If you look at any successful organization, at its core you will find the company handbook. It details policies and procedures for any new employee joining the company, and is the culmination of years corporate knowledge captured within the organization – So why not have a instruction manual for Australian expats moving to the US?
Have you ever wondered if USCIS handed out a book to anyone arriving in the US on a work visa on all of the traps for young players, how much of an asset it would be?
Well, wonder no more because The Australian Community is producing a book “Moving to the US for Aussies”
Breaking the cycle of reinventing the Expat wheel
This book is the collective expat knowledge of our organization, and is intended to provide valuable knowledge for Australians who are moving to the US.
Long before the inception of our organization in 2011, there was a culture of every Aussie in the US for themselves. Independently, Australians would go about overcoming the challenges they faced in day to day living, and hopefully they did not accumulate too much unnecessary scar tissue along the way.
Then after their “tour” of [Insert US City], they would return to Australia, taking with them all of that knowledge and experience – and leaving the next Australian to arrive, on their own to go through exactly the same process!
“Australians culturally tend to fearlessly dive in the deep end, but the US is a very large shark infested pool, so this book will at least teach you how to swim!”
The first two chapters of this book were released in November 2017, to coincide with our sixth birthday. Other important chapters will be released to the public over time as part of our charitable mission, with Chapters 15 onwards available to members of our Private Social Network.
About Moving to the US for Aussies
Let’s not get off on the wrong foot, so the first order of business is to clarify what we mean by Moving to the US.
As we discuss in a later chapter, there is an important distinction between an Australian on a Green Card or an Immigrant Visa such as a H-1B, and those who are on Nonimmigrant and Tourist visas.
Green Card holders are Legal Permanent Residents and Immigrant visas allow the holder to have what is known as Dual Intent, that is they can be on a visa AND have an intent to stay in the US.
For everyone else, unless you can clearly demonstrate that you have intent to return home, you intend to adhere to the conditions of your visa, or if you have some legal or immigration skeletons in the closet, you may well find yourself on the next flight back to your original destination.
Under an Administration that is hardening existing Immigration Laws and creating policies to further protect its borders, it is especially important for Aussies on non-immigrant visas to have well prepared paperwork, and be able to clearly articulate their intentions of returning home whenever arriving at a US border.
It is also important to note as well that changing your visas status within 90 days of arriving in the US can be interpreted as “misrepresentation”.
Having stated that, and for the record, with the exceptions of Green Card holders, or Aussies on Immigrant visas, “Moving” in the context of this book means having a finite stay in the US on a non-immigrant work visa, all of the time intending to return to Australia.
Naturally this document would end up looking like a set of encyclopedias if ALL of the challenges an Australian faces when moving to the US were documented. Understanding the US tax system alone could fill several volumes.
In 2016 we launched our own private Enterprise Social Network leveraging Microsoft Yammer. This private network is for members only of the Australian Community, and it connects you to 1,000 other professional Australians.
It contains the largest private Australian knowledge base in the US with more than two dozen groups containing the collective wisdom of our members through conversations ranging from Accounting to Visas.
We have also included an index of Australian Friendly Professionals who offer taxation, legal, immigration and other important business services in areas where you may need assistance now, or further down the road. These professionals have a track record of assisting our members.
Moving to the US for Aussies alerts you to, and outlines how to overcome some of the more common challenges, based on the collective experience of our members.
Do not believe everything you read on social media. Much of what is out there is the blogosphere is hearsay. Further, what may have worked for one, may not work for another. If you follow bad advice, you could be denied a visa and or entry into the US .
Be wary of what you post on social media. It is now quite common for Australians to be denied visas, as well as entry into the US, based on posts that indicate Immigrant intent including posts seeking work!
Our recommendation is always to seek professional advice in any matter that effect your Health, Finances and Liberty (HFL), and not seek the consensus of social media.
You can follow the links below to read more, and we encourage you to explore the other articles on this website. To receive the full benefits of membership including access to our private social network, you can Join the Australian Community.
Chapter 1 Surviving the First 30 Days
Chapter 2 The Four W’s of Survival in NYC
Chapter 4 The Inconvenient Truth
Chapter 5 Decoding Health Insurance
Chapter 6 Local Language 101
Chapter 7 Finding Work in the US
Chapter 8 Why did the Koala cross the Road?
Chapter 9 NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette
Chapter 10 US Tax and Filing Requirements
Chapter 13 Measuring the Australian Expat Continuum
Chapter 14 What an Expecting Expat should Expect