History

Important moments in the history of The American Dream

What is today an international company with more than tens of thousands of customers a year started as a student project led by the banking and business student Holger Zimmermann and the law student Marcus Sieber in 1996. 

  • The American Dream owners and founders USA Greencard2

    1996

    Foundation

    How does anything start? With an idea! At first it is only a slight inkling that begins to take form with time and patience.

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    How does anything start? With an idea! At first it is only a slight inkling that begins to take form with time and patience. The longer you reflect on the idea, the more palpable the idea becomes until you finally do it. That’s how The American Dream was born!

    What is today an international company with tens of thousands of customers a year (see statistics) started as a student project led by the banking and business student Holger Zimmermann and the law student Marcus Sieber. At that time, the annual Green Card Lottery in the United States was all the rage and the idea was: why shouldn’t America fans in Germany and across the globe also have the chance to try their luck in the lottery?

    Since the Green Card Lottery was not well known throughout Germany and Europe, the two student friends began to pass out flyers at the Freie Universität Berlin (university) to find out how interested people were in getting professional help with the lottery in Germany. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and in the first year they submitted hundreds of applications. Among them were even a few dozen lucky Green Card winners.

  • History growth2

    1997

    Growth

    It was hard work from then on – “We work hard for your dreams”. Every year there was a growing response and more applicants.

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    It was hard work from then on – “We work hard for your dreams”. Every year there was a growing response and more applicants. Every year there were more winners and a dream came true – the American dream.

    Soon, it became obvious that the project would turn into a major business company. A closed corporation was founded in Germany and a call center was established in 1997 to handle hundreds of calls a day, seven days a week. Even though the company had a website, applications back then were not submitted over the internet. At the start of the company’s history, the U.S. authorities required all applications to be mailed in. To do this, the company set up an office in the Empire State Building and the company’s owners personally carried over around 50,000 Green Card applications to American soil every year. From there the applications were submitted to the National Visa Service. Every customer then received a written and individual certificate confirming the receipt of their application by the USPS. This procedure changed in 2003 when the U.S. government introduced the requirement that all applications be submitted digitally. 

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    1999

    Increasing popularity

    The Green Card program increasingly gained publicity in Germany as well as in Austria and Switzerland because of The American Dream.

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    The Green Card program increasingly gained publicity in Germany as well as in Austria and Switzerland because of The American Dream.

    Billboards could be seen all over Germany: on advertising columns and at bus stops. The company advertised on television with videotexts on popular German TV channels (RTL, Sat1, Pro7, ZDF, ORF, Kabel1) and even to this day, customers are still putting their trust in The American Dream. Even a television commercial was produced in 1999, which was then broadcasted on all popular TV channels. The leading part of the motorcyclist was performed by the famous actor Bjarne Maedel (known from the German TV series "Stromberg").

  • Expansion Visa Immigration Service2

    2000

    Expansion of visa and immigration services

    As The American Dream became an increasingly well-known brand name, it decided to expand its services to meet growing customer demand for U.S. immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services.

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    As The American Dream became an increasingly well-known brand name, it decided to expand its services to meet growing customer demand for U.S. immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services. In the year 2000, a department for handling U.S. short-term and long-term stays was established to do this.

    Since then The American Dream has supported innumerable individuals and businesses in sending employees to the USA, in establishing branches and enterprises in the USA as well as in supporting travelers and Green Card winners. Take a look at our company statistics here

  • 2000

    Government-licensed emigration consultants

    As a logical next step, we applied for and received a license. Since the beginning of the year 2000, all staff at The American Dream are government-licensed emigration consultants.

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    As a logical next step, we applied for and received a license. Since the beginning of the year 2000, all staff at The American Dream are government-licensed emigration consultants.

