Translation and Language Industry Observations


Tips for Latino Immigrants on Getting Settled in the US

by Meredith Jones

Haga clic aquí para leer esta publicación en español

Welcome to the United States! Moving from your homeland to a brand-new country is a huge step, and one that no doubt took significant effort. There’s still more to do, however, and now, it’s up to you to get settled so that you can begin to acclimate to your new surroundings. This can be overwhelming at first, but you can find confidence in the fact that others before you have successfully made the move. To help you get started, here are some tips and resources that you may find useful.

Learn the Language

Perhaps the greatest challenge that immigrants face is the language barrier. Ideally, it’s best to learn English before you come; however, that might not be possible, depending on your circumstances. If you’ve already arrived, connect with services for English classes that can help you become a proficient speaker. In many parts of the USA however, you may be able to get along just fine with Spanish. Indeed, many US immigrants and citizens do not speak English with any measure of proficiency.

Find Employment

Your first challenge is finding a job if you have not already. While groups like Latinos have seen a cultural improvement over the past two decades, the LA Times notes this can still be a challenge. But, this is the land of the free, and you have options. Start by getting the proper paperwork for employment, then check in with job boards and the unemployment office. Even if you are already working, you might also consider starting your own business. Remember, the more you earn here, the more you can send back to your family and friends at home.

As part of the job application process, some employers may run background checks including your credit history. You can look at your credit report to learn what information is on it, however if you’ve never applied for any kind of credit it may be empty. You can learn more from any of the three major credit bureaus in the US.

Note that there are some hoops to jump through, and rules in the United States on forming a business can be confusing. Also, attorneys are expensive. However, with perseverance and persistence, it can be done! Talk to the local chamber of commerce about opening a local business, and then work with an online formation service to learn more about the process of launching.

To start your business, you’ll need to make a business plan. This will inform what kind of business you intend to have as well as your business structure. You’ll then need to evaluate your startup and ongoing expenses and choose a name. You’ll also need to file with the IRS to receive an Employer Identification Number.

Get to Know Your New Community

Once you handle the practical matters, it’s time to get to know the people with whom you now share a neighborhood. You can do this by volunteering at your local church, spending time outdoors at home, and joining local Facebook groups. No matter how you choose to outreach, make a point to follow up with your newfound contacts. This is especially important if you are networking for professional purposes. Making these connections will go a long way in settling your nerves if you are feeling uncomfortable about your move.

Stay Connected with and Help Out Family and Friends Back Home

Even if one of your primary goals for moving to the US was to have more money to send to loved ones – you have plenty of options here – you will also want to simply catch up from time to time. A few great ways to do this are to create your own social media site, “visit” via Zoom, or send care packages back and forth so that you can each enjoy a bit of where the other one is.

You’ve made a brave and bold move by moving to an entirely new country. But it is in your plan, and you have to embrace the change with all of the challenges that come with it. The above tips can help you get settled, get to know your community, and stay in touch with your loved ones. Welcome to the United States!

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