When moving from Japan to the United States, there are so many possibilities to explore. The reputation of the USA is the following: it is a colossal country famous for its options. The United States takes up about half of a continent. This leads to a significant variation in everything - from culture to business opportunities to the landscape itself.
Moving from Japan to the United States could be stressful when you think about it. However, it is undoubtedly exciting. Wherever you choose to live in the states, you will find vast inland plains, huge cities built in deserts, mountains covered in snow, and stunning coastlines.
The diversity of the USA is the reason that people all over the world are visiting this country. Plenty of people have moved to the States over time, making this place their home. What makes the USA appealing is that you can experience different things without crossing any international borders.
There are many parts of the USA where food and basic household furnishings are pretty affordable. Also, keep in mind that there could be plenty of leisure options and activities in whichever state you decide to move to. New adventures are just a car drive or a short plane ride away.
When moving from Japan to the USA, there are a lot of things to consider. First of all, the location you are going to. There are many cities in the USA you will not regret visiting, but not all of them are great for a permanent residence. Some of the great choices for ex-pats from Japan are New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
While these large cities are bursting with multicultural populations, new ideas, new industries, and opportunities, they can also be very expensive to live in. In larger cities, living can be costly and competitive. Still, this is another thing that brings people to the United States.
Here is a short checklist that may help you when you are moving from Japan to the USA:
Make sure that your passport and any papers are ready in advance.
Decide on the things you want to bring with you.
Decide on a place where you want to stay.
Make sure you have health and travel insurance.
Make sure that your finances are in order.
Do some job hunting, if you do not have a job yet.
Make sure you have the accommodations for your family, if you are not moving alone.
There are plenty more things to consider when moving from Japan to the USA. Here are some of the most important ones.
7. Figure Out The Legal Requirement Of Moving To The USA
There are very strict regulations to entering the USA. They are even more rigorous when moving permanently. With a range of factors influencing whether or not someone can get in, this country may be challenging to get into.
Before doing anything, make sure to have a look at your options at home. Also, take into consideration anyone that will be coming with you to the USA.
Federal and State Laws differ. When moving from Japan to the USA, it is worth keeping in mind that there are some different laws in the 52 states and jurisdictions. Federal law applies to everyone in the USA, while state or local laws apply to people living within a particular area.
To work in the USA, you'll need a Permanent Resident Card, called a Green Card, an Employment Authorization Document (work permit), or another employment-related visa that will allow you to work for one specific employer. This depends on your reason for moving to the USA.
There is also a possibility of applying for a Green Card vie a sponsorship from an employer or a family member. In most cases, if you are moving with your spouse and any children under 21, they can also apply for visas to move with you.
Don't forget that to work in the USA. You will need a Social Security Number! This is a nine-digit number that helps the government track your wages and earnings. This number will allow you to access some government services.
6. Make Sure You Can Afford The Cost Of Living In The USA
Finances in the USA vary from State to State. They will also depend on whether you are comfortable with immersing yourself in American life or if you will be spending more time trying to get your hands on imported Japanese goods. Fair warning – the imported goods are always more expensive!
Here are some costs of living in the USA that you will need to consider when moving from Japan:
3-course meal for two, mid range restaurant -
Monthly public transportation pass - $65
New Toyota Corolla Sedan - $ 21,753
1-bedroom apartment in a city - $1,334
Average monthly net salary - $3,563
Since the USA is so big, your cost of living depends on your location. As with most countries, you can expect to pay more in the larger cities. However, there is also more choice in the larger cities. It would be best to plan your living costs.
It is also recommended that you open a bank account when moving from Japan to the USA. To do this, you will need to go to the bank in person. There you will need to provide your visa or immigration papers, passport, proof of address, and your Social Security Number. Some banks may need more documents or information.
5. Find A Place To Live In The USA
If you're financially secure, finding a place in the USA will not be too difficult. It is possible to work directly with the landlord; however, first-time apartment-seekers may want to go through a real estate agent. This is important before you get a feel for neighborhoods, rent prices, and expectations from the place itself.
