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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  General Discussion  |  Topic: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: I am moving to the USA - Gimme your best 3 tips  (Read 7142 times)
MahrinSkel
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Reply #35 on: August 25, 2016, 05:58:02 PM

Trucking: Been a while since I had any direct contact with it (my mother was a long-haul driver for a few years, to fill the gap between being too old to get work as a programmer and too young to collect Social Security). General gist of it is that it all depends on the company, some are great and some...are the opposite. Electronic logs have removed the worst aspects, nobody is going to expect you to exceed your 60 hours a week. Of course, in the next 10 years they're all getting replaced by robots.

Obviously, get a personal vehicle, there are only a handful of cities you can live in without one. Look into a towable 5th wheel trailer and a pickup that can haul it, since you don't plan on putting down roots. This is the best time of year for buying one (trailer), the prices crash at the end of summer. Don't talk politics with strangers, even if they start it. If you kill someone in front of witnesses, wait for the cops.

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schild
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Reply #36 on: August 25, 2016, 06:14:34 PM

I actually had this conversation about things that are not food related a while ago. For example, apparently people tip tattoo artists in the States. That I really don't get.
Tattoo artists can barely afford to eat.
Venkman
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Reply #37 on: August 25, 2016, 06:16:05 PM

Wow big move Falc. But you've been here (U.S.) and here (F13) so you're not stupid, or at least a compatible type of stupid anyway smiley

You mentioned not wanting a car. That makes sense given your goals over the next year or so, but bus is a hassle everywhere, especially the distances in Colorado. Having a friend at Vail is very helpful of course, but if you can swing a beater, consider it. Mass transit outside select older cities is on a gradient scale between sucks and nil and CO is way wider than it is tall.

You're smart not to get a gun... though I don't know how that relates to those in trucking. Is it fine? The upshot is you really only need to remember miles and gallons and cubic yards, but not like all the construction related bullshit measurements  Ohhhhh, I see.

You know you're coming at a pretty contentious time politically. But just avoid the topic or express keen interest in the bloviators thoughts. And apparently don't talk about guns at all whether you get one or not. There was a group trying to make a 51st state out of parts of CO on that issue.
Shannow
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Reply #38 on: August 25, 2016, 06:29:37 PM

Coffee's crap. Be prepared.


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Ginaz
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Reply #39 on: August 25, 2016, 06:32:10 PM

Nix, trucking might also be my gateway to Canada! As you know I had no leverage to get residency there, but apparently truck drivers are in such high demand in the True North that it's not impossible to get a work sponsorship as long as you have done enough years of experience in the USA.

Seeing as how you're going to be working in Colorado and want to maybe move to Canada some day (One of Us!) I highly recommend you know how to dress for the weather.  It can be much colder and wetter than you're use to.  Even if you'll be driving a truck, it can break down in the middle of nowhere during a snow storm.  Invest in a warm parka, gloves, scarf, toque, long underwear and winter boots.

I'll pre order you SWTOR if you let me put my lightsaber in your sarlaac cave
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Furiously
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Reply #40 on: August 25, 2016, 06:46:46 PM

Get a good waterproof outter layer (Like a marmot precip) and a nice warm mid layer.  Have you been through a Colorado winter yet?

Soln
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Reply #41 on: August 25, 2016, 06:47:32 PM

 I have been in the US for 9 years this Fall coming from CDN.  Here are some of my opinions based on my experiences and those of my wife (also an f13'r):

1) CREDIT SCORE GOTO 0:  When you move to the US you have $0 credit history.  Credit != Credit History.  You will start at $0 unless you have an employer or bank/credit union who will somehow vouch for you.  Yes, you can get credit cards (Secured to start), but you will not get a loan or credit line of any kind.  Think about that if you need a car, house, etc.  

edit: 1a) CREDIT UNION: go to one if you can, as mentioned.  US Banks have incredible, ridiculous fees. (as do other counties, but I thought it would be more competitive here).

2) DRIVER'S LICENSES ARE STATE MANDATED:  I believe every State by law requires you to register for a local driver's license after 30-50 days of residency.  Meaning, you can't drive in CO legally without a CO license.  AND you will probably as a dirty legal immigrant have to take a driver's test too.

