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" American dream "

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Faroe Islands

Dear people- what do you consider by " American dream " and what is that actually? Why millions of people are trying so hard to come here? Arent expectations a bit too high when reality shows up?

What was your main reason for living here? And  (honestly)are you satisfied or disappointed?


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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Austria

I have been on a j1 visa before and now with my husband about to move back to the US and to be honest, I couldn’t be happier!


I don’t wanna talk about what goes right or wrong in which country because everything has pros and cons


BUT let’s talk about how you feel..and I just have to say, I never felt at home in my so called “homecountry” 

My parents came as  immigrants  to Austria and my whole family has been traveling ever since! 

But when I was living in the US...I was happy. I was healthier, I was more open and I also ate way healthier. I could give more love and I probably can’t really seacrive it but it just really felt like I was HOME. 


Now being back jn my country of origin...I’m not unhappy and I’m not unhealthy but there is just..something missing, something not as great!


Idk if that helps...just my 2 cents haha

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2 hours ago, Little_Vixen said:

The American Dream to me is a historical one. Back when Europe was in such a bad shape, ripped apart by war and famine and America was an up and coming nation with great opportunities. 

Well, life in America wasn't always peaceful either.  I think the Dream had more to do with the opportunities in America, and with the lack thereof back in Europe.  If you were born to peasant parents then all you could realistically aspire to was to become another peasant, or maybe a factory worker.  Even middle class status was far out of reach for most of the population.  


Nowadays, social mobility in America is just average, and so the American Dream has lost some of its pull. 

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
2 hours ago, Nemeseax said:

Dear people- what do you consider by " American dream " and what is that actually? Why millions of people are trying so hard to come here? Arent expectations a bit too high when reality shows up?

What was your main reason for living here? And  (honestly)are you satisfied or disappointed?


There is no such thing as the American Dream, people watch too much Hollywood garbage. It is more violent than I ever imagined in the south which is where I am at and I am only here because my husband cannot cross the border into Canada otherwise we would be there. So I guess that last statement tells you whether I am satisfied here or not.. 

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Most people responding so far come from a developed country.... the whole concept of the American Dream, and what America has to offer, looks totally different when you come from a poor developing country.  The pros and cons America has are all relative and are very different for example if you come from Canada or Germany, vs Bangladesh or Sierra Leone...


even though we come from a relatively well-off emerging market,  the level of personal safety for us and the opportunities for our children way exceed where we come from. That’s why we moved, and never regretted it at all.



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For people from the Philippines for example, the "American Dream" is about the chance of giving oneself and their family a better life, often times at whatever cost necessary.  A better life varies between person to person of course, depending on what level of society one is coming from. For example, a person coming from a very poor filipino family wants the American dream so they can find a good job that can put food on the family's table, whereas somebody else who is living a relatively modest but comfortable life would still want it to be able to "live in a nicer house" or be able to "buy better things". Regardless of motivation or situation, people's opinion and expectation of America is the same in that it is thought of as "THE PLACE" where all "their dreams can come true". And so, the good people work hard to get to America in the proper way and the not so good ones, lie, scheme, manipulate their way in and then overstay. This is the reason why it has become so difficult to get tourist visas from the Philippines, even for the truly legitimate visitors. Which is really sad and infuriating. Bunch of selfish people ruining it for everybody else. 


I visited Germany (Bavaria specifically) several times and I fell in love with it and I always dreamed what it would be like to live there. So i guess my dream is a "German Dream". I did not have plans or dreams to live in America, i always thought it was overrated and with all the shootings happening in recent years etc i felt strongly that this is not the safest place to raise a family. But sometimes life has a way of giving you what you do not ask for and i fell in love with an American man. Now, here I am , trying my best to settle and feel at home and trying not to get shocked or underwhelmed by for example:

- the mass shootings! 

- no street lighting in places where one would reasonably expect it to be available (read: within the greater city limits of the "most powerful city in the world", Washington, DC)

- potholes (big ones!). again in the most powerful city in the world! how is this even a thing?!

- rule-breaking drivers on the road! i am not the best driver myself, but with all the stereotype of how asian/third world drivers "don't know how to drive" and how "civilized" driving in a first world country would be in comparison, i am amazed at seeing all the rule breaking drivers on the road. but i accept that this might be true with other first world countries as well, not just in America. i had to include this here, because this one was one of the more jarring "rose-colored expectation" i had. not anymore.

