At the time of this writing, the United States currently sits in eighth place on the list of the wealthiest countries in the world, making it one of the most sought-after destinations for expatriates when leaving their home country. It’s not difficult to see the appeal that ex-pats see in the States from being an English-speaking country, similar culture, exciting history, mouthwatering food, and more.
With more than one million ex-pats arriving in the United States each year, it’s essential that you consider the advantages and disadvantages of migrating to the States and whether it’s the right decision for you. Like all moves, immigrating to the United States should be well thought out, and due to the new rules and regulations in place across the world, it has become increasingly difficult to move abroad than in years past.
However, this doesn’t mean that your dream of migrating to the United States is wholly ruined; you just need to be sure that moving is the correct option for you and that you’re prepared. If you’re looking for more advice on emigrating to the States, below we list several facts that ex-pats need to know before moving to the USA – continue reading to discover more.
Keep To The Right
This tip is relatively straightforward, quick, and imperative that you remember. If you migrate to the States, you and your family will be joining one of the one-hundred and sixty-three countries in the world that drive on the right.
Despite a whopping 65% of the globe using right-hand traffic (RHT), many ex-pats get a nasty shock when they arrive in the States for the first time and discover that Americans use the right-hand side of the road for driving.
This also means that the U.S. car manufacturers build their vehicles with the steering wheel positioned on the left, so if you intend to bring your car with you when you migrate, you may find that this confuses you more, and you might be better off buying a car once you’ve arrived.
Say Goodbye To Paid Leave
Whether you find a new career or continue your previous profession, there might not be many aspects of working in America that shock you, and for the most part, it might be very similar to working back home. However, one aspect of working life in the States that may come as a surprise is your holiday allowance.
Despite having a developed economy, the USA is one of the only countries where employers are not required to provide their employees with paid leave by law. So, if you’re migrating to the U.S. from one of the countries with the most paid vacation days in the world, like Australia, Spain, France, or South Korea – then you might be in for a nasty shock!
Fortunately, most organizations in the States allow their employees a small amount of leave, between twenty to thirty days, depending on the duration you’ve worked at a company and which one you’re working for. But the national average is only twenty-one days! If looking for homes for sale in a no-vacation nation doesn’t bother you, you might be better off viewing your move as one big holiday as this might compensate for the lack of holiday you’ll receive at work.
No Two States Are The Same
With fifty states covering a vast swath of over nine million square meters, it won’t come as a surprise to most ex-pats that you’ll encounter a variety of culture shocks or regional differences between each state. Whether you’re looking for real estate in Greenville or Florence, you are sure to experience variations in everything from accents to religious views, no matter which state you’re in.
America is one of the only countries where you can hop on a plane, reach your destination, and wonder whether you’re still in the same country. For instance, the coldest month in Miami is warmer than the warmest month in San Francisco, yet the two states are only a six-hour flight apart. Due to this, it can be challenging for ex-pats to decide which state to settle down in.
If you’re struggling to find a city to migrate to, consider using a real estate search like EZ Home Search to look into homes for sale, which enables visitors to search for homes for sale and connect them to real estate agents. As well as the latter benefits, visitors can use the site to save searches and favorite listings and ask questions to local professionals. Visit their website for more insight, or follow their blog for helpful articles, blogs, and videos to see how their site could help prepare you to migrate to the States.
Don’t Forget To Tip Your Servers
Unlike in Europe and elsewhere, the tipping system is crucial to American hospitality. Since servers aren’t paid particularly well in the U.S., they rely on the tipping system to increase their income. In turn, the system incentivizes them to provide excellent customer service.
The common consensus states that 15-20% is a standard tip, whereas anything less than 20% is considered a foul tip. Tippingis an optional activity, but it’s an activity that we recommend taking part in to avoid getting the cold shoulder from your waiter or waitress! Anyone providing a service can be tipped in America, from taxi drivers to hotel attendants – so ensure that you always carry some spare change with you everywhere you go.
Avoid Travelling By Rail
It’s no secret that America is considered a driver’s paradise as it boasts one of the best road systems in the world. Since tax money in America prioritizes roads over other things, the roads are often well kept, making the need for additional transport options very minor. One such transport option that Americans don’t love is the rail system.
The rail system isn’t a popular transport option for Americans since it is underfunded, resulting in many trains arriving late. Trains on the northeast coast are considered to be better than others, but what they make up for they lack in affordability and promptness. Due to this, Americans often prefer to travel by plane since plane tickets are more cost-effective than train tickets in some instances.
Sales Tax Is Added At The End Of Your Transaction
When shopping in the States, be wary of the prices in shops as they’re more expensive than you think. Instead, sales tax is added at the end of your transaction, so what may seem like an affordable item might be more costly than you think. This rate can fluctuate from state to state between 2.9 to 7.25 percent, with Colorado being the nation’s lowest and California being the nation’s highest.
Strict Drinking Rules
Regarding drinking, the USA has a different approach than other countries. Unlike other countries where the national drinking age is eighteen, America’s minimum legal drinking age is twenty-one. In some states, the rules and regulations are more severe, with states like Indiana refusing to sell alcohol on Sundays.
Patriotism Is Important
Patriotism is important in America, so much so that the Americans have what they call “The Flag Code,” which dictates how citizens should act when the national anthem is being played. Despite this code, you will not be penalized for breaking it. The code does not mention singing but includes standing up, facing the flag, and resting your right hand on your heart.