America is one of the most flourished and developed country. It has immense technological growth that has totally changed the lifestyle of the people. It is one of the dream countries of many youth all around the world.
The people of America enjoy both i.e. nature’s bounty as well as the techno development of the country. It would not come off as shocking if at least one of the three youth in every household wishes to visit or settle in America.
America is a developed country with high economic growth. This attracts most of the people to move into one of the fifty states of the America. As the thoughts of moving from one place to another occur, people are all set to go for the idea. However, we all need to stop for a second and look out for few important things before opting for a moving decision.
Here I present a few things that you should be aware of as well as need to survive and explore America without (much) trouble.
Things You Need to Know Before Moving to America:
America is a huge country, but so are our needs. The need for a better life takes everyone overseas in search of a peaceful and luxurious life. Well, to fulfill these dreams you must be aware about the following things-
Immigration and paperwork:
1. Tax payment (SSN and ITIN):
Tax payment is one of the most important things. Whether you are a part of a company, organization, or you have no job yet, tax payment must be your utmost priority. There are two ways of paying tax in the U.S.
For people who have a job can qualify for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), whereas people who do not have a job yet do qualify for Social Security Number (SSN).
If you do not have job for the time being then you need to take SSN and later on receiving job discontinue the use of it. Make sure to let the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) know about the status of the discarded SSN.
2. ID card is not any card- it is your identity:
Remember those school times, when you use to hang an id card around you shoulder. You can call it an indirect naming tag. It told the teacher who you were even before you could pronounce your name. Well, U.S would not treat you like the small kid. However, having an ID card is very important when you roam about in the U.S streets.
As a tourist or visitor, you are required to carry your passports at all times. You might procrastinate about it now however, when they do not let you into the theatre for movies, you might realize. In addition, this card also helps in renting apartment, opening bank accounts, of course movies, etc.
3. Are you travelling by public transport? NO? License please:
Moving to U.S is very different from visiting it for time being. When you visit a place, you try to settle for temporary things. For example, you use the public transport to reach certain places. You might walk around as for sightseeing, etc.
However, when you wish to settle down you need some or the other means of transport. Thus, for a convenient ‘to and fro’ to work or market, you need a license.
Every state in the US has different rules regarding the license. However, procedure like written test and road test are almost same in all countries. Visitors can also apply for International Driving permits before traveling to America.
4. Roaming is a costly affair:
U.S is another country and if you are moving to the other country, you need a local telephone or cell phone plan. Roaming is an incredibly costly affair. Even when you are visiting another country, you must take up certain cell phone plans to escape the costly roaming charges. Moreover, if you were to settle down in America then you would definitely need a local plan.
Some postpaid plans ask you to pay security amount however, if you opt for prepaid plans then you need not worry about security plans. One of the popular plan providers is ‘Cricket’. If you do have a postpaid plan then you can do it with the help of your credit score. (What is credit score? Check at the end of the article. Under finance)
5. Expense cut on international calls:
Calling back home is another expensive issue for the international people. Do not opt for the local plan, as it will definitely go out of your hand. Using online services like Skype, Imo, WhatsApp, etc. to make calls, video calls or texts.
Innumerable amount of data sharing is possible through the regularly updates features of these apps. Thus, instead of using local plans opt to cut short your expense. Google Voice, Viber, etc. are also some of the recognized apps that are useful.
6. Illegal and unauthorized entrance is prohibited in any country:
Every legal thing requires legal document. However, when you decide to enter through illegal means, you indirectly invite many troubles on your way. This will create troubles for you when you re-enter America the next time.
Apart from the re-entering trouble, you would also not able to access or interact with any public institution, apply for a decent job, apply for driver’s license and many other things. This will also create a lot of trouble throughout your life at some or the other point.
7. Expiry dates are very important- Do not overlook them:
Applying for a visa extension may be a little troublesome, however, do not overlook it. Overlooking the expiry date of your visa can land you in jail. This will come under the violation of a law.
Overstaying is treated as similar to illegal entering. Therefore, all the problems that arise when you are an illegal host will apply on you now. You can always consult an immigration attorney to check out all the possible options that apply on you.
8. Enter a ‘Green Card Lottery’ program or enter diversity Visa program:
This is optional; however, it is a beneficial program. Under this program, you can apply for visas. If you fall under the required category or eligibility requirements, then you can apply.
