How to Move to America: A Helpful 7-Step Guide

Are you looking to move to the United States? More than 40 million people living in the U.S. were born elsewhere! That’s a lot of people who decided to make that same move that you’re considering!

Whatever reasons that you have for moving, international relocation is a big step, and it can be a confusing process. Moving to the U.S. isn’t quite as simple as just packing your bags and getting on a plane. 

If you’re trying to learn how to move to America ahead of time, you’re already on the right track. You can’t do much before you educate yourself on the process! 

Keep reading for a quick and helpful guide on how to move to the United States!

1. Do Your Research

First, you need to do your research. Hey, you’re doing that right now! You’re already well on your way.

The United States is a big country. Each state is different and there are different opportunities, types of geography, and people depending on where you go. 

Putting in research ahead of time will help you narrow down exactly where you want to be. Many people outside of the U.S. are really only familiar with major cities like Los Angeles or New York. Many don’t even realize that those two cities are roughly 2,789.97 miles apart (give or take, depending on if you’re driving). 

Look into job opportunities in different areas. If you’re college-bound, seek out schools that offer what you’re looking for. Moving to the U.S. isn’t just arriving and setting up camp; you have a lot of options, and you need to decide these things beforehand. 

The research stage can also include learning English if you’re from a non-English-speaking country, or learning about the United States culture, or government if you plan on one day obtaining citizenship. 

2. Actually Travel

This step is optional but advised. If you’re able, it’s best to be able to actually visit the U.S. It’s preferable to even visit multiple cities and states if you can to really get a feel for how each one operates. 

America isn’t how it looks on television (the good or the bad), so if you want to get an actual perspective on what living here is going to be like, you should probably try it on for size. 

Traveling is expensive, and often times equally complicated. If you can’t travel, try to network with friends who have.

There will be a plethora of different opinions, and it’s useful to listen to all of them. This will help you form your own decisions if you’re unable to visit yourself. 

3. Apply for a Visa

Getting a visa can be stressful. There are several different kinds, and figuring out which one is right for you might be complicated. You’re going to need to establish that you meet all requirements for your requested visa. This can be legal documentation, photo evidence, sometimes evidence of a relationship.

Sometimes you can qualify for multiple visas. Visas can be sponsored by partners, family members, or even work. You can also qualify if you have an advanced degree or work experience in a useful field.

If this is stressful or complicated, it can be helpful to talk to an immigration lawyer. They’re there to help you with this specific goal. It’s good to know the important questions to ask that can help you get your goal of moving to the United States sorted as quickly as possible. 

They know how to move to America, so seeking their counsel can be useful to your task. 

At the same time, you can apply for your social security number which you will need for many transactions when you’re in the U.S.

4. Find Housing

This might be difficult if you’re doing it from out of the country, especially if you don’t have anyone within the U.S. to help you out. 

First, establishing some sort of temporary housing for when you first arrive will be helpful. This can be a hotel or temporary housing with a friend or family member, while you look for your own place.

You will need to find your own home, though. The process for this may be different than you’re used to, especially if you’re buying. 

5. Get an American Bank Account 

Setting up an American bank account seems complicated, but many bank workers are incredibly helpful and will walk you through the process. You’re going to need several bits of documentation.

You’ll need some form of photo identification, as well as the social security number that you obtained earlier. You’ll need your residential address, and you’ll need to put in a deposit of money to start your account.

6. Set Up Healthcare

In the United States, healthcare is privatized. This means that it goes through your employer or through private insurance companies that you can sign up for independently.

Unless your employer covers it completely, you will have to pay for it. 

If you moved here with a job already in place, you will need to seek out the healthcare options available in your state. It’s vital to have health insurance, especially in emergency situations.

7. Blend In

You’re going to want to familiarize yourself with the area when you get there. America is a melting pot of sorts, but you still need to familiarize yourself with the customs and laws of the country and your specific city. They’re all different! 

If you plan on aiming for citizenship later, you’re going to want to make sure your English is fairly fluent, and that you have a strong grasp on U.S. history and government. 

America might be very different from what you expect, but American people are largely kind and welcoming if a bit apprehensive of new people.

Finding your crowd might take time, but once you do, you’ll be settled right in. 

How to Move to America: Are You Ready?

Researching how to move to America is the first step of the process, so you’re already part of the way there.

There could be a whole book on how to immigrate and blend into a new country, but these are just a few basic steps to get you started on a path of success in your new country. It won’t be easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated either. 

Immigration might not be as easy as it once was, but if you follow all of the legal steps, and keep your documentation on hand, you can make it happen. 

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