It takes a brave person to live the expatriate lifestyle. Giving up the familiarity of home to live in a place where the locals speak and live differently comes with many challenges. But as the saying goes, you must learn from the mistakes of those who came before you. Luckily for Expats, there’s a whole community of wander-lusting individuals who have traveled these roads before. Knowing the challenges that Expats face means finding solutions to solve them. The Expat Review Vol. 1 is an Expatriate study by an Expat car company, International AutoSource, based off a survey of Expats living in the United States. One of the focuses of the study; the top challenges Expats face when relocating to the USA.
Expats living in the United States for an average of eight months were surveyed and each shared what their biggest challenge was when relocating. Not surprisingly, 43-percent answered obtaining documentation. Imagine, for many of these Expats English is their second language. Even for many locals getting documents in order can be a struggle. For Expats, add on the additional stress of translating every conversation and document into your native tongue.
“[The] biggest challenges were getting all of the administration resolved, like [social security] number, driver’s license, bank accounts, etc.,” shared one surveyed Expat, Marc L. “ When you first arrive, nobody knows you and [your] identity is based simply on a social security number or a driver’s license ID.”
Unfortunately, that’s not the only challenge Expats face. The second challenge identified by the surveyed Expats is credit. A credit score is based off your history with lenders, and determines whether you’re eligible for things such as credit cards, loans, etc. What many people don’t realize is, your credit history does not travel with you when you move to the USA. You could have a perfect credit score in your home country, but in the USA you start with nothing. According to myFICO.com, 90-percent of lenders use credit scores to evaluate the risk posed by lending money to consumers.
“The biggest challenge has been credit history. Even something as simple as opening a saving account is a problem. It’s like ‘hey, I have some cash, can I put it in your account [?]; I have an SSN and visa to show my legality here’,” shared Expat Brandon E. “To which the answer from all [lenders] has been a universal ‘NO CREDIT = NO ACCOUNT’, which is really backward.”
As evident by the first two challenges, many of the hardships faced by Expats are related to one another. Continuing this trend, the third challenge the Expats identified was finding a home. Think about it, if you’re having trouble getting your documentations in order, and it’s near impossible to get a loan, both of these challenges are going to make finding a home extremely difficult for Expats.
Fortunately, along with their challenges, the Expats shared their advice and tips in The Expat Review Vol. 1. Among that advice, Expats shared that you have to keep a positive outlook and commit to your new life. Do your research and do not be afraid of asking questions, but most importantly you need to plan ahead. Some Expats even went as far as to lay out a step-by-step process for Expats to get their documents in order.
“Yes-Plan, Plan, Plan! Do not think that you can just arrive, and all will be well,” says Marc L. “Think about every element of your “new” life from the simplest to the most complex. That way you only have to implement your plan rather than trying to work it out once here and then having to deal with the additional stress on the move.”
Every journey comes with challenges, but in the end, overcoming them is what makes it most fulfilling. The Expat Review Vol. 1 is a great resource tool for people planning to relocate to the USA. It can be downloaded for free from International AutoSource at http://bit.ly/TheExpatReviewVol1