US Visas for UK Citizens: Navigating Pathways to the American Dream

Facundo Bermudez
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Published on 17 Sep 2023 Time to read 7 min read Last update on 23 Oct 2023

Embarking on a fresh chapter in an unfamiliar land is a shared aspiration, resonating deeply with many. For UK citizens with their gaze set upon the United States, this dream is not merely a distant star, but an achievable reality. Within the intricate fabric of US immigration, an array of avenues awaits our British counterparts, each with its distinct set of opportunities and requisites. From the versatile B1/B2 Visa to the investment-friendly E-2 Visa, the coveted EB-5 Visa, the specialized EB-2 NIW Visa, and the student-friendly F-1 Visa, a spectrum of choices unfolds.

For those whose aspirations extend beyond a mere change in scenery, seeking a thriving business venture, Visa Franchise stands resolute as a beacon of assistance. We extend our hand to professionals and entrepreneurs, guiding them towards endeavors that chart a course to legal residency in the U.S. What sets us apart is our unwavering commitment to efficiency. With our expertise, clients can attain temporary status in as swift as 15 days through visas such as E-2 and L-1, while the realm of permanent green cards can materialize in under a year, courtesy of options like EB-1C and EB-2 NIW.

So, if you find yourself a UK national envisioning the shores of America, let this guide serve as your compass. Together, we shall navigate the complex terrain of US immigration, transforming dreams into tangible realities.

Do UK citizens necessitate a visa to traverse the expanse to the US?

Indeed, UK citizens must acquire the appropriate authorization to step foot on American soil. For transient sojourns in the name of tourism, a visa might not be an immediate imperative if you qualify for ESTA. However, for those contemplating work, study, or a more enduring relocation to the U.S., securing a visa is an indispensable stride. Ensuring you possess the correct documentation aligned with the purpose of your visit is of paramount importance.

E-2 Visa: Pioneering New Ventures

The E-2 Visa emerges as a potential game-changer for UK citizens with their sights set on American opportunities. It proves an enticing option for those inclined to invest in or manage a business on American terrain. Yet, certain pivotal prerequisites must be borne in mind. Central to these is the “marginality” criterion, signifying that the business should not solely serve as a means for personal sustenance, but must also engender employment and contribute to the local economy. Additionally, for most UK applicants, a residency stipulation applies; your base of operations must be rooted in the British Isles. This carries significant weight in the blueprint of your venture across the Atlantic. Adhering to these criteria can unfurl a realm of prospects on the distant shore.

In addition to these criteria, the minimum investment threshold, typically commencing at $100,000, serves as a testament to your substantial commitment to the business’s triumph.

EB-5 Visa: Forging Foundations

The EB-5 Visa ushers UK citizens into a realm of boundless prospects, offering a direct avenue to securing a green card. This makes it an enticing choice for those contemplating a long-term investment in the United States. To qualify, UK citizens must pledge either $1,050,000 into a nascent commercial venture or $800,000 into a targeted employment area (TEA). TEAs are often regions characterized by higher unemployment rates or rural locales, as delineated by the USCIS. The dividends are substantial; not only do you attain lawful permanent residency, but this privilege extends to your immediate family, encompassing offspring below the age of 21. They gain the freedom to reside, labor, and study anywhere within the U.S., a realm of prospects that unfurls for both you and your kin.

The EB-2 NIW Visa: Fostering Expertise

The EB-2 NIW Visa extends a distinct overture to highly skilled UK professionals aspiring to forge their mark in the United States. This visa category, denoted by Employment-Based Second Preference National Interest Waiver, provides a route to bypass the labor certification process, contingent upon demonstrating that your work serves the best interests of the United States.

This necessitates a showcase of proficiencies and expertise deemed indispensable to the nation’s advancement and prosperity. The merits of the EB-2 NIW Visa encompass the capacity for self-petitioning, circumventing the protracted PERM labor certification process, and relishing expedited processing.

us visas for uk citizens

Case Studies

Consider the case of a pioneering AI researcher from the UK. By demonstrating how their contributions directly propel technology and innovation in the U.S., they secure eligibility for this visa. Through such examples, we witness how the EB-2 NIW Visa not only bolsters individuals but also contributes to the ongoing progress of the United States.

The F-1 Visa: Bridging Academia and Experience

The F-1 Visa unfolds as an enticing avenue for UK scholars eyeing the United States for both education and experiential riches. It unfurls a panoply of opportunities, granting access not only to esteemed institutions but also to invaluable work experience. One particularly appealing option is the Day 1 CPT program, affording students the opportunity to engage in off-campus work from the inception of their program, gleaning hands-on expertise in their field of study.

Here at Visa Franchise, we orchestrate an array of programs in collaboration with some of the most illustrious universities across the U.S. This entails not only a superlative education, but also a trove of resources and networking prospects.

The merits of studying and working in the US are limitless. It’s not merely an education but an immersion in a vibrant cultural mosaic.

B2 Visa For UK Citizens

 These visas serve as a pivotal threshold for UK citizens poised to explore the diverse tapestry of the United States for multifarious purposes. B2 visas, in particular, cater to those harboring intentions of reveling in tourism, whether for familial reunions, leisurely sojourns, or medical pursuits. While UK citizens may indeed voyage to the USA under the aegis of the Visa Waiver Program with an ESTA, it’s imperative to recognize that if your sojourn exceeds 90 days, the pursuit of a B2 visa becomes requisite.


Recall, irrespective of your intent, a B2 visa is a prerequisite when venturing to and traversing through the US. Once its term elapses, the homeward journey beckons. However, if the desire to prolong your stay ensnares you, the avenue to seek a B2 visa extension is at your disposal, potentially granting an additional year within the United States.

B1 Visa for UK Citizens: Engaging in Business Pursuits

The B1 Visa is fashioned for business wayfarers harboring a penchant for visiting the United States for distinct business-related objectives. This encompasses attending conferences, meetings, negotiations, or partaking in undertakings tied to their profession or business interests.

It’s imperative to discern that the B1 Visa isn’t tailored for those seeking employment or the establishment of a permanent business in the U.S. Instead, its scope encompasses brief visits directly linked to the individual’s overseas vocation.

Much akin to the B2 Visa, UK citizens can initially embark on their American sojourn under the umbrella of the Visa Waiver Program, facilitated by an ESTA. Nevertheless, if your business-centric endeavors extend beyond the 90-day threshold, the pursuit of a B1 Visa becomes a requisite.

us visas for uk citizens


As we draw the curtains on this extensive odyssey through US immigration for our UK counterparts, it resounds with unmistakable clarity that the American dream is not a mirage, but an achievable reality for those with the fervor to cross the Atlantic. From the versatile B1/B2 Visa to the investment-friendly E-2 Visa, the coveted EB-5 Visa, the specialized EB-2 NIW Visa, and the student-friendly F-1 Visa, tailored pathways await each dream and ambition.

For those with aspirations transcending a mere change of scenery, those in pursuit of a thriving business venture, Visa Franchise stands unwavering, a pillar of support. We stand armed with the knowledge and resources essential to hasten your voyage toward legal residency in the U.S.

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Mentioned visas

EB2-NIW (green card)

An employment-based visa intended for those who either have an advanced degrees or exceptional ability

Get NIW information

E2 Visa

An employment-based visa intended for those who either have an advanced degrees or exceptional ability

Access E-2 visa details