Expats FAQ in United States

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Bank

Q: Is it possible for expats to move to the US without opening an American bank account?

A: Absolutely. There is no requirement for expats in the US to open an American bank account. Those who are not relocating for good particularly find it practical to just use their overseas accounts while remaining in the country.

Q: What are the requirements for expats to open an American checking account?

A: Banks may have unique requirements to process checking account applications from expats. However, all US banks will require a passport, immigration status background, social security number, and proof of address.

Q: Is it possible to open an American bank account in another country before US relocation?

A: Yes. Because almost all international banks are found in the US, expats can open an American bank account with the help of an international bank in their home country which is represented in the US.

Q: How much do ATMs in NYC charge as transaction fees?

A: Fees can be as high as 5 USD for foreign bank ATMs in NYC.

Q: Is the banking system in NYC any different from that of other cities in the world?

A: Note that in NYC, a lot of banks don't operate globally, and branches abroad may operate independently from their parent banks. That means it may be unsafe to assume that a bank account opened overseas can be easily accessed from NYC. Certain branches may be governed by specific regulations and may even be limited to only certain types of products/services. Hence, expats must plan their NYC banking activities before flying to the city to avoid complications, especially since requirements are normally stricter for foreigners.

Q: Do NYC banks allow people to open an account online?

A: It depends on the individual's status. US citizens can obviously do that, but expats may be allowed only if they are legal residents. Otherwise, accounts must be opened in person and with required documentation.

Q: How well-distributed are ATMs in LA?

A: Los Angeles is a huge and advanced city, and ATM availability is hardly a problem within or outside the metropolis. Some machines will even allow foreigners to access their bank accounts in their home countries. Of course, for each international transaction, a higher fee is charged.

Q: What international banks are in LA?

A: There are plenty, but some of the most popular are Bank of East Asia, Cathay Bank, East West Bank, and Far East National Bank.

Q: Which bank in LA charges the lowest fees?

A: It depends on the account and the transaction, but in a survey of banks operating in top US cities, Los Angeles banks are found to have the lowest fees. Those in Phoenix, Denver, San Diego, Houston, and Milwaukee have the highest.

Q: How many International Consulates are located in San Francisco?

A: The immigration application support center can be found at the following address: USCIS Application Support Center, 250 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94111-1506.

Q: Can one open a foreign currency account in San Francisco?

A: Yes. Banks such as Cathay Bank, Citibank and HSBC along with the Union Bank accept foreign currency accounts. These transactions can be done in the financial district of San Francisco, which is located south of Kearny Street and north of Market Street.

Q: Where can one find ATM machines in San Francisco?

A: ATM Machines in San Francisco can be found in the airport and near malls and shopping centers. The most commonly found ATM machines in the city are for the Bank of America , JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

Business

Q: What is the one most important defining characteristic of the American business culture?

A: The American business culture basically runs on a "time is gold" mindset and people are easily put off by long speeches. Americans are very direct and put a prime on logical thinking.

Q: How hard or easy is it to break into the US market as a business?

A: Despite the economic downturn, the US ranks fourth among 189 countries in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business survey for 2014. The country's strongest points are investment protection, contract enforcement, and credit accessibility.

Q: How do people dress up in a business environment in the US?

A: As in most other countries in the world, business dress codes in the US depend on the particular type of business and on regional factors. For example, business people in eastern cities dress more formally than those in the west. Executives tend to be formal everywhere in the US, but professionals in the tech industries like IT or computer programming dress more casually. For initial business meetings, it is often safe to dress conservatively.

Q: What's the most basic thing about how a New Yorker does business?

A: New York is the busiest city in the world. That also means people do not have time to dilly dally with business. People can meet at a bar one night and agree to do business, and meet the following day to begin formal discussions. Everything moves fast in this city.

Q: How does an NYC business change its existing name or address?

A: Business names or addresses may be updated at the NYC Department of Finance either online on their website, or by snail mail at this address: One Centre Street, 22nd Floor, New York, NY 10007.

Q: Under what circumstances does the NYC government issue business tax refunds?

A: Business tax refunds are given in the case of an amended audit or return, or simply when more taxes were paid than necessary. For more information, text 311-692 or call 3-1-1 from within NYC or (212) NEW-YORK from outside.

Q: Is LA a good place to start a business in?

A: Based on industry studies, Los Angeles is currently on top of many other world-class cities like New York, Chicago and even London and Berlin, in terms of being a good place to start a company.

Q: What industries are currently booming in LA?

A: LA's biggest industry is still entertainment, but in terms of opening a business, digital media and technology are the two sectors that seem to hold the most promise. Other sectors with good business prospects include textiles and garments, cars, defense, advertising, fashion and international trade.

Q: What are the requirements needed to set up a business in San Francisco?

A: Expats will need to obtain a Taxpayer identification Number (TIN) from the IRS before they can file for a business license. It is important that all San Francisco businesses are able to register at the SF tax collector's office within 15 days of starting their business.

Q: Where can one set up a business in San Francisco?

A: Expats setting up a business in San Francisco will need to check with the local Zoning Center to find out if the selected area is permitted and complies with the zoning regulations.

Q: Are there any ways to get business related support from the city itself?

A: San Francisco features an Office of Small Business that is willing to help out people who are starting businesses in San Francisco. The office provides individuals with support when navigating the city government, site expansion or relocation and training employees.

Children

Q: Can kids be home-schooled in the US?

A: Yes. Homeschooling is quite popular in the US, with the number of homeschooled children increasing by around 75% over the last decade and a half in all states.

Q: What time is the curfew for teenagers in the US?

A: Not all US cities have curfews for teenage youth, but those that do (around 500 cities) prohibit these kids from being on the streets by 11pm Mondays thru Fridays and by midnight on weekends. In some cities, daytime curfews are also implemented to prevent kids from loitering in the streets within school hours.

Q: Are there assistance programs for families with autistic kids in the US?

A: Yes and plenty. How much financial assistance is given depends on the particular provider. For example, Angel Autism Network gives Wisconsin families up to $500 yearly for the medical treatments of autistic kids. Autism Cares provides up to $1500 per family for all critical living costs like housing, daycare, utilities, and other approved basic necessities. The Internet is the best place to find all these organizations, and most applications are coursed online as well.

Q: What are some activities that expat kids can look forward as they move to NYC?

A: Seeing the famous Statue of Liberty on a trip to Ellis Island is one, and getting on the empire state Building's observation decks is another. Kids can ice-skate at the Trump Wollman Rink, visit the New York Aquarium, and do lots of other things. Of course, because they're kids, nothing can be more fun than running around Central Park.