3) THREE INSTITUTIONS TO AVOID: there are at least 3 places in the US that are motivated to keep you within their confines as long as possible -- Universities, Hospitals, and Prisons.  Don't go to any of them, or at least realize they have a profit motive to keep you inside their custody as long as possible.

4) I ASSUME YOU ARE A LEGAL IMMIGRANT: because I don't know the alternative, but being even here legally before you get a Permanent Residency ("Green Card") is a fucking roll of the dice.  Literally.  There's lotteries for certain visa's (H1B) that do send people back when they fail to win renewal (I know a guy).  And if you are married to an American, you still better be sure you are recognized here to be legal.

5) SOCIAL SECURITY # > THE IRS: to pay taxes, you need an "ITIN" (look it up, Im lazy) which requires a Social Security # which I don't know if it requires a legal visa.  But you better get both and do #4.

6) CBP OFFICERS HAVE YUGE AUTHORITY: the Cross Border Patrol officers at Immigration in airports and borders have incredible authority.  They can lock you up overnight+.  Don't be rude to them.  

7) PO-LICE: Heck, don't be rude to any American in a uniform.

8) MOVING YOUR LIFE: be aware that whatever you had shipped into the US will be taxed, inspected and then stored somewhere.  You need to have customs broker even if you are moving household stuff, because they have to vouch that it is only household goods you are shipping.

9) DON'T BRING A PET: it's hard enough getting into the US legally to live as a human.  

10) THERE IS NO "HEALTH CARE": ...as CDN and EU citizens understand it.  Yes, there is something now called the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") but protip: healthcare in the US comes from your employer.  It began in the second world war I believe as an incentive to workers by certain companies.  If you are self employed you will need to Obamacare it, and I would know precisely what is covered.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 06:50:33 PM by Soln »
schild
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Reply #42 on: August 25, 2016, 06:55:30 PM

Coffee's crap. Be prepared.
Eh, Colorado should be fine.

The Italian food in most cities is garbage though. And not Italian food. Thankfully, I don't think Falc cares.
Falconeer
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Reply #43 on: August 25, 2016, 08:43:07 PM

Thanks for all the tips. To clarify, I am a legal immigrant and I have a Green Card. So I will have a SSN, and I should have no problems with the Border Patrol Officers (but I certainly did in the past!). I know them well, and their scary amount of power. No pets for me, and not moving any of my stuff. All I am bringing is a backpack with irrelevant clothes, a journal, and a huge down jacket for that damn cold Colorado winter. And my gaming laptop, of course. Everything else, will be acquired in the US.

The driver's license thing is new to me. My partner Nathalie has a Florida license and she's been changing states for decades now and no one ever objected to that. Are you really supposed to get a new license every time you change state? This would be the first time I hear anything like that.

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Reply #44 on: August 25, 2016, 08:46:39 PM

Each state has different rules. RI for example, I had to get a new license in the first month. I wish I hadn't. What a fucking leper colony.

Texas you get 3 months.

You, however, are going to have to take a road test since you've never had a license here (as well as a written test, also, you have to give 55 Hail Obamas) and since you're Italian, that'll be interesting.
Trippy
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Reply #45 on: August 25, 2016, 08:56:50 PM

The driver's license thing is new to me. My partner Nathalie has a Florida license and she's been changing states for decades now and no one ever objected to that. Are you really supposed to get a new license every time you change state? This would be the first time I hear anything like that.
Yes kind of sort of maybe. Here in California you are supposed to do that both for your driver's license and any vehicle you bring here. However lots and lots of college students in California, for example, don't bother even though they are supposed to. Basically they are gambling they never get pulled over or the cop never asks why they have an out-of-state driver's license.
Merusk
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Reply #46 on: August 25, 2016, 09:04:44 PM

Yah, Kentucky and Ohio both required a new license within a Month. Your old license is only recognized if you still have a permanent address in the other state. Grandparents had Ohio licenses but lived in Florida 90% of the time and kept a condo up here.

