Useful Tips when moving to the USA
Moving to the USA has plenty of benefits for people seeking work or education. If you are considering a move to the United States or have just been awarded Green Card status, there are specific guidelines and practices you should become familiar with first.
American culture is fairly recognizable due to the popularity of American TV shows. However, immersing yourself directly into American life is another thing entirely.
Before moving to the USA, go over these useful tips to make the transition that much easier.
When moving to the USA, first create a documentation checklist
The first of our useful tips might seem like an obvious one, but it’s easy to overlook when you’re preparing to move. Documentation for moving to the USA is fairly strict, so having everything in order is incredibly important.
For this reason, you should create a checklist of documentation you will need for entry into the US. The documentation will vary according to your current immigrant status, so it is important to find out what you need. Once you determine what you need it is also wise to make copies of everything in the event there is a problem.
So, in short, write a list, check it over, and check it again. Then, make copies of everything you need so you have a backup. When it comes to your immigration documents, there’s no such thing as being too prepared.
Become familiar with the Green Card Laws before moving to the USA
Once you acquire your green Card, familiarize yourself with the Green Card laws in the United States. The laws have gotten stricter over the last decade, which is why it is important to educate yourself. However, it’s perhaps more important to learn a bit about general American law, as much of it carries over into Green Card regulations.
Violating specific Green Card laws could lead to deportation in certain circumstances. These generally relate to fraud, either during or after your application process. For example, you might have married for a Green Card or were inadmissible as per US law. If USCIS finds out about this after you receive your Green Card, you might be deported.
Other than that, you’ll have to know about “crimes of moral turpitude”. In short, the term covers “evil” crimes with bad intent, such as robbery, kidnapping, murder, etc. Green Card holders can (and most likely will) be deported for committing one of these crimes in the first 5 years of residence, or for being convicted twice or more.
However, not committing a crime is one of the more obvious useful tips. After all, living legally isn’t just advice for moving to the USA – it applies anywhere you go. For Green Card holders, though, it’s worth knowing your way around some basic US laws and trying to be cleaner than most.
Learn About the Culture in the United States of America.
The way of life in the United States can be quite different from that of other countries. But, as mentioned above, many immigrants will have some kind of idea based on American TV shows.
To make things confusing, though, American culture varies massively depending on where in the country you settle down. For example, much of the south is very Christian; as the north is, but less so. States like California are very liberal, whereas states like Texas are very conservative.
As such, your experience after moving to the USA can be very dependent on where you live. If you’re moving there on an employment visa, you might not have much choice about where you go. However, if you’re moving for family or marriage, take the time to consider where would be most suitable.
Understand How the US Currency Works
When moving to the USA, make sure you understand how the currency works to avoid any unexpected costs due to incorrect price estimations. The US currency holds a value that may be much different from your country of origin, so it is important to be able to calculate the cost conversion before moving to the USA.
One thing that takes a lot of immigrants by surprise is sales tax, which isn’t added to the price you see on an item. Instead, it’s added at the checkout during the sale. After a while, you should become used to the idea and will start calculating it in your head. Soon after moving to the USA, be sure to practice adding and calculating tax on your items before reaching the checkout.
Similar to the point about variations in culture, the value of American currency can be very different across the country. So, another of the most useful tips is to understand how much a dollar is worth in your state of choice. It might sound strange, but a $2 million apartment in San Francisco could cost $150,000 elsewhere in the country.
When moving to the USA make sure to learn the traffic laws!
For the safety and well-being of yourself and others, take the time to learn how traffic laws work both as a pedestrian and motorist. It won’t impact too many immigrants, but cars drive on the right-hand side of the road in the USA. But, considering 163 countries drive on the right, it’ll only be a challenge for about 30% of the world’s population.
Also, roundabouts (rotaries) aren’t as popular in the USA as in other countries. They’re becoming more common, but you’ll likely use a 4-way intersection instead. Adjusting to this way of driving might be difficult for some people.
Pedestrians can have a difficult time on American roads. However, unless you live in a tiny town or the middle of the city, you probably won’t do much walking. The USA is very spread out, so driving is the easiest way to get around.
One of the most useful tips for moving to the USA with kids is to make sure they understand how to cross the road. American roads are very wide, and crossing is safest at an intersection. In many countries, stepping into the road is the easiest way to cross, but in the USA, this can get you arrested.
Learning the Language
The USA speaks 2 main languages: English and Spanish. Learning some English before moving to the USA is a good idea if only so you can properly deal with border control and settle into your new home. Spanish is less important but might be a language you already know.
Of course, integrating into communities of people from your home country can be great for keeping up with your native language. Some may even run English classes. Attending one can be a good idea for learning important terms, such as those related to driving, education, and similar.
Moving to the USA with the Green Card Lottery
There are plenty of ways to enter the USA with a Green Card. However, the easiest has to be by winning the Green Card Lottery. Importantly, applications are pretty simple with professional help, so the final of our useful tips is to Apply online Today