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Move to USA

(Archived Article)

by Mandy Jacob, President Inkorpa

If you are reading this section, then you are already contemplating moving to America. Continue reading to determine why you are making the most progressive decision of your life!

Firstly, USA has one of the largest South African Expat communities in the world. Why you ask? Well, most South Africans place Weather as the highest priority when determining where to immigrate. The US not only matches the South African climate but it has a state to match everyone's needs. Ranging from Sunny California on the West Coast, to the snow-capped mountains in Colorado, to farm like living in Central Texas, to the Sunshine state of Florida on the East Coast.

Another common reason for clients wanting to start a new life in the US is the crime-free environment.  If you are determined to give your children protected surroundings, where they can confidently look to their futures, then your days of being a nomad are limited. The US is one of the few countries in the world that boasts homes and rolling lawns without fences.

USA's popularity is also the ever-attractive prospects of earning a stable currency. Added to that is the opportunity of unlimited earnings if you play within the legal US framework.  On this note, immigration professionals should be employed to ensure that you make informed decisions, so you can justifiably reap all rewards owed to you. Thereby contributing to the $240 billion annual earnings of fellow American immigrants.

Finally, what better peace of mind than to know that all your hard-earned capital will appreciate in value; that you are in a politically stable country and that you are free from the anxiety of a corrupt government siphoning your untapped wealth. 

In a world where immigrants start 18% of all new small businesses, it is exciting to know you too will soon be able to contribute to this prosperous statistic. We will now discuss the various courses of actions for foreigners to become a resident of the United States of America.

Visa Requirements

In order to live and work in the USA you will have to be in possession of one these two items below: 

  • An American passport or 
  • An entry clearance visa 
Since this site is devoted to immigration, we will eliminate the first option and concentrate on the different visas that may be applicable to your individual status for residency in the US.

Categories to get a visa

If you fall into one of these visa categories you may be eligible to live and work in the United States. Only some of the visas below lend themselves to extensions and finally, acquisition of permanent resident status/greencard. For more detail on their long-term appeal, please feel free to email us at or visit us at

The categories are as follows:
  • Spouses of Permanent Residents or Citizens. 
  • Immediate Relatives of Permanent Residents or Citizens. 
  • Fiancés of Permanent Residents or Citizens.
  • Nurses. 
  • Airline Crewmembers.
  • Religious Workers.
  • Foreign Media.
  • Diplomatic Personnel.
  • Cultural Exchange Visas.
  • Internationally Recognized Entertainers or Athletes.
  • International Organization Representatives.
  • Treaty Trader or Investor Visa.
  • Intracompany Transfer Visa. 
  • Sponsorship by an Employer.
  • Students. 
For more details regarding specific categories, please reference

Most Common Visas for South Africans to Enter USA

If you are a Professional:
"Professional" as defined by US law, is an individual with a University Degree, relevant to   the field that you will be pursuing and three years of work experience. If you do not have the University Degree, this can be substituted with 12 years of managerial experience. 

If you fall into these classifications, then you will be eligible for the H1B Visa. This visa is initially valid for 3 years, after which Inkorpa will assess appropriate options to prolong your working status, or convert it into permanent residency. The H1B Visa is the simplest of the applications and we can have you working in the United States within 15 days! 

If you are a Company: There are two types of visas that a legal entity can apply for - the E-Treaty Trader/Investor Visa, or the L1-Intracompany Transfer Visa. 

The E Visa: is a complicated vehicle; it automatically disqualifies citizens of countries that have not made substantial investments in the USA. So if you are a South African citizen, for example, this route is not an option for you. To see other countries that are a part of this treaty click

If you are not of the same nationality as the foreign company applying for this visa, this will also exclude you from the potential working status. If you still are able to apply for this Visa, then the third prerequisite may become an obstacle. The E-Visa expects the applicant to either have a managerial or executive role in the company and if neither is applicable, the applicant must have specialist knowledge crucial to the US company. Although, this is a difficult visa to obtain, the benefits are after its first 5 year term, Visa extensions can hold true for decades. 

The L Visa: has two classifications. L1A for Executive/Managerial staff and L1B for Specialists. The prerequisites to these Visas are that L1As will be managing a major subdivision of the company or the specialist must be privy to specific products or process integral to the company. Finally, applicants must have been working for at least one year with the foreign parent company. Both visas are applicable for 3 years and can be extended between 6 and 7 years. 

If you are a Student: then this visa is intended for those that have graduated from a foreign country and wish to gain 18 months of experience in the US. Although this is a flexible Visa, it should be noted that the issuance of this Visa is based on the condition that the applicant returns to their country of nationality for a 2 year period. This precondition can in some instances be waived and will be discussed with Inkorpa's lawyers, if this option is employed. 

What about your spouse, kids or fiancé? Don't worry, the US does not expect you to leave your family behind. There are numerous paths one can opt for. There is the accompanying family members Visa (H4), or the Fiance Visas (Ks) and finally, if studying is an option, then the academic student visas are applicable. If you are on a L1 visa your spouse is entitled to work in the US.

Applying for a visa

Although it is possible to apply for visas directly through the American Consulate, it is advisable to seek out a personal immigration consultant. These companies have the expertise to transform a potentially costly situation into an effortless transition. See for an inexpensive yet quality driven experience.

If you are still intent on contacting the American Consulate, their details are as follows:

The Consulate General in Johannesburg is located at:  No. 1 River Street, Killarney, Johannesburg, telephone (27-11) 644-8000, fax (27-11) 646-6916.

The Consulate General in Cape Town is located at:  Broadway Industries Center, Heerengracht, Foreshore, telephone (27-21) 421-4280, fax (27-21) 425-3014.

Immigration Consultants

The reason immigration consultants are so highly sought after is that they guarantee your visa application will be completely and successfully processed. The individual does not have to face being rejected for having insufficient documentation, since the consultant knows exactly what records are required. Thereby, saving the client both time and money.

Immigration consultants afford you the luxury of avoiding those long queues at the Consulate's office and the possibility of being rejected owing to the daily visa quota being met. In your efforts to find an immigration consultant you should ensure that they operate out of the US. This plays to your advantage since all documentation gets processed directly in the USA and hence, is more time effective.

Inkorpa, an immigration consultant specialist company, is offering all Rainbownation readers a FREE Consultation regarding visa applications to the US. Access us directly on

Information on starting your new life in the United States of America

The links below will provide you with a little more insight into the new life you are about to create for yourself in the land of milk and honey...
  • Jobs 
> America's Job bank -
  • Banks
> Bank Of America -
> Washington Mutual -
> HSBC -
> Wells Fargo -
  • Communication Companies 
> AT&T -
> Cingular Wireless -
> Verizon -
> Pacbell Pacific -
  • Estate Agents 
> Coldwellbanker -
> Remax -
> Prudential Properties -
  • Getting around USA 
> Avis Rent-a-car -
> Hertz -
> Enterprise Rent a car -
> Alamo Rent a car -
  • Meeting fellow South Africans 
> Inkorpa -
  • Immigration Consultants

> Inkorpa -

Further Information
Inkorpa is an American based company offering immigration and business consulting services to individuals and companies wishing to expand their operations in the US.

If you have any immigration questions, Mandy Jacob can be contacted at

This is an archived article and some details may have changed since this article was first published