However, this is like a lottery, where selected amount of people do get visas. In addition, you can enter into this program every year. Thus, think about trying it once or may be more than once.
9. Educate yourself and brush your law and regulation knowledge:
Law plays an important role in any country. The rules and regulation regarding any matter is created for a valid reason. Therefore, every individual should abide by the laws. Hence, you must take advice from the professional attorney.
Take advice from a recognized or licensed attorney to avoid problems of spammers or illegal advices. Moreover, if you are aware about the rules and regulation of the matter, you are handling then you might also be of great assistance to your lawyer.
You might also be able to understand if someone is being fraud to you. Therefore, educating oneself by brushing up through some important rules will save you from many troubles later.
Housing and Staying:
10. Find an adequate apartment for rent:
Apartment search is another important thing that you should consider before entering U.S. Earlier this was impossible and people had to come to U.S, stay in a hotel, and then had to search for an appropriate deal. Now technology has lessen down the trouble and hassle for the people.
You can find house or apartments on several online sites. One of the examples of such site is Craigslist. On Craigslist, you are also able to get in contact with the broker. Therefore, it gives you a comparatively easy deal. Beware of spammers though.
11. Start saving the sum for security deposit (renting):
Property owners are the hardest people to please. Well, not all of them are that strict (to be honest Americans are genuinely most friendly people). If you do not have a credit score then it is almost impossible for you to avoid the large upfront rent.
A guarantor may do your work, however, if you do not have a guarantor then start saving. Usually, the security deposit is a pre-payment equal to the monthly rent. You can claim for the security deposit once you leave the place (if you did not damage any property).
12. Find alternative options for apartments:
The private property owner individuals put their property up for rent for extra income. They usually do not ask for extra money. This can be a great alternative for you. It is a better substitute to the original idea.
However, if you are offered a housing facility by your school or company then you do not have to worry about the housing things at all.
13. Lone in a huge apartment- share the rent:
If you are an alone person and are suffering through problems in raising the rent for your apartment then the best way is to find a roomie or a roommate and share the rent equally. Splitting the rent will be a boon to both of you as that will help you save extra.
In addition, you get a companion in a very different place. You can also start your apartment search this way. Find a person who already is renting an apartment and make a deal. Nobody would deny some extra saving.
Moving in an already established home will save you the trouble of organizing the entire place also. Sites like RoomieMatch, SpareRoom, Roommates, etc. are commonly used for searching roommates.
14. Sublease or sublet is another option:
Some people do go out for a vacation or visit their home place once. Therefore, they make the trip last at least a month long. As a result, during this period the rental place is empty.
The renter can ask the permission of the owner to make an agreement related the sublease, where the renter is allowed to rent the apartment to the third person until he or she is out of station. However, this agreement should not be created without the owner’s consent. In addition, one should read well before signing any kind of agreement.
15. Do not buy branded furniture (unless you can):
Buying branded and new furniture can cost you a lot. Especially when you have shifted recently, you have already spent a good sum on the apartment arrangement as well as the visa and accommodation. There are flea markets available at several places where you can buy good furniture at best rates.
However, there are online sites which provide easy access to second hand furniture at reasonable price. Although this seems less troublesome, I always advice to look up the items you order before buying them.
Finance and savings:
16. Open a bank account:
Of course, you must be having a bank account back in hometown. However, here your priority list should have a bank account as soon as you have all the necessary documents to create one. These documents include your passport, your SSN or ITIN (whichever is applicable), government ID, etc.
There are two type of accounts i.e. current account (checking account for withdrawals, day-to-day expense) and saving account (high interest deposits). Opening both accounts will prove to be more beneficial.
17. Money building machine:
Money building machine is none other than the country you have just entered. United States has a perfect economy to build good money in a little time. Taxes are low whereas economy is strong.
Therefore, there is a great chance to build money. Thus, keep saving as much as possible. This will be a firm support in the hard days or the old age.
18. Credit score:
Lastly, the credit score is another thing that you should know about. Earlier at certain places like the renting or the cell phone plan, I have mentioned credit score.
What is credit score?
Your credit score is nothing but the borrowing and repaying history of debts in the U.S. This reflects your information regarding paying. If you pay your debts on time, you would face no problem in any transaction or borrowing in the future.
I could not put several other important things here. For example the culture, food, health & medical facilities, political knowledge, education, nightlife, etc. However, the priority list is right in front of you.