Did you know that approximately 3 million people in the United States are of Indian origin? According to a Columbia Business School study, Indians constitute about 1% of the total population of America. The research, published in February 2017, explains that these people arrived in the US in three different waves, of which the third and most recent one includes those that belong to the “IT influx generation.” As many as 100,000 computer specialists have entered the United States since the mid-1990s.
If you too are looking to settle in the US, there are a few things you should take care of as soon as you reach there.
Things to do before settling down in USA
If you’re traveling on an H1B visa, consider staying in a serviced apartment while you look for a more permanent arrangement. Look for options with SACO or The Apartment Service Worldwide. To get accommodation, you must have financial backing for rent and a security deposit, since landlords prefer tenants who earn at least 40 to 50 times the rent.
- Lease in Your Name:
The lease for the accommodation you rent should have your name. This will enhance your rental history and benefit you when you’re looking for another home to rent.
- Mobile Network:
Staying connected to your family back in India is not going to be a cheap affair. To minimize the expense, use mobile apps such as Skype, since free Wi-Fi is easily available in public places. However, you cannot totally do away with phone calls. Buy a SIM card and get an international calling plan from TMobile or AT&T Wireless to make calls.
- Social Security Number:
A social security number should be applied for within 7 days of moving to the United States. Without a social security number, you cannot be paid for your work in the country. Speak to your employer and go through the SSN website to understand all you should do before applying.
- State ID:
Carrying your passport around as photo ID is not safe. If you do not plan on getting a driver’s license, a state ID is the next best option as a photo ID. Every state has its own guidelines to obtain an ID. Find out about the rules in your state and apply for it as soon as possible.
- Bank Account:
Building a credit history is very beneficial in the US and opening a bank account is the first step towards it. If your employer has a preferred bank, open an account with that one or talk to a fellow Indian to find out which one is more suitable for immigrants.
- Health Insurance:
Health care in America is the most expensive in the world. Check with your employer and find out if the company insures you. If yes, go through the agreement to see if it sufficient. If not, buy health insurance suitable for immigrants.
- Driver’s License:
You will have to apply for a learner’s license permit before you can get a proper license. Driving tests in the US are taken much more seriously than they are in India. Read all the material provided carefully and prepare well for your test.
- Utility Bills:
Once you’ve rented a place, get all utility registrations like gas or electricity in your name. It is not compulsory but will help in building your credit score.
- Transport system:
Lastly, to ensure easy mobility, understanding the transport system. If you do not have a car to drive yourself around, it is important to understand the public transportation system of your state and see if you can purchase any passes or cards to get discounts.
Also read: Tips for first time visitors to USA.