    The federal administration in Cologne is responsible for granting this license based on §1 of the German Emigration Act (AuswSG) in the version dated from March 12,2003. This paragraph requires a government license for giving consultations to Germans wishing to emigrate. Even consulting agencies like the Red Cross or Caritas are required to apply for such licenses for the staff who work as emigration consultants. The American Dream was the first private company to be approved for such a license. To this day, there are very few businesses or private persons who have been approved. 

  • The America Dream Cover Edition5

    2000

    Guidebook "The American Dream – Immigration with a Green Card or a Visa"

    The first copy of our book, “The American Dream – Immigration with a Green Card or a Visa” was first published in June 2000.

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    The first copy of our book, “The American Dream – Immigration with a Green Card or a Visa” was first published in June 2000. In it we share our knowledge gathered through our many years of U.S. consultation experience.

    From the very first day our motto has been: "We work hard for your dreams" and our customers have profited from our many years of experience. The book provides plenty of information about general life in the USA as well as detailed information about applying for a U.S. visa. The most current edition of the book has over 560 pages and has been a bestseller for people interested in making the USA their home. At the moment, the book is only available in the German language. 

  • burger king coooperation greencard2

    2001

    Burger King

    In 2001, a cooperation with Burger King drastically increased the prominence of the Green Card Program and the popularity of the company The American Dream.

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    In 2001, a cooperation with Burger King drastically increased the prominence of the Green Card Program and the popularity of the company The American Dream.

    Burger King advertised for The American dream in branches, commercials and billboards all across Germany and the positive response was astounding. Additionally, The American Dream was allowed to send their customers Burger King restaurant coupons as well as letting them know that they could pick up applications for the Green Card Lottery directly at the fast food restaurants. Due to the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York City in 2001 and the resulting increase in security measures, the special cooperation ended early – but not before generating a record number of new customers. 

  • 2002

    Further growth

    In addition to the Green Card Lottery, the business expanded into U.S. visa consultations.

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    In addition to the Green Card Lottery, the business expanded into U.S. visa consultations.

    Many well-known companies and also private customers have put their trust in the experts in The American Dream Visa team.  

  • Green card Lottery online2

    2003

    The Green Card Lottery online

    The American Dream moves to an advanced IT-platform.

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    The American Dream moves to an advanced IT-platform.

    In addition to the continued personal service, The American Dream has made many of its customer services and helpful information available online. In 2003, the U.S. government made changes to the Green Card Lottery which resulted in the biggest event of the company’s history. The new U.S. requirement stipulated that all applications and photos be submitted in digital form. No longer would the owners need to go to New York City to submit thousands of post-marked applications. Instead, The American Dream had to digitize over 100,000 original photos and applications in only two months. This task was a challenge, but successfully completed. The company even attracted customers who are uncomfortable with digital media.
    At this time, many anonymous Green Card agencies appeared online. Looking back on the company’s long history, years of expert experience, thousands of satisfied customers, and relationship with the U.S. authorities, it is no wonder that people can put their trust in us. We did master this challenge successfully and every year we continue to send customers their official participation certificate (Electronic Submission Certificate) from the U.S. Department of State.

  • team photo americandream

    2006

    New business location

    The American Dream moves to new offices in Berlin, Germany. More space for continued growth and new projects.

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    The American Dream moves to new offices in Berlin, Germany. More space for continued growth and new projects.

    The need for more space, due to the growing demand for more U.S. visa services, was the impetus behind the move in 2006. Our customer service agents are busy handling questions over the telephone and via e-mails, but you can always make an appointment to visit us in our office in Berlin, Germany. 

  • NVS Logo Update 3

    2007

    Joint venture with the National Visa Service

    In 2007 The American Dream expanded its international business by cooperating temporarily and, in the end, taking over the company "National Visa Service" from the U.S. attorney Mark Jacobsen.

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    In 2007 The American Dream expanded its international business by cooperating temporarily and, in the end, taking over the company "National Visa Service" from the U.S. attorney Mark Jacobsen.

