You may have heard this from a number of different sources – The USA is a place where dreams come true. Indeed, the United States is a place filled with opportunities and many people from all around move there every year for that very reason.
Whether it be to better your career, to provide your children with quality education or simply start a fresh start, you too might be looking to move there as well. If you’re moving from Australia to the USA, here’s a guide to help you get started. Keep reading to find out more.
- What to do with your home when moving abroad
- Moving Interstate Checklist & Tips
- 4 Things We Always Forget Before Moving House
Where Should You Live in the US?
The most practical thing you can do before moving out is to find a place to live. The state, city, and even the apartment or house you wish to live in must be convenient for you in every way possible.
By all this I mean that you need to find an area that’s cost-friendly, has a lively neighbourhood, good educational institutes, and a lot of recreational opportunities.
An example of a city like that is Clarksville TN (Tennessee). In fact, Clarksville has managed to outrank a number of cities in terms of being able to provide a better quality of life for its citizens. Life is easier there, as the living costs are affordable. You will also be able to get jobs with good income and other things like good public education (for your children) and a lot of services within whichever you choose to live in.
Be sure to keep Clarksville on the list of places you’re thinking of moving to.
Preparing To Enter The Country
When you’re finally getting ready to leave, it’s very important to have the correct documentation in place. If you are moving out of your home for the first time to a foreign country, this is something you need to be careful about. The US is very strict when it comes to verifying documents, so here is everything you need to prepare.
- Get Your Passport Ready
Obviously, if you ever want to live abroad, you will definitely need your passport. It has to be valid, which means that it shouldn’t be expiring any time soon. On top of that, you will need to make sure all the information on there is up to date and correct.
It’s advised to travel only if your passport has six months of validity. If this isn’t the case, you should immediately contact the Australian Government Passport Authority to get it renewed as soon as possible.
Remember, you will have to do this at least a few months before you travel. Passport renewal does take time, and if for some reason it gets delayed, all your plans will be foiled.
- Apply For Your Visa
Applying for your visa can be a little bit of a hassle. However, there is a much easier route to easily secure yourself a visa. You can do this by applying for an e3 visa.
Basically, you managed to secure a job offer in the US, your employer can sign you up for an e3 visa. Most of the work following the application will be done by the company that offered you a job. All you will have to do is prepare a Labor Condition Application and schedule an interview with the US consulate in your city.
When applying for an e3 visa, you will also have to prove that you are qualified enough for the job that you’ll be doing. For this, you need to show that you have a good degree in relevant subjects.
An e3 visa has a validity of up to two years, after which you can have it renewed. This is one of the easier visa options, as the general one requires you to have a sponsor available in the US, which involves a lot more complications.
- Get A Social Security Number
A social security number is very important when it comes to getting things done in the US. You can get this at the time of applying for your visa – that is, you can apply for it at the same time. It’s not mandatory to have this beforehand, but it will surely save you a lot of time.
Things To Do When You Arrive in the US
Fortunately, there won’t be a language barrier when moving to the US from Australia. So no real need for Google translate or simultaneous interpretation equipment that helps you translate languages! You can just start setting up your new life.
- Getting A Sim Card
Upon arrival, the first thing you should do is get a new sim card for yourself. You need to find a way to communicate with others. Also, with a sim card, you can also buy data, which you can temporarily use until you find an internet connection.
You can purchase a sim card right at the airport after landing. It’s best to get it from the airport, rather than waiting to get out. You’ll find it rather difficult to find a shop that sells sim cards, especially if you don’t know your area very well.
Some of the main mobile service providers include T-Mobile, and AT&T. An interesting fact is that you will have to pay for both incoming and outgoing calls. Do keep this in mind when refilling your credits.
- Open A Bank Account
If you’re moving to the US, then you’re going to need to open up a bank account. The easiest way to go about this is to first contact your Australian bank. If they have connections or branches in the states, they can help you set your bank account up, thus further simplifying the process.
In the event your bank does not provide those services, you will need to take your passport, social security number, proof of address, and the deposit needed to open a new bank account. It’s pretty easy to open one, and can be done in any local bank.
- Get Insurance
Healthcare services are very expensive in the US, which is why it’s very crucial to have proper insurance. Before you leave, you should talk to your insurance company in Australia. They should be able to provide insurance to you for a year after you move to the States. This should give you enough time to find an insurance company thereafter you’ve settled in.
- Find Ways To Get Around
You won’t be able to get a driver’s license right after you land, and neither can you get a car. For a while, you will have to use public transport to get around – taking taxis is your best option. What’s even better, you can use apps like Uber as well.
If you do manage a car, then you will be needing a driver’s license. Although your existing license (from Australia) will stay valid for 90 days, some states will try to seize your license. To avoid these circumstances, simply take a driving test. You will need your social security number, birth certificate, and a few passport-sized photos to get yourself registered. Be sure to contact your state office before applying for one, especially if this is your first time.
- Enroll Your Kids In School
Once you start living in the US, you should be able to enroll your kids into school, if they are 5 years of age or older. Public education is free in the USA, so you won’t need to worry about any fees, aside from the costs needed to buy books and stationaries.
Before you arrive, do some research online about local public schools where you can enroll your child. When you go to enroll them, be sure to take their birth certificate, updated vaccination certificates, and their proof of address.
For kids younger than the age of 5, you will be able to leave them in daycare centers while you work or renovate your home. However, these can get quite expensive; your bills will depend on how long you leave them and the type of care they will be providing. Look into local daycares and compare prices before finally choosing one.
- Apply For A Green Card
Finally, you will need to apply for permanent residency – in other words, you need to get a green card. You are eligible to apply for a green card after you’ve lived in the US for one year. Make sure you have all your supporting documents and fees ready for you before you begin the application.
Moving to a different country, especially from Australia to the US, that too for the first time, can be very stressful. Arranging the documents, packing, booking flights – it’s easy to get overwhelmed and there’s still more to come after that.
What you need to do in order to properly settle in goes beyond this guide. However, I hope that you can use this as a good starting point for your journey. Good luck, and safe travels!
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