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

Airspray

Active Member
I have a question about secured credit cards - as you know from my previous posts, I plan to obtain a re-entry permit and make my move to the US after about 1 year. I was wondering if I can order a secured credit card and use it in my home country to get my credit rank going while I'm abroad during that year. Can you do that?
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Depending on the bank, you may or may not be able to obtain the card without a permanent US address (and proof that you live there).
if you can, then check on foreign transaction fees - secured cards tend to be non premium and so generally will charge for that. I believe the capital one secured card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees so that will be worth looking at.
 

Airspray

Active Member
Yeah I know capital one has no fee and also the discover it (though almost no one outside the US accepts it). I just have to shop around for a proper checking account that's ok with expats (address is not a problem for mailing as I'm using a friend's address, I just don't and can't prove that I live there...)
 
I opened up a checking account with Chase using the letter from SS with my address on it as proof of residency. Their Disney Visa card lured me in! Also managed to get a secured credit card online with Citibank with just a SSN and no proof of income
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Yeah I know capital one has no fee and also the discover it (though almost no one outside the US accepts it). I just have to shop around for a proper checking account that's ok with expats (address is not a problem for mailing as I'm using a friend's address, I just don't and can't prove that I live there...)
What is it about the Discover card that no one accepts it? Usually any visa or MasterCard is accepted anywhere.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Yeah but it's Discover, not Visa or Mastercard... It's also known as Diners in many countries. Hardly anyone accepts it.
Oh it’s diners club... right. Yes, that’s because they charge the sellers stupid fees compared to the other companies. This has been a problem for many years for cardholders.
so, go capital one? It seems a popular secured card for new immigrants anyway.
 

Airspray

Active Member
Oh it’s diners club... right. Yes, that’s because they charge the sellers stupid fees compared to the other companies. This has been a problem for many years for cardholders.
so, go capital one? It seems a popular secured card for new immigrants anyway.
Yep, I'll probably go with the capital one. Now I just need to find a bank that's ok with me living outside the US. I've read that credit unions might be a better choice rather than a regular bank for that purpose...
 
Sorry to butt in. Does anyone have any advice on getting a US credit score started before going. I have no social security number. I have funds, can provide a US address, although I don't live there, I even have a US bank account with Banc of California, although they wont let me do any transactions because I don't have a SSN.
 
Sorry to butt in. Does anyone have any advice on getting a US credit score started before going. I have no social security number. I have funds, can provide a US address, although I don't live there, I even have a US bank account with Banc of California, although they wont let me do any transactions because I don't have a SSN.
Your credit score is attached to you via the SSN.
 
I got a normal Discover card, not secured, as my first one. I was surprised it was approved. They just started me off with $750 limit.

With the only other things being rent, bills and phones, together with the card, I'm consistently hovering around 750.
By the way, here you can take a loan for buying a car, real estate or whatever you like. xxxxxxxxx provides a big diversity of financial services.
 
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Hi everyone,
I've only done my activation trip in October 19 and not planning to move over permanently for 12 months. Do I still need to purchase health insurance? Specifically is there any tax implication for not having health insurance even though I'm not currently living there?
 
Hello all,

I activated my GC in Nov 2019 and I am planning to enter the US again next month for a few days (on a return ticket) to avoid being out of the US for more than 6 months. My permanent and final move to the US will be sometime this summer (unless we all die from Corona by then...).

By your experience are there any airports to avoid where immigration officers are known to be too strict ? Im not doing anything wrong, but they might not like the idea of me coming on a round trip and not moving permanently already. Or any airports where you had no issues if you were in the same situation ?

Thanks!!!
 
Hello all,

I activated my GC in Nov 2019 and I am planning to enter the US again next month for a few days (on a return ticket) to avoid being out of the US for more than 6 months. My permanent and final move to the US will be sometime this summer (unless we all die from Corona by then...).

By your experience are there any airports to avoid where immigration officers are known to be too strict ? Im not doing anything wrong, but they might not like the idea of me coming on a round trip and not moving permanently already. Or any airports where you had no issues if you were in the same situation ?

Thanks!!!
CBP at Dulles airport in VA is known to be strict and pick up on issues that may not be a problem elsewhere, according to some immigration attorneys I once spoke to who have had clients concerned about the possibility of issues arising at the airport upon return to the US. On the other hand, CBP at LAX or O’hare airports is generally know to be busy and therefore less strict with low-level issues unless there’s a serious red flag. Something else to keep in mind is the fact that International travel MIGHT be more restricted come this summer, given the very strange knee jerk reactions from the leadership here in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, so, where and when to move is your call.
 
Something else to keep in mind is the fact that International travel MIGHT be more restricted come this summer, given the very strange knee jerk reactions from the leadership here in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, so, where and when to move is your call.
Yep, Qantas just suspended it's flights to San Fran from Brisbane and Melbourne.
 
Yep, Qantas just suspended it's flights to San Fran from Brisbane and Melbourne.
Well, we’re entering uncharted territory from now on in terms of how aspects of everyday life will continue to change until this pandemic is mitigated.
 
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Well, we’re entering uncharted territory from now on in terms of how aspects of everyday life will continue to change until this pandemic is mitigated.
The "pandemic", (a bureaucratic term), has been mitigated. It's the media-driven fear-mongering that is causing the real problems.
 
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