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Start In: The US

Anne Voigt Kjaer
Anne Voigt Kjaer

When moving to another country for work, there is a lot of stuff to sort out. Every country has different rules that apply to foreigners. In our new Knowledge Base series, we will go through what needs to be done when moving to work in another country. Our first focus country is the United States of America

Before you start the process, you should make a to-do list of everything that you need to get done. This gives you a better overview of the process and therefore makes it more manageable

Before you enter the country

Before you enter the US, you need to apply for a Visa and have your passport ready. It is a must to have as a priority and for you to be able to work and live in the country legally as an immigrant it is a must to have the correct type of visa.

Since the article is about moving to work in another country, we will take a look at the work visas.

A work employment visa

There are two types of work visas you can apply for. These are the following:

Sponsored employment: The H-1B allows US employers to hire foreign workers to come work in the states on a work visa. However, this is especially for the sought-after positions. The H-1B visa is without a doubt one of the best ways to gain permanent entry into the country for work. It is important to remember that you need to get a job before moving. The only qualifications needed for this visa are:

  • A job offer from a US employer that offers the "prevailing wage" that is paid in the same U.S. geographic area for similar work as the work you will be performing.

Temporary working visa: The H-2B visa is a temporary non-agricultural visa available to immigrants who wish to get a temporary work permit. Contrary to the H-1B visa this one is for skilled and unskilled workers. To be qualified for this visa the following applies:

  • There aren't enough US workers to do the temporary work.
  • The employment of the H-2B workers will not affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
  • The need for the worker is temporary, regardless of whether it is described as temporary. Work is considered temporary if it is: a recurring seasonal need, intermittent need, peak-load need, or one-time occurrence.

The visa process

You must have completed the application process months before the planned move to the US.
1st step: Get a job offer from a US employer.
2nd step: Make a visa petition to US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
3rd step: When the petition is approved the National Visa Center takes over. They will provide the right instructions for the formal visa application and interviews.
4th step: Make an appointment and attend the visa interview. (Before this interview, you will need to take a medical exam)
5th step: Pay the American working visa fee (typically around 160$).
6th step: Wait for the response.
The waiting time can be long, which is also why it is recommended that you start this process months ahead.

Coming to America

Now that your visa process is finished, you can now move to the US to start your new job. However, this does not mean that you are done with the process.


Of course, you need to find a place to live in the states. It is up to you whether you would like to find a temporary place, to begin with, and then later find a permanent place to live and get settled or if you find a permanent place right away. However, it is recommended that you start with a temporary place to make sure that you are not bound by a house or an apartment before you are sure of where you want to get settled.

Places to look for accommodation

There are several sites where you can look for accommodation for you and your family. Here are some of them:


  • Airbnb: This is one of the most popular sites for temporary housing.
  • Hellolanding: This is a company that rents out apartments in cities around the US. There are no application fees or security deposits. You can easily lease an apartment after your needs.
  • Zeusliving: This company offers nice accommodation with everything you need. The homes are filled with wifi and other utilities such as dryers and washers.


  • Zillow: With this company, you can both buy and rent accommodation in the US. You just enter the area or the zip code of where you want to move to.
  • Realting: This is an international real estate platform, which works kind of like a real estate assistant for you. With this, you can connect globally with different real estate agencies.

Of course, when moving you have to sort out what stuff you want to bring with you to the US.

Social Security Number

You will need to apply for a social security number once you move to the US if you did not do it when you sorted out your visa. When applying for a social security number you shall bring proof that you are allowed to work in the US.

An American bank account

When working in the US, you are gonna need to open an American bank account. This makes the process of getting your salary and paying your bills way easier. When opening a bank account in the US, you will most likely need the following documents:

  • Proof of Address
  • Your passport
  • Immigration documents
  • Your social security number

Health insurance

The United States of America is famous for the expensive healthcare in the country. Healthcare in the country is covered by private clinics and hospitals, which is also why the medical bills are so high. Some employers choose to contribute to employees' health insurance. It is however a good idea no matter what to get health insurance, to spare yourself from crazy high medical bills.

Familiarise with the US laws

It might be a good idea to get familiar with the law in the US. The reason for this is that the laws in the US are likely to be different from where you come from. You should also be aware that laws can change from state to state.

You can reach our international team in Hamburg by phone at +49 40 53 799 1400 or by mail at

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