We all move to the US with the perfect plan, but it never works: what usually goes wrong in immigration
I will tell you how my first 3 days in the USA went and what mistakes newcomers to America make.
Moscow-Los Angeles flight. We are flying with a terrible cold. When landing, my ear is blocked so that even then for 2 days I could not hear anything. We landed, I’m on the escalator at the airport, I see the American flag “Welcome to the USA” and I think: “Hurrah, the hardest part is over, I’m already here, and now it’s just a matter of small things.” But, believe me friends, I was very wrong then.
I have been preparing for my arrival for 2 years. What action plan did I have and what, in principle, should be done by everyone who came to the States:
- the first is to rent a house;
- the second is to open a bank account;
- the third is to get all the documents, including a driver's license, because they are presented everywhere in the USA;
- resolve issues with transport - where and how to take a car: a loan, leasing, buying for cash, rent;
- if you come with children, you should definitely decide on a kindergarten and school, find out the conditions for admission and collect the necessary package of documents;
- find a job in the USA.
The plan sounds perfect if everything goes right. But, alas, nothing is perfect in our life. Therefore, let's go through this plan with you and understand where you can really screw up and where I miscalculated.
So, first mistake, which all newcomers or immigrants in general do: rent expensive or generally obscene housing in some terrible area. Rental contracts in the US are usually long-term, at least six months, which is very rare at first. Basically, you will be offered to conclude a contract for 1 or 2 years.
At the same time, many take a deposit, sometimes even double. Be sure to look at the credit history, a package of documents is needed for this - this time. Secondly, you need to understand in which area you will rent an apartment.
I chose my first apartment remotely, when I was in Moscow. I went to the Zillow website and began to look at the map, what areas are there, in which one can live, I read bad reviews about them. And somehow, more or less, I decided on the area remotely, but I realized that I needed to see this complex or apartment with my own eyes.
At first I rented a hotel for 5 days just to come and sleep. Sometimes, those who want to save money rent a room in someone's apartment or rent an apartment through Airbnb. But usually for a short time the prices are really cosmic. But there was nowhere to go, because I had just arrived and for some reason did not even think of talking to the realtor about the apartment.
I decided, as it is customary with us, that a realtor - a person who will take the money and simply put you on the phone with the landlord, will not do anything. Here realtors work in a completely different way. Now I understand how everything happens. Then it seemed to me that a realtor is a person who can take extra money, but I can do everything myself. Of course, I myself rented an apartment, for which I eventually overpaid. If I had used the services of a realtor, I would have saved a decent amount of money.
After about 3 months, I realized that this price for an apartment is quite high, and, in principle, I would like to move to where it is cheaper. But when you rent an apartment, you sign a contract, and if you interrupt it ahead of time, then this is fraught with a fine. In addition, they make a record of you in that case, and the next time you rent an apartment, everyone will see that you prematurely terminated the contract earlier, that is, you automatically become unreliable. In the USA, if you sign a contract, you must follow it for the entire period.
Second common mistake immigrants - to come with poor English or with complete ignorance of it. And with the position: “I’ll learn on the spot, pick up over time, or start working with Russian speakers, and then it will stick by itself.” Friends, believe me - it will not stick at all. Partially - perhaps, but it will be very long. It will take a couple of years to pick up these colloquial phrases.
I can say that in the first 3 days in the USA, I really needed English. It all started with a customs officer who asked questions. Then settlement. Then trips to cafes, shops. The whole vocabulary, everything I learned, was needed.
For those who do not know the language well, it is very difficult. This is a double stress - directly moving and the language barrier. Therefore, start learning English as early as possible.
It was in order not to lose money and time in the USA that I began to learn the language in advance. What did you do? I downloaded free materials on the Internet, studied with the help of cards, special sites, applications. Therefore, in my opinion, learning a language is very easy. It used to be necessary to go to courses, spend your time, adjust (before work, after). Now you can study online, there are many wonderful schools for this, or you can learn the language yourself.
The third error - Take some money with you. I understand, of course, no one has extra money. But just recently, I received a direct message from a subscriber that he won a green card, but I don’t have money for a comfortable move, even for a minimal one. He asked what to do, was interested in whether it was possible to immediately go to work and so on.
Of course, I would not advise you to go with the last three thousand dollars, for example, if you are a family of four. This is just like a feat. Because America is an expensive country. Of course, when you start earning in dollars here, the current prices will seem normal to you. Provided that you will spend them wisely, save.
There is another opinion: the less money you take with you, the faster you adapt, the earlier you go to work, that is, this will push you to take immediate action. I don't know, I had a different experience. I saved up a certain amount and brought it with me so that at first I would not go in a state of shock, not to think about where to get a deposit for an apartment.
You can approach this wisely, calculate, but I don’t recommend going straight with the last amount in your pocket. It's possible, of course, but it would be overly stressful.
