5 Important Facts You Should Know Before Being a US Immigrant

The United States of America is the land of the free and home of the brave, as they say. There are many reasons people want to go there and immigrate. Of course, even if you already have some plans mapped out and goals you want to hit when you arrive, there are many factors to consider about moving. Aside from the fact that there are tons of things you need to prep for any move anyway, the USA has some specifics that might be overwhelming if you don’t know them before taking that major step of living there.

You’re going to want a lawyer for all that paperwork.

From the process of application to the moment you land, there will be lots and lots of paperwork for you to accomplish to make sure everything is in order and that you don’t miss any vital essentials for legally staying in America. On top of getting assistance before leaving, you may want to reach out to an immigration lawyer in the States, too. They’ll help you collate your personal documentation and get things done for the different government offices you need to settle with.

You need to be well-versed in the laws of the specific state you’re going to live in

Unlike other nations, America’s states each have their respective laws. Even though there is a general constitution that applies to the entire nation, there are specific laws that only apply in certain states. Make sure you know the difference between federal law and state law so you don’t run into any trouble that you didn’t realize would be there in the first place. It should also be noted that common law is also on a per-state basis and changes over time. You won’t likely get a pardon simply because of ignorance.

This is especially important because laws can shift from states that are just next to each other, so you need to be mindful if you’re going to be crossing state borders. Even vehicular laws differ, so you’ll want to keep that in mind.

Employers aren’t required to provide paid leave.

employees waitingThis is one of the more drastic adjustments you may have to make if you’re moving to the US. Legally, establishments and employers are not mandated to provide paid leave in the country. That means those holidays for special occasions aren’t necessarily going to be a day off, should your employer decide otherwise. It will altogether depend on the discretion of the place you work for, so it’s important to ask about that stuff when applying.

On top of that, many industries don’t have paid sick leave or even paid parental leave for new moms and dads. This usually depends on the size of the company, the actual occupation, and the state. It’s simply a good thing to keep in mind, especially if you are used to any specific holidays from your country that suddenly may cost you a day’s pay in America.

The culture is vastly different from Europe and Asia.

Getting a culture shock is to be expected when moving from one place to another, especially if you’ve already spent much of your life in one place. That said, Western culture, particularly in the United States, can be whammy if you have never been exposed before. From the way people greet each other to their customs and displays of patriotism, it may feel like a lot to take if you’re, so to speak, fresh off the boat.

As welcoming and essentially a melting pot of different cultures as it may be in the US, the nation also has many deep-rooted traditions and habits that have become intrinsic in its people. You’ll be there all but a few minutes until you are greeted with a few honks of traffic in the street, a friendly stranger, and a shocking portion of food for one person.

You’ll need medical insurance for your healthcare.

Another major fact is that there is no universal healthcare in America, so if you need to get rushed to the hospital or go for a routine check-up, it’s not going to be free. Neither citizens nor tourists get benefits, so you’ll have to shell out your own cash to get treated. And to make matters a little rougher, their healthcare is also quite expensive, and the wait for general care can be grueling at times. So, if you’re going to be moving there, make sure you’ve got plans to get insurance, or you have a provider that has transferable services to the US.

Being an immigrant can be a big adjustment, but if you’ve got your mind set on it, you can find new opportunities in the United States that can help you start a completely new fulfilling life.

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