The past cannot be changed. The future is yet within your power.
Torinak
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Reply #47 on: August 25, 2016, 09:35:32 PM

Thanks for all the tips. To clarify, I am a legal immigrant and I have a Green Card. So I will have a SSN, and I should have no problems with the Border Patrol Officers (but I certainly did in the past!). I know them well, and their scary amount of power. No pets for me, and not moving any of my stuff. All I am bringing is a backpack with irrelevant clothes, a journal, and a huge down jacket for that damn cold Colorado winter. And my gaming laptop, of course. Everything else, will be acquired in the US.

The driver's license thing is new to me. My partner Nathalie has a Florida license and she's been changing states for decades now and no one ever objected to that. Are you really supposed to get a new license every time you change state? This would be the first time I hear anything like that.

If you move states and don't get a new driver's license promptly enough, you can get fined if caught (e.g., during a routine traffic stop). Also, keeping the old state's driver's license makes it much more likely for your previous state to claim you're still a resident and hence should be filing and paying state taxes to them.

Oh, state income taxes are another thing to make sure you pay. State taxes can get pretty tricky if you work outside of the state of which you're a resident. I don't think driving a truck through another state would count, unless maybe you're doing so as an employee of a company in another state. The tax boards of most states are not as kind and forgiving as the IRS.  ACK!
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Reply #48 on: August 25, 2016, 09:42:38 PM

Pretty much every state requires you to have your driver's license and vehicle registration be in the state you have declared your permanent residence. Most states give you a 30 day period to get a license in their state when you move there "permanently". College students from out of state usually keep their out of state license and plates because they still officially live with their parents.

The only "exception" to the rule is military are allowed to keep the license and registration when they are relocated to another state as long as they like. My dad kept his New Mexico license and plates (because they were cheaper) from when we moved away until he retired and was no longer able to string that along.

If you are looking to be a truck driver, you will need to get a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) which has even more hoops and costs more.

'Reality' is the only word in the language that should always be used in quotes.
ajax34i
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Reply #49 on: August 26, 2016, 08:55:44 AM

Police - I'd say go beyond "don't be rude."  We can carry guns, so they assume everyone DOES have a gun ready.  Make sure that when they approach your vehicle your hands are on the steering wheel / in plain sight, and you're not holding any objects.

Driving - Europe has a lot more right-of-way rules that you have to know, over here they put stop and yield signs everywhere and don't take a chance with what a driver may or may not remember about cars approaching from the right or whatever.  So as a result Americans don't know these right-of-way rules, if there isn't a sign to stop them they'll go right through, so be careful.

Out-of-state - besides having to register your car (and get new number plates) in the state, some states (California for example) have stricter pollution rules and they'll make you take exhaust smog tests periodically, and you pay extra if your car was purchased in a different state, because "it wasn't manufactured to comply with the California emission standards".

Taxes - yup, we have federal and state taxes, and it's your job to remember to do them and submit them before April 15 each year.  Software like TurboTax or HR Block is available pretty much everywhere each year by February or so; you get the Federal CD in the store and have to pay for and download the DLCs for however many states you need to pay taxes to.

Driver's License is your ID.  In stores and restaurants, mostly you pay by credit card or cash, some stores accept personal checks, preferably from a nearby local bank or credit union.

I don't think euro cell phones work here; different radio frequencies.  I've had quite a few relatives visit with brand name cells that claimed to work everywhere in the world and they didn't.  Fortunately you can just buy a pre-paid plan / cheapo phone if you just want a phone and not a full smartphone with internet capabilities.

I wouldn't pay the hundreds extra for a laptop that has a built-in wireless (cell) modem; it's cheaper to get a normal laptop with just regular (short-range) wi-fi, and get a mobile hotspot device.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 09:13:06 AM by ajax34i »
Paelos
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Reply #50 on: August 26, 2016, 10:12:37 AM

Lived in Colorado for years so here you go.

1 - Get a car you don't mind getting dirty, because no car ever stays clean in Colorado. The weather is snowy, then muddy, then rainy, then muddy again. You'll have 4-5 good months of sunny before you get muddy again. And in the mountains it rains almost every afternoon in the summer unless it's a drought season then you deal with wildfires.

2 - Everything is more expensive the further you go up the mountains.

