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What You Need to Know When Looking to Move to The US From India

With its abundant career opportunities and high standard of living, the US is a popular destination for Indian immigrants seeking new horizons.

Posted in: Global, Helpful Resources Moving Tips, News, News at a Glance
Published Date: 22 August 2023

Moving to the US from India with AGS

But while relocating to a new country can be thrilling, it does require careful planning.

This informative guide will help you understand the essential aspects of moving to the US, providing valuable insights and practical tips for a successful transition.




Understanding US Immigration Options:

Before making the move, it is crucial to determine the appropriate immigration path. The US offers various visa categories listed below.

  • H-1B Visa: designed for skilled workers in specialty occupations such as doctors, lawyers, architects, and IT specialists. It has specific criteria, such as possession of an advanced educational degree and a labour condition application. You will also need sponsorship from a US employer.
  • The L-1 Visa: designed for employees being transferred to a US branch, affiliate, or subsidiary of their current employer. To be eligible, applicants must provide proof of employment with a recognised organisation and that they possess specialised knowledge or serve in executive/managerial positions.
  • The EB-5 Visa: for immigrant investors willing to make a significant investment in a new commercial enterprise that creates jobs in the US.
  • F-1 Visa: allows students to enter the United States to study full time at an accredited academic institution, including colleges, universities, seminaries, conservatories, academic high schools, elementary schools, or language training programs. To qualify, students must be enrolled in a program or course of study leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate and attend a school authorised by the US government to accept international students.

Other visa options to consider include the IR (Immediate Relative) Visa, and the F (Family Preference) Visa. Find out which US visa is best suited to your circumstances.


Cost of Living and Budgeting:

The cost of living between India and the United StatesThe cost of living between India and the United States can vary significantly due to differences in buying power, economic development, and lifestyle. Here’s a comparison to help you understand the variations:

Housing: In India, housing costs are notably lower than in the US, especially in major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, or Bangalore. However, consider location and amenities when budgeting for housing in either country.

Food and Groceries: India offers relatively more affordable food and groceries, especially with local produce and traditional dishes. In the US, dining out and grocery expenses can be higher, particularly in metropolitan areas. Opting for home-cooked meals can save money.

Transportation: Public transportation in the US is less budget-friendly than in India. While cities like Delhi and Mumbai have affordable buses and trains, the US relies heavily on personal vehicles, incurring additional expenses like car insurance and fuel.

Healthcare: Healthcare in the US is a mix of private and public sectors. Medical care is of high quality but could cost considerably more and is not always accessible. Health insurance plays a crucial role in ensuring individuals can receive medical care, thus private insurance is common in the US.

Education: Higher education tuition fees are generally higher in the US, but scholarships and financial aid options are available for international students.

Miscellaneous Expenses: Day-to-day expenses like clothing, entertainment, and utilities vary by location and lifestyle.


Navigating Cultural Differences:

Diverse set of culturesThe United States is home to a diverse set of cultures, which may initially feel overwhelming to newcomers. However, by familiarising yourself with American customs, traditions, and social norms, you can integrate seamlessly into your new community and foster lasting relationships.

India’s culture emphasises social hierarchy and collectivism. People are strongly influenced by their family and community and urged to respect their elders and other authority figures. In contrast, the US is more individualistic, valuing personal freedom and self-expression and promoting equality.

Communication Styles: In India, communication is often indirect and relies on implicit cues and polite language. Americans, on the other hand, are straightforward and value clear and direct conversations.

Personal Space and Touch: Indian culture places less importance on personal space, and physical touch in daily interactions is interpreted as a sign of warmth. In the US, personal space is respected in all situations, and physical touch is reserved for close relationships.

Time Keeping: Indian culture is more flexible with time, while punctuality is highly valued in the US.

Food and Eating Habits: Indian cuisine varies regionally, leading to a diverse range of flavours. Meals are served family style, and Indian diners wash their hands thoroughly before eating using the tips of their fingers. American cuisine is a fusion of various global cuisines. Food is often served in individual portions and eating habits are diverse.

Religion and Spirituality: Hindu is the largest faith in India but coexists harmoniously with other faiths. The US is even more religiously diverse, with Christianity being predominant.

Attitude Towards Authority: In India, respect for authority figures is ingrained, while Americans tend to question authority and promote open dialogue.


Make sure to note:

Traffic Laws: The traffic laws in the US are stricter than in India. Even crossing at a ‘No Crossing’ sign can result in a hefty fine. US vehicles have their steering wheels on the left-hand side, while Indian vehicles have their steering wheels on the right.

Units of Measurement: The US uses the imperial system while India favours the metric system. As such, kilos, kilometres, and degrees Celsius, are replaced by pounds, miles, and degrees Fahrenheit.

Moving to the United States from India is a life-changing journey filled with opportunities for personal and professional growth. By understanding the immigration process, securing employment, embracing cultural differences, and planning your finances wisely, you can make a smooth and successful transition. Remember to research thoroughly, seek advice from experts, and embrace the new experiences that await you in your new home. Good luck on your exciting adventure!

For professional assistance, get in touch with AGS Movers India for your big move to the US.

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