Who doesn’t want to go to the US? The Land of opportunity each year has millions of people hoping to be part of the American dream. While this is a noble desire, going there without preparation could make your stay not as eventful as you planned. So take your time to read through our ten most important things for an aspiring US immigrant.
You Need a Visa
More often than not, your aspiration of moving to the United States remains a pipe dream without a suitable visa. Don’t think of any funny plans of getting in, as the US has one of the firmest border security.
Thankfully, there are 185 visa types, each standing for the unique reasons for entry into the US. That’s quite a lot, you would say. Heads up here because the paperwork is numerous, and the process is lengthy. Your surest hope of ease in the application process is working with an immigration lawyer.
The Cost of Living is Relatively High
Except you are coming from Bermuda and a couple of other nations, you may find the cost of living in the US relatively pricey. For perspective, only 19 of 110 sampled countries have a higher cost of living than the US.
You should also know that housing, education, healthcare, transportation, and shopping costs vary by state. For example, the cost of living in New York City is head above the shoulders of other states in the US.
Knowing this is crucial to deciding where to settle at first before joining the big leagues when fortune smiles.
You Need a Job
Bear in mind that getting a job isn’t only the easiest way of getting into the United States but also a mandatory means of sustenance on arrival. You are not eligible for federal public benefit programs unless you are a documented immigrant and have been in the country for five years. So until you are a lawful permanent resident, you must foot your bills.
US Laws Vary With State
While there are Federal laws in the US, states have theirs, and many of them may differ from another. Hence, what is permitted in one district may be punishable in another.
Examples of unique regulations across states include gun control laws, business laws, and marriage and custody laws, mentioning a few. Here is one to ponder on. Do you know you cannot overtake a school bus when it halts for kids to alight? So you must be mindful of what you do when moving around.
Forget About Long Holidays
While America is a land of opportunities, only those who work hard get them. According to the US employment law handbook, asides from employees in Massachusetts and Rhodes Island, workers in the US are not entitled to paid leaves during the federal or state holidays. Private employers can do as they deem fit.
Hence, if you’ve always dreamt of a long holiday in the US, consider being your own boss or pray to have one that fancies such for employees.
The US Uses an Imperial System of Measurement
You may call it old-fashioned, but that is what’s in vogue over there. You’d better familiarize yourself with words like cubits and miles before immigrating to the US. Or you may have to install measurement conversion software on your mobile phone to help. How odd right?
Big Appetite is no Problem
Everything edible in the US seems super-sized. Yes, we mean from burgers to drinks. The US is only second to Austria in ranking countries with the highest calorie consumption. If you love to eat, there is more than enough to satisfy your appetite. But you may want to watch it, lest you add to the already high obese population.
You Must Love the Country
No, you won’t be required to look out of your window in the morning and shout, “God bless America!” But you must show a high level of patriotism to the country. You would find that no one finds a joke funny that is demeaning to their nation. While there would be no sanctions to spiteful comments about the country, you might lose much welcome attention.
The Climate Variety
Associating a general climatic behavior with the US is difficult. The United States has a vast land mass, so you should expect a wide range of temperatures across the country. For example, Alaska has an Arctic tundra climate, and the Great Plains is desert-like with flat, dry, and grassy. So you may have to look up the condition of the place you propose to settle before moving there.
There is wide cultural diversity in America. The citizens believe that there is much to learn from other people’s beliefs and are not as conservative as other nations. Hence, you should expect the cultural inclination of a place to reflect its most dominant population. You may even run into an area that feels like your native country.
Moving to the US presents you with prospects of a better life, and that’s enough motivation to do so. Most importantly, though the country is called the “land of the free,” be sure to stay away from any incriminating activity.