If you are relocating to New York, you've got some real challenges ahead before you can really settle into life in the Big Apple. Explorer Publishing provides some pointers on getting started.

Getting the right visa for entry into the US is fairly straightforward, once you know what type of visa you need. And there are numerous ways to process your residence visa if you are staying there - Lawful Permanent Residence Status, immigration through investment, employment or a relative, and even the Diversity Visa Lottery Program. To find out more about the visas and residence options most suitable for you, you can get all the information from www.unitedstatesvisa.gov.

Useful Contacts:

USA Citizenship & Immigration Services

USA Department of Labor
USA Department of State
USA Green Card Lottery Service


New York is a major destination for those seeking employment from aboard. About 14 million workers in the United States are foreign, with percentages of foreign workers in New York is split between the service industries and large overseas companies, particularly those in banking, finance and computers.
New York is an expensive city to live in and consequently, the salaries are generally higher than in other US cities. Finding a job bussing tables in NYC is easy, finding a job in your chosen field is another story. People from all over America and countries around the world come to the city looking for work, so competition can be tough. Those with masters degrees, prior experience (always highly valued), and a knowledge of one or more languages (especially Arabic, German, Japanese, Mandarin and Hindi) are at a great advantage.
Looking for job openings in New York is fairly easy, if you are online. The four main sites to visit to begin your search are www.nytimes.com, www.newyork.craigslist.org, www.monster.com, and www.villagevoice.com. The New York Times and Village Voice list the same classifieds as their print versions and often have more up-to-date listings. You could also register with an employment agency. You will need to supply copy of your resume, your licence or passport and in most cases, you need to do a few exams to test your computer skills. Alternatively, you may want to hire a headhunter. Headhunters are people working just for you to find you a job, while recruitment companies work for employers looking to fill openings. A headhunter's fee will come from your first year's salary, typically 20-30% of it. This may seem a lot, but headhunters are often specialised in different fields and have connections that could land you the perfect job, or a job that pays much higher than expected.


In order to open a bank account, you will usually need a driver's licence or state-issued non-driver identification, as well as a social security card and proof of address, such as a current electric bill. However, subject to bank approval, non-citizens and even non-residents can open a bank account in the US, with a valid passport (translated into English). Most banks will not allow non-residents to open an account online - you will have to go into the bank and provide the necessary documentation.


Once you've got your dream job, you will need to find somewhere to live. There is good news and bad news about the New York housing market. The bad news is that it is expensive and cut-throat. The good news is that there is so much diversity in the five boroughs of New York City that you'll find your ideal home eventually.
Rents in New York City only seem to go in one direction: up. The average rent for a small studio in Manhattan is over $2,000 per month. High rents sometimes come with perks as well, and you may be lucky enough to find a place with a doorman and laundry facilities, perhaps even a fitness centre. You will most like have to pay a security deposit for your new apartment, unless you know the landlord, and most places require first and last month's rent as security.


New York offers some of the best hospitals and health care centres in the world, but the free quality medical care is by no means guaranteed. Hospitals maintain emergency rooms which are required by federal law to treat individuals in need of emergency attention, regardless of their ability to pay. However, outside of emergencies, most individuals rely upon private health insurance plans (often subsidised by their employers) to help manage the extremely high costs of health care. A list of public hospitals can be found on www.nyc.gov.
The majority of healthcare occurs in privately run outpatient treatment centres, where people see a primary care physician for regular check-ups, prescriptions, and treatment for common illnesses. Private health insurance companies generally maintain lists of doctors whose fees they will subsidise, and New Yorkers often rely upon word of mouth to choose doctors from the lists which their insurance companies provide them.
Maternity care tends to be covered under medical insurance plans. Dental care is also a priority for most residents, but dental insurance is generally available separately from primary medical health insurance.
Pharmacies are usually located within grocery stories or 'drug stores' (such as Duane Reade, CVS, Rite Aid, or Walgreen's) that carry basic food and household items. Most pharmacies tend to be open at least 12 hours from Monday to Friday, with shorter Saturday hours, and they remain closed on Sundays. However, 24 hour pharmacies do exist at certain locations.
These pharmacies supply prescription medication around the clock, such as birth control pills, antibiotics, or strong pain relievers. Drugs available 'over the counter' (without a prescription) include aspirin, acetaminophen, and mild cold and allergy relief medications. These medications can be purchased in drug stores, grocery stores, or at kiosks located throughout the city, even when pharmacies are closed.


The education system in the United States is good, and free public education is available to legal residents between the ages of 5 and 21. Public schools designed for the 'gifted and talented' present a challenging alternative for students who can satisfy rigorous standards of admission. For those with money to spare, New York City's competitive private school system offers excellent single sex and co-educational schooling.
If you plan to move to New York City with school-age children, you will need to supply your child's school with immunisation records, proof of your child's age, and proof of legal residency.
Local public schools are required to accept all students who reside within their neighbourhood zones, as determined by the city government, but private schools and selective public magnet schools are not required to admit all students and often maintain waiting lists for students not initially admitted. Average public school class sizes range from 20 to 30, while private or selective public school classes tend to be smaller.
Mandatory education begins at age 6 and lasts until age 16 or 17. New York City public schools adhere to state-wide curriculum standards that require students to receive instruction in language arts (reading and writing), social studies (history, geography, economics, civics, citizenship, and government), mathematics, science, technology, and physical education.
New York is also home to a selection of top universities and colleges, most notably NYU, Columbia, the Juliard School and City University (CUNY).

Cost of Living
Beer (six-pack)$5
Loaf of bread$3
Litre of milk$2
Cinema ticketS9-$11
Potatoes (per kg)$0.75
Fresh fish (per kg)$2-$10
Takeaway pizza (large)$20
Eggs (dozen)$1.50
DVD (new release)$18
Cigarettes (pack of 20)$7