The Top Five Reasons to Immigrate to the US in 2022
Monito's Managing Editor, Byron has spent several years writing extensively about financial- and migration-related topics.
A writer and editor at Monito, Jarrod is passionate about helping people apply today’s powerful finance technologies to their lives. He brings his background in international affairs and his experiences living in Japan to provide readers with comprehensive information that also acknowledges the local context.
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No matter where you're from in the world, you probably know a lot about the United States of America. ―
With its undeniable impact on global culture in the modern world, the US isn't only renowned for its natural splendor (where it boasts the Grand Canyon of Nevada, the Everglades of Florida, and everything in between) but also for offering a good quality of life, the world's largest economy, boundless innovation, and so much of the music, TV shows, and movies enjoyed around the globe.
Because of all this and so much more, it should come as no surprise that the US is the draw for some 600 thousand new arrivals each year. In this article, we go over the top five reasons why people immigrate to the US according to our in-depth immigration research — as well as how you could get started in your migration journey yourself!
Reason 1 — Economic Opportunity
There's no denying that America is seen as a place of opportunity for many people across the world.
Not only is it the largest economy in the world by GDP, but the US has traditionally been home to a vibrant labor market, a very large number of private businesses (around six million, to be exact), and a high degree of income mobility. In turn, this means that many immigrants and newcomers have been able to pick up work soon after arriving in the country and, over time, gradually increase their skills and earnings. This alone is one of the most compelling reasons why people choose to immigrate to the US — past and present.
This economic opportunity is reflected on an empirical level too. For example, the US:
Reason 2 — Quality of Life
While it's certainly not the same for everybody at every time, living in the US is by and large associated with a high level of comfort, health, and happiness across the board.
For example, according to Numbeo, the US ranked 15th in the globe in terms of quality of life in 2021. This number is determined by surveying people from across the country on factors as diverse as housing affordability, cost of living, commute time, pollution, crime, health, purchasing power, recreation, employment, and more. This is backed up by the World Happiness Report, where the US ranked as the 19th happiest country globally between 2018 and 2020 on average.
Conveniently for many immigrants, the US is also an English-speaking country, making it accessible to a large number of people who already speak it as a foreign language around the globe.
What's more — unlike many countries around the world — the US is made up of many states, each of which functions a bit like a country in and of itself. Because states vary in their laws, new arrivals can decide to move to Oregon to pay no sales tax, for example, or to New Hampshire to pay no income tax. In turn, this gives immigrants more options to choose from when trying to settle somewhere or find work.
Reason 3 — Natural Splendor
The environment in the US is very unique and exceedingly diverse. Due to the large size of the country (nearly 10 million km²), the US is home to a wide array of natural scenery. From the dense mangroves of Florida to the wide grasslands of Montana, and from the deserts of Nevada to the colorful forests of New England, the US boasts some of the richest and most varied natural geographies on the globe.
There's something for everybody. For those interested in hiking, skiing, snowboarding, or mountaineering, the US is home to many mountains and ranges including the Rockies in the east, the Appalachians in the west, and many peaks, hills, and massifs in between. For those more interested in relaxing on the beach, Florida and California offer a lot of options, but Hawaii generally takes the cake for being America's top tropical beach destination. For those who like camping or walking through the woods, the US is home to incredible forests such as the soaring redwood forests of California and Maine's Acadia National Park.
And that's not even to mention spectacles such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks, and Niagara Falls — all of which attract millions of visitors every year for their magnificence.
Reason 4 — Ease of Naturalization
Here, we're not referring to the process of immigrating to the US, obtaining a Green Card, or legally getting yourself set up in the country (all of which many people find difficult and frustrating). Instead, we're talking about obtaining citizenship once all of that is done and dusted.
If you're a resident in the US, the path will probably be open to you to become a citizen — regardless of your country of origin, ethnic background, whether or not you have another passport or your personal beliefs. This makes the country quite unique in and of itself.
Not only is naturalization and acquiring citizenship in the US open to foreigners, but the process is not as difficult as it is in many other countries. To become a US citizen, you'll only need to be a lawful permanent resident (LPR) for at least five years, be 18 years or older, write and speak basic English, and several other smaller requirements.
