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

Chuchuaaa

Member
You’ll need to do it in person, to show them your green card. The last time I looked for in person appointments there weren’t any, not sure current situation, but apparently another option is that you can do it when you re-enter from overseas (which is the next time you’d need it anyway) - there’s a line for appointments on entry or something like that at the GE lane.

In addition to the spot on response from Susie, you can also attempt a walk in should you find yourself at the airport (even if you're not returning from a trip from overseas). I've done that a couple of times in the past.
Thank you both so much!
 

Jimmy15

New Member
Not COVID specific but:
- re-entry with stamped passport is fine, not all airline employees understand it though so take relevant page of CBP manual and be prepared to go up chain of supervisors if necessary
- if getting GC sent abroad use UPS, FedEx etc company not regular mail
Thanks SusieQQQ!

Which one of these two ways would you suggest?
 

Airspray

Active Member
Thanks SusieQQQ!

Which one of these two ways would you suggest?
I had my GC, as well as credit cards etc., delivered to me via UPS. Except for the fact that it was dang expensive there were no issues whatsoever, everything was delivered to me within a few days.
 

Jimmy15

New Member
Up to you - risk of potential hassle at the airport vs risk of losing your green card in the postal/courier system..
Thanks SusieQQQ for telling me clearly what's at stake! It's not an easy choice - especially in a time of Schengen closed borders.
 

Jimmy15

New Member
I had my GC, as well as credit cards etc., delivered to me via UPS. Except for the fact that it was dang expensive there were no issues whatsoever, everything was delivered to me within a few days.
Thanks for sharing your experience Airspray and good for you! If you are ok with that could you tell me in which country you received your GC - I can't see your profile.
 
just quick update guys, finally our son made the oath and became a US citizen . Now all of us.
Many thanks For your help in all the past years.

BTW. I made info pass and get certified copies from our Citizenship certificates instead of sending the original to the Passports or DL or SSN. I could get couple of copies for each one of us. At the end it will be equal to the original as they have the same seal/stamp. I share that if that might help to not be stress with certificate.
 

AshleyMarleyNZ

Active Member
Not sure if this is the right place to post this! Sorry to mods if it isn’t :)

Got my vaccine today! Very exciting for me haha. I opted for the J&J 1 shot so I can have it over and done with. I found a pharmacy 2 miles from my apartment that had all 3 in stock and does walk ins. They even laminated my vax card for me and gave me 2 free bottles of hand sanitiser which was neat. For newbie LPRs who might not be aware, Uber and Lyft and offering free rides to and from vaccine appointments to authorised vaccine stockists, so that was also very cool (still haven’t bought a car yet). I’m not sure why, but I kinda feel like a real American now lol. NZ’s vaccine roll out is soooo sloooow so it’s really neat it’s so readily available here. I feel like I can start my new life now lol!
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Not sure if this is the right place to post this! Sorry to mods if it isn’t :)

Got my vaccine today! Very exciting for me haha. I opted for the J&J 1 shot so I can have it over and done with. I found a pharmacy 2 miles from my apartment that had all 3 in stock and does walk ins. They even laminated my vax card for me and gave me 2 free bottles of hand sanitiser which was neat. For newbie LPRs who might not be aware, Uber and Lyft and offering free rides to and from vaccine appointments to authorised vaccine stockists, so that was also very cool (still haven’t bought a car yet). I’m not sure why, but I kinda feel like a real American now lol. NZ’s vaccine roll out is soooo sloooow so it’s really neat it’s so readily available here. I feel like I can start my new life now lol!
Congrats! Yes - the availability in the US now is excellent and certainly exceeds any other country I have friends in.

One caveat to this post however, for others who may be reading this, there are a number of organizations who recommend you don‘t laminate your vaccination card as it seems likely booster shots may be required and the cards consequently would need to be updated.
 

HappyDV2021

Active Member
Hope this would be helpful to someone.

I needed to replace my SSN and receive new SSNs for my kids.

I called Mountain View, CA SSA, and was able to easily schedule an appointment in a month from the date when I called.
I showed up with all my paperwork and came with my wife and 13yo kid.
I scheduled 5 appointments a different times throughout the day, but they have done all the documents for all the 5 people at once and it has taken them about 15 min.
SSA was empty, we were the only people inside.
So if you need to receive SSN after AOS, you can schedule an appointment and get it, but it would take some time because usually, all the slots for the next month are already taken.
 

ralu_de

Member
Hi there!
I've searched the forum but I couldn't find a lot of information on this topic - Did anybody move to NYC after winning the DV lottery?
What was your experience?
How much money did you save to go, how fast did you find a job / apartment?
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Hi there!
I've searched the forum but I couldn't find a lot of information on this topic - Did anybody move to NYC after winning the DV lottery?
What was your experience?
How much money did you save to go, how fast did you find a job / apartment?
NYC is massive. There is about as much variety of jobs as there are areas to live and rent budgets. Your question is way too broad. Start with whet kind of job (investment banker? Minimum wage unskilled job? Artisan? What?) then you can figure out a budget.
 

ralu_de

Member
@SusieQQQ I was wondering about green card winners' experience in general, not a field in particular.

