USCIS Updates Guide for New Immigrants to the U.S.19 Nov 2015
Newcomers to the United States face many practical challenges adapting to a new country. In an effort to ease this transition, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released updated online resources, intended to “help you settle into everyday life in the U.S.” The guide, entitled Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants, is written for new lawful permanent residents (commonly, “green card” holders). Much of the information, however, is likely to be helpful to others who are new to America. The online guide is available in fourteen different languages.
Money / Financial Matters
The Taking Care of your Money section of the guide contains basic, practical information, ranging from a list of U.S. federal holidays to providing government contact information. It contains guidance on how to obtain a Social Security number (SSN) and how to handle financial matters, including payment of U.S. taxes. In addition to explaining some U.S. banking options, employer withholdings, and related matters, this section provides warnings against common financial scams that target immigrants.
Education and Healthcare
Another addition to the guide is a section entitled Understanding Education and Health Care. This covers basics, such as the age ranges for kindergarten through high school grade levels, and requirements for public school registration. It also provides brief information about advance educational systems and adult education options.
The U.S. healthcare system can be quite confusing. The guide lays out information about health insurance, the health insurance exchange, and various sources of medical care.
In addition to the guide for new immigrants, the USCIS maintains the WelcometoUSA.gov web portal. This provides further information on topics such as personal finance, childcare, and emergency services. The web portal also includes “how to” guidance on topics such as Social Security numbers and drivers’ licenses.
The act of immigrating to a new country involves more than simply following a number of set procedures dictated by immigration law. The process of integrating into a different society, with different rules and customs can be just as important. These resources should help make this part of the immigrant experience that much easier for many foreign nationals who are new to the United States.
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