For many people from around the world, moving to America is still an exciting possibility. We’ve put together this moving checklist to make sure you have everything covered (and aren’t overwhelmed). Here are our top 12 tips and tricks to help you get started.
Moving to the United States: 12 essential tips and tricks:
TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES.
America is a big country with a wide range of lifestyles and environments depending on where you are. You may want to travel to a few states to find out which one is right for you. During these initial travels, you may also be attending interviews in hopes of landing a job that will help you apply for a U.S. visa.
You need to be sure you are moving to America for the right reasons. This means that you should not believe everything you have heard in the media or from others about the United States. To this end, you should organize a fact-finding trip to America where you will learn important details about life in the United States. Find out about job openings, wages, real estate, and the general quality of life.
ARRANGE FOR TEMPORARY HOUSING.
Once you arrive, you’ll need a place to stay, so book a hotel, Airbnb accommodation or a vacation home to use as a base for now. If you decide on an area to stay in, book accommodation with a local property owner so you can benefit from their local knowledge.
GET YOUR THINGS OUT OF THE WAY
Large items, such as furniture, will almost certainly need to be containerized and shipped by ocean freight to the United States. You can have things shipped to your hotel if you provide your hotel address.
OPEN AN ACCOUNT AT AN AMERICAN BANK
Set up a bank account with a debit card so you can pay for your purchases without having to carry cash all the time. You will undoubtedly want to transfer money from your old bank account to your new account in the United States. You should make the transfer when the interest rates are most favorable to you.
If you are moving to the United States, you will need to open a U.S. bank account so you can conveniently pay your expenses and receive your paycheck. To open an account, you will usually need proof of address, a passport, immigration papers and your social security number. Be sure to be smart about it by shopping around for the best money transfer deal and keeping an eye on exchange rates.
PLAN YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE
Employers often participate in health insurance, so check with your employer to see if you are covered. Comprehensive health insurance is more advisable than a low-cost alternative, as the latter may not cover some medical tests.
FIND OUT ABOUT THE LAWS IN THE UNITED STATES.
These include that in some places homeowners are required to clear snow from the sidewalk in front of their house and that gambling is prohibited in some places.
DO YOUR RESEARCH IN ADVANCE
Use the Internet to learn everything you can about the United States. Make a list of areas where you want to settle and apply for jobs that match your qualifications. Create a schedule of when you should resign from your current job, travel to the United States for interviews, and sell your real estate.
Get a sense of what types of employment are available and where they are most common. Know what steps are required to obtain a visa and how long each will take.
OBTAINING A UNITED STATES VISA.
Obtaining the necessary U.S. visa or green card is one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome when moving to America. Most likely, you will be able to obtain a green card through your family or workplace (although there are other options). You will need to apply for an F1 student visa if you want to study in America as an international student.
Allow several months to complete the application process before your planned move to America. A visa application with US Citizenship and Immigration Services is the first step in this process. Once the application is accepted, the National Visa Center takes over and provides instructions for the official visa application and interviews.