I'm a graphic designer & architect and my husband is a mechanical engineer with experience in oil&gas but he also has a master in design(engineering). We're in our 30s and we both have around 8-10 years of experience in our fields. I scoured the internet and I saw some average salaries of 50-70k for graphic designers and 80-100k for mechanical engineers, no idea if this is the reality though.
But we won't have a lot of money from the get go, maybe around 20-30k saved, which wouldn't allow us to spend months looking for jobs.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
@SusieQQQ I was wondering about green card winners' experience in general, not a field in particular.

I'm a graphic designer & architect and my husband is a mechanical engineer with experience in oil&gas but he also has a master in design(engineering). We're in our 30s and we both have around 8-10 years of experience in our fields. I scoured the internet and I saw some average salaries of 50-70k for graphic designers and 80-100k for mechanical engineers, no idea if this is the reality though.
But we won't have a lot of money from the get go, maybe around 20-30k saved, which wouldn't allow us to spend months looking for jobs.
Those sound like not great salaries for experienced people in those fields, especially for a NY cost of living. And you probably know this but it’s not the best area for someone with oil and gas experience. Are you stuck on NY in particular?

for some context, the average starting salary for someone just graduated with a bachelors degree from NYU is a shade under $65k a year.
 

ralu_de

Member
Those sound like not great salaries for experienced people in those fields, especially for a NY cost of living. And you probably know this but it’s not the best area for someone with oil and gas experience. Are you stuck on NY in particular?

for some context, the average starting salary for someone just graduated with a bachelors degree from NYU is a shade under $65k a year.
It's the salaries that I've seen on sites like glass door and indeed, but I don't actually know anyone working in those fields in the states. What would be a decent salary for a couple with no kids? Pretty set on NY, since I don't have a driver's license neither planning on getting one, plus I have some family there. Although I do know it's not the best place for oil&gas, but I figure the experience in project management & design can somehow translate. We also don't mind living in one of the other boroughs, we're quite low maintenance, so I (naively maybe?) think an income of 8-9k net monthly for both of us would be more than enough to keep our standard of living. (2-3k for a one bedroom in Brooklyn, 1k utilities and metro pass, so around 3-4k for food & other expenses)
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
I’m not sure about the other boroughs, but the Manhattan landlords tend to want to see 40x rent as income. So bear that in mind, if you’re looking at a $3k or so rent that’s doable. I’d also suggest spending time on LinkedIn and making sure your profiles are up to date and marketable on there.
 

ralu_de

Member
I’m not sure about the other boroughs, but the Manhattan landlords tend to want to see 40x rent as income. So bear that in mind, if you’re looking at a $3k or so rent that’s doable. I’d also suggest spending time on LinkedIn and making sure your profiles are up to date and marketable on there.
Thank you @SusieQQQ !
 
Good evening everyone! I have got my GC 2 weeks ago, and now is the time to start looking at the job market ; even if I am already working, I want to start looking around to see if I can get a position (my employer did not play any role in the GC process so I don't have any obligation to keep working there). From your experience, how easy is it to find a job as a business/finance analyst ? Now that I am free from the visa constraint, I am curious to see whether this would be easy for me to find something else.

Thank you :)
 

Uncle33

Member
Questions about visa activation trip and POE.

We got our visas (DV2021) and we plan to activate them before Xmas. However not all of the family members will go together in one trip. My wife (main applicant) and I plan to enter together at SFO and our son will join us later from another country.

1. How many days after we enter should our son come and join us (for the visa and immigration system to update showing he is not coming before the main applicant) ?
2. Can he enter the US at a different POE, say JFK?
3. If his flight requires a transit at JFK then carry on to SFO, is JFK still his POE? Does he have to go back to landside to check in again to take his second flight after clearing custom and immigration? I understand I need to consider the time needed to complete the immigration clearing and the transit time between flights.
4. What exactly are the immigration clearing procedures at the POE (eg. documents to sign or payments to make) ? Any difference of the procedures between SFO and JFK?

Thanks in advance.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
1. He can come 5 minutes after you enter. You’ll be in the system.
2. Yes
3. Yes, jfk is his POE. He will need to have time to clear immigration, then collect his bags from customs and take them to the airline counter for the next flight - check with the airline, as they often have a counter right outside customs where bags can be dropped for this. He would be checked in for his onward leg already (he’ll get both boarding passes at his point of origin), but if his ticket involves codeshare on a different airline for the onward leg, there is a chance he may have to change terminals to get his connecting fight (and possibly have to bring his baggage with to check it in there if this is the case).
4. Procedures are the same (and no payments are made anywhere at the airport), but queues and wait times may differ between airports, terminals at the same airport, and at different times of day. I’m conservative with these things and would allow at least 2 hours layover if he is departing from the same terminal and 3 hours if he has to change terminals. If he is coming at high season (say December), leave more time. I’ve spent 2.5 hours in the immigration line at jfk in December before.

All that said, where is your son? (I seem to recall UK?) There are direct flights to SFO from London as well as some other cities in Europe.
 
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