Q: Where do moms usually take their kids for shopping in NYC?

A: Toys "R" us at Times Square is very popular, and so are Dylan's Candy Bar and Niketown.

Q: Are kids allowed to bring cellphones to school in NYC?

A: Currently, no, but this mobile phone ban is expected to be reversed soon. That means parents will be able to check on their kids while they're in school. Under existing rules, students have to leave their cellphones at home or in certain shops outside the school building for a fee.

Q: What theme or amusement parks are found in LA?

A: The world's best - Disneyland, Universal Studios, Castle Park, Magicopolis, and Six Flags Magic Mountain - are all in LA. Getting a season pass is the most convenient way for parents to save money when visiting any of these parks.

Q: What fun yet educational activities await expat kids in LA?

A: The Santa Monica Puppetry Center gives kids hands-on experience while making or playing with puppets while Peach Tree Pottery provides pottery lessons in a fun and engaging way. There are more fun and educational activities for kids in LA, and parents only have to search the Internet to find them.

Q: What's the best children's hospital in LA?

A: There are many children's hospitals in LA, but Children's Hospital Los Angeles appears to be the best based on patients’ feedback and some industry organizations. CHLA is has been named the most outstanding children's hospital in the entire West Coast, and one of the top five children's hospitals in the entire country in terms of clinical excellence, chosen by the US News & World Report Honor Roll.

Q: What are some kid-friendly activities that kids in San Francisco would enjoy doing?

A: Children have plenty of entertainment options in San Francisco. There are a number of amusement parks such as the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk where children can have fun.

Q: Are there any child care centers for children to stay in?

A: San Francisco has plenty of child care centers for parents to drop off their kids. These centers usually cater to children from the ages of 2 months old to six years old and typically cost around $18,000 annually for a toddler.

Q: How much does it cost to have a full-time nanny in San Francisco?

A: The average cost of a full-time nanny largely depends on the number of kids that will need looking over. According to the Children's Council of San Francisco, one child can cost up to $3, 291 per month while two children can cost $3, 637 per month.

Cost of living

Q: What are the most expensive cities in the US?

A: Obviously, key cosmopolitan centers like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are the highest in terms of cost of living. Compared to the national average, the cost of living in these major cities are twice as high.

Q: Is it significantly cheaper to live in suburban areas in the US instead of cosmopolitan centers?

A: Yes. There happens to be a dramatic difference between living in a major city and in a suburban area in terms of costs. This is partly due to the fact that more expensive cities have more expensive properties. In rural areas where properties are much cheaper, living costs are significantly lower as well.

Q: What are the biggest living expenses for expats in the US?

A: It depends on location. In major cities, accommodation is most likely the biggest expense for expats, but not as big as in suburban areas. In cities that experience extreme winters or extreme summers, heating and air-conditioning eat up a good chunk of any household's monthly budget.

Q: Around how much does an expat need to make in NYC in order to live a comfortable life in the city?

A: Single expats should earn at least around 75,000 USD monthly in order to live a comfortable life in NYC. Those who are relocating with a family of four may be fine with a minimum annual income of around 200,000 USD.

Q: Do expats moving to NYC for a job get any form of financial assistance, knowing how expensive the cost of living in the city is?

A: Yes. In fact, most employers of expats in the city provide COLA or cost of living adjustment to those who have just moved. This financial assistance is often used to cover the costs of finding an apartment through an agent, the payment of deposit fees and all other expenses necessary for jumpstarting life in NYC.

Q: How much does a subway/bus ticket cost in NYC?

A: A monthly subway/bus card in NYC costs around 112 USD and a weekly card is around 30 USD. These rates do change every now and then.

Q: Around how much do expats spend yearly to send their kids to an LA school?

A: Schooling in LA roughly costs around 20,00USD for expat kids in private or charter schools. Public schools are free, but the standard of education they offer is generally low. International schools are extremely expensive.

Q: Is it necessary to buy a car in LA?

A: Probably yes. Foreigners thinking of moving to LA should include the costs of buying and maintaining a vehicle when planning their budget. The city's public transport system is not very efficient, making car ownership necessary.

Q: What are some of the cheaper neighborhoods in LA?

A: Culver is one of the least expensive neighborhoods in LA, and so is Silverlake. Both are very popular with young and single expats, especially those who are looking for house share accommodation.

Q: Is living in San Francisco expensive?

A: San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the USA to live in, with rent being the most expensive aspect of living in the city.

Q: Is the cost of food expensive in San Francisco?

A: Expats will find that purchasing food in San Francisco can be cheap, as there are plenty of affordable fruit, meat and vegetables.

Q: How much will education cost in San Francisco?

A: The cost of education in a public school in the city is free, but private education can be costly. The cost of a private school can go as high as $30,000 per year.

Health

Q: Are expats covered under the US federal medical aid scheme?

A: The US government provides medical aid only to poor families, which means most, if not all, expats do not qualify for the scheme. However, those who moved to the US for work will usually receive some contributions towards their health insurance costs from their employers.

Q: Are expats required to have health insurance in the US?

A: In most developed countries, expats are required to have health insurance before relocating, but not in the US. However, wiser expats here do invest in a good health insurance policy that is incorporated into their employment contract. Medical bills in America can be colossal and people can be refused treatment if they have don't have insurance.

Q: Is it possible for one to be denied treatment in a US hospital?

A: Certainly, except for emergency cases. In non-emergencies, treatment may be denied under two common circumstances: when the patient cannot present proof of health insurance, or if he is unable to pay a security deposit (which is usually a hefty amount).

Q: Are there 24/7 pharmacies in NYC?

A: Yes, there are many 24/7 pharmacies all around New York - in malls, main shopping districts and supermarkets in all of the five boroughs.

Q: Can a person really be refused treatment in an NYC hospital?

A: Yes, except in emergency cases (legally speaking). A person is refused treatment when he is unable to pay a hospital deposit, which is usually hefty, or is medically uninsured. Health insurance is actually one of the most important concerns that future NYC expats need to consider before moving, considering that healthcare costs in the US are incredibly expensive.

Q: How competitive are NYC hospitals?

A: Very competitive. In the 2014 US News & World Report, three Manhattan hospitals were included in the top 17 medical centers across the US, making NYC the only American city with such a record.

Q: How competitive are NYC hospitals?

A: Very competitive. In the 2014 US News & World Report, three Manhattan hospitals were included in the top 17 medical centers across the US, making NYC the only American city with such a record.

