify. There’s only one way to find out and that is to complete our brief  questionnaire and guess what, we’ll call you!

By Aileen Simbet
Staff Writer for Law Offices of Chris Ingram

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
520 Broadway, Suite 350,
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 310 496 4292