Getting Temporary Accommodation
Once you receive your U.S. visa, start planning your relocation. You will most likely need to stay in a hotel or a holiday rental until you find a permanent place to stay. Therefore, it is recommended that you book your temporary accommodation before you land so that you can avoid any hassle of finding a location and booking. These are multiple property management companies or property deals that can help you find the accommodation of your choice. Otherwise, the internet is always there to save the day.
Things to Do at Your Current Home
Before moving to the U.S.:
- Remember to pay all your outstanding bills to disconnect the subscriptions and utility services you won't use anymore.
- Remember to update your postal address and notify the people who need to know about your move.
- Most importantly, prepare all the required and vital documents like passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, I.D. proofs, and medical records and keep them handy.
Shipping belongings to the U.S.
Moving your furniture and other heavy belongings might seem like a massive undertaking. Still, several international packers and movers in all the major metro cities can make international relocation easier for you. So take some time and research a legitimate company that can ship your belongings safely. Well-reputed companies also help guide you in paper, documentation, and customs clearance. Make sure that you research available international moving companies and compare rates before making any decisions.
Submit an Application for the Social Security Number
After you land in the U.S., submit your social security number (SSN) application as soon as possible. This can also be done when you are applying for your Visa. Your SSN will allow the government to keep track of your earnings in the U.S. and will also check your eligibility for retirement benefits. Before applying, don't forget to bring proof of service in the U.S.
Open a Bank Account in a U.S.-based bank
Having a bank account in the U.S. is of utmost importance. Once you reach, make sure you apply for a bank account that offers a debit card, as it will let you pay for your expenses without the need to carry cash. To open a bank account in the U.S., you have to submit documents like I.D. proof, passport, SSN, immigration documents, proof of service, etc. Once your account is live, you can quickly transfer funds from your old bank account to the new one.
Finding your home in the U.S.
Whether you plan to rent a home or buy your own, spend enough time researching before finalizing anything. Several property dealers and property dealers in the U.S. can help you find a permanent home of your choice and requirements. Remember to explore correctly, take tours of a few properties, and then decide.
Get a health insurance
Healthcare in the U.S. can burn a hole through your pocket if you don't have insurance. Hence, don't forget to get health insurance for yourself once you move to the U.S. Check if your company is offering health insurance before applying on your own. If your employer is providing it, you don't need to apply on your own.
Figure out your utilities in the U.S.
Once you move to the U.S., you will need water, heating, cooling, electricity, internet, phone, and gas connection. Get quotations from different service providers to compare their charges and find the best utility services that match your budget and specific requirements.
Be Familiar with the U.S. Laws, Rules, and Regulations
Once you have moved to the U.S., get familiar with the U.S. laws so that you can enjoy hassle-free living ahead. Try to know what is allowed and restricted as per U.S. laws. Follow the rules and regulations strictly.
Familiarize yourself with U.S. language and speech
To smooth the transition to the U.S.:
- Make sure you are not speaking too fast.
- Enunciate properly.
- Learn to phrase things simply and directly while being polite.
- Even if people around you use curse words, don't do so yourself.
- Speak and write in proper English.
- Maintain eye contact while speaking to someone, but don't stare.
- Learn people's formal and informal names with the correct pronunciation and spelling.
Body language and bearing
Make sure your posture is good and confident when you are in the office or speaking to someone. A confident pose goes a long way.
Respect personal space - both physical and emotional
Contrary to what you were used to in your country, people in the U.S. are very conscious about their physical and emotional personal space. Avoid standing too close to people, and don't ask personal questions like where they live, their salaries, their families, or their personal belongings.
Look after yourself
Assuming that you are moving to the U.S. alone, you must learn to cook, clean, do laundry, take care of your physical and emotional health. A lot of colleges in the U.S. provide these services. If you are a working professional, contact your employer to see if they offer any such services. Read the company/ university website, and find these resources. If you find the need to discuss something personal, consult a counselor.
Be responsible and accountable
Learn, and abide by the rules of your environment. Read your apartment contract thoroughly and know the stipulations. Don't be late for appointments. Know the laws of your city regarding garbage and recycling. (Is waste collected on a particular day? Are you expected to bag recycling separately?)
Ticket price, taxes, tips, and other add-ons
Be aware that the price you pay for goods or services may not be the price stated on the ticket. You are expected to tip at restaurants and for services like haircuts.
Dignity of labor
You will see people of high social/ professional status chatting informally with service people, which is very rare in South Asia. Many people will tell you about their experience working in a factory or farm for a while, although their parents were middle or even high-income professionals. Routine labor and those who provide them are appreciated and respected.
Find your cultural balance
After moving to a new country, you might want to keep to some aspects of your culture, modify others, and discard some facets completely. This involves a lot of self-reflection and observation. In such cases, the best thing to do is to think about your authenticity and the pressures to adapt, and adopt in the social circles you move in. If you don't feel comfortable eating beef or drinking alcohol, quietly make alternate choices without making a fuss. Don't feel pressured to have a large social circle or date if you don't want to. Choose quality over quantity in your social interactions. Remember, whatever modifications you make are to your personality, and you have to live with yourself 24/7.
Know emergency procedures
Make sure that you know the fire, shooter, natural disaster safety protocols for the buildings you live and work in. What are the nearest exits? Also, learn the process of catching a flight back home in case of an emergency, in case any need arise.
U.S. driver's license
In the U.S., driver's licenses are issued by each state, territory, and the District of Columbia rather than by the federal government due to federalism. Drivers are generally required to obtain a license from their state of residence, and all states recognize each other's licenses for non-resident age requirements. You have to be at least 16 years of age to obtain a driver's/M1 license. A state may also suspend an individual's driving privilege within its borders for traffic violations. Many states share a standard system of license classes, with some exceptions, e.g. commercial license classes are standardized by federal regulation at 49 CFR 383. Driving permits and I.D. cards display small digits next to each data field. This is required by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators' design standard and adopted by many U.S. states.
Keep your passport and visa with you at all times
If you are not a green card holder or a permanent resident of the U.S., remember to keep your passport with you all the time and make sure that it is valid. The same goes for your Visa. Your Visa status should be valid during the period of your stay. The invalid status will keep you out of status with heavy penalties.