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Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants - Travel - Nairaland

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Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by sevule(m): 6:39pm On Mar 17, 2018
I remember when I was a regular on the USA Visa Enquiries thread 5 years ago. Back then I was working on the island in Lagos, single and living in a self contained room on the mainland. I made just enough to pay me rent, fix my car and basically keep body and soul together. Fast forward five years to the present. I am now married with a child on the way, I bought a 4 bedroom duplex last year and I work in a job that pays me six figures in USD not Naira.

God has been faithful and the American dream is truly alive. If you have been fortunate enough to emigrate to the US, know that the sky is your limit and the American dream is indeed in your grasp.

That said let me start with what this thread is NOT about. This thread does NOT tell you how to get a visa so please refer visa related questions to other threads. This thread gives tips to legal immigrants and students on how to succeed in the USA. I plan to elaborate on all the tips listed below in posts in this thread. These tips are things I wish I knew when I was a "JJC" (novice) and first landed in the States. Hopefully other folks will add their own tips as well for living in the States.

Let's get the ball rolling and remember feel free to add your own tips!

Get a Green Card
Get an SSN and Drivers license
Open a bank account with a credit union
Get a credit card
Learn to make appointments for everything
Shop at discount stores, warehouse clubs and outlet stores
Craigslist and Ebay are your friends
There is free stuff everywhere, you just have to look
Load up on coupons
Look out for sales
Learn to be handy
Cook your own food
Nigerian foods are cheaper at Asian stores
Travel and enjoy yourself
Go for festivals and events
Have an open mind
Get a car or a bus pass
No job is menial, don't be afraid to hustle!
Buy a house
Make friends with Americans not just Nigerians
Don't buy a phone line from At&t, Verizon or Sprint

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Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by sevule(m): 6:57pm On Mar 17, 2018
Get a Green Card
This is definitely the most important step. It opens up doors that will for ever be closed without this little card. If you are on an F1 visa, you should start thinking about how you want to get your green card. Do you plan to get it through marriage or work? This topic alone should probably have its own thread. Because this topic is so large, I will leave it for last

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Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by Sankabson(m): 6:57pm On Mar 17, 2018
Following!!
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by kams19(m): 7:10pm On Mar 17, 2018
we are listening bro
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by ijoka: 7:10pm On Mar 17, 2018
Following...
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by sevule(m): 7:17pm On Mar 17, 2018
Get an SSN and Drivers license
Without a Social Security Number (SSN) you can't do anything in the United States. You can't work or get a drivers license. This is why being an illegal in the US is so difficult. No reputable company will hire you without your SSN and documentation that proves that you can legally work in the USA. If you are thinking about overstaying your visa or entering the US illegally, take my advice and DON'T do it. You cannot work and the only people you can work for will DEFINITELY take advantage of you and pay you peanuts. It is NOT worth it.

If you can't legally emigrate to the US, there are other options that are easier like Canada. A Social Security Number is so important that babies are given one when they are born. In addition your SSN is confidential and should be known to you and you alone. There are times you will need to give your SSN like when you are getting a job, applying for government identification, going to the hospital etc. Just be aware that identity thieves can steal your identity with your SSN and other personal identifiable information so guard your SSN jealously

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Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by rinzaugustine: 8:21pm On Mar 17, 2018
I believe most of us who are here legally have already done the aforementioned Do you know any legitimate business to invest in here like residential care home or sending used items back home and the procedure for setting it up
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by Nobody: 8:49pm On Mar 17, 2018
Bro what are the chances of a tourist surviving in the US. How can he get work permit

1 Like

Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by Damolux01(m): 9:37pm On Mar 17, 2018
Following...

1 Like

Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by Tolktob: 10:09pm On Mar 17, 2018
How can someone migrate legally to USA
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by sevule(m): 10:43pm On Mar 17, 2018
Open a bank account with a credit union

Forget opening a bank account with a regular bank like Bank of America, Citi Bank, US Bank, Wells Fargo etc. A regular bank will kill you with bank charges. You didn't put money in your account within 60 days, you are charged. You are withdrawing money from another bank's ATM, you are charged. You let your account go into debit, you are charged. You recieve a wire transfer, same old story you are charged. Heck if you don't have any money in your account you are still charged.

If you don't want to see your dollars dwindle in the name of charges, you need to open a bank account with a credit union. Credit Unions are not for profit so they don't charge their members for basic bank services. Services like ATM withdrawals, incoming money transfers etc are free. When I discovered this, I closed my all my accounts with the major banks and opened an aaccount with a credit union.

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Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by 2Banty: 11:23pm On Mar 17, 2018
Following earnestly!
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by spartacus11(m): 11:28pm On Mar 17, 2018
Nice one Op, hope some people don't derail d thread

1 Like

Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by Lhimeet(m): 3:07am On Mar 18, 2018
Nice Thread ...Following smiley
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by slimturay(f): 6:42am On Mar 18, 2018
Interesting tgread FF
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by bujebudanu1(m): 7:54am On Mar 18, 2018
Ok
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by RexCheeng: 10:35am On Mar 18, 2018
Great work, Sevule! Thanks a bunch.
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by leonaidas(m): 12:58pm On Mar 18, 2018
This is going to be fun. Let me sit here.
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by Nobody: 1:02pm On Mar 18, 2018
Sevule

Great work!
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by happy200(m): 3:06pm On Mar 18, 2018
following.