Q: Is it necessary to buy health insurance when moving to LA?

A: Not necessary but highly recommended. Healthcare in LA is advanced, but the costs are incredibly expensive too. More prepared foreigners have relocated to the city with a sound insurance policy in place, and it must also include expat-specific benefits such as repatriation.

Q: What are some of the best hospitals in LA?

A: California Hospital Medical Centre, Children's Hospital Los Angeles (4650 Sunset Boulevard), Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre Los Angeles, Keck Hospital of USC (1500 San Pablo Street) and Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Centre (757 Westwood Plaza) are five of the best.

Q: What alternative modes of treatment are available in LA?

A: Yes, there are many homeopathic doctors and clinics in LA. In fact, many other alternative treatments are gaining a good following in the city, such as light touch healing, acupressure and acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine, and many more. Most of these practitioners are members of the American Association of Alternative Health Practitioners (AAAHP).

Q: How much does medical insurance cost in San Francisco?

A: Those who don't have international medical insurance can obtain medical insurance in San Francisco. There are a number of providers in the area, and expats will need to compare the costs to find one that can suit their budget and needs best.

Q: Are there women clinics in San Francisco?

A: Yes. The city has various women health centers, and women health services can also be found in the San Francisco General Hospital.

Q: What are the best hospitals in the area?

A: The best hospitals in San Francisco include the Benioff Children Hospital and the UCSF Medical Center.

Housing

Q: What housing options are commonly available to expats in the US?

A: There are all sorts of housing options for everyone in the US, including apartments, single family homes, duplex homes, condominiums or townhouses, and even mansions. In terms of what expats prefer, apartments are most popular among renters and most of those who would rather live in a property of their own buy single family homes.

Q: Is tenant screening strict in the US?

A: This depends on whose standards. Asian expats, for instance, may find it strict but not Europeans. First, the potential tenant submits a lease application through a document called a State Rental Agreement. Then he provides proof that he can pay the first two months' rent upfront. References from previous landlords are also required if applicable, and credit and background checks are routinely performed by landlords.

Q: Can expats take out a mortgage in the US?

A: If they are permanent residents, expats can apply for a mortgage but lots of supporting documents will be required. What lenders are mainly looking is proof that the expat is legally employed in the US and financially capable of covering a new house purchase. Note that foreigners may have to pay a bigger deposit than Americans.

Q: How much do agencies charge for an apartment search in NYC?

A: Agencies in NYC usually charge 15% of the year's rent. While housing prices have been on a downtrend, expats can still find great competition for good apartments in the city. Note that rent-controlled apartments can be particularly hard to find due to low turnover.

Q: What are those so-called "loft buildings" in NYC?

A: Loft buildings are former commercial buildings which are now used for residential purposes. Most of them are found in neighborhoods such as Tribeca, Chelsea and Soho, and recently in some areas of Harlem. Usually with tall windows, open living spaces, and self-service elevators, these buildings were originally built for artists.

Q: What's the most expensive part of NYC in terms of real estate?

A: In terms of accommodation, Manhattan is the most expensive borough in NYC, and offers limited options for family-sized housing. Even in nearby boroughs such as Brooklyn, property prices have started to skyrocket. It can be tough trying to balance cost and location when finding a home in NYC, which is why it's extremely important for expats to plan their relocation thoroughly.

Q: What types of accommodation are available in LA?

A: Housing options in LA don't differ much from those found in other key cities of the world. There are apartments, single family homes, duplex homes, condominiums (sometimes called townhouses) and mansions. Obviously, an expat's choice will depend on his financial capacity and his ability to prove this to the landlord or mortgage provider.

Q: What are the typical tenancy requirements for expats in LA?

A: First and foremost, expats have to prove that they have enough money to pay the rent for the first two months up front (includes the security deposit). LA landlords can be strict about tenancy and are known to conduct credit and background checks. When applicable, the potential tenant should also provide references from previous landlords.

Q: Are foreigners allowed to take up mortgage in LA?

A: Yes, but the requirements are more complicated for expats. There will be a lot of supporting documents required, but what mortgage providers are mainly looking for is assurance that that the foreigner is legally employed and financially capable of paying off a home loan.

Q: Do the homes in San Francisco come with fire or burglar alarms?

A: This depends largely on the landlord. Some landlords install burglar alarms, but generally tenants do it themselves. Smoke detectors are a requirement of the California Building Code, and all residences must have smoke detectors installed.

Q: Where can one find accommodation in San Francisco?

A: A popular method to find available apartments in San Francisco involves looking up neighborhoods online. Web sites such as Craigslist often advertise rooms for rent. Local newspapers are also a trusted source for listings.

Q: How much is the average cost of renting property in San Francisco?

A: The average costs is $3213 for a one bedroom apartment. However, the cost can vary, depending on the location, amenities and budget. It can be cheaper to rent when roomates are involved.

Leisure

Q: Is there a good selection of ethnic restaurants for expats in the US?

A: Yes, and they're very popular in everywhere in the country. Italian, Chinese, Mexican, African, South American, and Filipino restaurants seem to be most dispersed. Mexican cuisine is particularly more popular in southwestern and western areas.

Q: Are teenagers allowed to enter bars in the US when they have an adult companion?

A: No. Anyone younger than 21 is banned from entering bars in the US, even if their parents are around. Young people may be allowed inside restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages, but they will not be served these drinks.

Q: Is smoking allowed in public places in the US?

A: In some public places, yes, but not in elevators, public transport vehicles (all kinds, from buses to airplanes), hospitals and public buildings. Usually, there will be a sign that indicates if an area is "smoking" or "non-smoking."

Q: Are Broadway shows expensive?

A: They are typically expensive, but there are ways to get discounts. For instance, those TKTS booths sell tickets at reduced rates, and the discounts can get even bigger when the tickets are bought from online sellers. Goggling helps a lot.

Q: Where do foreigners go for food-tripping in NYC?

A: Queens is considered to have the best variety of gastronomic pleasures in NYC. Chinatown has all kinds of Asian food while the East Village has a nice array of Indian, Japanese and Ukrainian eateries. For African and African-American food, people troop to Harlem. The entire city is basically dotted with steakhouses and Italian restaurants.

Q: Is tipping part of the NYC entertainment culture?

A: It's not only part of the entertainment culture, but a 20% tip is obligatory in restaurants. In bars, a dollar per glass or bottle of beer or wine is expected.

Q: Are there bazaars in NYC and where are they found?

