I’ll keep it short and straight to the point. This is one of the things I wish I knew when I landed in the USA and I’m sharing this with you my readers if you are in this position or know someone to whom this information can be of use, please share and pass the information.
There are two things you should do immediately that will make your life easier and help you move freely in the country. Movement is really important in the USA or else you cannot get much done.
Two Steps You Must Take
1. Get an ID/Driver’s
This goes without saying but having an ID is important and convenient. I remember having to carry around my passport and I didn’t like it. There’s also the risk of losing it and that is the only form of identification you have in a foreign country and also your way out if you want to go back to your country.
Yes, you may not have a Social Security Number but there are ways around that depending on the state you are in. For example, in a state like Texas, you have to apply for an affidavit to get an SSN and then use that to get an ID/Driver’s License.
There are 13 states currently that offer ID/Driver’sLiscence without an SSN and it is easier if you still have a valid Visa. You will not need a lot of documents to prove your identity, unlike situations where the Visa is expired. It is still possible if the visa is expired but it will require more documents depending on the state you choose to go to among the 13 which are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, New Mexico, Maryland, Utah, Vermont, and Washington
Each state has its own requirements and all the documents needed can be found on their driver’s license websites. Once you have a license, you can own a car and move around freely.
2. Open a Bank Account
Having a US bank account is important and advantageous even if you might be leaving the country. If you’ll be staying then even better, it is easy to open one when your visa is still valid. Banks need documents of identification and you can look them up on their website or just make a quick call to the bank of your choice and ask. Mostly what they require is Your passport, Visa, and an American mailing address.
For the mailing address, they need a document with the address in it ie. a lease, utility bill or phone bill and some banks take mail. Any other form of identity you have, carry that with you. Like if you are a student and have a student ID, use that too.
Don’t take no for an answer and keep trying one bank to another. If one says no, the next might say yes so keep trying.
Those are the things you need to get done as soon as possible. They can still be done even if your visa expires but then it’s more work, more tricky, more documents needed and the chances of not getting them are high. So take action quickly.
That is all for today, my readers. If you have any questions email firstname.lastname@example.org