• Amelia

    Good tips, I didn’t know that about Bank of America.
    The ID part takes longer than 30 minutes though. Americans do not like funding government services – I’d suggest it’s closer to 2.5hrs or more.

    • http://www.ustralian.com/ Tova Raykin

      That’s very true – the wait at the DMV can be disasterous. I highly recommend getting there about 30 minutes before they close. As they get nearer to closing time, a lot of the workers behind the scenes come out to expedite the line.
      Same for the social security office. If you’re going there to process your papers and get your card, try to go towards the end of the day. It’s quicker in the long-run.

      • Lil Vegemite

        Make an appointment for the DMV, saves you a lot of time!
        Tip: If youre in CA, A SSN is required for a drivers licenses. Not sure about other states.

        Also, if you are awaiting a SSN card, & its late, go down to the office again to follow up. Your application may have fallen through the cracks.

    • Hmorris

      Definitely takes longer than 30minutes, I arrived at 10am and did not leave until 2pm.
      Entertaining wait though with a diverse waiting room.

      • Steve

        Ah yes, “diversity”…..such a successful concept….

  • Romy

    Reader Beware. This article misrepresents the gravity of moving from Australia to the US. It forgets to mention a lot of things; complicates others; and makes some things sound too easy. 
    1. Opening a bank account is, in fact, the easiest thing you can do in the States. All you need is a passport. It’s easier to do it once you arrive than find time to do it in Sydney/Melb in the rushed run-up to your departure.
    2. You cannot get a social security card without a working visa, so don’t think that you can come here, find a job, and get a SSN – you need a job first. 
    3. Furniture rental is extremely expensive – don’t even bother – you may find pieces on Craigslist, or just move into somewhere furnished.
    4. Depending on what city you are in you may be able to find shared accommodation on Craigslist also, until you have time to find something for yourself, just make sure you don’t hand over money before seeing the apartment in person as the ads can be scams. 
    5. Don’t even think about using an apartment finder, they are the biggest rip off agents and you won’t get anywhere.
    6. And finally, don’t go to the bother of exchanging Aussie cash into greenbacks before you leave – just ask your Aussie bank which US bank they have an arrangement with and use the ATM at the airport. 

    • http://www.ustralian.com/ Tova Raykin

      Really good points, @Romy – and we definitely intend to expand on them in future with some more definitive info.
      Your second point is more related to visas though. If you’re applying for an E3 (Australian skilled worker), you will need a job before you can get an SSN. Otherwise as long as you are in the country with some form of legal residency, you can apply for a social security number.

      • Vanessa

        Your last point Tova is wrong. K2, K3 and K4 visa holder’s for example are not SSN eligible and they ARE residing in the country legally. K1′s are only entitled to a SSN as long as they apply before they have less than 2 weeks left on their I-94. The rules change regularly. Used to be even visitors could get SSN’s but can’t anymore. This is the POMS on who is “eligible for work”: https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110211530 however bear in mind that unless you are a GC holder (or citizen of course) the card will say “valid only with DHS authorization” on it.

        • http://www.ustralian.com/ Tova Raykin

          Thank you, Vanessa , and I should have researched fully before checking aging the original point about needing employment before being SSN eligible. Obviously the visa landscape is complex and extends to visa holders, spouses, dependents and more. We do intend to get commentary in future in the form of expert opinion, so if you have any insights they are more than welcome!

  • http://twitter.com/imtova Tova Raykin

    @24906ffe326fe8c610ea52f892842d3d:disqus  that’s very true – the wait at the DMV can be disasterous. I highly recommend getting there about 30 minutes before they close. As they get nearer to closing time, a lot of the workers behind the scenes come out to expedite the line.

    Same for the social security office. If you’re going there to process your papers and get your card, try to go towards the end of the day. It’s quicker in the long-run.

  • http://twitter.com/imtova Tova Raykin

     Really good points, @Romy – and we definitely intend to expand on them in future with some more definitive info.

    Your second point is more related to visas though. If you’re applying for an E3 (Australian skilled worker), you will need a job before you can get an SSN. Otherwise as long as you are in the country with some form of legal residency, you can apply for a social security number.

  • Fred Burns

    I had a look at www.lsappointments.com.au and
    that really explains what they are all about, it’s a no brainer! I’m
    too busy to do it otherwise so I went for it, didn’t learn much I didn’t
    know in the end but glad I did it all the same.
     

  • http://www.manandvannow.com/ man with a van

    This is an interesting article as  relocation always lead to stress and tension, these situation happen with every person. It is necessary to handle the situation and work accordingly.

  • Aussie Anne

    Important to note: the number one priority in your list should be ensuring legal visa/immigration issues and status for the entire time you will be in the US. The consequences of inadvertently, unintentionally or deliberately arriving without having your immigration ducks in a row or staying longer than you are permitted are very serious, expensive and can have long term effects. I have a brother (married to an American for 20+ years) who has just been penalized (determined in a court case – unable to return to the US for a year) for unintentionally overstaying a visa after he had he had returned to Australia during process of relocating to the US (had bought house in US, put kids in school etc). If you want to advise people about making it less stressful to relocate to the US you should not omit the immigration issues/visa status. It will be up to them as to how they handle it but you should make a statement that encourages them to look into it thoroughly. Because you haven’t really mentioned immigration in the original post, it seems sort of unimportant and kind of optional. Attitudes/ regulations regarding immigration and travel in and to the US have radically changed since 2001.

    Also essential to clarify that different states may have different requirements for ID cards and driver’s license, amongst other things. There is far more focus on an individual state’s rights to establish certain laws and standards regarding many issues than perhaps there is in Australia. Simply there seems less cohesion and commonality of laws between different states in US. Some states may require proof of legal residency or SSN (which relates to US residency/visa status anyway), no matter how temporary, to get ID card or DL. However this all has some political base and may change depending on which party is in power or the hearts and minds of the citizens in a state. I strongly suggest people check with the individual state websites where they will reside before leaving Australia.