There are quite a few things to consider when looking for a place - how far is it to your work, school if you have kids, and the area's reputation. There are possibilities to do your search online. You can also consider an agent to help you with the process.
When you're first moving from Japan to the USA, renting is probably the best option. The most common types of accommodation are apartments, duplex houses, single-family homes, and mansions. The average rental cost differs in the USA's major cities, and it can vary quite a bit.
4. Make Sure You Are Financially Secure
You might be asking yourself if moving to the USA is a good idea. It most often is, if you have got a background in a particular industry. For example, the top industries in the USA are health, construction, IT, Energy, professional services, finance, education, manufacture, and real estate. These vary from state to state.
The median household income in the USA in 2017 was $57,617. Make sure that this is something you fit into your calculations. If you have enough money saved, then you wouldn't need a job right away. If you are moving because you have acquired a new position, your company might help you with these calculations.
However, you might also be moving from Japan to the USA without a job. In this case, it would be best to narrow your search down. There are quite a few companies out there that are now hiring remotely or are hiring ex-pats.
3. Your Luggage While Moving From Japan To The USA
Perhaps one of the most challenging things to take into consideration when moving from Japan to the USA. Or really, when moving anywhere. It can be a challenge and bring that additional stress that you do not need.
First, make sure that you know exactly how much space you will have in your new accommodations. Then, carefully choose what you will need in your new home. Make sure that you prioritize items that have been a part of your daily life for years.
Don't be afraid! This can also be a great opportunity. This is a perfect chance to declutter. You will take only the things that really have meaning and that you really need.
First of all, clothes – be practical. Take only the things that you often wear already. Make sure to pack appropriately for the climate. You can always buy the things you have not brought with you.
Limit yourself to personal items. Pick only your favorite things. If you need to, take those that have the most personal meaning. Make sure to leave behind the generic items you can buy in the USA. Check what kinds of things you can buy at your destination.
Make sure you have your paperwork. Personal records and paperwork are essential but don't take the things you don't need. Paper can be surprisingly heavy when it starts stacking up. Try putting up some of your files on the cloud – no need to take hard copies of everything with you.
In terms of toiletries and hygienic products, you really only need the bare minimum. They are heavy and can be bought when you arrive in your new home. If you have prescription medication, make sure that nothing is past its expiry date and that you can take it into the country with you.
Always remember to take a bag for the first night. It is no secret that luggage gets lost. It is always good to make sure your check-in baggage has essential items in it, just in case.
2. Make Friends And Stay In Touch With Ex-pats
The ex-pat community of the United States is pretty strong. They are people that have had the same experience as you. This makes these groups very inclusive, whether you speak the language or not.
There are a lot of ex-pat groups in the USA that you can find online. When moving from Japan anywhere, it might be challenging to make friends if you do not know that country's language. These ex-pat groups will help you find other people from Japan who have moved ahead of you.
While this will vary from the area you are in, the circles you are living in, and similar, people in the USA are generally friendly. A quick search online will help you find people with similar interests and experiences in your area. All you need to do is be brave and get yourself out there!
If you are moving from Japan to the US alone, you will feel a lot more comfortable around people with the same interests and would be able to find mutual understanding. Don't feel rejected! If you overcome this fear and start looking for similarities in people rather than differences, you will make friends faster.
1. Make Sure You Have All The Important Contacts In The USA
Since childhood, you must have had the emergency numbers for police, ambulance, and fire drilled into your head. However, it is essential to remember that these will change when you're moving from Japan to the USA. The emergency contacts are not the same in the United States.
Here are some important emergency numbers:
Emergency - 911
Municipal services - 311
Poison control center - 1-800-222-1222
Japanese Embassy - 202-238-6700
In addition to this, make sure you are acquainted with the post process and the delivery systems in the States. Your luggage and furniture can even be delivered to your doorstep if you are moving a lot of stuff.
Make sure to remember the contact for USPS when you need to use the postal services.
Stay in touch with your ex-pat communities, as they can share helpful tips!