As an immigrant to the U.S., there will be a lot of opportunities presented to you, but there will also be a plethora of things to adapt to. The U.S. is the “land of dreams” for many, but there will be a lot of things you may have never experienced before.
As an immigrant who doesn’t fully understand or know the U.S. well, it can be overwhelming to try and figure it all out. With that being said, here are some helpful tips for immigrants to the U.S.:
Know Your Rights
If there is one thing that you should know before you immigrate to the U.S., it’s the rights you have as an immigrant. For instance, you may qualify for CAT protection or some other form of immigration relief. Do some research to find out what legal protections you’re eligible for before you arrive in the U.S.?
With the help of a lawyer, you can find out more about the convention against torture asylum, if you’re immigrating from a dangerous situation, as well as find out what kinds of visas are available for your specific circumstances.
Healthcare Is Complicated and Pricey
You may come from a country where healthcare is free and easy to access. However, if there’s one thing that the U.S. isn’t dreamy for, it’s our healthcare. The healthcare system is expensive when you don’t have health insurance, and can be just as pricey when you have to pay insurance premiums.
There are some clinics spread across the country that offer accessible pricing for low-income families, but these are often full of people waiting to be attended to, which can make it difficult if you need immediate medical attention.
The Culture Is Uniquely Different From Many Others
In several countries across Latin America, Asia, and Europe, culture is very family-oriented. While the family is important in the U.S., many people end up living far from home from a young age and often live out their lives in other cities or states. However, in places like Mexico or even Spain, young people can still be seen living at home with their parents at the ages of 25-30, something you won’t see as much of in the U.S.
Life is Very Work-Oriented
While everyone has a job to go to and many people around the world strive for success, there is one thing that Americans are experts at the lifestyle of constantly working. Many people can be found working all week long or hardly taking any vacation time, all in the name of becoming successful and wealthy.
In other places, such as countries in Western Europe, vacation time can spread over a span of months, and Sundays in places like Spain and Italy are typically reserved for relaxing, with many stores and other places closed. This isn’t something you’ll see much of in the U.S., as people tend to work more than 40 hours a week, and vacation is typically reserved for holidays like New Year’s and Christmas.
For anyone coming from another country to live in the U.S., it can be somewhat of a culture shock. Life is simply different and there are a lot of laws and regulations to know about before you get here. Working with a lawyer to help prepare official immigration documents can be very helpful. After all, it’s important for you to know what you may qualify for as an immigrant, what your rights are, new immigration policies with Biden, and how to best assimilate into U.S. living.
Once you get past how different things are in the U.S., there are some big benefits and great opportunities that come with living here.