Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 14

What an Expecting Expat should Expect.

Starting a family is a big step for any prospective Australian parent.  Starting a family whilst living in the US, is going to add an additional layer of complexity – emotionally, legally and financially.

Before we drill down on this article, the topics covered clearly do not cover every scenario when it comes to starting a family in the US.  There are a plethora of needs and wants when it comes to having a child.  This article covers some of the basics, and is intended to frame some of the challenges you will face, as well as the conversations you need to discuss with your spouse and close family. Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 14”

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 13

Measuring the Australian Expat Continuum

In Chapter 3, we speak of the Expat Continuum.  This is a similar model to one used by corporations to measure their Capability Maturity.

The Expat Continuum has five stages:

  1. Basic
  2. Reactive
  3. Planned
  4. Aligned
  5. Integrated

A question was recently asked in a Facebook group that highlights the difference between an expat operating at Level 2 (Reactive) and another expat operating at  Level 3 (Planned). Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 13”

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 12

The Top 5 Differences Australians Notice about New York.

One very famous Australian was quoted as saying “Imagine seven million people all wanting to live together. Yeah, New York must be the friendliest place on earth.”

Pre-conceptions notwithstanding, Australians who move to New York are constantly reminded of the multi faceted differences that separates Australia, and the city that never sleeps.   Here are just five of those difference Australians quickly notice.

Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 12”

How to open a Bank Account and Access U.S. Credit – Even before you arrive in the U.S.!

It is a known fact that thousands of Australians obtain Green Cards and U.S. work visas every year.  Most have a credit card, and some have mortgages on their Australian property.

However, one of the main challenges facing these Australian expats every year is how to open a Bank account, let alone access U.S. credit without a U.S. Credit Score.

Solution: Members of The Australian Community can access HSBC's expat banking solutions for opening bank accounts, credit cards and event expat home loans!

Bank Accounts and Credit Cards:

Some credit card companies will issue Australians with a U.S. credit card, to assist them build a credit score.  However, credit cards are only half of the banking equation: You also need a U.S. bank account for money transfers and day to day banking needs.

The Australian Community recognized this challenge and in 2012 introduced a program where Australians arriving in the U.S. can open bank accounts and obtain a U.S. credit card through HSBC's Premier and Advance expat platforms, even if they were not existing customers and without a Social Security Number.

For members in Australia who are on the way, they can open a local account with HSBC and then receive a U.S. credit card to use, and build a credit history, before they arrive in the United States.

This is a unique program to access a U.S. credit card and start building a U.S. credit score.

Home Mortgages:

Under this program our members can also access US Home Loans even if they do not have the 2 year work or credit history or a Social Security Number!.

  • HSBC may finance up to 75% for a primary home, cash out up to 70%
  • HSBC may finance up to 70%, as a second home, condo, co-op, one family etc, cash out up to 65%
  • HSBC may finance up to 60% on an investment property

For those members who have not yet left Australia, you can obtain a US credit card before you arrive in the US and thereby build a US credit score through your daily purchases in Australia!

These programs are being managed by our HSBC Relationship Managers in New York.  You can use the form below to have a Senior Relationship Manager or Mortgage Consultant contact you with all of the details.

Assisting our members overcome the challenges of living in the US is core our Mission.  Providing a way for our members to not only access credit in the US, but to build a US credit score whilst still in Australia makes perfect sense, and is an added value to joining our organization.

Building a credit score while still in Oz is a convenient credit offering from HSBC. Also if you are looking to purchase a property in the U.S. and you do not have a credit history, HSBC is geared to help expats get a mortgage.

At the end of the day it is personal choice and which bank offers you the best service, interest rate etc. is best decided by doing your own due diligence.

Foreign Exchange (FOREX):

If you are transferring money between Australia and the U.S. (or any of more than 30 countries), check out the preferred rate that The Australian Community has negotiated with OFX (formerly OzForex).  Click here to see how much money you could be saving over your existing Bank or online FOREX service.

Please complete the form below to be contacted by a HSBC representative to discuss your credit needs. 

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 10

Everything you wanted to know about Expat Filing Requirements – but were afraid to ask!

Many Australians are still coming to grips with the US Tax Code as well as Expat filing requirements.  You may feel confident in filing your first E-3 visa, but first time tax filers should seek an “Australian Friendly” US accountant to make sure you have all of your bases covered.

Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 10”

Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 6

Local Language 101

In 1887 Oscar Wilde wrote: “We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.” This observation is very true for Australians who move to the US.

Firstly, Americans have a very different Language of Friendship which can be puzzling to an Australian.  For example when two American women first meet they may positively remark on the other’s clothing, shoes or a pocket book (hand bag) to start a conversation.

“I have that exact same Birkin.  Did you buy that here or Hermès in Paris?”  

This does not necessarily reflect materialism, rather Americans will lead with visual cues in an attempt to create an instant connection with the other person on a socioeconomic level.

Australians on the other hand will look for common personal interests to connect.  This requires conversation, and some Americans are not so comfortable in sharing personal information with a stranger. Continue reading “Moving to the US for Aussies: Chapter 6”

10 Questions asked by Australians Living in New York

On Wednesday June 14, 2017 The Australian Community held a private networking event at Bluestone Lane’s DUMBO location in New York to record a video of the Top 10 Questions asked of The Australian Community.

