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my plan to settle in the US In a week! does it sound good?

my plan to settle in the US In a week! does it sound good?

Old Jul 30th 2016, 9:48 am
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Default my plan to settle in the US In a week! does it sound good?

Given the crazy H1B rules, I will be entering the US only 10 days before I start working. I have set the following plan to be able to sort the main things out before my contract starts. Any suggestions are welcomed.

before leaving: rent a car and find a temporary accommodation for the first 10 days. Withdraw 5000 USD in cash.

day 1: open a bank account. I heard Wells Fargo does not require a permanent address and only needs my passport and employment letter. Appartently I can use my work address and then change it later. I plan to deposit 2500 of my 5000 USD in cash as soon as the account is ready and prepare an international bank transfer from my European account that should be received in three days. Get a mobile phone and a sim card. I was told T mobile have good deals with several cheap options to call Europe. I hope they have unlimited GB as well.

explore the city: I plan to drive around the city and look for the best suburbs where I would like to live

day 2: meet the real estate agent suggested by my employer and visit the 10-15 houses I already selected on their website. Hopefully one of these will be the right one. Apply for rent the place and sign the rental agreement as soon as possible. How long should it take to complete the whole process? I can pay cash two months in advance

day 3: apply for SSN. according to the SSA website I should be fine with my passport and a copy of my employment letter.

day 4: take the tests to get the US licence. I have already booked an appointment with DMV and appartently I should be able to do everything in one day. I was told te process is fairly straightforward for a EU DL holder. I hope to get a provisional copy of the licence by the end of the day.

DAY 5: choose the furniture and try to get it delivered as soon as possible.

day 6: buy a car and insure it. by this time I should have my 30k available into my US account and be able to buy it cash. My provisional US DL should be fine for that.

Do you see anything missing? Am I being too optimistic on anything? What do you recommend to change in this schedule? Thanks!
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Old Jul 30th 2016, 2:22 pm
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Default Re: my plan to settle in the US In a week! does it sound good?

What state? Some states require an SSN to apply for the DL
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Old Jul 30th 2016, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: my plan to settle in the US In a week! does it sound good?

It's good to have a plan and you have covered the big initial things......but be prepared to deviate from your plan as it's pretty aggressive.
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Old Jul 30th 2016, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: my plan to settle in the US In a week! does it sound good?

Be prepared to have to shell out more than two months rent when you find a place. Some will require six months to a year's rental as a deposit since you have no credit history.

You've planned ahead but IMHO your timeline is too rushed to accomplish all that you hope to do inside of ten days. It is going to take that long, or longer, just to get your social security number. Why did you book an appointment at DMV? They are not going to do anything for you without a ssn.
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Old Jul 30th 2016, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: my plan to settle in the US In a week! does it sound good?

I think your housing plan is... ambitious. Viewing 10-15 houses is unnecessary for a rental, unless you're thinking that the more you look at, the higher the chance of finding a landlord who'll take a chance on your lack of history. I believe the reimbursement rate for a realtor on rentals is very low, a couple of hundred dollars, so the realtor will likely also be wanting to do more lucrative sale work, and fit you in between other clients.

We had to pay cash deposits of around $300-500 for each utility - electric, gas, trash/ water - and this had to be done in person at each utility's offices. Allow half a day for this.
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Old Jul 30th 2016, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: my plan to settle in the US In a week! does it sound good?

I have already talked with the local DMV office,the solution they propose is getting a licence for rental vehicles (can be done without ssn) buy a car with that one and then convert the limited DL into a standard one once I have the SSN (simple conversion with nonadditional tests needed).

The realtor services are paid by my company

No problem if I need to pay a few months im advance, even a year is fine as long as I have the house at disposal as soon as possible

I havent thought about the utilities, you are right. I also need to get an internet connection for our home

I know the plan is very ambitious, but if I dont find accommodation and buy car before I start working everything is gonna be really hard
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Old Jul 30th 2016, 4:34 pm
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Default Re: my plan to settle in the US In a week! does it sound good?

Contact International Autosource and arrange a car through them, then (i) you can have it waiting for you, and (ii) you can finance it and start building your credit history.

Even if you can afford to pay cash, and therefore either put down a large deposit and/or pay off the bulk of the loan immediately, keeping a loan account open for 12 months and making the payments can do wonders for your credit score.
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Old Jul 31st 2016, 12:16 am
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Default Re: my plan to settle in the US In a week! does it sound good?

