So it finally happened! I got told I've been approved for a resident visa in the USA. It's been a long wait and a lot of work for the interview but my immigration journey is just beginning. There is a LOT to think about and do before I can move to the other side of the planet.
I love and live for travelling as much as I can but it's never been for more than a year. Now I am packing my whole life up and moving -permanently. While I go through this process I thought documenting it might help someone else out there who is also on a life-changing journey. So here's my game plan for now. If it changes I'll update you along the way. If you like my ideas please consider subscribing.
Make Absolutely Certain
This is obvious but make sure your documents are in order before you sell your house, quit your job or throw your farewell party. Make sure the visa is printed correctly, you have your other documents like birth certificates, medical records, passport etc and then celebrate. I only get 5-6 months to move so I'm acting fast but also not too fast. It's enough time for me as a single, renting millennial to get all my affairs in order.
All In The Details
The most important part of moving the the effort you put into research. If you're in the same boat as me you'll know that choosing where to live in the US is a big decision to make. Start with weather (or whatever your biggest desire is) and then work opportunities in those areas. Natural disasters, disease and crime statistics are useful to know too. Also research the neighbourhoods where the jobs are available and the surrounding areas to live in. The next best thing is to talk to a local or find videos of the area. It's important to keep your must-haves and wants in mind and although there will always be compromise it's better to be prepared.
Before you move you might want to look at converting your money into the right currency and into an account if you have one. If you don't, use a traveller's card so that you can pay for things for the first few days you arrive. I'm lucky enough to have worked in the US a year ago so I have a pretty good idea of what things cost in Orlando as well as have the accounts I need in place. Things might be different in other states so I suggest finding a zip code and looking at local shops online for estimates of food.
Sell Sell Sell
You are probably going to need money to not only move but also to settle into your life. You'll need money for furniture, rent, travel, shipping, food and other costs that creep up during a regular move nevermind an international one. You should sell everything you don't need or can't take with you. This means everything! If you can't get cash for it, donate it. The other option is to rent a shipping container but unless you're moving your entire family this probably isn't worth it. Limit yourself to 4 large bags you can take on the plane and even if you end up with less you'll have a whole lot of cash to help you start your new life.
Find A Place To Live
Once you have a job in an area you like, it's time to find somewhere to stay and though you can find some amazing places online and there's plenty of resources and tools out there, it's better to speak to a human being. The local real estate agent will know more about the neighbourhoods you want to live in and can afford. They will also likely know if there is somewhere you can afford on your own or if you'll need to find a roommate. They can also tell you about the taxes, utility costs and other useful information.
These ideas are just the plan so far before I even start to look at flights and the cost of actually getting myself to the border and local transport etc. That I am pretty sure will follow my other travelling tips which you can find here. If you have any other ideas and tips please leave me a comment.
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