    The National Visa Service was the first Green Card agency worldwide. It was founded in 1996, the same year as The American Dream. The company had a good reputation being owned by a U.S. immigration lawyer and this company’s reliability and reputation was important to The American Dream. Before the take-over. The National Visa Service had already handled around 5,000 Green Card winners and established an active and loyal client base mainly in the USA and in Africa. Therefore, The American Dream is still the market leader in U.S. Green Card services today.

  • fair stand us Visa3

    2008

    Public relations

    Since 2008, The American Dream has been a large presence at fairs and events about the USA, U.S. visas, employee transfers to the USA and similar topics.

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    Since 2008, The American Dream has been a large presence at fairs and events about the USA, U.S. visas, employee transfers to the USA and similar topics.

    We have been attending the "Zukunft Personal" in Cologne on a regular basis. In 2009, we also participated in a two-day seminar about employee assignment to the USA which is sponsored by the famous "management circle" event team. Furthermore, we are a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany (AmCham). In previous years, we even sponsored the welcoming event for the U.S. ambassador on July 4th. On July 4th, 2009, we were again the main sponsor for the 4th of July 2009 program. At this event, we celebrated the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Berlin, Germany.  

  • Website Relaunch 2010

    2009

    Website relaunch

    In 2009 we completely redesigned and launched our homepage www.americandream.de.

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    In 2009 we completely redesigned and launched our homepage www.americandream.de.

    Our main concern was creating clear and informative content for easy browsing. At this time, the comprehensive FAQs for U.S. visa and Green Card services was launched. We published more than 1,500 webpages and created a webpage for our growing international customers: www. green-card.com in English and 8 other languages. Moreover, we introduced internal blogs and blogs from our customers as well as a quiz based on the American TV-show “Who wants to be a millionaire?”. The new website contains travel information, a Facebook fanpage and other interesting USA tidbits. More than 80,000 people also subscribe to our free monthly newsletter which is also available on our website. 

  • anniversary fifteen

    2011

    The American Dream turns 15!

    Here, we would like to take the time to thank all our customers who have been by our side all throughout these exciting times – and will hopefully continue their...

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    Here, we would like to take the time to thank all our customers who have been by our side all throughout these exciting times – and will hopefully continue their journey with us. We also want to thank all of our team members since 1996 and our loyal business partners for their support.

    As well as the idea of the “American dream” which can still come true at any time!

  • 2012

    The American Dream expands - US Visa Service GmbH

    It was finally time in 2012. The company The American Dream is no longer enough.

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    It was finally time in 2012. The company The American Dream is no longer enough.

    The demand for more U.S. visa services led The America Dream to establish a sister company: The American Dream - USA Services GmbH in 2012. The managing director of the “US Visa Service” is Alexander Kos. Through the restructuring of The American Dream, customers can get their expert and professional support more quickly. The timing could have not been more perfect since there is a growing number of DAX companies putting their trust in the experts at The American Dream – US Visa Service GmbH

  • tha american dream map directions2

    2012

    Company moves to more modern offices in Berlin-Charlottenburg

    In autumn 2013, the company once again required more work space for the growing company. The American Dream currently sits in Berlin-Charlottenburg in a building complex which was once home...

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    In autumn 2013, the company once again required more work space for the growing company. The American Dream currently sits in Berlin-Charlottenburg in a building complex which was once home to the Berlin brewing company “Engelhardt”. Our team of experts is here for you and your visa needs every day in Berlin-Charlottenburg, in the Danckelmannstr. 9.

  • the american dream company group2

    2013

    The American Dream expands - US Green Card Service GmbH

    In the year 2013, The American Dream expanded its services into the sector “US GreenCard Service” to primarily provide support for the growing number of yearly Green Card Lottery customers.

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    In the year 2013, The American Dream expanded its services into the sector “US GreenCard Service” to primarily provide support for the growing number of yearly Green Card Lottery customers.