A: Yes and there are plenty of them selling all sorts of items from food to antiques. However, markets in NYC are only open on weekends. According to some locals, it's best to go early in the morning when the selection is "fresh." Others say at night just before the stores close is better because it's when sellers offer the biggest bargains.

Q: What kinds of outdoor activities are possible in LA?

A: There are many fun things to do outdoors in LA. The terrain is great for trail running, mountain biking and hiking, and there are many places to go fishing. Of course, sunbathing at the city's lush beaches is a given.

Q: What are some of the most popular nightspots in LA?

A: World-renowned venues like Sunset Strip and Hollywood Boulevard are number one on the list. Also known for being trendy and chic to the highest degree is The Valley.

Q: How much do LA expats typically spend for recreation?

A: Los Angeles is one city that is hardly out of options when it comes to entertainment. However, they don't come cheap. For instance, a guest can pay a minimum of 30 USD just to enter a club or bar, or around 50 USD for dinner at an average restaurant. Recreation is one of the most expensive things expats spend on in LA, although there are free alternatives like window-shopping taking a walk in the park.

Q: Are cultural attractions in San Francisco costly?

A: There are some musicals, concerts, plays and museums that expats may find interesting to check out in San Francisco. The cost of all these can be affordable if expats take up group deals or season passes that offer discounts and deals.

Q: Where are the most popular clubs in San Francisco located?

A: San Francisco has a thriving nightlife, and most of the frequented clubs are in the SoMa neighborhood, which features electronic music clubs.

Q: Are there areas where one can get fit?

A: Yes, there are several outdoor fitness classes in areas such as the Golden Gate Park and Baker Beach.

Looking for a job

Q: How long is a typical workweek in the US?

A: Americans put a prime on hard work and employed expats must expect a typical work week to go well over 40 hours. The maximum annual leave is only two weeks for most positions.

Q: Are work ethics in the US any different from Europe?

A: Not very much. The US shares many commonalities with Europe in terms of work etiquette. However, expats should expect West Coast environments to be a bit more lax than East Coast.

Q: Aside from medical professions, what other jobs are in demand in the US?

A: Elderly care is a thriving industry in the US today with the rapid growth of its elderly population. Americans are also highly attracted to skilled professionals, especially in the IT sector.

Q: What are the chances of foreigners getting recruited by employers into NYC from abroad?

A: Great if the expat can show that he has sought after skills and experience. That means there has to be no or an inadequate number of local candidates who are fit for the job. This is not just a requirement for NYC employment but anywhere in the US. The employer has to prove that there is actual need to import the worker from abroad. As of now, IT professionals are in demand in the Big Apple, along with nurses, physical therapists, radiologists, etc.

Q: How much do NYC headhunters typically charge?

A: Headhunters in NYC are usually paid with 20-30% of the hired worker's first year salary. It's not a small amount, but hiring a headhunter is a good way to secure a job in the city, especially when the worker is job-hunting from abroad.

Q: Has the global economic downturn affected expats' chances of getting hired in NYC?

A: Unfortunately, yes. While the list of in-demand positions (for example, nurses, financial analysts, IT, etc.) in NYC hasn't changed much, employers are currently restricting their overseas hire quotas more than ever. Simply put, there are less lucrative jobs for expats nowadays.

Q: In what industries are expats likely to find a job in LA?

A: Sectors that are booming in LA (aside from entertainment) are technology, biomedical technology and environmental technology. Expats who have outstanding skills in these industries are highly likely to find a job in the city.

Q: Is LA a good city for job-hunting finance experts?

A: Yes. The large community of foreign banks and multinational corporations is proof enough that LA is fertile ground for finance professionals. While there are other ways of getting a job in this industry, intra-company transfers are the fastest.

Q: Is LA a good city for job-hunting finance experts?

A: Yes. The large community of foreign banks and multinational corporations is proof enough that LA is fertile ground for finance professionals. While there are other ways of getting a job in this industry, intra-company transfers are the fastest.

Q: What are some of the most common job industries found in San Francisco?

A: San Francisco has a diverse economy, and features a number of different kinds of job industries for locals and expats to apply in. Some of the most common job industries in the city include technology, finances and tourism.

Q: What is the average salary that one usually earns in San Francisco?

A: Annually, the average salary earned is $62,680. This makes San Francisco residents have the highest earnings in the state, although this also depends on the job involved.

Q: What are the typical working hours in San Francisco?

A: Employees in San Francisco are expected to work 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week.

Money

Q: Are traveller's checques still accepted in the US?

A: Yes, but requirements are no longer as simple as presenting a photo ID. Most businesses in the US now impose a "spend" requirement which is usually above 75% of the cheque's value.

Q: Is tipping customary in the US?

A: Yes. A tip of 10-15% is considered a standard for waiters and taxi drivers (Many waiters are paid below minimum on the assumption that they will make enough money with tips).

Q: Is money counterfeiting common in the US?

A: It's not common but it exists. According to the US government, no more than .01% of US money in circulation is counterfeit. Authentic money is thinner and feels crisper regardless of age. The best way to know counterfeit money is to hold it next to money that is surely authentic

Q: Why do most restaurants in NYC accept only cash?

A: Nobody talks about the real reason behind, but people can only surmise it’s because of the obvious benefits of cash in a business setting. It's safe and readily available, it leaves less paper trail (which means waiters will be taxed on 7% of their sales, instead of the 15 plus % they usually get as tips), and it's just basically less hassle for a merchant. Perhaps this also has something to do with the very fast-paced lifestyle in the city. Cash transactions are simply faster.

Q: What are some ways that expats can save money in NYC, considering that living costs are very high?

A: Expats' survival in NYC has a lot to do with their ingenuity. Simply collecting coupons can make a lot of difference. For example, a $50 meal can easily drop to $20. These offers have to be purchased within a limited period though (usually within 24 hours after they are posted on the website), but there are no unreasonable time limits on when the coupons may be used. Groupon.com and LIvingSocial.com are two of many websites that give out coupons.

Q: Where do foreigners exchange currencies in NYC?

A: Money exchange bureaus and banks are found all over NYC and are usually open from 9am to 4-5pm. They may also be found right in the airports, but their rates are not always the best. It's often wiser to change money through ATMs where the rates are better and the fees are lower.

Q: Where are the best places to change currencies in LA?

A: There are many places to change currencies in LA - LAX, supermarkets, banks, tourist areas, etc. - but getting a good rate can be quite challenging. Expats are often advised to change their money before moving to the city.

Q: Which credit cards are most widely used in LA?

A: All major credit cards are used in LA, but Visa and MasterCard (EuroCard) are the most common. Note that fees for international credit card transactions have soared very high in recent years.

