10 life hacking for new immigrants in the US
People who came to the US not at the invitation of the employer and not to their spouse often get lost, not knowing what kind of work they can count on and how to look for it, how to rent and furnish housing, where to shop. Our tips will help you solve these problems quickly and without any extra nerves.
1. Get free or low-cost health insurance
There is an opinion that insurance in the USA is insanely expensive. In fact, the correct answer would be: they are different. Insurance is the same product as any other. Therefore, every inhabitant of America can choose what he can afford in the medical services market.
Indeed, there are insurance plans that cost thousands of dollars a year. At the same time, insurance companies working as program providers ObamacareThere are inexpensive options.
“In our company, the minimum cost of insurance for a newcomer or a person recently living in New York before the age of 65 is $ 20 per month. It is called Essential Plan 1 and is intended for those whose income ranges from $ 17 to $ 820 per year. We are talking about full health insurance, which includes regular visits to a therapist, specialized specialists, analyzes and tests, medicines and hospitalization. This plan provides a co-payment for doctor's visits, tests, procedures, hospitalization, but the total amount of additional payments will not exceed $ 23 per year. Upon reaching this amount, the owner of the policy does not pay anything extra for medical services, ”says the representative Fidelis care Leonid Kopeikin.
For people with lower income in the company there are generally free rates: Essential Plan 2 for those whose income ranges from $ 16 400 to $ 17 820, Essential Plan 3 - for those whose income ranges from $ 11 to $ 880, Essential Plan 4 - for people with an income of $ 11 or less. In New York State Essential Plans 3 and 4 get those who lived in the country less than 5 years. These plans do not provide for virtually any additional payments for medical services.
Legal residents of America whose tenure is longer than 5 years and income is equal to or less than $ 16 400 can get free insurance. Medicaid. All figures are per person per year. More information can be found on the website. Fidelis care.
Most importantly, remember: health insurance is one of the most essential ingredients for living in the United States. And the sooner every newcomer understands this, the better. Treating any serious illness or even a simple domestic injury at US medical costs will have a significant impact on your budget. Going to a hospital can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. Moreover, according to the law, in the absence of insurance, you will have to pay a fine of 2.5% of the declared family income (per adult family member) for those who are employed or $ 695 for those who are not working. In this case, the total amount of fines for a family can reach $ 2. So, if you do not work or your employer does not pay your insurance, you must take care of this yourself. Your health and the health of your loved ones are in your hands.
2. Expand the list of professions when looking for a first job
America is a country of workaholics, and even if you cannot describe yourself that way, keep in mind that you will need to work in the States a lot and of high quality. After all, a well-paid job is an opportunity to afford a decent standard of living, pay bills on time and build a good credit history. Many immigrants who do not come on a work visa and do not have an American education are worried that at first they will have to take on low-skilled jobs. However, this is absolutely not the case.
If you love people and you like helping, in New York State you can master the specialty in just a few weeks home attendant, which is the “golden mean” between a caregiver and a personal assistant.
Such a specialist cares for older people (older than 65 years), helps around the house, accompanies them to the doctor and to the store. This activity requires a license, but training takes place very quickly, and it takes only a few weeks from the start of the course until the certificate is received.
“This job is ideal for newly arrived legal immigrants looking for work. Moreover, it is in New York that the oldest organization for hiring people to care for the elderly is located. Caring professionals, which pays for training for its potential employees. In addition, the company provides its employees with good health insurance and many other bonuses. Employment after training is guaranteed, and this is very important, "- says a company representative Caring professionals Daria Meistelman.
The level of knowledge of English for obtaining this job is absolutely not important, since the employment company will find a client who speaks the same language as you.
As part of the New York State's initiative to support the elderly, you can also become a personal assistant at home (CDPAP). Special training is not required in this case. You can take care of your friend, neighbor or even a relative and get a competitive salary for it.
“To work as a personal assistant, you must be over 18 years old, legally in the States and have a work permit. You can start working just a few days after you contacted the agency and filled out an application. In this case, no license is required at all. Company Caring professionals in this case, it also provides certain benefits, ”clarifies the company's representative Daria Meistelman.
Moreover, the company pays its employees for overtime - for every hour over the standardized 40 hours per week, the employee receives 1,5 times more than usual, the representative emphasizes. Caring professionals.