I would contact the real estate agent and mention that you will be coming with basically 'zero' USA credit history and that you don't want to visit places where that will be a problem. Some big corporate rental places may balk at renting to someone without a credit history, but some private landlords might be willing to do it.

If possible get a list of buildings they want to show you and do some online research and possible nix a few (and save some time) based on what you see online.
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Old Jul 31st 2016, 12:37 am
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Default Re: my plan to settle in the US In a week! does it sound good?

Originally Posted by penguinsix View Post
I would contact the real estate agent and mention that you will be coming with basically 'zero' USA credit history and that you don't want to visit places where that will be a problem. Some big corporate rental places may balk at renting to someone without a credit history, but some private landlords might be willing to do it.

If possible get a list of buildings they want to show you and do some online research and possible nix a few (and save some time) based on what you see online.
On the other hand, if the OP is coming to work for a big corporation (said he's working with a realtor suggested by the employer) a letter from them stating employment term and salary might be advantageous.
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Old Aug 1st 2016, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: my plan to settle in the US In a week! does it sound good?

Originally Posted by platypus81 View Post
Get a mobile phone and a sim card. I was told T mobile have good deals with several cheap options to call Europe. I hope they have unlimited GB as well.
Make sure it's an android phone. Then you can get a Google Voice account, and direct-dial the folks from your cellphone, for 1c per minute to UK landlines and cheap rates to UK mobiles also.

As for unlimited data ... well there's not really any such thing. The phone companies that advertise unlimited data still employ traffic shaping and restrict the data rate, after you use a certain amount per month.

But most plans come with unlimited US/Canada minutes, now.
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Old Aug 1st 2016, 9:02 pm
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Default Re: my plan to settle in the US In a week! does it sound good?

Originally Posted by jxv73 View Post
What state? Some states require an SSN to apply for the DL
Curious about the state too. In SC, the whole test took about an hour (written and practical) and a full licence was issued on the spot.
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Old Aug 1st 2016, 9:58 pm
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Default Re: my plan to settle in the US In a week! does it sound good?

Originally Posted by Sheepdip View Post
Curious about the state too. In SC, the whole test took about an hour (written and practical) and a full licence was issued on the spot.
I had to have my SSN before I could get my license in Virginia. If you don't qualify for an SSN then evidence of that will suffice.
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Old Aug 2nd 2016, 9:19 am
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Default Re: my plan to settle in the US In a week! does it sound good?

The State is NC. The following is the reply I received from the DMV:

"Sorry but we do not waive any testing for licenses from other countries—only from other US states. You can use your license for up to 60 days—but there’s no penalty from us if it takes longer for you to get the NC license.

You can apply for the license using your visa—that’s not a problem. You would need the actual Social Security card otherwise.

And you must have either the new NC license or the Temporary Driving Certificate to register your vehicle. BUT if you are going to be driving a rental vehicle first, you can apply for the fleet vehicles only license and then when you buy a vehicle and get insurance, come in to get a duplicate license WITHOUT that restriction.

Then you can register the car"

Thanks for the great suggestion regarding International Autosource. I have already contacted a local agent, hopefully he will reply soon
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Old Aug 2nd 2016, 11:08 am
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Default Re: my plan to settle in the US In a week! does it sound good?

Originally Posted by yellowroom View Post
I had to have my SSN before I could get my license in Virginia. If you don't qualify for an SSN then evidence of that will suffice.
I gave duff info there, sorry for any confusion. *I* had to have an SSN to get my driving license, as that was the only form of ID that the DMV would accept alongside my passport & visa. The Virginia DMV wants a primary and a secondary ID and have a big long list of documentation that they accept. Unfortunately for me, the SSN was the only evidence that I qualified for and could produce. (unfortunate as it took over 2 months for mine to come through)

This was back in 2011, so times & rules may have changed.
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Old Aug 4th 2016, 4:57 pm
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Default Re: my plan to settle in the US In a week! does it sound good?

Back to you for an update regarding the International Autosource. I have contacted a local agent and he asked me to find a car with a local dealer first. If I request a loan, the minimum amount would be $5000, with an interest rate of 5%. On top of that I am required to pay $495 to IAS for their service.

Given the local realtor does not seem to be bothered by my credit history (he is fine as far as I pay the entire sum cash), I don't think it's worth paying roughly $800 just to increase my credit score. Am I missing anything?
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