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

Airspray

Active Member
Just a question as I'm trying to figure out the timeline of moving - did you do a seperate trip to find an apartment, job etc. (or online?) or did you do all that after the actual move to the US? If it's the latter, where did you stay until you found an apartment and can you do it with pets?
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Just a question as I'm trying to figure out the timeline of moving - did you do a seperate trip to find an apartment, job etc. (or online?) or did you do all that after the actual move to the US? If it's the latter, where did you stay until you found an apartment and can you do it with pets?

There are a number of what they call extended stay hotels, usually apartment style in a hotel setting, many of them are dog friendly. Not sure about cats. Look up places like extended stay America, Hyatt house, Marriott residence inn etc. You can Airbnb but extended stay hotels are more flexible re timing (cutting short or staying longer if finding an apartment takes longer or shorter than expected).

Some people have found apartments online but it can be a dodgy business - dodgy landlord, dodgy apartment, dodgy area, or just an outright scam. Always preferable to see in person.
 

damo1089

Active Member
Another suggestion for those of you trying to get jobs. If you type "[your nationality] in [city] or USA" into Facebook, you might be able to find a group of like minded individuals. I am in one for Australians in my city and both job offers and job requests, which are often replied to, appear fairly often.

If you are an underrepresented minority, maybe you can replace your nationality with "expats" or "immigrants."

In general, don't limit yourself to job search websites where the competition is fierce.
 

Airspray

Active Member
There are a number of what they call extended stay hotels, usually apartment style in a hotel setting, many of them are dog friendly. Not sure about cats. Look up places like extended stay America, Hyatt house, Marriott residence inn etc. You can Airbnb but extended stay hotels are more flexible re timing (cutting short or staying longer if finding an apartment takes longer or shorter than expected).

Some people have found apartments online but it can be a dodgy business - dodgy landlord, dodgy apartment, dodgy area, or just an outright scam. Always preferable to see in person.
Thanks for that info! I just wonder if paying for this extended stay hotel won't actually cost more than doing another "house-hunting" trip (assuming I'd stay in a cheap ABnB during that trip)...
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Thanks for that info! I just wonder if paying for this extended stay hotel won't actually cost more than doing another "house-hunting" trip (assuming I'd stay in a cheap ABnB during that trip)...
Well,I have no idea how much your house hunting trip would cost, you’d have to figure that out. For our calculus with a family of 4, flying back and forth halfway across the world would both be disruptive to the kids as well as expensive. And again, if the time it takes you to find a house is (1) longer than your cheap Airbnb stay, you need to find somewhere else to stay (b) shorter, you’re on the hook for the full cost, unlike a hotel where you just need one days notice regardless length you booked for originally, our hotel honored the discount for a long stay even though we ended up checking out ten days early when we found a house that was immediately available. Plus lol we got enough loyalty points to keep us elite and get a number of free vacation nights for a couple of years, haha. As they say here, ymmv, if it’s just you and it’s not a big issue flying around or potentially having to scramble for suitable last minute accommodation etc then extra trips may well work better for you.
 

Airspray

Active Member
Yeah it's gonna be just me and a roundtrip ticket shouldn't cost more than a few hundreds of dollars... looking at some of the extended stay prices, it would cost me about the same for a week or 2 weeks of stay, so maybe flying back and forth is a better option...

Another question - car. I will most likely need one to get around after I move, what do you think is my best option? Rent? Long term lease? Buy used one? Also if I understand correctly I can use my home country's license for up to a year and then I need to issue a local license, is that true?
 

damo1089

Active Member
Renting a car is a good move for short term. You can get a cheaper damage waiver insurance from Allianz than what the rental companies charge.

Leasing a car is good if you have an affinity for new cars every couple of years, but they usually have mileage restrictions and higher insurance premiums. If you drive a lot and they salt the roads for snow wherever you're moving, then another thing to consider is that whatever car you get isn't going to last as long as you're probably used to, which might bring leasing back into favour.

I just got a bicycle and I'm trying to go carless for as long as possible. 2 years ago far!

You can usually drive around for a few months on your international licence. It varies by state.
 

Airspray

Active Member
Renting a car is a good move for short term. You can get a cheaper damage waiver insurance from Allianz than what the rental companies charge.

Leasing a car is good if you have an affinity for new cars every couple of years, but they usually have mileage restrictions and higher insurance premiums. If you drive a lot and they salt the roads for snow wherever you're moving, then another thing to consider is that whatever car you get isn't going to last as long as you're probably used to, which might bring leasing back into favour.

I just got a bicycle and I'm trying to go carless for as long as possible. 2 years ago far!