Q: Where are the currency exchange booths located in LAX?

A: Currency exchange kiosks at LAX are found in all terminals' upper-level departure areas, and at the Bradley International Terminal's arrival area. All of these kiosks change traveler's checks, and cash advances can be made thru Visa and Master Card (up to 300 USD) at ICE currency exchange booths (at Tom Bradley Terminal) and Terminals 2, 3, 5 and 7.

Q: Where can one find currency exchange areas in San Francisco?

A: The best area to exchange currency can be at the bank, and the at the airport, specifically at SFO Airport in the departures level and near the food court.

Q: Can one use credit cards in San Francisco?

A: Yes, credit cards are accepted and used in San Francisco, especially in restaurants and taxis.

Q: Do banks in San Francisco accept Bitcoin transactions?

A: Bitcoin has not yet gained currency with banks, but there is a Bitcoin transaction machine that is located in the Workshop Cafe in the financial district.

Moving

Q: What can expats look forward to when moving to the US?

A: Foreigners who move to the US for work can expect high wages and promising opportunities for career growth. Family-oriented expats will also enjoy the child-friendly environment, not to mention excellent education and healthcare infrastructures, although these are available only to those who can afford them.

Q: Are there specific requirements for expats moving to the US with kids?

A: Expats planning to settle in the US with children have to prove that their immunizations against diphtheria, poliomyelitis, rubella, and measles are up to date. Kids will also be required by schools to get tetanus, mumps, and pertussis vaccines.

Q: What is one common challenge expats face when moving to the US?

A: One thing expats may have to deal with in the US is the scarcity of financial assistance opportunities, especially with today's global economic downturn. Even competition for jobs is extremely high, except for professions where there are not enough qualified local candidates (for example, nursing, physical therapy, elderly care, etc.).

Q: Is NYC generally considered safe as an expat destination?

A: Like any other busy and progressive city, there are areas in NYC where safety doesn't come easy. Bronx and Queens are particularly notorious for high crime rates in comparison to the other boroughs (Staten Island, Manhattan and Brooklyn). These parts of the city are not recommended for expats, especially those with families or those who may have to be out on the streets after 11pm.

Q: How are people like in NYC?

A: NYC is home to a melting pot of cultures obviously because of the influx of foreigners coming from different parts of the world. This actually makes making friends easier, but note that locals in general can be very frank and curt. It's not because they're rude. It's just a reflection of the fast-paced life of a typical New Yorker.

Q: Where can expats find cheap accommodation in NYC?

A: It may feel like finding cheap accommodation in NYC is impossible but it's not. It just takes a little further thought, like living a little further outside the city center. For example, properties in Brooklyn would generally be cheaper than those in Manhattan. House-sharing is also a good option. Many single expats who relocated to NYC started out renting a shared home.

Q: What's the weather like in LA?

A: LA weather is sunny and pleasant the whole year round. Summers are warm and dry, and winters are opposite. However, one thing newly arrived expats have to get used to is the smog that can quickly collect in low-lying areas of the city and make the cityscape look rather unflattering.

Q: Which LA neighborhoods are considered "dangerous?"

A: Neighborhoods in the eastern and southern parts of LA have the highest crime rates in the city and are thus considered the most dangerous. Also, note that places with cheaper properties have higher crime rates.

Q: Do people need to learn Spanish when moving to LA?

A: No, but knowledge of the language can be an advantage in terms of making new friends. There is a great white non-Hispanic and Hispanic population across the city, and there are even neighborhoods where Spanish is more widely spoken than English.

Q: What neighborhoods in San Francisco are best for expats to move into?

A: Each neighborhood in San Francisco offers different attractions, and expats are advised to look into each one to see what suits them best. The gay and lesbian community will find the Castro District to be welcoming while expats who want to be near big businesses may want to relocate close to the financial district. There is also a Chinatown and a Japantown that expats may want to check out.

Q: Are there moving companies in San Francisco that can provide one with assistance?

A: Yes, San Francisco has some reliable moving companies that can help people get around the city safely.

Q: What important emergency numbers are available that one should know about when moving to San Francisco?

A: Expats who need immediate assistance can call the emergency number 911. Other important numbers to keep in mind include Emergency Medical Services at (415) 355-2600 and the Fire department at (415) 558-3200.

Pets

Q: How much does a visit to the vet cost in the US?

A: It depends on what the visit is for. An initial consultation will probably cost around $65 or less if there are no tests or vaccinations needed. For a preliminary exam, the price is around $50, excluding vaccinations and other procedures. Bloodwork would be around $200 which is probably the same amount paid for an annual checkup of healthier dogs requiring only basic vaccine shots like rabies, parvo and distemper.

Q: What are some of the most trusted brands of dog food sold in the US?

A: There are many out there but some of the most popular brands are Pedigree, Iams, Kibbles 'n Bits, Purina Dog chow and Ol'roy.

Q: What are the specific rabies vaccination requirements for pets entering the US?

A: All dogs coming from a country where rabies is a problem must get a rabies vaccination before they can enter the US. Dogs that haven't had rabies shots should get them at least 30 days before landing. Those which are older than 15 months and had their shots before they turned 3 months may enter the US immediately after getting boosters, without having to wait 30 days.

Q: Where are the dog-friendliest communities in NYC?

A: Almost all parts of NYC have pet-owning communities but there are certain areas that are considered the best for raising dogs. For example, there's Upper West Side, which has a lot of huge and beautiful green spaces (Central and Riverside Parks), as well as pet stores and services. Park Slope in Brooklyn is also good with lots of running space (the favorite is Prospect Park) and NYC's only Dog Beach. There’s also Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan with its many communal lawns and walkways.

Q: What are some of the best dog care centers in NYC?

A: There's plenty out there. The Wagging Tail is good, there's Camp Bow Wow and so many more. Dog care centers in NYC usually offer a combination of services that promote holistic wellness for dogs (for example, Wagging Tail has a program that includes exercise and socialization activities).

Q: Is there a dog yoga in NYC?

A: Yes, and it's a growing trend among pet owners in NYC. Bideawee, the biggest pet care organization operating in New York, offers "doga" for free, but pet owners are expected to donate at least 20 USD.

Q: How much do vet fees cost in LA?

A: It depends on the vet and the treatments or procedures needed. Though vet fees grew by more than 80 percent in recent years, and it's expected that they will double every 13 years. This is why pet insurance has become increasingly popular in LA.

Q: How much is a pet insurance policy in LA?

