ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Top 5 "things to do" for a first time US immigrant !!

Updated on August 1, 2016

Settling in U.S. is diffcult, is it?

This article provides 5 most essential "things to do" for those who travel to USA for the first time. Whether you are a worker, a student, a businessmen or a family member of the US citizen, the information on this page will empower you with knowledge about five essential things of living in the United States. This information is based on the real life experiences of the author. These experiences are not only related to his own settlement, but also related to a number of his own friends who came here on student or work VISA and shared their journey.

I, Hub Chief, immigrated to US in 2004 and learned about these essential items organically and painfully. As I remember my experiences, it was harder and stressful to not have completed these items within first month. By not having one of these items, I had to defer or wait to get the other among the list. Today I wish, if I had the information below during my first week, I would have saved a lot of pain. Internet has definitely made things easy for us today to share this information.

Well, Here are those top 5 things you must address when you immigrate to the United States:

  1. Social Security
  2. Driver's License
  3. Bank Account
  4. Residence/Mailing Address
  5. Phone

1) Social Security: As a US resident (permanent or temporary) social security number (SSN) is the number one document you should obtain after landing in US. This document is provided in the form of a credit card sized inked paper. Without the SSN one can not get paid by an employer. SSN is must when filing for US tax return at the end of every calendar year. So when you immigrate to the United States of Anerica, the first thing to take care of is to file for social security number on a working day. While filing, you can use the address of a fellow colleague or relative for receiving the social security card. Later on when you rent or buy your own residence (rented/owned) you can submit another application to update your address on records of social security administration. More information is available from social security administration at

2) Driver's license: this is something that many states would not allow an application unless you get social security. So sleep on it until you get social security. Meanwhile, make sure to take at least one driver's training class. It definitely helps. I have been driving for few years before coming to U.S. but it really helped taking a 2 hour class for about $60.

3) Bank Account: Banks also need social security for opening accounts; however some banks may be flexible and would allow you to open account with some time commitment on providing social security. Try finding out from employer about any credit union affiliation. Having accounts in credit union helps you a lot for car loans etc.

4) Residence/Mailing Address: In fact if you can, I think first item one should immediately be prepared for is to establish a mailing address. For all items like social security, drive license, bank account etc, an established residential address is essential. you can use work or university address instead, however I would highly recommend a residential address. when I came in, I rented an apartment within 6 days and established an address. afterwards, it was easy for me to open an account, apply for social security etc. here are the implications of this:

a. As your credit builds, this address on your account would always show up as first address where you got social security or a credit card. as time passes by, for verification purposes, you would be asked about your first address most times. so you do want to make sure your first address is something you remember.

b. if you use any temporary address, as soon as you get a permanent one, you would need to update that address, in all of the cards, like social security, credit card, bank account etc.

5) Phone: Now that you established the residence, got a social security, and a driver's license and a bank account, phone comes next. In United States, phone part is a bit tricky. You can get a best deal if you consider this:

a. buy a contract phone on a friend's account: this is the most cheap option, avoids any hassles you would have and gives you best call time, internet and a great phone. I think if you are savvy for new phones, then buying a new phone on your friend's account is the most reasonable option. as it would be low cost, you would need 2 years of contract and would have best data/calling service.

b. buy a pre-paid phone: in first 30 days, if you want a phone, you still need a friend's help. However you can keep operating cost lowest, if your calls are going to be minimal, low data usage, then these phones are best. Today we get android operated prepaid phones that behave mostly like expensive smart phones. An average cost of phone less than $30 and carries pay as you use freedom. But keep in mind, when you use this phone more have more than 200 minutes call time, it is expensive option than option a. One of the option to buy phone is Amazon provide decent options to buy a Phone.

Hope these top 5 things can help you focus your energy and research on right things and save you frustrations at the end. Feel free to post questions here. I can help answer any of your questions related to your settlement in US.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Junaid Khan 

      6 years ago

      dear sir/madam

      i have sponsor form US they want to come there for a month VISIT purpose i am here in Dubai what should i do.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanx for sharing your experience..

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hey good info provided here!!! sure it takes around 2 months for one to get all of the documents provided above(DL takes maximum time)

      i would also like to add that one should get a credit card(secure) immidiately after coming to us and make good credit history in 6 months or so and get a unsecure credit card too..

      for more on life in usa

      buying a used car is also a big assignment and may take good amount of time and patience

    • HubChief profile imageAUTHOR

      hubchief - pen name 

      9 years ago from United States

      posted the hub on temporary visitor's VISA related.

    • yamanote profile image


      9 years ago from UK/Spain

      do you have any tips on securing the visa to get in?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)