You can usually drive around for a few months on your international licence. It varies by state.
Thanks! I guess in order to use bicycle you have to be really close to your workplace, downtown etc... I think bicycle is out of the question for a 15 mile commute (for me anyway lol). Unless I live in a place with very good public transportation (which are pretty rare in the US) or work in the middle of the city, I guess a car is inevitable... So just wondering what would be more cost effective as I won't be able to buy a new car for at least a year after I move...
 

Bob22

Active Member
Re: Weather

I don't find it that humid in Austin. I know further south in the state it is, such as Houston, but Austin is not particularity humid to me. Weather is nice overall. Maybe a little hot in the summer, lots of days 35+ but not unbearable to me. Winter so far is mild, it was well into the 20s (C) for most of last week! Definitely gets cold some days though, colder than Auckland but unlike my home town the warm winter days make you forget the more dreary ones.
 

Wingpin

Active Member
I'm applying to jobs within my industry (aviation) primarily in NY.
It is a US format (1 page resume), except skills/keywords aren't included.
I'm maintaining residency with a re-entry permit

UPDATE: My company is allowing me to transfer and work remotely from home. So will be very flexible but very isolated. I know there's a wide range of work contracts but what standard things should I ensure are included? As in, are employers legal obligated to provide private health insurance, pension scheme etc?
 

damo1089

Active Member
I'm applying to jobs within my industry (aviation) primarily in NY.
It is a US format (1 page resume), except skills/keywords aren't included.
I'm maintaining residency with a re-entry permit

UPDATE: My company is allowing me to transfer and work remotely from home. So will be very flexible but very isolated. I know there's a wide range of work contracts but what standard things should I ensure are included? As in, are employers legal obligated to provide private health insurance, pension scheme etc?

I'm at Spirit at the moment and was at a regional before that. I'm not sure exactly of how much help I could be to you, but feel free to reach out if you like.
 

Britsimon

Super Moderator
I'm applying to jobs within my industry (aviation) primarily in NY.
It is a US format (1 page resume), except skills/keywords aren't included.
I'm maintaining residency with a re-entry permit

UPDATE: My company is allowing me to transfer and work remotely from home. So will be very flexible but very isolated. I know there's a wide range of work contracts but what standard things should I ensure are included? As in, are employers legal obligated to provide private health insurance, pension scheme etc?

Not normally legally required, but most good employers have a range of benefits such as healthcare etc. Pension (401k) plans are also pretty common and usually are well worth contributing to (especially if there is a matching employer contribution).
 

Champ1

New Member
So how did y'all overcome work experience as new immigrants because most of the jobs I see on glassdoors and Co have work experience attached to them
 

HurricaneTU

Active Member
So how did y'all overcome work experience as new immigrants because most of the jobs I see on glassdoors and Co have work experience attached to them

You can refine your search in most apps to entry-level, mid-level, etc. Most entry-level jobs require 0-1 year of experience. If you meet the other reqs, you can probably apply.
 

Britsimon

Super Moderator
So how did y'all overcome work experience as new immigrants because most of the jobs I see on glassdoors and Co have work experience attached to them

This really depends on the type of work you do.

Unskilled/casual type work is normally best found locally once you are in the USA.
For white collar jobs (such as those usually posted on Glassdooor or similar sites), a new immigrant should usually expect to take a "downgrade" in their position to find a suitable job and try to get promoted back to where you were. There are aspects of most jobs that will be a learning curve in the USA, just because things are different.
Then there are jobs which are highly skilled/specialized. For those jobs your resume or qualifications should do the talking for you and as long as you have decent English skills, you can make a lateral move pretty easily as long as you choose the area to live in pretty well.
 

Champ1

New Member
This really depends on the type of work you do.

Unskilled/casual type work is normally best found locally once you are in the USA.
For white collar jobs (such as those usually posted on Glassdooor or similar sites), a new immigrant should usually expect to take a "downgrade" in their position to find a suitable job and try to get promoted back to where you were. There are aspects of most jobs that will be a learning curve in the USA, just because things are different.
Then there are jobs which are highly skilled/specialized. For those jobs your resume or qualifications should do the talking for you and as long as you have decent English skills, you can make a lateral move pretty easily as long as you choose the area to live in pretty well.
Thank you
 
Does anyone have any good recommendations for credit cards since we don’t have any credit history at all besides those secured credit cards?
 

Airspray

Active Member
Does anyone have any good recommendations for credit cards since we don’t have any credit history at all besides those secured credit cards?
From a research I made it seems like the Discover It Secured is the best one. No fee, cash back rewards and fastest graduation (your score is reviewd after 8 months and you may be eligible to upgrade to a regular credit card).
 
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Bob22

Active Member
I got a Wells Fargo secured card that was just upgraded last week, maybe 7 months after we arrived. I also got another card from Wells Fargo last month.

Would be very hard to get a non-secured card up front, if someone managed that would be interested in how.
 
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