How To Get Your Green Card
May 2018 saw the US Supreme Court lifting a George H. W. Bush-era federal ban on sports betting that had limited gaming to Nevada and a few other states. Prior to this, estimates quoted at least $150 billion per year was gambled on sports, with 97% of that betting being illegal.
With the unfreezing of this burgeoning entertainment sector, industry commentators predict that it could produce revenues worth as much as $19 billion by 2023. This kind of opportunity heralds a potential ‘gold rush’ in Stateside gambling. With many uncertain of how Brexit is going to affect consumer’s disposable income, UK-based bookmakers are looking across the Atlantic to realise their very own American Dream. Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and 888.com have all struck up partnerships with US companies and are looking to cash in. With all this opportunity and you working in the UK Gaming and Sports Betting industry, you might be thinking that you want to get in on some of that action?
So yes, the opportunity is huge but what’s the reality? Well, the reality is that for non-US citizens, relocating can be tricky. Not impossible, of course but there are some challenges. To work in the US, you'll need to be a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) or have an appropriate Visa and an Employment Authorization Document. The right to reside permanently and work in the US is often called your ‘Green Card’
The ‘easiest’ way to get LRP status, is to be automatically eligible. That is, an existing familial relationship with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, makes things fairly straightforward. This relationship includes spousal or unmarried “children” under the age of 21. Now, if you’re not planning on getting married anytime soon and you’re already well into your 3rd decade, you’ll need to get qualified through an employment-based method.
Upon successful recruitment to a US company, they will offer to sponsor you. The process involves the company paying fees of around $3000 and your right to work will be linked to that sponsorship. This will usually mean that if you want to leave that company, you’ll need to make new immigration arrangements by making an Adjustment of Status Application. With the aforementioned expansion of the gaming sector and the UK/US Joint ventures, now could be a great time to join a UK company looking to break new ground at this new frontier. Through a UK company, you can be relocated and Sponsored in the US.
Sponsorship is the most common way of achieving the Green Card but there are other ways, particularly for those in Executive positions at large multinationals or with significant personal wealth to invest into the US economy. The Multinational Executives and Managers sub-category of the EB-1 Visa for Priority Workers allows for execs or managers at large companies to relocate to the US. The EB-5 Investor Visa allows individuals who invest $900,000 into a US company. These Green Cards are very limited however, and are conditional - usually expiring after 2 years. Either way, skilling up and making yourself unique and indispensable within the sector makes for an attractive prospect for immigration officials, so we encourage our candidates to always be thinking about how they can stand out from the rest.
These are just some of the ways to get to your dream career in the land of dreams. We’ve highlighted the ones that are most relevant for the Gaming and Sports betting industry but it would be remiss of us not to highlight probably the most appropriate one for this industry, the US State Department’s ‘Green Card Lottery’ (https://dvlottery.state.gov/). Each year 55,000 people are able to win permanent residence status through the Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery. Applications are accepted every October, so apply and get in touch with us here at Arnold Ash to plan your next transatlantic career move.