Taking the leap: Moving to the US

Creative Commons : Rich Shelton. San Francisco, USA rows of Victorian houses

Most people have dreamed of starting a new life in a new country, but this dream can often seem to be beyond reach.  With a little careful planning, however, it doesn’t have to be the case.  Moving abroad is a big step, but with the right research it can all go very smoothly.

The first thing to consider is whether a visa is required.  Moving to the US can be a minefield as far as visas are concerned, as they can be very difficult to secure. Acquiring a visa depends on who the individual is, what work they are qualified to do, how they intend to support themself, and which country they originate from.  The best way to find out what the specific requirements would be is to take advice from the US embassy in the home country.  Regulations can change frequently; the embassy will be able to provide the latest information.

Finding a home

In America, houses for sale can be found everywhere.  No matter where an individual wants to settle, locating that dream home can be much easier than first thought.  Each town and city will have realtors who can help to find the perfect house or apartment, depending upon the requirements.  There are no restrictions on foreign ownership of US properties and, in many areas, it is possible to get a great bargain on a new home.  Florida, California and cities such as New York are all popular destinations.

Finding work

Work is something that can be harder to find.  In some cases it is necessary to have a firm offer of work before a visa can be issued, as the employer will act as sponsor.  Agencies advertise vacancies online and applying for vacant jobs is easy; however, employers may be expected to demonstrate that the candidate has skills that the employer cannot find elsewhere in order for their visa application to be approved.  The circumstances will be different for each individual, depending upon the specific visa requirements, but there are job opportunities available.  Those who are lucky enough to work for an international company may be able to get a transfer to a US office.

The benefits of the US

The United States has one of the most diverse cultures in the world.  The country has a reputation for welcoming immigrants with open arms and, as a result, the cities are filled with people who have originated from all parts of the world.  The ‘American Dream’ has attracted many immigrants over the years – people who want opportunities that are not available to them in their home country or who want the chance to work and make good money.

In the US, individuals can choose from city living, coastal living and country living.  There are large areas of the country that are not densely populated, and expats can enjoy a very high standard of living.  On the coast, expats can equally enjoy a great climate and a very laidback lifestyle.  The cities are cosmopolitan places where residents have access to great cultural attractions, plenty of work opportunities, and a wide range of housing options.  Whichever option the individual chooses, there will be something in the US to suit their needs.




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