Top 10 things to know when immigrating to the United States

Moving to another country can be an exciting change in your life and may help you achieve lifelong dreams or discover yourself. There are several components to consider when relocating from your home country to a completely different one, such as finding a job, applying for apartments, and building your credit when you have none.

We’re here to help inform you of the top 10 things you need to know when immigrating to the United States to help make it as easy for you as possible and help keep you safe.

Have the Right Permit

If you’re coming to the United States with a job, you can have a work permit, visa, or Green Card. Understanding the differences can determine how you begin living in the country as an immigrant. A work permit allows you to complete a job with a specific employer, while a Green Card offers permanent residency. This means you can immigrate with a work-related visa and obtain your Green Card later.

Apply for a Credit Card

Credit is a significant component of life in America. To help build your credit, you can apply for a credit card as an immigrant. There are several credit companies designed to help immigrants or expats with their credit, even when they don’t have any. You can look online for ones that can help you with your credit as an immigrant and apply for an account. If accepted, you can obtain a credit card and begin building your credit.

Get a Local Driver’s License

As a tourist, you’re allowed to drive in America with a foreign driver’s license, but as an immigrant, you might want to make it a priority to obtain your local driver’s license. Once you’ve moved to the United States, you have about 30 days to obtain one. If you don’t get a local driver’s license, you’re driving illegally, and if you’re caught, it can have negative implications on your immigration status.

Remember to Tip When Dining Out

In the United States, it’s customary to tip servers when dining out at a restaurant. Typically, the standard gratuity tip for a server is 15% or 18% to 25% of the entire bill. If you had a meal that cost $50 and the server provided you with excellent service, you might tip about $9 to $12.

Purchase Health Insurance

Health insurance is necessary to have when you’re immigrating and living in the United States. There are a few options for you when it comes to health insurance plans. If you have a job, your employer may offer benefits that include a health insurance plan, which means some money comes out of your paycheck to pay for this, but it’s helpful to have if you need medical assistance.

If you don’t have a job yet or your employer doesn’t offer benefits, you can purchase health insurance on your own, but it can be more expensive than it would be getting it through your job. Check out resources online to help select the best options for you and your lifestyle.

Have the Right Paperwork

When arriving in America, it’s vital to have the right paperwork with you to enter and stay. Some paperwork you might like to have include:

  • Passport.
  • Green Card or visa.
  • Domestic or foreign driver’s license.
  • Insurance documents.
  • Birth certificate or certified translation of your birth certificate.
  • Marriage or divorce certifications.

Open a Bank Account

To open a bank account, the institution may require you to bring a starting balance, and the amount can vary depending on where you choose to do your financial business. There are several documents required for you to open a U.S. bank account, including:

  • Proof of identity, which can be your Green Card, driver’s license, home country government ID, or up-to-date passport.
  • Immigration documents, including your Green Card, visa, or work permit.
  • Proof of address, which can be your utility bill or lease agreement.
  • Social Security number.

Learn the Federal Rules About Immigrating

One of the most important federal rules to remember is to always have your immigration documents with you. When you find housing or move to a different location each time, the federal government requires you to inform them where you’ve moved. Not informing them where you’ve moved can hurt your chances of earning or renewing your visa. Additionally, you have to know your I-94, which is the date you’re allowed to stay in the country.

If you don’t know your I-94, look it up immediately. Overstaying your welcome may result in being permanently banned from the country or enduring a long-term suspension. If you forget your papers and are in trouble with law enforcement, get in touch with us.

Find a Job

To immigrate to the United States, it’s not required for you to have a job right away because of your visa. But it might make the process easier. If you don’t have a job yet, it’s required you join someone who is also immigrating into the country but with a job. The person moving with you can then sponsor your immigration application.

Seek Housing

Seeking housing is an important aspect of immigrating to the United States. Housing provides an address you can use for job applications and all your legal documents. You can look for apartments or homes to rent or buy, depending on your budget. To find homes or apartments, search online for various housing websites. On these websites, you can narrow your search to show you locations in your price range and with your needs.

There are other resources you can use to find housing in Nevada as you go through the immigration process, such as community housing.

At De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration Lawyers, we want to ensure you’re treated equally and fairly under federal law. When seeking answers on how to immigrate to the United States while protecting yourself, contact us to speak with criminal defense lawyers and attorneys in Las Vegas, Nevada, and schedule your consultation today.

Photo Credit: Image by Kenny Eliason is licensed with Unsplash License