How British Citizens Can Live and Work in the USA

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The relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States of America dates back decades ago. They have worked as allies, and have also been enemies to each other at some point. In the end, they have stayed as allies much more than they have stayed as enemies.


1783: The American Revolution, which started in 1775, ended in 1783. Then, the US was recognized as an independent state by the UK.

1785: Diplomatic relations were formed between the two countries

1812: War broke out between the United Kingdom and the United States of America. This was caused by the violation of the rights of US citizens.

The end of the dispute between the two countries was favorable. “There is light at the end of the tunnel”, is a saying that explains clearly the relationship between the two countries after their dispute. Instead of becoming enemies, they found out they had mutual interests and that becoming allies favored them more than being enemies. Hence, the start of a wonderful relationship. This relationship between the countries is often referred to as a “Special Relationship”.

What is a ‘Special Relationship’?

The term ‘Special Relationship’ became widely used after the former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill used it in a speech in 1946. It was a point where he proposed the joining of forces by the two countries as the only way to ensure that war didn’t break out between the countries.

The term is simply used to describe any form of relations between the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The relations could be political, social, diplomatic, cultural, economic, legal, environmental, religious, military, or even historic. 

While studying the history of the relationship between the UK and the USA is fun, that is not the direction of this article. Our focus for this article is the working relationship that these two great countries have with each other. We will look at USA visa types, requirements to be met by Britains to work in the USA, US companies that sponsor UK citizens, and other relevant information. 

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USA Visa Types

There are different types of US Visas available. Depending on what the British citizen is going to the US to do, the type of visa used differs. The types of US visas are:

  1. US Visa Waiver Program
  2. Non-immigrant Visa 
  3. Immigrant Visa

The USA Visa Waiver Program

The USA visa waiver program is a program that allows individuals from countries under the program to enter the country without a visa. The United Kingdom, being under the visa waiver program, offers its citizens the opportunity to enter the US without a visa. However, they have to qualify for ESTA.

ESTA simply means Electronic System for Travel Authorization. ESTA checks your eligibility to enter the US under the VWP. It is a security check conducted on individuals entering the US and one of the things checked is criminal records. To qualify for ESTA under VWP, your visit should be either for tourism or a business. However, no matter the reason, it shouldn’t be more than 90 days. Any purpose other than those above can disqualify you from the program.

Non-immigrant Visa

This type of visa temporarily grants entry into the United States to the applicant. It is a kind of visa to be used when you have something to do in the country for a short period. If you want to live and work in the US for a short period, then a Non-immigrant visa is the type of visa to use. Examples of Non-immigrant Visas are H1B Visa, H2B Visa, H3 Visa, etc. 

Immigrant Visa

This type of visa grants you permanent residence in the United States. The most common routes are being sponsored by a family (US citizen or someone who has obtained permanent residency in the country). Also, through employment and as an investor. Although, you have to have invested at least $500,000 into an investiture in the country to be granted the visa.

To read up about the visa types, click here.

Work Requirements for British Citizens in the USA

To be able to live and work in a foreign country, there is a need for a visa and the USA is not an exception. The type of visa to be gotten depends on what you are going to do in the United States. Getting the right visa is as important as the visa itself. You have to be clear on your purpose, as this will affect the kind of visa you will get.

To enter the USA for work, you need any of the following documents:

  • Work permit
  • Permanent Residence Card
  • Employment-based Immigrant Visa
  • Nonimmigrant Work Visa

However, for British citizens, the UK and the USA have a treaty. This means that they can enter the country under a visa waiver program. All they need is the ESTA. This, however, is only a short fix and you will need a better visa for purposes that will make you stay more than 90days.

How to Get a Job in the USA from the UK

The following are steps that you can follow to secure a job in the United States of America:

  1. Search for a job
  2. Apply for a job
  3. Secure the job
  4. Secure the right visa 
  5. Relocate to the USA

Search for a Job

This is the beginning of the process of securing a job in the USA. To effectively search for a job, you need to have an idea of the industry you want to work in and the type of job that you want to do. Having a direction narrows down your search and makes the search more productive.

Apply for a Job

What comes after a job search is your application. Applying for the job is a crucial part of the process, as this is what determines if you will progress to the next stage or not. 

The application process entails a good CV and a cover letter. How well your CV and cover letter are written determines if you will be called for an interview or not. Also, since you are applying for a job in the US, it is advisable to write your CV in American style. It makes it more appealing to your potential employer. 

If you need help writing your CV and cover letter in an American style, contact us today and a writer will attend to you.

Secure the Job

Securing the job entails being called for an interview. So far, it’s been going well. They like all you have written on paper about yourself. There remains another step that you have to take and that is the interview. Poor preparations for the interview will lead to poor performance. Prepare yourself ahead of the date communicated to you by the employer. You can practice in front of a mirror or with friends or family. Go online and source out interview tips. 

Since your potential employer is not in the same country as you, the interview is likely going to be a virtual one. Therefore, get a device with good network connectivity; find a bright room, and dress corporately for the interview. Be confident and learn to make eye contact with your interviewers. Research the organization as much as possible and be able to demonstrate a good knowledge of the company. Also, show your enthusiasm.

For more tips on how to excel at the interview, you can go through our career advice section for articles.

Secure the Right Visa

Having aced the interview and been given the job, your employer initiates the process of bringing you over to the US. On your end, you will also start the process of obtaining a visa. The type of work and the duration you will work there will determine the kind of visa that you will get. For a list of the type of work visas in the USA, click here.

Relocate to the USA

Once your visa application has been approved and finalized, the next thing is to relocate to the USA.

How British Citizens Can Live and Work in the USA

There are two main ways British Citizens can live and work in the USA. One of such ways is schooling in the USA. International students, British citizens inclusive, mostly enter the USA through schooling, either on scholarship or individually sponsored. These students can live and work in the USA, however, there are limitations to the number of work hours they can engage in.

Another way is through securing a job, in most cases, those with visa sponsorship. The visa sponsored British citizen becomes the responsibility of his/her employer while in the USA. This gives the individual the legal right to live and work in the USA.

5 Websites to Find USA Jobs 

  1. Fasthire 
  2. USponsor Me
  3. Indeed
  4. USA Jobs
  5. Glassdoor 


Fasthire is a career brand that offers you not just job listings but also how to succeed in your chosen career. We also offer services like personal statement writing, CV and Cover letter writing, etc. 

USponsor Me  

This website started off as a blog where Sarah Papasodaro, a co-founder and CEO of USponsor me, wrote about her experiences while job hunting and seeking visa sponsorship. The website is now dedicated to finding USA jobs with visa sponsorship.


Indeed is arguably the number one job site. They have a variety of jobs in different countries and in different continents. It is a one-stop website for every job seeker.

USA Jobs

 This is the official employment website for the USA. Government jobs are advertised here and job seekers can access them and apply.  


Glassdoor aims to promote transparency throughout the job search. They provide information on the salaries and the reviews of companies. Job seekers can expect to find USA jobs on the site and also, information about their company of choice.

US Companies offering Visa Sponsorship

The following are companies that offer visa sponsorship in the United States;

  1. IBM
  2. Google
  3. Apple
  4. Microsoft
  5. Facebook
  6. Intel 


British citizens can enter the USA on VWP and ESTA. However, if they want to stay back in the US to work and live, they have to find the appropriate visa for their purpose.

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