You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple -read it all on ForumDaily New York
Fourth mistake those who arrived - to refuse credit cards, to ignore loans in general. The logic adopted in our country “poor people take loans, and I will get out on my own, I will not overpay the bank” does not work in the USA.
It's not for nothing that they say: "In America, cheap money." What does it mean? In the United States, lending rates are small (several times lower than we have here). Then the question arises: “Why do they take loans, can’t they earn money? Poor, or what, all?
No, it's something else. In the United States, there is such a thing as a Credit score, “credit history”, a special scale that shows how trustworthy a client is: is it possible to give him a loan, a telephone in installments, allow him to rent an apartment (because how to understand that the client is solvent). They look, for example, that the Credit score is 700 (this is very good), and they understand that a person earns a lot, spends little, his credit rating is growing, which means that he can rent out housing.
And if he has a credit rating of 550, no one will rent him a normal apartment, or take a double or triple deposit.
How can you ruin your credit history? This is a good question as this error is very common. For example, a person withdraws a lot of money from a credit card, and then pays the minimum amount per month. This leads to a drop in credit rating.
Or, say, they take credit cards and stop paying on them or on loans. For example, a car is leased, and a person thinks: “I have problems with work, I can’t pay, I’ll wait a month.” In this case, the credit rating falls, and the delay in one payment can generally seriously drop the status. So this is not something to joke about.
Many immigrants often take cards, do not pay, somehow get along, so they have a sharp decline in their credit rating. To build it up later, believe me, you will have to make a lot of effort.
Fifth mistakewhich any immigrant faces (and I sinned with this) is to convert all prices into rubles or into any other currency, and then go and lament. For example, “an apartment is $2000, multiply by 60… oh my God, for that money I could rent an apartment in the most elite complex, but here I don’t understand what.”
Why this is happening, I think you know - because the level of salaries we have is different. This is not good and not bad, such a pattern. This country has its own economic situation, the other is different. I also often made this mistake - at first I converted everything into rubles, I came to Starbucks, and there the coffee was $2,50.
Of course, when you start earning in the US in dollars, then this money for the same coffee or products does not seem so big.
Sixth mistake related to the choice of machine.
It's no secret that the United States needs a car, especially in states such as California, Florida, where there are long distances. There is a metro, of course, but still people mostly move by car.
There are two options. An immigrant came to buy a car for up to $5 thousand, for example, an old BMW, or he goes to register a car for cash, which seems to me a mistake, because it’s not worth investing all the money in a car right away. It can be taken on credit or leasing, thus the credit rating will grow, you will receive a not very high interest rate, and in a year it will be possible to refinance the loan, because the rating will grow.
In the first 3 days, of course, I did not run to get a driver's license, because here for some time you can drive with your license. Moreover, you don’t even need to receive international ones, just our card. I rented a car for a week and drove without problems.
After this week, I began to wonder how I could borrow my car already so as not to overpay, because rent is still not a very budgetary matter.
I took my car on credit, and yes, I did not immediately have $32 to buy a new Honda Accord .. I just paid the minimum down payment and pay the loan monthly. You can also rent a car, no problem.
Error seven associated with children. Many people write to me, tell me how to send children to schools, kindergartens, maybe Russian ones. My advice is not to send children to Russian schools and kindergartens. I don’t want to say that it’s necessary to stay away from Russians here, it’s just that they will speak Russian with children there. It is clear that he will be comfortable there, but English will not stick to him and will not cling.
If you plan to live here, then the child must still adapt. Moreover, children learn English very quickly. Do not believe it, you will teach, teach, and the child will pick up and in the first 5-6 months will begin to speak in such colloquial phrases that are not yet in your vocabulary, but he already knows them.
As such, I have not yet met Russian schools, there are just private schools and Public schools (free, where all classes will be held in English). In my opinion, the sooner the child adapts, the better for everyone.
Eighthand the most expensive bug, which, in my opinion, can cost an immigrant literally everything, and we will talk about health.
It's no secret that medicine in America is expensive. I am constantly asked about this, and I do not get tired of talking about it: it is really expensive to be treated. If you want to be treated for cash, then an x-ray can cost $300, an ultrasound scan - $250, a doctor's appointment - $150-200.
This is a big expense, and the most dangerous thing here is when people come and say: "I will not take out insurance." And she, for example, costs $350-400 for a single man. But he wants to save money: “Yes, I’ll take a Prius for myself with this money, I’ll go to work at Uber.” And then, God forbid, some kind of accident, a broken leg, a serious illness.
You are forced to call an ambulance - she will send you a decent bill, and if you also call her home, then even more so. Thus, you get money, because the treatment of a broken leg can cost $ 20. And you can’t not treat it.
The material is published with the permission of the author. The original column is available on the YouTube channel Nellifornication.
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