1 Like

Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by Electroweb(m): 4:15pm On Mar 18, 2018
.
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by MackyNaija(m): 4:29pm On Mar 18, 2018
Get an SSN and Drivers license
Without a Social Security Number (SSN) you can't do anything in the United States. You can't work or get a drivers license...

It is possible to get a driver's license without an SSN as a student.
The F1 visa, I20, I94 and proof of residence (lease document, utility bill or bank statement) are required to start the process and when coupled with the tests are enough to complete it.

However, a friend recently tendered his SSN gotten through an on-campus employment and almost all those documents listed above were 'overlooked' though he mentioned he was on F1.

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Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by sevule(m): 3:06am On Mar 19, 2018
Get a credit card

America runs on a credit system and your credit worthiness is determined by your credit score. Except you are Dangote's som and you plan to pay for a house in cash, if you ever want to buy a house, you need a good credit score. If you want to buy that nice car you have been dreaming about, chances are that you will buy it using a car loan and no bank will even look at you if you do not have a credit history. Heck you can't even rent a car if you don't have a credit card so having a credit card is a MUST.

In order to have a credit score, you need to have some kind of credit card or loan. Like I said earlier no bank will give you a loan without a credit score so you need to have a credit card. As a first timer without a credit history, you need to apply for what is called a secured credit card. This is a credit card that is secured by cash and once you get this card or any credit card, you wll then have a credit score. A word of warning for the wise, a credit card is NOT free money, as you have to pay it back.

Another great advantage of credit cards is that some cards offer free cash, gift cards, airline miles and even free airline tickets. My friend got a free ticket to Alaska because she signed up for an Alaska Airline credit card. If you know what you are doing, you can apply for numerous cards and collect free multiple airline tickets to countries around the world. This practice is called credit card churning but as a beginner DO NOT even think about doing this. You will wreck your credit card score and be saddled with debt. The only people that do this are experts that understand the system

The awesome thing about the USA is that loans have a very low interest rate. I remember when I was in Nigeria and I wanted to buy land to build a house so I went to First Bank Mortgage to see if I could take a loan. They told me that the interest rate for the loan was 26% and I would still pay about 3% or so in loan fees. Lest I forget I also had to repay the loan within 5 years. When I moved to the US and decided I wanted to buy a house, I got a mortgage loan for 3%.

In my opinion credit is definitely a good thing when used WISELY.

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Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by sevule(m): 3:08am On Mar 19, 2018
MackyNaija:


It is possible to get a driver's license without an SSN as a student.
The F1 visa, I20, I94 and proof of residence (lease document, utility bill or bank statement) are required to start the process and when coupled with the tests are enough to complete it.

However, a friend recently tendered his SSN gotten through an on-campus employment and almost all those documents listed above were 'overlooked' though he mentioned he was on F1.

@MackyNaija Thanks for pointing that out, I almost forgot that there were special cases were you could get a license without an SSN.
Do you have any tips you want to share?

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Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by sevule(m): 3:20am On Mar 19, 2018
Learn to make appointments for everything

Coming to America I quickly learned that I had to make an appointment for almost everything. This was a difficult adjustment for me as I was used to the Naija style of getting services by just walking in but it doesn't work that way here. You want to see the doctor? Make an appointment. You want a haircut? Make an appointment. You want to change the oil in your car? Make an appointment, and it just goes on and on. There are exceptions and sometimes you can get service without making an appointment but the problem is that you may have to wait a very long time for them to attend to people that booked appointments, so the moral of the story is - make an appointment.

This Saturday I wanted to change the oil in my car and I forgot to make an appointment. I called like 6 different car shops and all the car shops told me they were fully booked and they couldn't attend to me. You would think that I should have known better having lived in America for a while but sometimes the Naija boy in me is just too strong.

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Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by Nobody: 7:58am On Mar 19, 2018
Enjoying this bro
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by spartacus11(m): 1:30pm On Mar 19, 2018
Following
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by lyrondee: 2:01pm On Mar 19, 2018
Following...
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by miqos02(m): 7:21pm On Mar 19, 2018
cool
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by mikebrown92: 12:11am On Mar 20, 2018
Nice one OP

You are really passing knowledge


Can i talk to you Outside NL pls? @sevule
Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by TWoods(m): 12:54am On Mar 20, 2018
Don't buy a phone line from At&t, Verizon or Sprint

I would disagree with this. Verizon has about the best coverage in the US. Sprint can be quite spotty, though cheap. If you own directv, then you should definitely buy a phone line through AT&T. The lines are expensive for individuals but are worth the money for a family that burns through data. I find I can watch live TV through my phone without it counting against my data plan at all. win win for me.

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Re: Welcome To USA - Tips And Tricks For Immigrants by jamesgordon: 2:41am On Mar 20, 2018
smiley

1 Like

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