A: A pet insurance policy's cost depends on such factors as the animal's breed, age and risk factors, and the owner's zip code. For example, the annual premium for a delicate, newborn French bulldog in LA may cost around 42 USD, and for a healthy, five-year-old Yorkshire Terrier in the same city, around 36 USD.

Q: What are some of the most popular dog breeds sold in LA?

A: The most popular dog breeds in LA today are Bulldog, French Bulldog, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, and Yorkshire terrier. This is according to the American Kennel Club.

Q: Where can one find pet-friendly restaurants in San Francisco?

A: Yes, there are a number of options for pet lovers to have dinner, lunch or a snack with their furry friends. Dog-friendly locations to grab a bite include Skool, Rose's Café, Park Chow and El Rio.

Q: Are there any pet parks where one can walk their pet?

A: Yes, there are both fenced dog parks as well as off-leash dog parks in San Francisco.

Q: Where can pet owners go if their pet needs medical attention in San Francisco?

A: There is a multi-specialty veterinary referral hospital in the city that is the first of its kind, Vcaspeciality vets. The hospital has served medical related animal needs since 1997.

Schools

Q: Until what age is school compulsory in the US?

A: School systems differ from one state to another, but schooling is compulsory for all kids in the US up to the age of 16. Even then, many continue until they finish high school at around 17 or 18.

Q: What are magnet schools?

A: Magnet schools are public grade and high schools where focus is given on a particular field, such as math, science and technology, the arts, etc., although the curriculum includes all subject areas. Most of these schools have no admission criteria, and selection of students is done through a lottery system or recommendations.

Q: What type of school is best for expat kids who are staying in the US for a short period?

A: Almost all types of schools in the US offer quality education, but many expats on a short stay choose to enroll their kids in international schools which use the curricula from their home countries. The main reason is that this option makes it easier for the kids to transition into American life.

Q: What is the screening process for prospective students in NYC private schools?

A: It's usually a long and stringent process which includes passing a number of academic tests as well as interviews. It can also be so daunting that some families actually feel the need to hire consultants to increase the kids' chances of getting in the top schools. There are at least 70 private schools across the city, and they are very, very competitive, both in academics and facilities.

Q: What is the standard of education offered by public schools in NYC?

A: There are more than 1,400 public schools in NYC, and the quality of education they provide can be worlds apart. The better ones are those found in the more affluent parts of the city.

Q: Do NYC schools follow catchment zones?

A: Only public schools in NYC have catchment zones which are based on where the enrollees live. However, it's still not impossible to attend a school outside one's designated zone.

Q: Do LA public schools offer good quality education?

A: Public schools in LA have a reputation for low-quality education, underfunding, and high drop-out rates. However, there are a few ones that stand out academically, such as Clover Avenue Elementary School, School Global Educational Academy, and Fairburn Avenue Elementary.

Q: Are there charter schools in LA?

A: Yes, and they are very popular among expats who want to give their kids high-quality education without the expensive fees of international schools. Admission into charter schools is not that easy, though. Waiting lists are usually long, and enrollees may be admitted through lotteries if only to ensure fairness.

Q: Are there international schools in LA?

A: Yes, but most expats don't think they have to enroll their kids there. Private and chartered schools and even a few public schools offer good quality education for a more reasonable price. Expats who do send their children to international schools (where kids can follow the curriculum in their home countries) are those who don't have plans of staying in the US for long.

Q: Can parents find homeschooling support in San Francisco?

A: Yes. Parents who wish to homeschool their children can do so, and there are various homeschooling meetups and clubs that interested parents can attend.

Q: Are there international schools around the San Francisco area?

A: Yes. International Schools are often chosen by expats who want their children to go through a curriculum that is tied to a specific country or educational system. Most international schools offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes.

Q: Can children attend public school in the San Francisco area?

A: Children from expat families who are unable to attend an international school will find that the public schools in the San Francisco area are well equipped. Expat parents are advised to do some research among the available options when looking for a school to send their children.

Shopping

Q: When is the best time to hunt for bargains when shopping in the US?

A: Big or small, stores across the US offer bargains from time to time throughout the year. However, the biggest bargains usually happen the day after Christmas, which is when merchandise prices drop by as much as 90%, especially winter clothing and other items associated with the season. Certainly, this is the best time of the year to look for bargains.

Q: Do shoppers pay sales tax in the US?

A: They do pay a sales tax on all purchases in nearly all states and a few cities. States collect around 4-8% sales tax while cities charge 2% more. However, unlike in other countries, US shoppers do not pay VAT on merchandise.

Q: What's so special about factory outlets or outlet stores for US shoppers?

A: Expats are drawn to these stores because of their cheap yet high-quality merchandise that comes in popular international brands. The items here are usually leftovers from the last season or slightly flawed. These shops never have end-of-season sales because they offer heavily discounted prices all year round, and their products are often cheaper by 20-40% than in department stores.

Q: Where can foreigners find the best shopping deals in NYC?

A: When it comes to groceries, Manhattan is just about the most expensive place to get them compared to other boroughs. Everywhere, big key street stores sell cheap items, along with small corner stores downtown. For world-famous designer brands at discounted rates, Century 21 (near World Trade Center buildings) is the best place to go.

Q: Is bargaining ok when shopping in flea markets or even wet markets in NYC?

A: Bargaining may be expected, but unlike other parts of the world such as China or Hongkong, it is not considered part of American shopping culture. In any case, it's best to do it politely in NYC.

Q: Where do LA shoppers go to find great bargains?

A: Ontario Mills is where people in LA shop for bargain items. Those who are looking for luxury designer brands go to Desert Hills Premium Outlets where prices are dramatically lower. The Rose Bowl and Swap Meet flea markets are also very popular

Q: Where in LA do celebrities usually shop?

A: One place with the most celebrity sightings in LA is Rodeo Drive, which is where all the big designer shops such as Louis Vuitton and Versace are located. Celebrities are spotted all over the city though.

Q: What's a good place to buy used books in LA?

A: The Last Bookstore at 453 S Spring St., Downtown is still one of the biggest drawers of used book hunters in the city (though not without some controversies). This is a huge bookstore with 95% of its inventory composed of used books. The rest are books in the 1 USD section. The shop is open all week though it closes much earlier (around 6pm) on Sundays.

Q: What are the best vegetarian restaurants in San Francisco?

A: Vegetarian expats can find vegan-only food in locations near the Powell Station and Chinatown. Vegetarians and vegans can purchase some vegetarian-friendly food to cook themselves at the Rainbow Grocery, an organic grocery store located on Folsom Street.