The easy version of a personal assistant's job is a “companion”. An immigrant who wants to work as a companion accompanies his client to the store, to the doctor, to the bank and on walks, and also helps him around the house and with the preparation of food. Personal care is not required in such cases. This job also pays well: the salary, bonuses and benefits are no worse than those of home attendant, but it does not need to learn and get a license.
“Jobs in Caring professionals not always open. It is in the summer, when many employees go on vacation, you have the opportunity to quickly become a personal care assistant or to master the specialty home attendantand get summer bonuses from the company, ”adds Daria Meistelman.
Phone Russian-speaking service company Caring Professionals: (718) 737-9151. More information can be found at Online company.
3. Connect low-cost mobile connection
Connecting a cellular network in the United States is not an easy task. Especially for newly arrived immigrants. To start using a mobile phone, you need to understand the system, choose a tariff and set aside a considerable initial amount to buy a plan. Compared to the countries of the former CIS, the cost of mobile communications in America is quite high: depending on the services offered, it can go up to $ 100 per month.
Conventionally, all mobile plans can be divided into three categories - contract, prepaid and postpaid.
1. Contract plan differs in that, besides the mobile communication itself, you also acquire a mobile phone from an operator. However, you do not pay the entire cost of the phone at once, but enter into an agreement. And now every month, besides the payment of the mobile plan itself, you have to pay part of the cost of your new phone. To save money, you can connect a contract to several numbers (this is called a family plan), and then the price of the package will decrease. Such plans may be interesting for those already living in America for a while, for those who have a credit history (a prerequisite) and those who have already resolved the basic issues of living and permanent income. But the task of the new immigrant is to save as much as possible, isn't it? A phone can be changed after settling down in a new country.
- Prepaid (Prepaid) plan Is a plan in which the client pays for the phone in advance, for 30 days. Probably the easiest (and therefore the most expensive) option for newcomers. Usually, only one document is needed to connect it - an identity card. However, there is a nuance here: you must always keep in mind the date of the next payment. If you forget and do not pay on time, the operator will simply turn off the phone. Unfortunately, this often happens without warning and at the wrong moment.
- Postpaid (Postpaida) plan. When you receive your credit card and earn a good credit history, the mobile operator will offer to transfer you to the postpaid system. And then the required amount will be automatically deducted from your credit card every month for the past period.
One of the options for how you can get a cellular connection in America and not go broke is to connect inexpensive plans from a mobile operator Mastercall. Mobile plan cost MasterCall Mobile It starts at $ 10 per month; this plan includes calls across America. In addition, when you connect, you will be presented with a new mobile phone. Company Mastercall uses the mobile network operator Sprintwhich is among the top three largest operators in America.
Buying such a plan does not require a contract, and if you already have an American number, you can leave it. Subscribe to such a mobile plan is very simple, and for this you do not need a credit history - you can do it yourself on the website MasterCall Mobile. All you need to do is to purchase a package on the website by paying in any convenient way and wait for the parcel with a mobile phone into which an activated SIM card is already inserted. You can pay for communication on a monthly basis.
It is also important that Mastercall It offers its subscribers round-the-clock technical support not only in English, but also in Russian, Ukrainian and Polish. And this is an obvious bonus for those who still do not speak English very well.
More information is available at Online or toll free: 1-877-641-5708.
4. In the US, you can eat the same as at home
Buckwheat, cottage cheese, kefir ... Do you think you will have to forget about them in the USA? And no. Purely Russian products can be found in many American cities where the more or less large Russian-speaking diaspora lives. In the so-called Russian stores you can buy familiar food of Russian and Ukrainian brands, medicines (iodine, valerian, paracetamol, etc.) and cosmetics produced in Russia.
One of these popular Russian stores Moscow on the Hudson is located in the heart of New York - in Manhattan. Probably, wake up the local Russian-speakers - and they will without hesitation say the familiar address: 801 West 181 Street. People come here for the freshest Borodino bread, dumplings, cereals, favorite from childhood, herring and red caviar. The assortment is for every taste. In addition to groceries, the store offers cosmetics, Russian-made medicines, and even traditional Russian souvenirs. For those who live in other states, the delivery of goods by mail or road is available. You can order at Online store.
“Most of the goods for our store come from Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic states, but some products - sausages, confectionery, bread, pickles, dumplings, herring - are produced in the USA and Canada according to traditional Russian recipes. Customers are especially attracted by the fact that our products are not only of high quality and tasty, but also environmentally friendly, because most of the products from Russia do not contain GMOs, and many producers of cereals, honey and other products are located in Siberia and Altai, ”says store owner Fedor Penchukov.
According to him, he decided to open exactly the Russian store, since the traditional Russian food is also a continuation of the national culture, which he seeks to preserve by any means. At the same time, Fyodor notes that among the customers of the store are not only immigrants from the CIS countries, but also Europeans and Americans.
To readers ForumDaily the store gives 20% discount when buying for any amount. To get it, just enter at checkout order online in a special field in the basket code FORUM-17. In a store in Manhattan, you can also use this code by telling the seller or displaying this article on a smartphone screen.
5. Look for accommodation through the diaspora
The search for housing in the United States is greatly complicated by the fact that many apartment owners require that the tenant not only have money to pay in advance for several months and a regular source of income, but also a credit rating, which the newly arrived foreigner simply does not have. However, this does not mean that you will have to live for months on a park bench or give 50 dollars a day per bed at a hostel.
Just look for announcements from landlords who come from CIS countries: as a rule, they do not require any references from work, much less a credit rating. In social networks, for example, “Vkontakte”, there are even whole groups for the delivery-rental of apartments and rooms in various cities of America. To find them, just type in the phrase “Accommodation in New York”, “Rent-Rent in the USA”, etc.
6. Want to save? Buy items with hands
If you need cheap furnish your home, you can find used furniture or interior items for free or for ridiculous money. This will help you Craigslist, garage sales and groups in social networks.
Craigslist - This is an American site free ads, with which you can find a lot of useful things. You can also see ads for garage sales, simply by typing in the search box garage sale and the name of the place of interest punta. Americans sell these sales right on the lawns in front of the houses, and you can buy furniture, dishes, electronics and home appliances for them.
Groups in social networks and forums where you can find ads for the sale of things, a lot. Here are a few of them:
в New York
7. Find the nearest library and use the opportunities it provides.
In the USA, a library can play a very large positive role in your life. You can go there for free, you do not even need to issue a reader card to get access to the Internet and many educational resources.
The library will also help to have fun - here you can borrow discs with films and music, get to a meeting with a famous writer, visit an exhibition or a musical evening.
Moreover, when libraries are held, free English courses and individual sessions are held where they can help everyone compile a resume.
The library is becoming a real find for parents who want to make children's leisure as varied and developing as possible. There are free classes and master classes for children, and schoolchildren can even help with homework! In some libraries, they even hire Russian-speaking people to read fairy tales to children. By the way, if you also wanted to work this way, you can see on the website of the library closest to you if there is a reader’s vacancy there.
8. Learn from others
Find local groups in social networks and forums where you can ask questions about life in the US and find out how others managed to adapt, find jobs and housing, make purchases, etc. For example, these topics are actively discussed in our Public "I am looking for advice" on Facebook.
Finding such groups will not be difficult for you - you just need to drive in “how to find a job in the USA” or “shopping in the USA” into the search bar for VKontakte groups, in Facebook or in a browser. In groups, you can be prompted by specific real estate agencies, recruitment agencies, beauty salons, etc., which, as they say, are “self-tested.”
But keep in mind that often posts on forums sin with excessive subjectivity, so look for a rational grain in everything.
9. Take a closer look at the “All for 1 dollar” stores
Many consumer goods can be purchased inexpensively at fixed-price stores, where all products cost 1 or 5 dollars. There you can find dishes, storage boxes, caps, T-shirts, household items such as light bulbs and scotch, cheap food.
But it would be naive to think that these things will last you for many years - most likely, you will have to throw them away pretty soon. But sometimes, when something is needed urgently, and there is not enough money, such stores can help you out.
10. Take a driving test in Russian
In a number of states, in the local analogue of the traffic police (here it is called DMV - Department of Motor Vehicles) you can take the theory in Russian. This possibility is in residents New York, California, Florida и Illinois. Textbooks with the rules of the road in Russian can either be taken for free at the DMV, or found on the DMV website of your state
As at home, the exam consists of answers to theoretical questions about the rules of the road and driving itself. But there are also differences. Firstly, people are not required to study at a driving school before passing the exam, although they can do this if they wish. Secondly, you will have to look for a car for passing the practical part of the exam on your own - borrow it from friends or rent it, the main thing is that you have insurance for the car.
The most detailed information about the features of the procedure for obtaining rights in the United States, the necessary documents for this, the specifics of American traffic rules and possible assignments for the driving test can be found in one of our previous articles.
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