USA

An everyday guide to expatriate life and work, in the USA.

The United States continues to be a favorite expat destination. Stretching over 3,000 miles from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, the United States has it all, from its iconic city skylines, to famous celebrities, fashion brands and sporting stars. With almost every culture on Earth represented among its population of 325 million people, it’s hard to generalize about life in the USA. However, there are still many characteristics of this vast country that make it unique.

The USA has a visa waiver list that includes a number of countries whose nationals are able to travel to the USA for a vacation or business for up to 90 days without a visa. Expats from countries not on this list need to apply for a visitor visa before they travel.

Anyone planning on being employed in the USA needs a work visa. There are various non-immigrant work visas to choose from and expats must apply for the appropriate visa based on the specific type of work they intend to do.

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Accommodations

When it comes to accommodation, expats are not likely to struggle to find something well-suited to their individual needs and budget, as there is a vast array of options. Although expats are likely to rent a property when they first arrive, it’s quite common for those staying long-term to purchase a property.

There is a huge range of options when it comes to schooling in the USA, including public, private and international schools. Home-schooling is also gaining popularity in the USA.Regulations vary across different states, but in most cases schooling is compulsory for all children from age five to 16 and the system is divided into three levels: elementary, middle and high school. The school year usually begins in August or September and runs to May or June the following year, with the main holidays taking place over the summer months.

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Climate and Weather

Thanks to its tremendous size and geographic diversity, the climate varies considerably across the USA. In general, the climate is temperate, but ranges from both extremes with arctic conditions in Alaska to humid subtropical climates in the Gulf and South Atlantic states. The Midwest can experience frequent tornados from April to June, while hurricanes are common along the southern East Coast and Gulf of Mexico in the early summer.

QUICK FACTS

Captial :  Washington DC

About 325 million :  About 325 million

Emergency number :  911

Electricity :  120 volts, 60Hz. Standard plugs have two flat pins but three-pin plugs are also used.

Drive on the :  Right

Religions :  Christianity

Currency :  US Dollar

Time zone :  Six times zones: Eastern Time is GMT -5, Pacific Time is GMT -8, Central Time is GMT -6, Mountain Time is GMT -7, Alaska is GMT -9, and Hawaii is GMT -10. Daylight saving time sets the clocks back by an hour between March and November in all states except Arizona and Hawaii.

Perhaps more than in any other country in the world, American culture is a global mishmash of customs, traditions, languages and beliefs. But the American culture still has unique attributes, and expats will likely find themselves already familiar with American fashions, entertainment, food and traditions.

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Language

The USA is a real melting pot of cultures and there is no one official language. However, English is the most commonly spoken language, and is the language used for government and official purposes. Spanish and Chinese are the second and third most spoken languages, respectively.

Thanks to its multicultural population, American cuisine is a real mix of flavors from around the world. But there are those foods that expats will recognize as quintessentially American such as hamburgers, hot dogs and the family-favorite, mac and cheese.

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Drinking

Each state has its own laws regarding alcohol, but the legal drinking age in the USA is generally 21. Drinking is part of American culture whether it’s a business meeting over drinks or a social gathering to celebrate a special occasion, but overindulging is frowned upon and consuming alcohol in public is illegal.

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Holidays

The USA enjoys a number of annual national holidays to commemorate significant and historic dates and people. Americans are very patriotic and this is widely displayed on national days such as Independence Day and Labor Day, while Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally a time when Americans travel to celebrate and be with their family.

Sophisticated technology is part of everyday life in the USA and with an advanced telecommunications infrastructure, expats will find it easy to keep in touch.

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Telephone

The USA enjoys a number of annual national holidays to commemorate significant and historic dates and people. Americans are very patriotic and this is widely displayed on national days such as Independence Day and Labor Day, while Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally a time when Americans travel to celebrate and be with their family.

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Internet

The USA enjoys a number of annual national holidays to commemorate significant and historic dates and people. Americans are very patriotic and this is widely displayed on national days such as Independence Day and Labor Day, while Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally a time when Americans travel to celebrate and be with their family.

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Postal Services

The USA enjoys a number of annual national holidays to commemorate significant and historic dates and people. Americans are very patriotic and this is widely displayed on national days such as Independence Day and Labor Day, while Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally a time when Americans travel to celebrate and be with their family.

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The job market

The USA enjoys a number of annual national holidays to commemorate significant and historic dates and people. Americans are very patriotic and this is widely displayed on national days such as Independence Day and Labor Day, while Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally a time when Americans travel to celebrate and be with their family.

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Income tax

The USA enjoys a number of annual national holidays to commemorate significant and historic dates and people. Americans are very patriotic and this is widely displayed on national days such as Independence Day and Labor Day, while Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally a time when Americans travel to celebrate and be with their family.

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Retirement

The USA enjoys a number of annual national holidays to commemorate significant and historic dates and people. Americans are very patriotic and this is widely displayed on national days such as Independence Day and Labor Day, while Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally a time when Americans travel to celebrate and be with their family.

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Business etiquette

The USA enjoys a number of annual national holidays to commemorate significant and historic dates and people. Americans are very patriotic and this is widely displayed on national days such as Independence Day and Labor Day, while Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally a time when Americans travel to celebrate and be with their family.

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Getting around

The USA enjoys a number of annual national holidays to commemorate significant and historic dates and people. Americans are very patriotic and this is widely displayed on national days such as Independence Day and Labor Day, while Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally a time when Americans travel to celebrate and be with their family.

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Currency

The USA enjoys a number of annual national holidays to commemorate significant and historic dates and people. Americans are very patriotic and this is widely displayed on national days such as Independence Day and Labor Day, while Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally a time when Americans travel to celebrate and be with their family.

The USA enjoys a number of annual national holidays to commemorate significant and historic dates and people. Americans are very patriotic and this is widely displayed on national days such as Independence Day and Labor Day, while Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally a time when Americans travel to celebrate and be with their family.

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Cost of Living

The USA enjoys a number of annual national holidays to commemorate significant and historic dates and people. Americans are very patriotic and this is widely displayed on national days such as Independence Day and Labor Day, while Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally a time when Americans travel to celebrate and be with their family.