Some of the answers captured in the thirty minute video revealed a number of common mistakes (and incorrect assumptions) made by Australian expats living in New York and the broader US. Continue reading “10 Questions asked by Australians Living in New York”

How our Members can quickly Access and Build US Credit – Even before they arrive in the US!

According to the latest US Department of Homeland Security statistics, 3,239 Australians obtained legal permanent residency in 2016, and another 5,609 obtained E-3 visas.

One of the main challenges facing these and thousands of Australian expats every year is how to access US credit without a US Credit Score.

The simple reality is that no credit score is almost the same as a bad credit score!  Thousands of Australians who arrive in the US experience the frustration of a zero credit history. Continue reading “How our Members can quickly Access and Build US Credit – Even before they arrive in the US!”

Announcing Community Job Fair v2.5

If you are an Australian in New York City and you are seeking full time employment, we may have good news!

After our recent article on the challenges Australian Job Seekers would have faced if H.R. 7164 passed the Senate, a decision has been made to broaden our existing Community Job Fair to include ALL Australians who are seeking work in NYC.

H.R. 7164 was Legislation that would have allowed Irish citizens to access any unused E-3 visas in the following year.  It was unanimously passed by the Lower House, but failed to pass solely on one Senator’s concerns.  The challenge for Australia is that n E-3 Hopefuls is that there would have been will be the flood of new Irish job seekers, especially into NYC, who would be competing for the same ex-pat jobs as Australians, on the same visa.

As the article outlines, the Irish are far better adapted to finding work, and may well displace thousands of Australian job seekers each year.

Due to the limited personnel and financial resources of our non-profit, our current Job Fair (Version 2.0) is only open to members of our organization.  However, by extending some of its components to all Australian job seekers in NYC, we can raise the number of Australians who successfully find work, and thereby mitigate the number of E-3 visas that go unused.

New E-3 visas have peaked in recent years at less than 6,000, leaving 4,500 E-3 available to Irish citizens if the Legislation passes.

In spite of receiving zero financial aid from the Australian Government, our non-profit provides expat services to tens of thousands of Australian citizens here in the U.S.  Our new website has received more than 100,000 visits in the past year alone.  It is only through the support of handful of sponsors and volunteers, and the small amount of funding we raise through memberships, that we can continue our Mission to assist Australians living in the U.S.

As there is no available budget for v3.0, a scaled down Community Job Fair v2.5 will be funded by a percentage of money we raise at our #OzDayNYC Black Tie Awards on January 26, 2019, as well as combining employment initiatives with scheduled member professional events.

v2.5 will launch early in the New Year so that all Australians in New York will be given the best opportunity in finding work through support of our non-profit organization.

The first step in the process will be registering with our Employment Database through a new form on our website.  Job seekers will submit basic information including a link to their LinkedIn profile.  Fields will include Industry so that we can quickly connect “Australian Friendly” recruiters and employers with lists of prospective candidates.

In addition to our quarterly Networking events, The Australian Community will be hosting regular employment seminars in Midtown where Subject Matter Experts on finding work will be invited to share end-to-end knowledge from resume writing to the E-3 process itself.  Internal and external recruiters will be invited to these meetings.

Even after finding work, thousands of Australians have had an E-3 visa denied, many, simply due to bad paperwork.

For members of our private Yammer social network, we will also be proactively approaching internal recruiters and corporations who have Australian employees, and allowing them to directly post jobs to our Employment group.  Videos and content from our seminars will also be posted to the Employment Group, for those who may not be able to attend, and to preserve knowledge for new members.

Our private social network works like all public social media.  You can ask questions, post comments, Like, add #hashtags and there is even an instant message feature where you can connect with other members; but all member information and resources are private.

Finding work ultimately depends on your experience, your resume and how quickly you build relationships with recruiters and individuals who will make introductions to employers on your behalf.  Understanding the interview process in the U.S. is also a challenge for many Australians, and we can assist with that as well.

The statistics tell us that there are more than enough Australian job seekers in the U.S. to fill the 10,500 annual E-3 quota, they just need to be better at finding work –  and our Community Job Fair v2.5 is designed to do exactly that.

We can provide great resources and tools for Australians who are looking for work, but these resources only account for a percentage of the effort required to find employment:  It is ultimately up to the individual and her or his motivation to seek work on a daily basis.

As soon as our Community Job Fair v2.5 is launched in early 2019, we will be posting the registration link on our Facebook page, Twitter and our LinkedIn company page.

We are confident that this charitable initiative will assist more Australian pursue their dream of living and working in the U.S.  Expanding this initiative to other major cities in California, Illinois, Texas, Massachusetts and Florida is simply a question of funding.

NY and CA lead the states with the most number of E-3 workers, with TX, WA, IL, FL (and MA) also representing significant numbers.

If you are not a member of The Australian Community, you can click here to learn more about our member services.

About The Australian Community  

The Australian Community is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity and its Mission is to connect Australian living in the United States through social. professional and charitable initiatives.

All contributions are fully tax deductible under Section 170 of the IRS Code. The Australian Community is also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under section 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the Code.