3 - You will need good shoes for hiking or walking. You should get a mountain bike and use it. You will be a stone's throw from some of the best camping and skiing in the USA, so get equipment for that.

4 - People in Colorado are generally more into health movements and food than the average American state. This provides many good options but also has an influx of weird food fads. Try new things to see what you like when it comes to the food, but don't pay insane amounts for it.

5 - Taxes will be lower than in Italy, but you'll be taxed at various levels. Federal, State, and FICA if you're a salary person. Get a handle on this early or get some advice so you don't get screwed.

6 - Women will find the accent charming. Use it.

7 - Don't buy a gun unless it's a rifle and you actually plan to hunt. If you do plan to hunt and fish, these require licenses and specific counts you can take. Check with the local department of natural resources. Fishing is really fun in Colorado as an example.

8 - Go visit the state and national forests. They are amazing.

9 - Make sure to have a light fleece for most evenings that aren't in the wintertime. The temps can drop a ton at night, and if it's 72 in the day, it could be 55 at night. Also, we use Fahrenheit here so get a handle on that.

10 - There are less available women the further you get into the mountain towns. And the ones that are there are pretty crunchy.

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Rendakor
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Reply #51 on: August 26, 2016, 01:15:42 PM

What exactly is a crunchy woman?

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Merusk
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Reply #52 on: August 26, 2016, 01:31:49 PM

Granola girl.

Hippie who's more country than city.

A woman who doesn't shave or believe in the physical beauty paradigms of femininity.

The past cannot be changed. The future is yet within your power.
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Reply #53 on: August 26, 2016, 01:33:39 PM

I don't think euro cell phones work here; different radio frequencies.  I've had quite a few relatives visit with brand name cells that claimed to work everywhere in the world and they didn't.  Fortunately you can just buy a pre-paid plan / cheapo phone if you just want a phone and not a full smartphone with internet capabilities.
The GSM part may work on AT&T or T-Mobile (the two US GSM providers) depending on whether the phone is tri-band or quad-band. Most better smartphones these days are quad-band. The LTE part is more complicated cause there are like a billion LTE channels/frequencies so its hit or miss if a non-US phone will support enough of the US LTE channels to get decent and reliable transfer speeds.

Edit: there
« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 02:55:21 PM by Trippy »
Zetor
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Reply #54 on: August 26, 2016, 01:59:19 PM

I don't think euro cell phones work here; different radio frequencies.  I've had quite a few relatives visit with brand name cells that claimed to work everywhere in the world and they didn't.  Fortunately you can just buy a pre-paid plan / cheapo phone if you just want a phone and not a full smartphone with internet capabilities.
The GSM part may work on AT&T or T-Mobile (the two US GSM providers) depending on whether the phone is tri-band or quad-band. Most better smartphones these days are quad-band. The LTE part is more complicated cause they are like a billion LTE channels/frequencies so its hit or miss if a non-US phone will support enough of the US LTE channels to get decent and reliable transfer speeds.

Yea, can confirm. I used a Samsung S3 and a LG G4 during my recent US visits, and both of them worked perfectly fine, with the euro SIM even (I'm a T-Mobile subscriber, so I obv used T-Mobile GSM for roaming). Haven't tried 3g/4g/lte though because lol roaming data costs.

e: should clarify, though, that I have only visited major cities (NYC and MSP)... so yah, I'd go with what MrHat says below.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 02:09:43 PM by Zetor »

MrHat
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Reply #55 on: August 26, 2016, 02:06:53 PM

T-Mobile sucks once you go behind the foothills.
Falconeer
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Reply #56 on: August 26, 2016, 02:36:17 PM

Granola girl.

Hippie who's more country than city.

A woman who doesn't shave or believe in the physical beauty paradigms of femininity.

Well, unsurprisingly, that's definitely all stuff I like very much.

Falconeer
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Reply #57 on: August 26, 2016, 02:38:22 PM

And yes, my euro phone always worked without issues in the USA.

I am over-worried about taxes. I would hate to star off on the wrong foot with that. Would you advice to get an accountant's phone number from the internet and schedule a single appointment for some guidance?