- and my biggest one, healthcare (with its very high costs, i mistakenly thought one can reasonably expect excellent service)


before others say, well no one asked you to come here (my now-husband did) or you can always leave (i know this but i will be where my husband is), i do not mean any disrespect to America and there are also good things that i like here, too (endless blue skies, cherry blossoms outside of Japan!). so i am neither satisfied nor disappointed. like any country in the world, there are good and bad things everywhere, you just chose which ones you are willing to live with. 

Edited by doggieandsam

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ROC        11-Jun-20 Application sent via FedEx ~ 16-Jun-20 Case received ~ 29-Jun-20 (Old) biometrics applied to case ~ 01-Jul-20 NOA ~ 23-Dec-21 Case transferred to new office ~ 25-Jan-22 Combo interview with N400. Case approved. 

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The American dream is not what it used to mean. There is a lot of history behind that term. Americans themselves also have a view of the American Dream. It is not just foreigners.


If you want to get a good laugh you should hear some of the perceptions of American life. My wife has told me that there are young people in her country that ask her if she finds money in her mailbox. They literally think that money is easily found. They also thinks the American government pays Americans to live here.


I agree that most foreigners view American, and other 1st world countries, as a means to provide a better life for their families. I have read stories of foreigners coming to America to work. For poor countries, the foreigner can make 10 times as much as they would back home. But they often sacrifice quality of life in the US. They shack up in meager residences (often along with other groups of people) because they can't afford to live in a place our their own or to buy a car. They may make only a few hundred dollars a week, but even though the average American thinks that is little money, it could mean their family back home will have enough money to eat for a month or more.


Take a look at the average annual income of the world. https://www.worlddata.info/average-income.php. Many countries the average is less that $3000 a year.


This is why it doesn't surprise me when a immigrant comes to the US and gets a job, one of the first things they want to do is send money back home. For some, a week's paycheck could feed their entire family.  

“When starting an immigration journey, the best advice is to understand that sacrifices have to be made... whether it is time, money, or separation; or a combination of all.” - Unlockable

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No such thing as an American dream exists in my opinion.

It comes down to weighing what is better or even feasible for the individual family unit.

I came to the US to be with my partner - I had much better prospects here than he did in Europe due to education & language.

Living here is a great adventure with lots of ups and downs, but I would prefer living in Europe in the long run.

We all have to make sacrifices...

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NOA-2 hardcopy: 06/11/2015 (6 days post NOA-2, 164 days total)
Sent to NVC: 06/16/2015 (11 days post NOA-2, 169 days total)
NVC receive: 06/25/2015 (20 days post NOA-2, 178 days total)
NVC case no: 06/30/2015 (25 days post NOA-2, 183 days total)
NVC left: 07/02/2015 (27 days post NOA-2, 185 days total)
Case Ready: 07/07/2015 (32 days post NOA-2, 190 days total)
submitted DS-160, paid visa fee.: 07/21/2015 (46 days post NOA-2, 204 days total)
Packet 3 sent: 07/25/2015 (50 days post NOA-2, 209 days total)
Pack 4 received: 07/30/2015 (55 days post NOA-2, 214 days total)
Medical: 09/17/2015 Interview: 09/23/2015 (108 days post NOA-2, 268 days total)
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3x NOA-1 hardcopies: 02/03/2016 (day 14)

Biometrics letter: 02/05/2016 (day 16) Biometrics appt (Elizabeth, NJ): 02/17/2016 (day 28)

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ROC Window opens: 01/04/2018


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Check cashed: 01/16/2018 (day 8 )
NOA-1 date: 01/09/2018 (day 1)
NOA-1 received: 01/16/2018 (day 8 )
Biometrics notice received: 02/09/2018 (day 32)
Biometrics appointment: 02/23/2018 (day 46)
Received 18-month extension letter: 08/13/2018 (day 209)
ROC Approved: 03/09/2019 (day 425)
Card Received: 03/16/2019  (day 432)

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16 minutes ago, NuestraUnion said:



 They shack up in meager residences (often along with other groups of people) because they can't afford to live in a place our their own or to buy a car. .  

You make some excellent points, but I’m picking up on this sentence as an example of how different the idea is according to origin. Where I come from, the vast majority live in “meager residences” anyway, and can’t afford a car - many people never even bother getting driver licenses, not because public transport is good but because car ownership is a pipe dream.  They can’t afford driver ed either when they’re just trying to put food on the table. Even what is considered poverty in the US is aspirational for people from certain segments of some countries.

Edited by SusieQQQ

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