Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Meet Vincent Stevenson, Founder of Coming to America

Vincent Stevenson is a business and healthcare consultant who realized, through working with a number of professionals who had immigrated to the United States from many different countries, that it would be helpful to create a clear and easily understandable guide to help people with the complexities of the American legal system surrounding immigration. He created Coming to America with this in mind--and also to share useful information about other aspects of American life (business, finances, culture, etc) to help ease the adjustment process for new immigrants.

The video below provides an introduction to the Immigration Navigator ebook from Coming to America.

1. Why did you decide to start the Coming to America website?

As a healthcare consultant, I've worked with many foreign-born clinicians, primarily doctors and nurses, and I observed how the immigration process was incredibly inconsistent (easy for some, excruciatingly difficult for others). Many of the people I met were given confusing and conflicting information about the process. was started with the intent of guiding immigrants through the complicated American immigration system. In other words, we wanted to help immigrants achieve their dream of American citizenship.

2. What are some common difficulties that people run into during the immigration and naturalization process?

Both processes are difficult to understand because 1) there are many confusing forms out there, 2) both the international and the American governments are notoriously slow, and 3) it can be different because the various government agencies and the various media publications often contradict one another.

3. What distinguishes your ebook from other books about immigrating to the U.S.?

Most books about immigrating to the U.S. are written in a disjointed fashion where they primarily explain the various pieces of the immigration process, but often fail to link the various parts together and relate how they fit into the immigration process. Our signature ebook is written by an actual immigration attorney who is familiar with the ambiguity inherent in the process, and together we spent a great deal of time helping immigrants see the forest before the trees.

In other words, we do our best to 1) write simply 2) explain the overview of the system before discussing the specifics and 3) give out many practical tips along the way, with various creative infographics to help explain our concepts in other ways. At the same time, we are also created our Adjusting to America series helping educate immigrants about the American lifestyle because their troubles often don't end with citizenship. This is why we created multiple guides designed to help immigrants understand the American tax system, learn about credit is built, how to build a new business, and also how to buy their first car as well as first home in America.

4. Would you tell us a bit about the infographics you share on your website?

We have hired very creative graphic designers from all over the world that are experts in creating visually appealing graphics and also convey complex pieces of information in an easy-to-understand manner. Right now, we have a bank of both pictorial and video infographics. We have an immigration attorney who will give bimonthly articles about insider tips about the immigration process, and we will give out a free infographic with each article to help immigrants understand our content through different forms of media.

5. Based on your experience, what are some things people can do to have a smoother immigration process?

First, they should create a road map of how the entire system works rather than diving into the first few steps and getting lost quickly. Second, they should expect that delays and mistakes by the governments will occur frequently. Think about it. Having one government entity work for you is slow, but having two governments work together is incredibly slow and often disorganized. Third, they should avoid the many scams out there (some companies charge for free forms; certain professionals, called notarrios in Latin America, are attorneys in other countries, but have no legal power in the U.S.; some companies claim they are faster than the U.S. government, which doesn't make sense since all entities must go through the same U.S. government; and to avoid companies that say they have inside contacts with the INS, which is odd since the INS was disbanded over 10 years ago).

Finally, I'd say to educate or train yourself in a way where you would provide value to American society. In other words, don't just come because you like the lifestyle or because you have family (which are very common reasons), but come as educated and accomplished professionals so you can show you can bring value to American society, which many legal immigrants often do.

Thanks, Vincent!

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