Merusk
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Reply #58 on: August 26, 2016, 02:46:13 PM

Granola girl.

Hippie who's more country than city.

A woman who doesn't shave or believe in the physical beauty paradigms of femininity.

Well, unsurprisingly, that's definitely all stuff I like very much.

Yeah, wasn't a judgement just a definition for Rendakor. Who'da guessed a pansexual genderqueer like yourself would be ok with it.  awesome, for real   DRILLING AND WOMANLINESS

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Reply #59 on: August 26, 2016, 02:47:15 PM

i didn't even think about his title

the fixed title is gonna cost you
Falconeer
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Reply #60 on: August 26, 2016, 02:50:49 PM

Ha!

Money well spent.


Fake edit: as a piece of trivia, you should all know that the Green Card process from start to finish (16 months), -consdering all the expenses including fees, lawyers, translations, trips, certificates- has been around $3400 (USD).
« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 02:54:07 PM by Falconeer »

Paelos
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Error 404: Title not found.


Reply #61 on: August 26, 2016, 02:59:04 PM

Colorado is a good choice for you if you enjoy hippy type weirdness. Their cup runneth over.

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Reply #62 on: August 26, 2016, 03:58:45 PM

Ha!

Money well spent.


Fake edit: as a piece of trivia, you should all know that the Green Card process from start to finish (16 months), -consdering all the expenses including fees, lawyers, translations, trips, certificates- has been around $3400 (USD).
That seems cheap tbh.
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Reply #63 on: August 26, 2016, 04:06:37 PM

The way I see it, it should cost nothing. Or just some nominal fees, and the cost of paper. In fact, that's what Nathalie paid to get her Italian+European "Green Card": nothing.
Having to pay more than 3000 dollars to (re)join your family doesn't make too much sense to me.

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Reply #64 on: August 26, 2016, 04:08:30 PM

Pretty sure America is the leader in "letting people into a country we forcibly took from natives for free" throughout history - I can't knock them for making a buck on it in the 00's.
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Reply #65 on: August 26, 2016, 04:09:08 PM

To put it in other terms, we really badly don't fucking want nor need the poor or huddled masses anymore. City in the sky and all that.
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Reply #66 on: August 26, 2016, 05:55:05 PM

If it hasn't been mentioned, and I'm not trying to be political, if you are any kind of swarthy be prepared to get pulled over in certain parts of the country. Papers, please.

Paelos: Somebody find that post where I declared Seattle dead, because those fuckers are NFL cockroaches in the NFC.
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Reply #67 on: August 26, 2016, 08:44:13 PM


I am over-worried about taxes. I would hate to star off on the wrong foot with that. Would you advice to get an accountant's phone number from the internet and schedule a single appointment for some guidance?

I would say no. Doing that could put you in the situation of appearing to be a foreign rube, and said accountant might try to convince you that you need to hire his full time services to keep yourself safe.

The thing is, the government here is really good at tracking *you* down and collecting their cut. I'd suggest just keeping your papers in order, don't work for anybody under the table or any crap like that, and just wait until you get your W-2s (the taxable income record provided to you by your employer -- I'm not certain if you will get a different form for being an alien, but in any case your legitimate employer will provide). *Then* look into hiring an accountant to take care of the routine matter of filing your taxes if you are uncertain of the process by then, or just downloading some software to do it yourself. Or honestly, you could probably just follow the instructions on the forms and do it yourself. It really isn't that complex for a single filer, not owning your own business or stocks or the like.
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Reply #68 on: August 26, 2016, 09:04:02 PM

If you have a half decent understanding of the english language and aren't a complete moron there's no fucking way getting a green card should cost 3+ grand. Unless they've jacked the fees way up since I did it (mind you cost me 250 just to renew if for another 10 years..buuuuuullllshit) it'll probably be more like $500 all in. Still will take 16 months though..:P~

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Soln
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Reply #69 on: August 26, 2016, 09:25:20 PM

Falc: Ok.  Assume you don't need an immigration lawyer then yeah.

Edit: BTW, good for you -- fucking +1 on the move.    
« Last Edit: August 26, 2016, 09:53:05 PM by Soln »
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