Before you make your move to the USA, you need to be fully prepared for every single step of the process. Many people who are moving from India to the US mistakenly believe that their life won’t drastically change. While some aspects of your life won’t change too much, there are also countless changes that you will experience throughout your new life in the US.
It’s very common to be unsure of what documents to bring with you, how you’ll handle some of the more minor changes, or what you’ll do about banking, transportation, etc. These are all issues that countless people have faced when immigrating to the United States. Below are nine of our top tips to keep in mind both during (and after) the immigration process.
What to Do Before Applying for a Visa
Before you’ve even submitted any paperwork/documents for your visa application, you need to make 100% sure that your passport properly displays your name (as well as the passport of any family member who might be going with you).
If you fail to make sure that your name (and other details) are properly entered in your passport, you might be stuck with those errors in the USA. That’s why it’s essential to double-check every piece of information (and every document) you submit during the application process.
Deal With Your Finances
If you plan on being in the United States for an extended period (e.g. four to six years), it will probably make the most sense to close all of your bank accounts in India (unless you need them for business reasons). Likewise, any investment accounts should be closed and/or consolidated into one primary account. The same should be done for your Indian bank accounts as well.
Take Care of Any Dental Problems You Have
This tip isn’t related to documents or finances, but it’s equally as important. Before you leave for the US, it would be ideal if you went to the dentist and got any dental issues taken care of. The cost of healthcare in the US is a lot more expensive than in India. This includes dental work.
Deal With Health Insurance Before You Leave
Having health insurance in the US is essential. Most employers will sort this out for you, but if not, you’ll need to purchase a plan on your own. Most states in the US have dedicated offices that will help you purchase a plan and enroll for coverage.
Make Sure Your Mobile Phone Works in the USA
This is a tip that a lot of people overlook during the immigration process, but it’s very important (and equally as essential as other tips). Before you leave for the US, it’s recommended to get a phone that works on mobile networks in North America. This might require buying a completely new phone, or just getting a new SIM card. Go to your phone carrier to see what options are available.
Bring Important Documents With You
Important documents and records such as tax filings, bank statements, education records, etc. should ideally be brought along with you when you immigrate to the US. Many different institutions (e.g. financial, educational, employers) will sometimes require the submission of these types of documents.
Learn How to Drive
The USA is a very large country, and most places outside of major cities don’t have many public transportation options. You’re going to need to learn how to drive (if you don’t already). The process is relatively easy to go through in India, so you should take advantage of that prior to your departure for the US. Numerous states will accept foreign driver’s licenses (if they’re printed in English) for up to a certain period of time (after which you’ll need to get an official license).
Go to the Doctor’s Office Prior to Your Departure
Before you leave for the US, it’s important that you take care of any medical issues. Receiving healthcare in the US isn’t as straightforward as India, and you’ll already have a lot to deal with. The last thing that you’ll want to do once you arrive in the US is have a visit to the doctor.
Make Sure Your Travel Companions Are Ready
Making sure that your travel partners (i.e. family members) are ready to travel to the US is just as important as making sure that you’re ready. All of the tips we’ve covered apply to everyone you plan on immigrating with (especially children).