Q: What are the best bookstores in the area?

A: San Francisco features a number of bookstores for those with literary interests, such as the Booksmith, the Alexander Book Company, Green Apple Books and the City Lights Books.

Q: Are there any thrift stores in San Francisco?

A: Yes, one can find a number of thrift stores and funky restaurants in Haight Street, where art, music and vintage clothing can be found.

Telecommunications

Q: How do most expats call overseas from the US?

A: There is currently a service provider called Expat Telecom which allows people to call overseas without having to change their phones or networks. A user simply has to sign with them and load prepaid credits in order to make a call. Aside from the rates being cheap, expats also love the convenience that this option offers.

Q: Is it true that Internet services are very expensive in the US?

A: Yes. In fact, Internet services in the US are not only very expensive, but speeds are also slow. To get 150 Mbps, the cheapest subscription is around $140 per month. According to a survey, it is more costly to get 2GB of data in US cities compared to their counterparts in Europe.

Q: Have landlines gone defunct in the US?

A: Not totally, but there seems to be a trend with American households junking their landlines in favor of mobile phones. A government survey shows 40% of homes are now relying mainly on cellphones. The rate of decline in landline usage is going down though, and experts are speculating this is because landlines are part of cable TV and Internet packages provided by telecom networks.

Q: Are there any free public Wi-Fi areas in NYC?

A: Right now, there are various Wi-Fi spots across all the five boroughs, usually in libraries, coffee shops, parks, stores and a number of subway stations in Manhattan. There is, however, an ongoing project called LinkNYC which aims to replace the old public pay phones, and provide free public Wi-Fi 24/7 in all key areas of the city. The project also includes providing charging stations and a touchscreen device that people can use to look for directions, access city services and so on.

Q: What are the options for cable TV subscribers in NYC?

A: There are three main and franchised cable TV providers in NYC - Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Cablevision. There's no substantial difference among their services, but their rates can vary widely. Also, only Verizon is present in all five boroughs. Time Warner Cable only serves Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, Manhattan and some parts of Brooklyn, while Cablevision covers only Bronx and some parts of Brooklyn.

Q: What is the best cable TV provider in NYC?

A: The most popular cable TV company is Verizon, and it is also the top choice for Internet subscribers.

Q: Which parks in LA have free wi-fi?

A: There are six parks across LA that currently have free Wi-Fi - Venice Beach, Cabrillo Beach, Pershing Square, Reseda Park, Echo Park Lake and Griffith Observatory. The connection is good enough for basic functions like checking emails and updating social media accounts, but not for streaming movies.

Q: How does one switch from one another landline provider to another in LA?

A: Usually, there will only be one landline provider per area. For instance, a community served by AT&T will not likely be served by Verizon at the same time. However, cable companies do offer telephone services similar to local landline services. The main difference is that cable companies use digital lines, while traditional landlines use analog.

Q: What's the best mobile phone service provider in LA?

A: Verizon is quite popular, but the service is CDMA-based, meaning, it doesn't support SIM cards. T-Mobile appears to be a favorite, owing to its versatility (also works with SIM-cards), good rates, and good service.

Q: How fast is the internet in San Francisco?

A: The internet speed and connection in San Francisco is very good, with a variety of internet providers in the city. The average speed offered in the city is 20Mbps / 1Mbps with the fastest being 100-200Mbps.

Q: What are some reliable service providers in San Francisco?

A: Web-pass provides internet at fast speeds of 100-200Mbps, although this service can usually be found in residential units.Other trusted service providers are Sonic.net and MonkeyBrains.

Q: What are common mobile phone services that are used in San Francisco?

A: While AT&T and Sprint are commonly used, expats relocating to the Bay Area will find that StraightTalk provides an affordable plan and contracts at $45 per month for unlimited calls, data and texts.

Transport

Q: How soon after moving to the US can expats apply for an American driver's license?

A: It depends on where particularly in the US the expat has moved. Residency requirements for getting an American driver’s license vary from state to state. However, drivers only need to apply once as the license will be valid everywhere within the country.

Q: What are normal traffic conditions in the US?

A: Traffic conditions in US cities vary and Los Angeles is known to have the worst. It is estimated that for each hour of driving during peak times in LA, there will be a delay of about 40 minutes. Another city that is notorious for chaotic traffic is San Francisco. Overall, the average time people spend commuting is 25.4 minutes as per US Census Bureau data.

Q: How do people book long distance train tickets in the US?

A: Long-distance train services in the US are provided by the publicly funded corporation, Amtrak. Tickets can be purchased at their website and may be either emailed to the passenger or collected personally at the station. Note that booking opens 11 months ahead.

Q: Is there a safety lane for bikers in NYC?

A: Definitely. Biking is a popular alternative mode of transportation in the city, and some of the best cycle routes are found in Manhattan, particularly along the East and Hudson Rivers.

Q: How are NYC bus lines differentiated?

A: NYC bus lines are identified through letters followed by numbers, indicating which borough they serve. For example, Bx is for Bronx, M is for Manhattan and so on. At each bus stop, there is also a signage that tells commuters which buses stop there.

Q: Does the NYC subway cover all areas of the city?

A: Generally, yes. NYC's subway system is both huge and efficient, covering all five boroughs of the city and a total of 400 stations. Note, however, that some express subway services do not stop at certain small local stations.

Q: How is the commute in LA?

A: LA's traffic is bad, but how bad commutes are depends on the time of day (or night) and the commuter's destination. The best time to leave for work is before 7am because the roads can get really congested after that, all the way thru noon. At around 7pm, the roads get packed again. The average one-way commute is around thirty minutes.

Q: What public transport option is best for commuters coming from outlying LA suburbs going into the city?

A: Most people take the Los Angeles metro that is quite fast and convenient, although it only serves a few districts. The fare is quite cheap, and commuters can save more by buying an unlimited weekly or monthly ticket.

Q: Do they have a downtown only public transport service in LA?

A: Yes. It's called DASH (Downtown Area Short Hop) and it goes around downtown LA, Hollywood, and Westside LA. On weekdays, the shuttle leaves every ten minutes from 6:30am to 6pm, and on weekends, every fifteen minutes from 10am to 5pm.

Q: How do does one get around San Francisco?

A: Residents in the city use the San Francisco Municipal Railway, which is also known as Muni. This public transportation agency operates the buses, trolleys, metro system and cable cars found around the city.

Q: How much are fares for the Muni Metro and Cable Car transport systems?