    With this expansion, we saw the chance to concentrate our efforts into making our customers’ dreams come true and provide more effective support for USA-fans worldwide. For us there are now three “The American Dream” groups: There is the holding name The American Dream – USA Services GmbH and the two specialized companies The American Dream - US GreenCard Service GmbH and The American Dream - US Visa Service GmbH.

  • 2014

    New unlimited license for USA emigration consultants

    Starting January 1st, 2014, the federal administration took over complete jurisdiction for the German Emigrant Protect Act.

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    Starting January 1st, 2014, the federal administration took over complete jurisdiction for the German Emigrant Protect Act. Through this change, the federal administration required new tests to be done for licensing purposes. In December 2013, the team from The American Dream - US GreenCard Service GmbH as well as The American Dream - US Visa Service GmbH were approved for an unlimited license for their U.S. emigration consultants according to §1 of the German Emigration Act (AuswSG) in the version dated on March 12, 2013. This new license replaced the one from the year 2000, making The American Dream one of the longest-running government-licensed U.S. consulting agencies!

    We are looking forward to providing you with the most competent and qualified service. 

  • 2015

    Professional reinforcement for the US-Visa-Team and Social Media Marketing

    The American Dream corporate group is strengthening its team of U.S. experts. As Germany’s largest agency for U.S.

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    The American Dream corporate group is strengthening its team of U.S. experts. As Germany’s largest agency for U.S. visas, our 12-person team of expert visa consultants work with more than 350 companies worldwide and process around 1,800 visa applications a year. The American Dream has about 20 employees working to make your dream come true.

    When it comes to social media, The American Dream is keeping with the times and has hired a full-time expert just for social media marketing. Up-to-date on all the trends, you will find us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and more – we love staying in contact with our customers! With more than 100,000 Facebook fans, the American dream still rings true to many today.

  • Collage American Dream Donuts 2

    2015

    Cooperation with Dunkin' Donuts

    After a highly successful cooperation with Burger King a few years ago, The American Dream turned to the more sweeter side of life! In the fall of 2015, Dunkin’ Donuts...

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    After a highly successful cooperation with Burger King a few years ago, The American Dream turned to the more sweeter side of life! In the fall of 2015, Dunkin’ Donuts sold donuts created by The American Dream all across Germany. Customers were delighted by the classic “stars and stripes” design as well as totally American creations like “peanut party” and “marshmallow magic”. Under the motto, “America in every bite”, people could sink their teeth into a sweet dream. During the cooperation, customers had the chance to win a flight to Los Angeles as well as one of 100 cool The American Dream sunglasses. Finally, we sponsored the first “The American Dream Donut Sport-Eating Competition”.

  • 20th badge anniversary web4

    2016

    The American Dream turns 20!

    In fall 2016, The American Dream celebrated 20 years in business and twenty years in business, of course, required a celebration in style! On August 24th, The American Dream celebrated...

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    In fall 2016, The American Dream celebrated 20 years in business and twenty years in business, of course, required a celebration in style! On August 24th, The American Dream celebrated with many of its lucky Green Card winners on a boat tour in Berlin. In September they had all hands on-deck again as new and previous Green Card winners sailed along the Hudson River and past the Statue of Liberty in New York City! 

  • the american dream team 4

    Visualizing the future

    Looking back on the long history of "The American Dream", we can proudly say that we have accomplished a lot.

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    Looking back on the long history of "The American Dream", we can proudly say that we have accomplished a lot. We have never lacked in inspiration or demand as we work hard to make our customers’ dreams come true. We will continue to concentrate on international cooperation, keeping our website informative and up-to-date, making our online customer accounts easily accessible and convenient and doing our best to make our customers’ dreams come true in the Green Card Lottery. Our team of professional experts will work hard to build a growing base of private and business customers for U.S. visas. We are looking forward to more exciting projects! Always true to our motto: We work hard for your dreams!

    THE AMERICAN DREAM Team

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