Australians planning to locate to America need to act wisely in order to reduce the stress and hassle of moving to a new country. You may think you know the country well enough to live in it because of the sheer volume of American culture you’ve been exposed to via the media and Hollywood movies, but the reality can be quite different. So if you’re jumping across the pond, here’s a few essentials to check off your list of things to do.
As you would expect, you will need money as soon as you land in America. Don’t fly into an American airport with $10,000 or more in cash on your person or in a suitcase. If you do, Homeland Security or the federal Drug Enforcement Agency will mark you as a possible drug dealer and confiscate your money. It will cost you time and money in attorney’s fees to get your cash back. Carry traveller’s checks in various denominations to be safe.
2. Setting Up a Bank Account
Before leaving Australia, set up a bank account with an American bank that has branches in Australia.
When you land in America, you can go to a member bank in any state and set up an account there. You will need your passport and proof that you established an account while in Australia. Your spouse will need to tag along if you’re opening a joint account. After about 30 minutes, you will have access to your money.
Don’t walk into a bank with a draft, money order or check and expect cash back. The bank will hold that paper for up to 30 days to be certain that it clears the original issuer.
3. Apartment Finders
There are no shortage of apartment finders (businesses that will find a living arrangement for you) throughout the country. The service is free to potential tenants. Simply inform the apartment finder of your needs, and various accommodations will be offered that match your requirements.
You can typically rent an apartment or house by the month or year in any town or city. The manager will expect you to sign a lease. The longer an apartment is rented, the cheaper the monthly rent. However, it’s probably a good idea to rent lodging by the month. That way, if the accommodation isn’t suitable, it’s easy to move without paying a penalty for breaking a lease agreement.
4. Furnishing an Apartment
The apartment can be furnished easily and without any long term commitment by seeking out a furniture rental company. Doing so will mean you’re not burdened with moving a truckload of goods from place to place. If America isn’t for you, you can return the furniture easily and leave – no strings attached and no money lost. If you do want to furnish an apartment on the cheap and with furniture that you actually own, then there’s always Craigslist.org!
5. Photo ID
You’ll need a photo ID to use a credit card, get into nightclubs, cash checks, etc. Every state has a motor vehicle department where ID cards are issued in about 30 minutes.
6. Social Security Card
If you plan to work, you will need a Social Security card. The card is also needed to apply for financial services, medical treatment and enrolling in schools. Offices that issue this card are located all over America.
Moving to America requires that you have access to cash, carry identification for various purposes and find suitable lodging for your needs. All of these requirements can be done before leaving Australia or immediately upon arrival.
Contributed by Andy at www.CreditCardCompare.com.au, one of Australia’s top credit card comparison websites.
This article is the first in a series of in-depth advice on how to make your relocation to the USA go as smoothly as possible. If you have a question you’d like answered or some advice to give, drop us a line at email@example.com