A: Cable cars cost $6 while the Metro costs $2.25, although it only costs 75 cents for passengers who are seniors or those who have a disability. It is important to have the exact fare when boarding, as the fare gates do not accept bills.

Q: Is a car needed when living in San Francisco?

A: A car is not needed for living in San Francisco, especially since parking rates can be expensive and reach up to $30. Most areas in the city can be easily accessible by walking, or by using public transportation services.

Travel

Q: Should people bring an adapter for their electrical gadgets when traveling to the US?

A: It depends where they come from or where their gadgets were made to be used. Electricity in the US is supplied at 110 volts at 60 cycles, while the world standard is 220 volts at 50 cycles. If the gadget is meant for a 220-volt outlet, then a power converter is needed, instead of an adapter which usually converts from a higher voltage to a lower voltage.

Q: When is the best time to avoid airport crowds when flying to the US?

A: US airports are generally packed on the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. On regular days, afternoons of Fridays and mornings of Mondays are the busiest, with security check lines being extremely long.

Q: What is the rationale behind the practice of some people not locking their bags when flying to a US airport?

A: Keeping bags unlocked when traveling to the US is not a requirement. However, many people do it because TSA (Transportation Security Administration) officers are known to randomly pick bags for inspection, and any locks on these bags will be automatically cut. For a lot of people, the solution is to travel with unlocked bags, or use TSA-approved locks.

Q: Do NYC airport taxis accept credit cards?

A: Some do, some don't. It's best to have cash in handy for those who are planning to take a cab from the airport to the hotel. Nonetheless, there are plenty of ATMs and currency exchange booths in all the terminals, though rates are friendlier in the city center.

Q: Are short-term apartment rentals really banned in NYC?

A: Yes, short-term apartment rentals are now prohibited in NYC. However, for budget travelers, there are good alternatives such as hostels, couch surfing, home exchange or those share a bath hotels or inns which are very popular in Manhattan.

Q: What may be considered a highlight of an NYC trip for a religious traveler?

A: A visit to the Trinity Church must not be missed by anyone vising NYC as a faithful. This is a colonial era church which America's founding fathers used for religious practices. Surrounding the building is a graveyard where many of the nation's leaders have been laid to rest. Entrance to both the church and the graveyard is free.

Q: Are there booths selling SIM cards at LAX?

A: Yes, but they are all excessively overpriced, sometimes by up to 50 USD (compared to prices at downtown phone shops).

Q: Do you really need sunscreen in Los Angeles?

A: Sunscreen is needed anywhere the sun shines, but most especially in Los Angeles which is practically a city in a desert (though it can be as chilly as 40 degrees on some winter days). Travelers don't only need sunscreen here, but lots of moisturizers too.

Q: How cold does it get in LA?

A: Cold enough to require layering with a fleece jacket and some sweaters. The city's coldest season begins in January and ends in March. For the rest of the year, lightweight clothing (rayon, cotton, etc.) is good.

Q: What is the weather like in San Francisco?

A: The weather is cool and is prone to fogs during the summer. Expats and tourists are advised to bring a light jacket, as it can often rain .

Q: What are some popular attractions to check out in San Francisco?

A: Locations where expats and tourists are sure to find interesting include Chinatown, the Golden Gate Bridge and visiting the Island of Alcatraz.

Q: Where can more information on San Francisco tours be obtained?

A: Expats who want to take special tours around San Francisco can visit the San Francisco Travel's Visitor Information Center to receive a packet with all tour and sightseeing companies.To contact them, call 415-391-2000.

Visa

Q: Under what circumstances may an application for US visa extension be declined?

A: One common reason a foreigner is denied a US visa extension is failure to prove that he has adequate financial support for the planned extended stay. Another is being unable to show that he has no intention of staying indefinitely in the US (such as arriving in the country with no return tickets).

Q: Do US permanent residents enjoy all privileges accorded to US citizens?

A: Yes, except for the right to vote in federal or state elections.

Q: How soon can an expat in the US apply for a permanent resident visa?

A: Granted that the expat is eligible to apply for a permanent resident visa, he may submit an application after five years of living in the country. If married to an American citizen, this period is cut to three years. For asylum seekers, the time requirement is four years.

Q: Which branch of government offers investment opportunities to EB-5 Investor Visa holders in NYC?

A: Expats who hold the EB-Investor Visa must get in touch with the New York City Regional Center. The USCIS, a Department of Homeland Security division, gave the approval for NYCRC to work with foreigners who are looking for real estate investment opportunities in the boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Manhattan.

Q: Which countries have representative offices or consulates in NYC?

A: There is a sizable number of consulates in NYC, especially of those countries with a high population of their nationals living in the city. Business hours and transaction schedules for each consulate can be unique though. For example, the Venezuelan Consulate accepts drop-off documents between 9am-1pm, and releases documents for pick-up from 2-4pm, Mondays thru Fridays. The consulate of Brazil entertains only Brazilian citizens from 10am-1pm, and everyone else can come between 10am-12pm, Mondays thru Fridays. It's best to call before visiting any of these representative offices.

Q: What exactly is a Form I-20 for students taking up language courses in NYC?

A: Form I-20 is otherwise known as a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status – For Academic and Language Students. There is currently a high number of expat students enrolling (from abroad) in NYC language schools such as Berlitz Language Center, New York-Language Center, etc. These students need to present their Form I-20 to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers upon landing at an NYC airport.

Q: Where in LA is the US Citizenship and Immigration Service office located?

A: They go to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services LA Field Office at 300 N Los Angeles St. The office can also be reached at telephone number (800) 375-5283.

Q: Is it possible to book online appointments with the USCIS in LA?

A: Yes, it is possible to book an appointment online with USCIS in LA, but there's often some kind of confusion about the appointment system. People can get a booking for a certain time and still end up being served an hour or two later. On busier days, it can take 15 minutes just to get past security.

Q: Where exactly in LA is the USCIS' Application Support Center located?

A: People can go to either 1015 Wilshire Boulevard,1st Floor, Suite 100 or 5949 West Pico Boulevard. It depends on their service area, which is determined by the USCIS Field Office in LA.

Q: Where is the immigration office located in San Francisco?

A: Bitcoin has not yet gained currency with banks, but there is a Bitcoin transaction machine that is located in the Workshop Cafe in the financial district.

Q: Where is the immigration office located in San Francisco?

A: The immigration application support center can be found at the following address: USCIS Application Support Center, 250 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94111-1506.

Q: How many International Consulates are located in San Francisco?

A: The immigration application support center can be found at the following address: USCIS Application Support Center, 250 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94111-1506.