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Tips for immigrants for adjusting to life in the United States

Moving to the United States as an immigrant is a big undertaking. Many people need to focus on the process of getting the proper documentation before coming. This is undoubtedly important, and it helps to have a team on your side that knows how to work through the process.

While that process is ongoing, you have to start to plan for making a move. This presents challenges of its own. Fortunately, you can prepare. If you have family in the U.S., they can help you.

Learn at least basic English

While there will be times when you can speak in your native language, most people in the U.S. speak English. Learning English can help you to communicate. You don't need a vast vocabulary, but practice saying some of the more common words and phrases so you can speak to people in the course of your daily life.

Find out about common customs

Common customs vary from one location to another so study up on the area to which you are going to move. This can help you to enjoy your time there more since you will have a better understanding of what's going on. For example, if you move to New Orleans or an area near there, you will likely hear about Mardi Gras, but you won't hear about it much in Santa Ana.

Accept leaving things behind

You won't be able to take everything with you. Besides having to leave possessions behind, you are also going to need to prepare for leaving your friends and favorite places to visit. Many people choose to go back to their land of birth for visits, so this might help you through the homesick feeling if you are going to be able to return periodically.

Keep an open mind

Coping with change isn't easy. Throughout the process, you need to focus on the positives and keep an open mind. Even though it is a challenge, it will help you to feel less stressed. It can also help you find ways to adapt to the situations you face in the U.S.

Ask for help when necessary

Finally, you must not feel guilty about having to ask for help. Trying to adjust to a new country is difficult, but some people will help you. Your attorney is a good source of information about the application process for getting your documentation. Churches, schools and other immigrants are also excellent sources of information.

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  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber