Make a dream come true… Is it possible and how?! Mirko told us about his experience, what he did and why.
Here the interview…
Hi Mirko, let’s start with a little introduction about you, where are you from, and where do you live?
Hi guys, so yes, I am Mirko and my origins are from Sicily. I come from a little village near Catania called Biancavilla. I am a digital designer for 10 years and I live on the East Coast of US, between the Yankees and the Big Apple.
What made you decide to leave your country?
Job opportunities overall and the desire to be part of a new and different reality. My generation is the one of the American Dream. We are all interested in seeing in reality what we have seen on TV, such as the Route 66 and the skyscrapers. For years I had the chance to work with and for amazing people and companies, leave Italy to move to the US allowed me to grow up more and more as a designer.
How did you arrange the relocation? Tell us more!
I was in America for the first time in 2012, a long trip coast-to-coast, from New York to San Francisco, to Los Angeles and the Silicon Valley. It was hard! I mean, the energy here totally overwhelm you, a lot more than in Italy. Once I was back home I already knew about my hidden desire…but at that time I didn’t mind that much about it. For two years I lived my life as normal, work was great, but I decided that it was time to do it…to get out from my comfort zone.
They say “no great conquer comes without any loss”. So I decide to leave Italy, to put aside everything I had and just go… I made the decision (and booked the flight ticket) in one night, in a Hotel in South Tirol during a business trip.
You know, once I arrived at JFK airport, looking at the NYC skyline I got my answer “America was my place”. Of course, after that, I had to face some issues with bureaucracy. Immigration is extremely complicated: you cannot work without a VISA and, in order to get it, you need an American company as a sponsor so, basically, to get the sponsor you must have a good curriculum vitae. A good lawyer is also a great idea! I was quite lucky, and after some researches, I found the sponsor, made my interview and got the job!
What do you like the most in the place you live and what you miss from Italy?
America is a different and multicultural country, it is easy to go from the chaotic cities to the more relaxed residential areas like the ones we see on tv, with those nice villas and the garden all around the house. This mix and the opportunity to find everything is what attracts me, together to the open-minded approach that makes possible the coexistence of various habits, cultures and communication ways. What do I miss from Italy?! Nothing except my loved ones.
Did you ever think to come back to Italy? Would you like to share it with us?
Who does want to come back?! :-p
Any tips for the ones who want to move to the US as you did?
Moving to America can be hard and take longer. So the first thing you need is to be a specialist in what you do. Meritocracy does exist here, so if you have a good background, a portfolio, and a career you’ll get what you deserve!
Go on USCIS website in order to understand which kind of VISA is the best for you and, if you can, cover the cost for legal procedures (It could help the recruitment of the sponsor) they are around 10k$. Job search is not an option to be able to stay in the US so you should contact headhunters not only in the biggest cities, where there is a lot of competition, also in their neighbourhood or little cities.
As an Expat is there anything you will never give up?
The number of opportunities that a country as America can offer, in particular for the ones who work in design or technology. America is black or white, that’s why if you are interested in moving here you should first come and test before spending time, energy and money to realize the American Dream
Thank you, Mirko for sharing your story with us!