Important Financial Moves To Make After Immigrating

According to Pew Research Center, more than 1 million people immigrate to the United States every year. Many people come to the country with goals of creating better financial futures for themselves and their families, but beyond finding a job, they aren’t sure how to create that security. Understanding your options and what you need to do to succeed as an immigrant in the United States is essential. Make these financial moves to secure your future.

Find an Immigration Lawyer

As soon as you enter the United States, find an immigration lawyer like Tully Rinckey Professionals. The immigration process is long and complicated. Without professional help, you risk missing deadlines or filling out forms incorrectly, which could make it harder for you to find work or stay in the country. An immigration lawyer can help you understand the legal process, ensure you provide the correct information, determine what kind of visa you need to work, and even defend you in the event that you find yourself up against possible deportation.

Create a Budget

Creating a budget is an essential part of planning for your financial future. First, determine how much money you make each month. Then, collect and categorize your expenses. In addition to the basics like food, utilities, and shelter, consider clothing, entertainment, helping family members, and transportation. Categorize your expenses according to their importance or frequency. For example, you know you’ll pay the same amount in rent each month, but you may only need to budget for clothing every few months. After you know how much you make and how much you spend, you’ll be able to determine whether you need to cut back on expenses or search for higher-paying work. Reorganize your budget every three months to ensure you’re still on track. 

Open a Bank Account

Immigrants are less likely to open bank accounts than U.S. citizens, often because they don’t trust banks in their home country or because they simply don’t realize they’re able to open an account in the United States. Having a bank account is vital for receiving direct deposit payments, easily paying bills, and wiring money to other countries if you still have family back home. You will need an identifying number to open an account. If you have legal status, you can get a social security number. Another option that some banks accept is an individual taxpayer identification number. An attorney like Tully Rinckey can help you apply for one of these numbers and direct you to banks who can help you. 

Begin Building Your Credit

In the United States, you need credit to rent apartments, finance a car, and perform several other tasks. Your creditworthiness is determined by a credit score. Lenders use three major credit reporting bureaus to check your credit score and decide whether to approve your application. Unfortunately, most immigrants have no U.S.-based credit. This makes it harder to be approved for housing and may cause you to need to pay much higher deposits. To begin building your credit, open a credit card in your name. Many credit card companies can access international credit history to help you get started. As you make purchases with your card and make payments on time, your U.S. credit score will begin to climb. 

The U.S. is a land of opportunity for many, but that doesn’t mean you won’t need to put in the work to establish yourself financially. By creating a budget, opening a bank account, working on your credit score, and keeping an attorney on your side, you are more likely to be successful during your stay in the United States, whether that stay is temporary or permanent.


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