9 Tips for Expats Moving to the U.S.
Moving abroad is both exciting and nerve-wracking. You will be starting a new adventure as an expat, but you will also have to face the responsibilities of living in unfamiliar territory. To tone your expectations, here are the top tips to remember when moving to the U.S.
1. Choose Where to Live
The place where you will reside will mostly be decided by where your work will be. But if you are choosing an employer, think heavily before deciding where you want to live throughout your stay.
The U.S. is a vast country, and as such, you will notice a lot of differences in many things when you go to various places. The time zone, industry, climate, culture, housing, and regulations will vary from one state to another.
When moving to America, you will witness the great rivalry between the East and the West Coasts. You can observe significant variations among the fifty states, including the language dialects, accents, laws, culture, and politics. You will feel like you are in a different country when you hop from a state like Utah to another like Rhode Island because of their stark differences.
New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are the areas where expats moving to the United States often find work and accommodation.
The things to include in your "moving to the U.S." checklist are the distance, accessibility, neighborhood, culture, and accommodation cost. If you are moving with your kids, make sure the place is near the school and the area is safe for children. If you are moving to America alone, accessibility and convenience are the primary factors to look for in a house.
2. Decide on the Type of Accommodation Before Moving to the U.S.
Apartments, duplex homes, and single-detached houses are the popular choices for expats moving to America. We highly recommend renting during your first month in America. Never rent a unit without inspecting it first, whether it is a hotel or an Airbnb room.
Include in your "moving to the U.S." checklist to have a rental or lease agreement before residing. Rent terms and conditions, including utility usage, repairs, refunds, security deposit, and improvements, should all be found in the lease agreement.
Non-U.S. citizens can purchase homes in the U.S. So long as you have an Individual Tax Number and a good credit score, you can apply for a loan to buy a house. Financial institutes openly deal with foreign buyers, so look for those to get all the information you need about your plan to purchase.
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3. Study the Modes of Transportation
There are many ways to get around large cities, such as buses, trains, taxis, and trams. There are also inter-state buses with affordable rates if your job requires you to often travel from one office to another.
On the other hand, if you live in the suburbs, you have limited options available for transport. It is more advisable to own a car to get around conveniently. But before you can drive in the U.S., you need to have an International Driver License.
While taking the train is an affordable and convenient option, it is not the best means of transport in the country.
4. Leave a Tip
When moving to the U.S., you must start getting used to the practice of tipping. It is a big thing in America, and it is common for people to leave tips for wait staff, cab drivers, bartenders, and hairdressers.
5. Plan Your Vacations
Americans are said to be workaholics, and U.S.-based companies do not provide much holiday leaves compared to other countries. Employers in the U.S. are not required by law to provide employees with any paid leave. But many businesses now offer holiday allowances of around 21 days throughout the year – still few, but better than nothing!
6. Prepare Your Tummy
Food servings in the US are huge compared to the average in most countries. Studies show that Americans consume more calories than any other country globally, averaging more than 3,000 calories per day per person. Additionally, fast food dining and take-out meals are the usual means of nourishment because of the busy schedule of people every day.
7. Get Connected Online
There are several internet providers in America, but not all will be accessible in your new home. The cost of internet in the U.S. is more expensive than European cities on average, but nowhere near as fast.
In choosing an internet provider, select one that offers a fast and stable connection and reliable in delivering customer service.
8. Open a Bank Account
One of the things you must not forget when moving to the U.S. is to open a bank account. It is not hard to create one, even for expats, as most institutions make it convenient for clients to bank with them.
As an expat, you will most likely be required additional documentation and immigration information. Going to a branch and transacting face-to-face is the recommended option over online applications.
The most common types of banks you will encounter are retail banks, commercial banks, and savings and loans banks. The top banks in the U.S. are Wells Fargo, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase.
9. Apply for Insurance Before Moving to the U.S.
Getting international health insurance should be at the top of your checklist in moving to the USA. You will need this, and it can save you from financial trouble in case of medical emergencies.
The healthcare service in the U.S. is very different from the public systems in most countries. It is available to the general population, but it is not universal.
There are two kinds of public health insurance schemes in the U.S.: Medicaid and Medicare. Medicaid is provided to those living below the average income level and cannot pay for medical attention. Medicare, on the other hand, is for senior citizens ages 65 and above. Neither can guarantee to help you with your medical insurance as an expat, which is why it is recommended that you get international health insurance from a trusted insurer.
One thing that makes people wary of moving to the U.S. is the extremely expensive cost of healthcare services. To many living with an average salary, footing the whole bill is almost equivalent to bankruptcy.
The average cost of an emergency room visit in the U.S. is around $6,000, which is why it is better to pay for expat health insurance than stay uncovered from substantial medical expenses.
Most employers provide health insurance to employees, but they are often insufficient, especially for expats with different needs when it comes to medical emergencies. It is best to get additional coverage from a private insurer for your peace of mind.
We can help you get the best international health insurance for moving to the U.S. Whether you are on a budget or looking for extensive coverage that can include dependents, we can find the right expat insurance for you. Just contact us for questions and queries. You can also request a free quote to get an idea of how much it will take to be safely insured.