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USA Welcome
The Guide for Living and Working in USA

A guide, with information, advice and useful addresses.
Expatriate and relocation guide to New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami ...
Living and Working in New York
A guide with information and recommendations to help you prepare your trip
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Usa welcome

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Political Status Geographical situation
Economy & statistics


Other sectors
Weights, measures and voltages
Main towns


Working in Usa
Entry formalities:
Health & medicine


Connections with France
Time differences
Car rental
Hotels & restaurants
Your suitcase
Your car
Schools & schooling
Cost of Living
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Political Status
The United States of America have a democratic government (a multi-party democracy).
They form a federal parliamentary republic. There are 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, the District of Columbia and the Puerto Rican territories, the Virgin Islands, the Pacific Islands (Mariannes, Carolines, Marshall), American Samoa and the Panama Canal zone. Each state is administered by a Governor.

Historical Outline :
1607 : James Ist claims the lands of North Carolina and Maine for the English throne.
1614 : The 'New Holland' Company is founded. The island of Manhattan is bought by Peter Minuit for 60 florins (guilders) in 1626.
1620 : the arrival of the Mayflower, the foundation of Plymouth.
1670-1690 : The Mississippi region is opened up.

Other sectors
Numerous sectors of activity favour a company's establishment in the USA. Differents economic possibilities exist to promote the creation of a company or a commerce.
Professionals must know the equivalent university levels in case of job offers. Certain diplomas are not automatically recognized and you must inquire about this.
A large scope exists for the French exporter to enter the American market.
Look up 'creating a company'.

New York has a very cold winter with heavy snowfalls; the summers are hot and humid. You can swim at Long Island in July and August. New England has very pleasant springs and summers, mild autumns distinguished by their Indian summers in October, but the winter is very cold. Cross- country skiing and downhill skiing are widely practised.
The south-east has a mild spring and autumn, the summer is humid, with cyclones.
Florida has a sub-tropical climate and attracts tourists the whole year round.
The great central plains have very cold winters and very hot summers.

Working in the Usa
For a short term stay :
You can enter the United States for less than three months, as a tourist, without a visa. A valid passport is sufficient. But in these conditions it is strictly forbidden to look for work.

If by any chance you should be offered a job, one way to get around the law,is to work for an employer based in France and get your salary paid in France. But, be careful : 40,000 French people reside clandestinely in the USA and only 3000 visas are given every year. The police are very strict with offenders.

Entry formalities :
You can enter the United States with a passport.
If you are employed in a French or an international company you don't have to worry about the formalities, usually the administrative services deal with the formalities linked to the registration of the entire expatriate staff, unless you are the only representative of your company in the country (a salesman, or in charge of a liaison bureau, etc.), in this case you have to deal with all the formalities yourself.

Formalities to be completed

The waiting period is long, several months, maybe even several years. But the most difficult thing is to find an employer.
You could get a green card through the lottery, everyone can participate if the conditions are respected. You have to have passed your baccalaureat or have had a professional activity for at least 2 years; you must be born in a country which has the right to participate in the lottery (France is authorized). Only one participation per person.


Health & Medecine
Vaccinations :
No vaccination is obligatory, but the usual vaccines (tetanos, polio and typhoid) are recommended. Hepatitis B is advisable if the stay is a long one.

TAX CLEARANCE : Tax clearance can take between 2 and 24 hours; clearance brokers are connected by computer to the customs (ABI Automated Broker Interface). 
To speed up the tax clearance it is possible to pre-file before the merchandise arrives.
The merchandise can travel in bond from the entry point in the USA to the final destination in the USA. The merchandise is stocked in a bonded warehouse or in a container on the quay.

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