Wednesday, February 1

Thinking of migrating to the United States? A few tips…

A growing number of French people wish to settle in the USA in the hope of a better situation. It’s all subjective of course, but for the most part most folks find that the USA home to a wealth of working opportunities that potentially can offer a significantly better salary. Then of course there are the taxes. France has always had a reputation of having high taxes. Moving to the USA might mean you actually get to calculate your tax refund (meaning you might actually get a refund) whereas in France, a large portion of your income goes to taxes and social contributions. 

But expatriating can be complicated because in most cases, you have to do the procedures yourself. But where to start? What information is necessary for a successful installation? What are the first steps?

Several questions come to mind when someone wants to go to the United States. Is it even a possibility? Or a fantasy?

The first step is to conduct an online search. The Internet is a mine of information. Then, a visit to the local bookseller will deepen this initial research: books, CDs, videos … there is no shortage of sources of information. But you will agree: too much information can lead to paralysis. And also, we must ensure that these sources are up to date.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • If I bring my goods with me, how far in advance should I prepare the transport with a mover?
  • Should I be in good health, or at least have medical insurance that can follow me?
  • How can I get social security coverage in the United States?
  • What type of visa do I need? Does the ESTA program cover expatriation, or only short stays? And how long before my departure should I apply for a visa?
  • If I owe my spouse who is transferred to the USA for his job, do I have to quit my job? Or are there other possibilities, such as unpaid leave, sabbaticals, etc.?
  • If we have children, what are the procedures for school enrollment?
  • For French students, what are the most suitable choices in terms of education?
  • How long before getting a visa?
  • Do I have to notify the French tax authorities?
  • Are pets accepted without quarantine?
  • To find accommodation, do I have to go through agencies? Does it take a long time to find suitable accommodation?

Here are some examples of basic questions you should ask yourself before moving to the United States. Have a nice trip!