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Can I pick your brains? Advice about arrival in the USofA...

Can I pick your brains? Advice about arrival in the USofA...

Old Jun 6th 2010, 9:11 pm
  #1  
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Default Can I pick your brains? Advice about arrival in the USofA...

ok,
like many newbies, I have been lurking around on here a bit picking up some useful tips; but wondered if someone may be able to offer some one-stop-advice!

I arrive in LA from the UK on 18 June on a K1 visa which is (a) exciting and (b) totally terrifying... not least in that I get married 3 days later. I have been overwhelmed with paperwork over the past 12 months, not only with the visa application - but also everything that needs doing before I leave (god bless the DVLA for having totally nonsensical rules, the tax man for sending me an 85 page booklet on how to fill out a 3 page tax form)... but I am guessing that my life of paperwork isn't going to end when I get off the plane at LAX.

So my question is... is there a simple list of all the things I need to do when I first get there ... and is there an order to do them? From getting a Social Security Number, to opening a US bank account (any recommendations?), to trying to get a mobile phone, car insurance - and I am sure a whole load of other things.

Any advice is very gratefully received on what to do and where / how to do it - as well as how to cope with the current nerves!

cheers for any ideas, handy hints or advice on avoiding pitfalls... [/FONT][/FONT]
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Old Jun 6th 2010, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: Can I pick your brains? Advice about arrival in the USofA...

Get a driving license. Other than that, you pretty much have it.

Oh, an insider tip: don't call it the US of A. That would be like referring to the UK as "jolly old England".

Don't be terrified. Nervously excited is acceptable.
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Old Jun 6th 2010, 11:27 pm
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Default Re: Can I pick your brains? Advice about arrival in the USofA...

some of this will apply http://www.welcometousa.gov/
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Old Jun 6th 2010, 11:29 pm
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Default Re: Can I pick your brains? Advice about arrival in the USofA...

Originally Posted by EmVee View Post

So my question is... is there a simple list of all the things I need to do when I first get there ... and is there an order to do them? From getting a Social Security Number, to opening a US bank account (any recommendations?), to trying to get a mobile phone, car insurance - and I am sure a whole load of other things.
Just search each point out on the forum.

The bank account, mobile phone, car insurance, SSN, they're all recent subjects that you could probably find the threads on the first page.

Getting your drivers license, rules for that depend on the state, check out the state requirements, but there are plenty of threads for CA.

Also depending on your age, might have to sign up for SS.

For the UK, get copies of birth certificate and your parents just in case, medical records especially the vaccination information, fill in P-85, register a proxy voter.

And welcome to BE and good luck with the wedding!
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Old Jun 7th 2010, 12:48 am
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Default Re: Can I pick your brains? Advice about arrival in the USofA...

Here's a simple list for you:

3 days after arrival: Get married.

About 10 days after arrival: Go in person to Social Security with the SSN application, your passport, your K-1 visa, and your I-94. SS card will arrive in the mail about 2 weeks laer.

Bob is referring to Selective Service (SS). If you are of a certain age, you'll need to apply. You can google the requirements.

As soon as possible after marriage, file the paperwork for your Adjustment of Status (AOS).

Check with DMV regarding their requirements for obtaining a drivers license. Most require a SSN, so you *might* have to wait until you have that in hand. But double check with your local DMV.

Wells Fargo had no problem adding my husband (also arrived on a K-1) to my existing bank account and opening one for him as well, before he had a SSN.

Good luck and welcome to the USA!

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Old Jun 7th 2010, 12:53 am
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Default Re: Can I pick your brains? Advice about arrival in the USofA...

Also note that for the AOS paperwork you will need to see a US Panel Physician (one can be found on the USCIS website closest to you - shop around for the cheapest) to get your vaccination supplement which is required.

KEEP A COPY OF THE VACCINATION REPORT GIVEN TO YOU AT YOUR UK MEDICAL. If necessary ask for a copy for yourself at the time of your medical.
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Old Jun 7th 2010, 10:22 am
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Default Re: Can I pick your brains? Advice about arrival in the USofA...

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
Bob is referring to Selective Service (SS). If you are of a certain age, you'll need to apply. You can google the requirements.
Males between 18 and 25 needs to register before their 26th birthday. Besides being the law, the registration number is needed when applying for citizenship later on, if one at some point were required to register.

Last edited by discoviking; Jun 7th 2010 at 10:25 am.
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Old Jun 8th 2010, 8:37 pm
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Default Re: Can I pick your brains? Advice about arrival in the USofA...

Thank you to all for advice, it's hugely appreciated.

I hope that the AOS medical is better then the one set up by the US embassy in London (which cost a fortune and included the doctor sniffing me, which was random, amusing yet strangely offensive all at the same time!).

Massively nervous - but guess joining Brits in LA and watching the England play in the world world cup with them will find me some friends quick enough; as much as I love my future husband, I think watching football with a non-believer might put a strain on our marriage before it's really started!

Its raining in Manchester... I guess I need to get used to life without northern drizzle.

Thanks again: Masha
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Old Jun 9th 2010, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: Can I pick your brains? Advice about arrival in the USofA...

Originally Posted by EmVee View Post
I hope that the AOS medical is better then the one set up by the US embassy in London (which cost a fortune and included the doctor sniffing me, which was random, amusing yet strangely offensive all at the same time!).
The AOS medical is not a full medical exam like you had for your visa. It's mainly so the doctor can verify that you've had all your vaccinations, or to give you any vaccinations that might be lacking.

Rene
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Old Jun 9th 2010, 6:38 pm
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Default Re: Can I pick your brains? Advice about arrival in the USofA...

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
The AOS medical is not a full medical exam like you had for your visa. It's mainly so the doctor can verify that you've had all your vaccinations, or to give you any vaccinations that might be lacking.

Rene
And at least this one you can shop around if you live in a busy area, because some of those doctors are just making the fee's up, huge range.
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Old Jun 11th 2010, 1:40 am
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Default Re: Can I pick your brains? Advice about arrival in the USofA...

Originally Posted by EmVee View Post
Massively nervous - but guess joining Brits in LA and watching the England play in the world world cup with them will find me some friends quick enough; as much as I love my future husband, I think watching football with a non-believer might put a strain on our marriage before it's really started!
Rule #1: Its called soccer here. Football is reserved for American-style rugby
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