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    Thread: Gaining US Citizenship, what to expect?


    1. #1
      thelonetraveler

      Gaining US Citizenship, what to expect?

      I'm a 22 Year old British citizen about a month away from gaining my US citizenship. I'll be traveling from the UK to Hawaii to visit my father and process the relevant documents. Once its done, I most certainly wont be coming back.

      I plan to drop everything almost overnight and start from nothing, to something again. I've done this before, so I'm confident I'll be able to see this through. But in order to do so, I need some friendly advice and a few pointers to start me off! I hope to pick up some tips from my dad, but if you have any knowledge, information or tips you may wish to share with me about America, I'd love to hear from you.

      The plan is to stay in Hawaii for about a month, then go to the mainland and find a job and a place to live, preferably California. So lets start with the first opening questions:

      1. How do I find a job / where do I start looking? (relevant documentation? I'm a sales person with solid work experience. No major qualifications other than A-C GCSEs which I'm guessing will be obsolete)

      2. What is the rental market like at the moment? (Finding a place to live shouldn't be a problem I wouldn't have thought? I'm very easy going when it comes to house shares to start out with.)

      3. If I want to live in California after becoming a citizen in Hawaii, will I be prohibited for a short time?

      Any feedback would be great. I've been looking forward to this day for too long now!

      Thanks,

      Andrew
      Last edited by thelonetraveler; 21-04-2012 at 01:47 AM.

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    3. #2

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      thisoldworld is on a distinguished road
      I'm an American by birth, so I can't really help with immigration issues, but I'm from California and can speak to that stuff. Where in CA do you want to live? This will vastly impact your ability to find a job, what expenses you might have, what you'll pay to rent, IF you can rent at a reasonable rate, etc. What do you mean by prohibited?
      guest3160 likes this.

    4. #3
      thelonetraveler
      Thanks a lot for the reply!

      Well, im not particularly fussed where in Cali to be honest. My friends are based all over the state, predominantly Santa Barbara & Malibu leading up to LA. I'm quite happy to go on couch surfers to start with!

      Im a sales executive in England, so that's what I'd like to peruse over the pond. I'm guessing LA would be the best place to start?

      When I say 'prohibited', I mean that once I have my SS number in Hawaii, I will automatically become a Hawaii state resident I assume. Does this prohibit me from working or living in another State for a short time?

    5. #4

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      thisoldworld is on a distinguished road
      I happen to be from LA, and I can tell you that it's not a great time to be looking for a job around here right now. The city itself is nearing bankruptcy. Santa Barbara and Malibu are very upscale communities, so rent is going to be very $$$ if you choose to live there, and you might have to deal with a smaller living space. If you have any contacts in the LA area, it would probably be a good idea to schmooze a little as well. I'm not sure if I'm understanding your current position, but if you're looking for a job that has anything to do with LA's Hollywood reputation, it's difficult to swing without knowing people.

      Once you have an SS, you can live and work wherever you want within the US. Being a resident of Hawaii doesn't prohibit you from working or living in CA. I'm moving from CA myself to another state soon. What I'm not sure about is whether you will automatically become a resident upon getting an SS.

      I know you said you weren't fussed about where in California you want to live, but it's a big freaking state--it's practically its own country (in fact, if it was it would be the 34th most populated in the world with the 8th largest GDP). Living in San Francisco vs central CA vs LA vs Riverside will garner COMPLETELY different experiences. You might want to do a ton of research before you commit :) For that matter, the US is a HUGE, HUGE country, and each state is completely different from the last. To be honest, it sounds crazy to me to be open to living pretty much anywhere within the US...there are definitely bits you will want to avoid.

      P.S. you will need a car in CA (and in Hawaii, if you're planning to be there awhile), so you might want to look into a license and all that stuff. And if you want to blend in in California, don't call it Cali ;)
      thelonetraveler likes this.

    6. #5
      thelonetraveler
      All of this info is great, thank you.

      So, once I have my SS # it doesn't mean I can take up residency right away? I suppose in terms of finding a job and a place to live, it won't effect me greatly anyway? If it would effect me, how exactly?

      The distance from one place to the next is rediculous in comparison to our little island, I know that much!
      I worked at the Santa Barbara Tourist Hostel on Chapala Street in my late teens on holiday once, not entirely legal strictly speaking, but I had a 'little' road trip with a colleague from Montana afterwards and I never knew how far LA was from SB! We spent the night in the Malibu mountains as we ran out of money which was amazing (the night in the mountains I mean!), but that's another story for another occasion..
      Here in the UK, I happen to work and live about 15 mins a part walking distance which is convenient, sure. That's about all my life has going for it out here really. But anyway.. (enter tiny violin!)

      I know I'll need a car, but I don't want to end up like many unfortunate Californians have recently, and live in it! I have a full UK driving licence here which probably won't mean much, but can I convert it out in Hawaii? Or would I have to take my test from scratch?

      It would be nice to dream of working within the entertainment industry, but that's not why I'm setting up shop in America.. You've already mentioned reasons why already, the vastness of the states is a big enough reason alone (excuse the pun ;)! It's most important that I have a job, ANY job to start with. I'm pretty good with interviews so long as I have the right documentation, I'm sure it won't be a major issue.

      I'll be fine in Hawaii for somewhere to stay temporarily, but when it comes to California, what areas are cheap in terms of rent costs? Like I said, I know I'll have to start somewhere so finding a half decent, cheap place to rent is a priority. My first job will have to fit in with that agenda. I'm not sure what an average salary/wage would be for an entry level sales position, but I'm sure it wouldn't be that much. In the UK, entry level is about 950 pcm (approx $1,533) after taxes.


      Most likely the stupidest question to date, but are there any jobs in particular that Brits usually wind up in?

      You've been a great help so far, thisoldworld, Thanks again!

      Andrew
      Last edited by thelonetraveler; 24-04-2012 at 12:25 PM.