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Moving to the USA: your year-end checklist

“Where there's a will, there's a way.” One of our favorite quotes from the American Dream community is also the secret recipe to your very own American dream! If you are still dreaming of immigrating to the USA and have some year-end free time, the following 5 steps are quick and easy to complete before 2024!

Green Card Lottery

Take the chance of living in the USA and apply for the official US Green Card Lottery!

1. Register for the Green Card Lottery

It only takes five minutes, but it gives you an astonishingly high chance of winning a Green Card: registering for the annual Green Card Lottery!

Even if you apply for an employment-based Green Card at the same time, you should always have a ticket in the pot of the lottery organized by the US government. Ultimately, the Green Card Lottery is the only real chance for most people to be able to live and work permanently in the USA.

→ Click here to register

2. Test your English language level

To help you start your new life in America with a reasonable level of English, our partner Gymglish has prepared a language level test for you.

After 7 short lessons, you will receive a free assessment of your level and can then opt for entertaining, AI-supported English learning tailored to you. 10 minutes a day is all you need to stop being insecure when speaking English!

→ Here's the language-level test

3. Set up a USA savings account

Financial preparation is a crucial step in acquiring your American dream because, in the first few weeks in the USA, you will probably be waiting for your Social Security Card instead of working.

It's also important to manage your first purchases without any credit history. We, therefore, recommend setting up a savings account (e.g., call money or fixed-term deposit) just for your immigration!

To prepare, you can find out about the cost of living in your preferred area of the USA. Salary data from job boards or the annual statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau can also sharpen your view of the future.

Pro tip

If you want to start building your American credit history now, you might be able to do so with an American Express credit card. In some countries, the company offers you the opportunity to start with a fully-fledged American credit card immediately after your move to the USA — based on your usage habits in your home country.

Take your chance to win a Green Card! Apply now

4. Find a place to live

Do you have a clear idea of where you want to live in the USA? If not, use the quiet holiday season to get some inspiration! Here are some of the best USA top lists for every taste:

5. Collect and request documents

Since the elimination of the passport requirement for the Green Card Lottery, you can submit your application without any documents. However, if you win, you will face a little bureaucratic marathon.

You can prepare for the requirements of US embassies and consulates by doing the following:

  • Renewing your passport
  • Creating a folder of important documents (e.g., birth certificates, marriage certificates, work references, school records, registration information)
  • Reviewing your immunization record and renewing any required immunizations
  • Obtaining police clearance certificates

Important information on police clearance certificates

The Green Card process requires you to submit police clearance certificates from all countries you have lived in for a certain time. Depending on the country and its bureaucracy, the application process can take a long time or be very complicated. There are also different deadlines and validity periods in different countries.

The US embassy in Frankfurt, for example, states:

"Any applicant who is at least 16 years of age must provide a police clearance certificate from the country in which he or she currently resides and from the country of citizenship (if he or she has resided there for more than six months), if possible. Police certificates are required from the country of previous residence if the stay there lasted longer than one year. (...) The certificate from the country in which you are currently residing must be recent (not older than 24 months) when presented to the consular officer."

In the following link, you will find a list of all embassies and consulates with the respective checklists for documents:

New Year's resolutions for USA fans

You have already taken the first important steps on the way to your American dream — congratulations!

Before setting any of your New Year's resolutions (such as your English course?), you can relax and dream your way into the New Year. We wish you a great holiday season and a happy new year!

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