20M Hungary -> USA, Getting a life

Oh boy here we go.

Hey Reddit! I once again call for your help!

Backstory I grew up and lived my life in Hungary. Decided to call it quits, I want out. What better place to try my luck at than the land of opportunities, the USA! My girlfriend of two and a half years is an American citizen, she lives in Texas. We've been in a long distance relationship over this time but managed to spend last October together when I got on a plane and flew to her.

When I got through security in Dallas, I was quite surprised by the fact that the border guard told me I should apply for a workers visa due to my profession. More about that in a bit. The US was sure the nicest damn place I've ever seen. Compared to what I'm used to. So it naturally didn't take long for me to make up my mind on wanting to stay there, not only to live with my girlfriend but also to start my own life.

That's all nice and makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, but I managed to stumble across the question: Just how?

What I have: Ambitions, mostly. But of course some profession as well, I was lucky enough to get into what you'd call "vocational school". To be honest it's something more than that as it not only teaches trade but keeps up with the rest of the subjects as well. Anyhow.

I just graduated, after 5 years of studying in this school. Technically, I'm the guy who you could call an electrical engineer, but my list consists of:

  • Analog and digital electronics knowledge, mainly circuit designs and hardcore service

  • Electrician, micro- and high-voltage electronics (including 3 phase power)

  • PLC programming (and other languages)

  • Robotics and automatics

I'm most comfortable with servicing and PLC programming. All in all "mechatronics".

Beside all that I have an ECDL (ICDL), an English language exam and time spent in apprenticeship, doing practical work with the things mentioned above. Also I'm a bikes guy, I service and build motorcycles in my free time. Not like I can show a paper about that so might as well cross that off the list.

Why I ask your help: I fear of getting lost in the process, at the very first years of my 20's I'm dumb as a rock and this is a pretty serious subject, I'd like to hear some more experienced people out.

My goal would be to be able to spend more time in the USA than 90 days at first. Eventually get a job and things like that. I have an ESTA and a proper passport of course (As I mentioned I spent the whole October of 2016 in Texas). On a side note I'm also clear, no criminal record or bad points.

My destination is not given, anywhere in the USA is fine, right now my place to stay at is in Tyler, Texas. Budget-wise, it's not too problematic, but I'm curious about how much a shot like this would cost. I've been looking around and the information I found is a bit fuzzy and not really practical, I rather ask some more experienced people from the community.

I'm planning on spending the upcoming 3 months out there again, but of course I'd like to gather as much information as I just can so I won't just stand there like a tree.

My request: Please, help me Reddit! What steps do I need to take and in what order to be able to stay, and later on work in the USA with my given qualification and skills? Where should I go, who should I talk to? When and how?

I know it's not an easy question and nor will it be a fun adventure to go through – but if I only have one life, might as well just go for it rather than having regrets, right?

Thank you for reading this and thank you so much for ANY kind of information regarding the situation! Keep it up Reddit!


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