Ten Things to know before entering the United States of America

There are many people who every year think about emigrating to the United States, but to move a success is recommended to potential migrants, and newcomers to the country, to take into account the following 10 points.

Although the life and experience of each immigrant is unique, it is logical to think — and experience says so — that life will be easier.

1. Having papers makes life so much easier




In the United States there are approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants for whom life is complicated and they do not have a simple path and, in many, not even possible, to regularize.

To be legally in the country it is necessary to have a document that allows it. The most common is the residence card, also known as a green card and these are 29 ways that allow its acquisition.

You can also be in special situations such as parole, TPS, asylum, U visa for victims of violence, T for human trafficking, special program for youth or vawa for victims of violence. The requirements to acquire these situations are strict.

And of course you can also be with temporary nonimmigrant visas, such as tourist, student, exchange, investment or work.

But as the name implies, they are temporary and except in the two specific cases of the H-1B and the L-1, which are of double intention, you cannot actively search for them with a green card.

That is, if you enter as a tourist to find work or get married, for example, there can be many problems. At this point we must also highlight the consequences that result from the fact of staying longer than allowed.

For this reason BEFORE doing anything that could spoil the immigration situation, consult with a lawyer. Obviously, one really and have an excellent reputation.

If an immigration violation is committed, the chances of finding a path to the green card or to renew the visa decrease greatly. Becoming impossible in some cases.


As the saying goes, prevention is always better than sorry. And this is especially true in immigration matters.

2. You have to come with savings since the beginning can be difficult

It is important to have a money fund to settle at the beginning of the stay in the United States.

The amount will depend on the needs and customs of each, the size of the family and, also, the state or city in which they live, since there are large differences in what things cost between the most expensive and the cheapest ones

It is frequent that you calculate badly how much money is needed or that it is easy to find work and / or get the papers when you come without them.

The consequence is that you can end up passing need or living with a lot of economic tightness.

At this point of money, always respect the maximum amount of money without declaring that it can be brought on the trip, since exceeding it can lead to big problems.

3. Identification, also known as the I.D.

In the United States there is no cell or identification card with a national character. The driver's license is usually used instead, which is specific to each state (there is not one from the United States).

Likewise, there is an official number that is asked a lot to be said (not taught) and is the Social Security Number.

Remove it as soon as possible, if the immigration requirements are met in order to apply. The famous Social is the number that is used all the time to rent a home, hire the electricity, open a bank account, etc.

And then take out, if possible, the driver's license. In the United States, this is the document that is most used to identify oneself, the one that is most frequently taught when they ask for an I.D.

It is even possible to get one but that does not serve to drive .... and can only be used to identify.

These are the rules that apply to the driver's license that we bring from our countries and that are different according to our immigration status.

Also note that these are the states in which the undocumented can obtain a driver's license (Dreamers with approved Deferred Action, in all) and ask for caution not to fall into the fraud of international driver's licenses.

4. English and Validations

To thrive in the United States, English is a requirement. And whoever say the opposite, lies.

Taking English classes to use the language to work is one of the best investments that a migrant can make for himself.

On the other hand, professional people and / or with their studies may need to validate them. At this point it is important to know if federal regulations apply and, fundamentally, the requirements requested by the state in which you live.

Depending on the profession, you may have to take a license or take exams. This affects many job categories but especially those related to the field of health.

And although there are many vacancies in the field of medicine and associates the truth is that high standards are requested to work in the United States.

5. School and University

All children, regardless of immigration status, can take K-12 degrees for free in US public schools.

However, those who enter the country with a tourist visa and enroll in public schools are committing an immigration violation that can put their visas and those of their parents at risk.

And it is that the tourist visa does not give option to study in public schools but other visas are required.

It is recommended that newcomers become familiar with the educational system of the United States and, if they need it, find out how to request help for breakfast or lunch in schools, even during the holiday season.

In the K-12 courses important differences between the states. For example, when determining what day the school year begins, at what age the first grade begins, resources for children with special needs, possibility and / or convenience of classes in Spanish, etc.

It is also important to familiarize yourself with the different options. For example, for children: public, private, charter, vouchers or home education schools.

Adults can study in private academies, community colleges, public or private universities, college for profit, etc.

Public universities, some of great excellence, require very different conditions for residents of that state on the one hand and residents of another state or foreign students on the other (in state, out of state).

If you have children or want to study it is important to familiarize yourself with concepts such as GPA, ESL, TOELF, SAT, Core curriculum, etc.

6. Taxes, Jobs, Salaries

  One of the most frequent reasons why a person decides to leave their country and start a life in the United States is because there are greater economic opportunities here.

Before taking the jump it is advisable to find out about working conditions at the destination. And the United States is a huge country, with great differences.

The minimum wage, state taxes, sales taxes should be taken into account, since they make purchases more expensive, unemployment levels, how expensive or how cheap cities are, etc.

When looking for work, keep in mind:

what are the jobs that the federal government needs most
which companies sponsor the largest number of green cards
which are the companies with the highest number of sponsored H-1B visas.

7. Health, Doctors, Hospitals

In the United States, the health system may be the best in the world .... or the worst.

This is due to the fact that even being the best health and the most advanced in research, the truth is that it may be beyond the reach of many.

And even having medical insurance, it is possible to end up in bankruptcy because of an illness or an accident.

It is important to know who is required to have health insurance, understand strange definitions such as HMO, PPO, in network, Medicare, Medicaid, premium, deductibles, co-payment, etc.

And it is convenient to know where you can go when you do not have health insurance.

8. Credit and the problems of not having it

Logically, newcomers to the United States have no credit, for the simple reason that they do not have a past life in this country.

It is essential to build a good credit history as soon as possible. Having a good score facilitates activities as varied as:

Interest in buying a car or home
Telephone plan, cable, etc.
To rent the apartment that we like
Pay less premium on insurance
And even in some cases, to be able to obtain the job for which we apply since some
Good credit makes life easier.

9. Rights, Duties .... and escape from problems

It is important to know the rights, many apply throughout the United States equally while others depend on the state in which they reside.

For example, compensation for accidents at work (workers' compensation). That is why it is important to inform yourself.

And be clear that in addition to possible civil, criminal and migratory consequences of misdemeanors and felonies can also have serious immigration consequences. For example:

DUI or driving intoxicated
Aggravated crimes (including domestic violence that can be classified in this category or immoral).
The age for sexual consent
Do not pay the food pension, etc.
In summary, it is important to know the rights and defend yourself legally if it is believed that you are being violated and also avoid problems that can harm immigration status.

10. American culture

When an immigrant from our countries arrives in the United States, many things collide, including:

how to plan everything, even the playdates of kindergarteners.
the deal: no kisses and hugs
and the one that is no longer worth as much as in our countries the cousin of my sister's brother-in-law.
It is a country that has its bureaucracy, but is, in general, efficient.

As is logical in a country with 318.9 million people, there are all kinds of characters. But in general it can be said that Americans are friendly.

It is a country where migrants have better days and worse days. Days when nostalgia invades. But there are many days when most of us are happy and here we are and here we stay.

Ten Things to know before entering the United States of America Ten Things to know before entering the United States of America Reviewed by Mr T on September 28, 2019 Rating: 5

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