The economy in the United States is the best in the world, and that’s why millions of people every year want to come to live and work in America.
U.S. immigration laws are very strict. While it is quite easy to get automatic citizenship by birth in American soil, it is extremely complicated to get a work Visa or Green Card. Many immigrants obtain a Green Card (lawful permanent residency) by sponsor of a U.S. Citizen relative, such as a spouse, parent, sibling, or child over 21 years of age.
Those that do not have American relatives have to apply for a work Visa. The main problem is to find a sponsor, which is an American company that is willing to offer full time employment. After, the company will have to apply with a labor certification with the U.S. department of labor, to ensure that the rights of U.S. citizen workers are not violated. In fact, the U.S. government requires that companies give preference to workers that are either U.S. Citizens or that are Lawful Permanent Residents.
In addition, some work Visas are subject to an annual cap, and when USCIS receives more petitions that the number of Visas available, a lottery takes place. This could be a very stressful and frustrating situation.
Generally, artists Visa, and Visas for individuals with extraordinary ability get a strong preference. For instance, the O-1 Visa is not subject by annual caps, and can also be used from J-1 Visa holders that are subject to the 2-year residency requirement. It can also be used by H-1B Visa holders that have already spent 6 years in their status and are not eligible for further extensions.
Also, the EB1 Visa is one of the very few immigration classifications that allows self-sponsorship. An alien of extraordinary ability in the science, business, athletics or arts can simply apply for a Green Card even without a formal job offer. The reason is that U.S. laws strongly favors individuals with talent that will improve the economy and the level of workforce.