Being awarded green card status and lawful permanent residence in the US can be an exciting experience. However, once you gain entry to the United States the process is not yet
complete as you get settled in. If you are a foreign national who has been living in the USA for only a short period of time, there are a few steps you should be aware of that will make
being a newcomer to the US a lot easier.
Obtain a Social Security Number
When you are living in the USA there is very little you can accomplish without the use of a Social Security Number. Once you get settled go to the nearest Social Security Administration office as soon as you can to apply for a Social Security Number and bring all of your documentation with you. Without a Social Security Number you are unable to apply for credit, purchase a home, open a bank account, or other things that you will need for everyday life.
Apply for a Driver’s License
Once you are living in the USA a driver’s license is considered to be a primary form of identification. Depending upon where you live it can also be difficult to get by without a driver’s license if you reside in a remote area.
Once you receive your driver’s license you should submit your driving record from your country of origin in advance of acquiring a car. Provided your driving record in your home country is good, this can help you to reduce the costs of car insurance which is required of every car owner in the US. Additionally, if you have a few years of driving experience behind you this can also help when determining the cost of car insurance.
Get to know others as soon as you arrive in the US or prior to your arrival if possible. If you apply for employment or a place to live such as an apartment you will be requested to provide references. This helps your credibility if you already know people who are living in the USA. Also, if you were employed in your country of origin you can bring references from there as well.
Get Your Credit Established
Once you have a Social Security Number and several forms of identification you can begin to work on getting your credit established. Perhaps you could begin by requesting a secured loan from your local financial institution, a secured credit card, or other resource. This will help you get a credit record established so you can eventually acquire a mortgage or make other large purchases.
Learn to Speak English
If you have not already done so it is necessary to learn the English language once you are living in the USA. You can opt to attend language school or enroll in a college study course. If you want to, you can go for a language degree in which case you can learn the English language and come out of the program having earned a college degree. This enables you to work as a translator or look at new opportunities in terms of employment.
Finally, if you do not yet have access to a PC or mobile device, you can go to the nearest public library to get free Internet access. This will help you to stay in touch with your family back in your country of origin and to do research as needed to help you with the daily skills you must learn once you are living in the USA.
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