I’m doing a show of this kind for the first time here in Happy Schools. Topic of this today’s podcast episode was inspired by a family of four considering if they want to move from India to U.S.A. on H-1B and H-4 Visa. But, they have bunch of challenges to overcome.
Moving to from India to U.S.A. comes with it’s own set of challenges. If you are single and a student, all you got to do is pack two suitcases and then travel to your university.
If you are married and moving to America for a job, then it comes with additional challenges, but your challenges will be on different scale but manageable.
But, if you are married with kids who are going to attending college and high school, then moving from India to America will be challenging. Because, you have to plan for kids school, college and new expenses.
Anitha is one such mom. She reached out to me with an set of questions I couldn’t ignore. Here’s her question
I got job offer on H-1B Visa to work in Dallas, Texas. I will be paid about $70,000 per year. My family, including my husband will have to be on H4 visa and they can’t work. Later when my daughter if gets converted to F-1 Visa, maybe she can work. I have the following questions
- My daughter is in 3rd year engineering college in India and is aspiring for MS. How much do I need to estimate for her studies?
- My son is 14 years and he will be studying for 3 years on free education program but after that, can I support for his graduation in US?
Will I end up in poverty if I chose to go to US, please advise. Thanks in advance.
Can you imagine what’s going through their minds about this decision making process and challenges they have to face in moving to America?
What stuck me the most was the last line of her question : “Will I end up in poverty if I chose to go to US?”
Lot of families in America earn far less than $70,000 per year. But, I wanted to give more facts and real life scenario’s they will face in first few months. So, I invited a special guest to talk in this show to help Anitha and her family.
Listen to the Show
I have been providing advise to prospective students, current students, H-1B Visa, H-4 Visa holders to an extent. But, it’s tough to give advice to parents when their kids are attending college and high school. Our son is 5 years old and I haven’t faced scenarios that a parent with high school going kid would face. That’s the reason I requested Vidhya to be in today’s show.
We discussed several issues on following topics
- Cost of Living in America for Families
- School Admission for High School students
- Social and Cultural Shock
- Expectations and Reality
Cost of Living for Indian Families in America
Expect to spend anywhere between $400 to $800 per month.
Other major expense will be your apartment or home rental. Provided your company pays for your families health insurance. Apartment rent will be around $1000 per month for a 2 Bed and 2 Bathroom apartment.
$70,000 in salary in Texas will be about $1800 to $2200 take home pay per pay period when paid bi-weekly.
Here’s the sample paycheck from ADP for your $70,000 in annual salary.
So, you need to plan your expenses for income of $4,000 per month.
First few months in Texas will a challenge and it’s mainly because of Cultural Shock and settling down.
Sometimes, life can look really overwhelming in first 60 days. Several things that are required to settle down are interconnected.
First, you need to rent an apartment before you can get admitted in the High School. Address proof is required to enroll your son in the school. Then, you need to get Drivers License and a car. For your husband to get Drivers License, then would have to get a letter from SSN office that he’s not eligible get an SSN ( that’s the case here in North Carolina), only then DMV will issue a DL for him.
Then you will be depended on others to drive you to work for first few days, till you get your DL and car.
As you can see, things are inter-connected and it would take time to settle down. So, after you move to U.S.A. get help and build a social circle of friends. And take one day at a time. If you come with open mind, then you can make it work here. After all it’s a land of opportunities.
You can even consider moving with your spouse and let your kids be in India for 30 or more days. After you a place to stay, get a car, drivers license, cell phone, get settled and have your kids come to USA.
Listen to the Show
What do you think of this show?
As you can see life in U.S.A. is not all bells and whistles. Moving form India to U.S.A. requires like lot of work, plan and preparation. I hope we clarified some doubts for this family.
I like to hear from you,
- Would you be interested in more episodes of this kind?
- What did you think of this show?
- Did you learn anything new about living in USA?
What other topics should I cover for upcoming shows?