The "been there done that" thread: life in the US after DV

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
I’m taking a fully grown German shepherd so his ticket isn’t cheap but there’s no way I could leave him behind. I’ve been getting him crate trained to prepare for his flight but he’s definitely going to hate the long trip in a box!
Hopefully you have a direct flight. Also good that you’re flying in January, flying in summer can be horrible for pets - sometimes and some states the weather actually gets bad enough that they will refuse to transport the pets.

And yes, I think our cat’s transport to the US cost about the same as a human ticket.
 
I never received my SSN either, will have to wait til I make the big move there in January. Taking my dog with me too so it’s a bit stressful! Anyone else taken pets with them?
Taking 1 x dog and 2 x cats, (not my decision!). Taking the three from Eastern Australia to Montana by the "experts" was going to cost the same as shipping a 20" container, (AUD$10k).

But picking them up from San Fran dropped the price to AUD$3k. So we're going to buy a USD$35k caravan/trailer to save AUD$7k... The things I do for my wife's happiness!
 
Taking 1 x dog and 2 x cats, (not my decision!). Taking the three from Eastern Australia to Montana by the "experts" was going to cost the same as shipping a 20" container, (AUD$10k).

But picking them up from San Fran dropped the price to AUD$3k. So we're going to buy a USD$35k caravan/trailer to save AUD$7k... The things I do for my wife's happiness!
"Expert" or not, your animals are going into the hold for 15 plus hours. I'd be asking the airline directly. They usually have great pet transport procedures set up.
 

Aidyn

Well-Known Member
Taking 1 x dog and 2 x cats, (not my decision!). Taking the three from Eastern Australia to Montana by the "experts" was going to cost the same as shipping a 20" container, (AUD$10k).

But picking them up from San Fran dropped the price to AUD$3k. So we're going to buy a USD$35k caravan/trailer to save AUD$7k... The things I do for my wife's happiness!
I've not used them yet, still thinking about having my dog sent over, but www.aeropets.com.au was recommended to me by several people and they have been amazing to deal with so far (quotes and questions).. been quoted $2500 to fly a GSD from Brisbane to Vancouver (Vancouver means a direct flight and I'm only 2 1/2 hours away)
 
I've not used them yet, still thinking about having my dog sent over, but www.aeropets.com.au was recommended to me by several people and they have been amazing to deal with so far (quotes and questions).. been quoted $2500 to fly a GSD from Brisbane to Vancouver (Vancouver means a direct flight and I'm only 2 1/2 hours away)
I’m using Petflyers and they quoted me $2700 so around the same really. He’s a big boy!
If I did it myself with Qantas I’d prob save $400 but it’s a lot of running around to get paperwork, vet checks and fees paid then have to race to the terminal to get on the same flight.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I got the impression it’s also easier having someone used to dealing with the actual animal immigration process at the airports. We did a door-to-door service, partly because driving cats to and from airports is a lot more stressful than driving dogs, but also we felt more comfortable having someone who knew how to deal with all the paperwork on both sides even if it cost a bit more.
 
What was everyone’s experience with opening a bank account? What are your recommended banks for newcomers? Can you open a bank account without a SSN (while you are waiting for it to arrive)? What other paperwork do you need?
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
What was everyone’s experience with opening a bank account? What are your recommended banks for newcomers? Can you open a bank account without a SSN (while you are waiting for it to arrive)? What other paperwork do you need?
Varies by bank. Chase requires SSN and proof of address. Apparently BoA is easiest with least paperwork.
Depending how much you will be traveling, a regional bank may suit you better than a national bank. I go cross country a lot so like having own bank ATMs and branches in easy reach, though in these days of Apple Pay that’s less necessary.
 
Before I even "won" the lottery, I went to US Bank and opened an account. Was quite easy.
Need a social security number to get a credit card, but nothing else.
Each bank's site will tell you what you need, document-wise.
 
Before I even "won" the lottery, I went to US Bank and opened an account. Was quite easy.
Need a social security number to get a credit card, but nothing else.
Each bank's site will tell you what you need, document-wise.
how exactly did you open an account without an address? I’m finding it difficult to open an account without an address and SSN (yet) before I arrive but it seems like it’s a thing you do once you arrive and have housing sorted
 

Aidyn

Well-Known Member
how exactly did you open an account without an address? I’m finding it difficult to open an account without an address and SSN (yet) before I arrive but it seems like it’s a thing you do once you arrive and have housing sorted
Banks have tightened their criteria to open an account in the past year or so - at least thats what I was told when I opened mine.
I would ask .. whats the rush in opening an account? I know the excitement of it all makes you think you need it right away but unless you have moved over here and are all set up there is no real need for an account. I wanted one prior to moving because my boyfriend is here .. but we found way to transfer money n stuff without a bank account
 

Mijoro

Well-Known Member
I went in and applied. It took about 6 business days to arrive. My greencard arrived in about 10 day’s after activation but when I went into social security they hadn’t issued a number to me. The office sends the paperwork to Baltimore and then they send it out to you.
 

Mijoro

Well-Known Member
As for banks I found BOA the best US bank wouldn’t even consider giving me an account till I had my ss number and proof of residency for 30 days minimum
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
As for banks I found BOA the best US bank wouldn’t even consider giving me an account till I had my ss number and proof of residency for 30 days minimum
That’s interesting, that’s definitely changed then. They were always the “nothing but a passport required” bank.
 
I know I’m probably getting ahead of myself but does anyone know if it’s possible to set up a prepaid phone account before I get to US so I have a US number straight away? Would also be handy to add it to resume and job applications
 
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