Once you have a US passport, you'll find it to be a very valuable piece of paper! The American passport is one of the strongest passports in the world, and holding one will give you visa-free access to 186 countries around the globe (that's almost every country, practically speaking).
Reason 5 — Reuniting With Family
For those who have close family living in the US, moving to be closer to them is often the main reason to immigrate to the US.
In a nutshell, family reunification is the legal process by which the overseas families of immigrants, citizens, or residents are granted the right to move to and reside in a given country to be nearer to their family there.
Having been a major part of US immigration law since 1974, family reunification is possible for families of US citizens and Green Card holders — so long as they are close family members, such as children, spouses, or parents. As of 2022, it's not possible for people considered non-immediate family members to apply for family reunification in the US, meaning in these cases, family members will need to apply the conventional way (more on this below).
Interested in Immigrating to the US? Here's Where to Start
If you're wondering out the main reasons for immigration to America because you're interested in starting the journey yourself, you'll need to consider your options closely. Immigrating to the US can be difficult if you don't already have a close familial tie to the country, and many people spend many years and thousands of dollars just to see some meaningful progress in their visa application process.
How to Get a Green Card
First and foremost, immigrating to the US requires a visa to be sponsored on your behalf. In most cases, this will be an immigrant visa (also known as a 'Green Card'), which will allow you to become a permanent resident of the US. Each year, the US government distributes Green Cards to applicants on the basis of factors such as:
- Whether the applicant has employment or investments in the US;
- Whether the applicant fulfils diversity quotas;
- Whether the applicant is a former US government employee abroad
- (As discussed) whether the applicant has family in the US;
- and many other factors.
If you're looking for a one-stop legal platform to get advice and help get your paperwork in order to immigrate to the US, we strongly recommend getting started with CitizenPath. By taking advantage of CitizenPath's innovative legal technology platform and team of immigration specialists (many of whom have gone through the process themselves in addition to their years of legal experience), you'll be able to smoothen out the process and get help through every step of the paperwork and application process.
Whether you're wanting to get sponsored for a Green Card application, help a relative to apply, or are interested in any other type of visa, CitizenPath has options for you — all of which come with some of the lowest rates of USCIS denial out there. To get started with CitizenPath, follow our exclusive link here.
On the other hand, if you're simply looking to speedily apply for a visa for a holiday to the US, we recommend using iVisa instead. One of the world's top travel visa application platforms, iVisa specializes in applying for and delivering visas for trips to the US (and other countries) from almost all countries across the world.
Need a US Bank Account Without a SSN as a Non-Resident?
Read our Monito guides to learn all the details you need. Learn how to open a US bank account online without proof of residency. We explain how you can open a bank account without a social security number — either as a resident or a non-resident.
If you'd like a list instead, we provide our top 5 US bank accounts for foreigners and non-residents.
Frequently Asked Questions About Immigration to the USA
What are the requirements to immigrate to the US? 📂
Immigrating to the US requires a visa to be sponsored on your behalf. In most cases, this will be an immigrant visa (also known as a 'Green Card'), which will allow you to become a permanent resident of the US. Each year, the US government distributes Green Cards to applicants on the basis of factors such as whether the applicant has employment or investments in the US, fulfils diversity quotas, is a former US government employee abroad, or has family in the US. If you're interested in immigrating to the US, we recommend going through CitizenPath — one of the best online immigration lawyers out there.
Can anyone immigrate to the US? 👥
In theory, anyone can immigrate to the US. There are currently few restrictions on who can and cannot apply for a Green Card.
Which country sends the most immigrants to the US? 🌎
As of 2022, Mexico is the country that sends the most immigrants to the US every year. In 2018, 162 thousand immigrants arrived in the US from Mexico.
Is it worth migrating to the USA? 💼
That depends entirely on your needs and preferences. Applying for a Green Card can be a difficult process, but once you're set up in the US, the country is widely regarded as one of the best in which to live and work.
What are the most immigrant-friendly states in the United States? 😊
Read Monito's 2022 list of the 8 most immigrant friendly states in the USA to see which states made the cut and what they have to offer you.
Other Monito Guides on Immigration to the United States
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