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Before You Move to the U.S.

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Prepare before coming to the U.S.

Once you are granted your green card (legal permanent residence) and before you move to the U.S., there are some things that you need to take care of in your own country before you start your new life in America.

Let Go of Your Home

If you are renting an apartment in your country, you need to notify your landlord that you are immigrating to the U.S. and that you want to break the lease if it is not close to expiring. A very easy way to do so is to find a new tenant for your apartment who wants to rent it and buy all of your furniture, which will also provide you with extra money to help you with your own move to America. Normally, when you rent an apartment, you need to pay the first month, last month, and one month’s security deposit, meaning that when you pass your apartment on to someone else who is interested in buying your furniture, you will get the last month that you already paid, the one-month security deposit, and the amount of money that you negotiate with the new tenant for your belongings, which will be very helpful to get a head start on your new life.

If you are a homeowner, you may want to consider renting your place before you start a new life in the U.S., so you can receive extra money every month, and at the same time, know that your place is taken well care of. Another option to be considered is to sell your place and reap the rewards of the years of investment that you put into it and use that money to buy a new home in America.

Improve Your English

Although the U.S. is a “melting pot” of cultures, nationalities, and almost every language spoken in the world is spoken somewhere in America, it is recommended that you have a minimum level of English proficiency before you immigrate to the U.S. to start your new life. Having a medium-to-high level of English will help you with certain things at the beginning, like renting or buying an apartment or a car, opening a bank account, applying for jobs, and applying to schools and universities if that is your wish, etc.

Plan for Temporary Accommodation

If you don’t have friends or relatives in the U.S. that you can stay with when you first arrive, it is recommended that you plan for temporary housing before you depart your home country. Temporary accommodations can include renting a room in a family’s home, sharing an apartment with others, or a short-term commitment place such as a bed and breakfast, hotel, hostel, etc.

Tip: A simple internet search for temporary or short-term accommodation in the city or town you wish to live will reveal plenty of options.

Electrical Standards are Different in the U.S.

Before you immigrate to the U.S. you need to keep in mind that the electricity voltage in this country is 110V while in most countries of the world it is 220V, meaning that your electronics (computers, tablets, phones, etc.) won’t work if they don’t have dual chargers on them. You will need an adapter or converter for them to work. This is a very common mistake that many immigrants make when they arrive in the U.S. Also, depending on what part of the world you are moving from, if you bring your own chargers or cables, you will most likely still need adapters to plug in your electronics because the power outlets in the U.S. are different from the ones in other parts of the world.

Pack Appropriate Clothing

America has a very diverse range of weather and climates, so depending on which state you are moving to, you will need proper clothes. For example, it is not the same to move to Alaska where the average annual temperature is 28.1 Fahrenheit (-2.2 Celsius) than moving to Florida where the average annual temperature is 71.5 Fahrenheit (21.9 Celsius). You need to plan properly before moving to the U.S. to avoid leaving behind clothes that you may need in the future.

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