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Living in the USA
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Living in the United States of America

The melting pot of different cultures and nations since before Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic Ocean at the end of the 15th century, the USA has always been a popular destination with immigrants, and those looking for adventure, a new life and new opportunities. The USA is not only one of the strongest economic powers in the world, but offers an unparalleled mix of cultures, and lifestyles, varied terrains, and diverse employment opportunities.

The USA was founded by thirteen British colonies located along the East Coast. After acquiring further land from other European countries, waves of immigration, and the two world wars, the USA has emerged as a major economic and military power. Today it accounts for almost 50% of global military spending, and is a leading political, ideological, and cultural force in the world.

The USA can offer unparalleled opportunities, high wages, and a sense of individual freedom. On the flip side, employment opportunities are limited by restrictive labour laws for expats, and the country has been hit by the financial crisis, which also affects employment levels. Living standards among the population vary greatly, partly due to the thin safety net, the fact that public health care coverage is not universal, and high further education fees. For those who manage to move permanently to the USA, there is great potential in a multi-cultural country that welcomes and values expats and encourages an entrepreneurial spirit.

Interesting facts about the USA

Recorded European activity in the Americas began in 1492, with Christopher Columbus crossing the Atlantic Ocean, although there is evidence of Scandinavian Vikings making the crossing centuries earlier. Main industries include petroleum, motor vehicles, aerospace and steel. The Grand Canyon is one of the USA's World Heritage sites. One in every four Americans has appeared on TV. The American civil rights movement, symbolised and led by Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., used non-violence to confront segregation and discrimination.

Advice about moving to and living in the USA

To work in the USA, you will require a visa. You will have to apply for your visa at the American embassy in the UK. If you are living and working in the USA without a visa, you are considered an illegal alien.

Living costs will greatly depend on the area you are moving to. If you are moving to Los Angeles, Chicago or New York, prepare for high costs. Moving into smaller towns can be much cheaper.

While the USA health care system outspends most of the nations in the world, it falls behind in overall performance. The country's life expectancy has dropped in the last decades and there is no universal public health care coverage. However, if you can afford to pay for private health insurance, or your employer pays for you, you will generally receive a high-quality service.

Before moving to the USA with your children, you will also have to consider education options. In most states, there are both public and private schools, and a good university degree may require substantial financial investment.

The limited availability of visas and green cards restricts employment opportunities for expats moving to the USA. Explore your options, and the situation in your profession before seriously thinking about moving to the USA.

Are you moving to America?

We offer some basic information on American visas and getting settled in the United States.

Britannia Bradshaw can help your move to the USA go smoothly. Contact us for a free, no obligation quote or call 0161 877 5555 (Manchester), 0121 504 0966 (Birmingham & Coventry) and speak with an international removals specialist.

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