Emigrate to the USA

⇒ USA culture

⇒ Climate

⇒ Language

⇒ USA school system

⇒ Health care system

⇒ Vaccinations and medical certificates

⇒ Tax system

⇒ Economy

⇒ Prices by index

⇒ Real estate

⇒ Company foundation

⇒ Visa

⇒ Safety

USA culture

The culture of the United States is diverse and multifaceted, as the country has evolved from a wide range of influences and populations. Here are some characteristics that distinguish the culture of the USA:

  1. Cultural diversity: The U.S. is home to people from all over the world. The culture is characterized by a diversity of ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural backgrounds. This diversity is reflected in the cuisine, art, music and traditions.
  2. Multiculturalism: Multiculturalism is an important part of U.S. culture. The U.S. has a long tradition of welcoming immigrants from diverse countries, which has resulted in a mosaic of different cultures.
  3. Individualism: Individualism is a central feature of U.S. culture. The idea of personal freedom and personal responsibility is deeply rooted and reflected in lifestyles, professional ambitions, and cultural norms.
  4. Freedom and Democracy: The values of freedom, democracy, and human rights are fundamental to U.S. culture. The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution are cornerstones of these values.
  5. Popular Culture: The U.S. is a major producer of popular culture, which includes music, movies, television shows, fashion, and other media. Hollywood is considered the center of the global film industry.
  6. Religious Diversity: The U.S. is a religiously diverse country with a wide range of faiths, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and others.
  7. Technological progress: The USA is a leader in scientific and technological developments. Innovations in areas such as information technology, medicine, space travel and more have shaped modern society.
  8. Sports and Recreation: Sports play an important role in U.S. culture. Sports like American football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey are very popular. Outdoor recreation, camping and outdoor activities are also common.c
  9. Patriotism: A strong sense of patriotism is present in U.S. culture. National holidays such as Independence Day (July 4) are celebrated throughout the country.
  10. Education and research: The USA is known for its first-class educational institutions and research centers. Education is highly valued and seen as the key to individual and social development.
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Climate

The climate in the U.S. is extremely diverse, as the country covers a large area and has different geographical features, including mountains, plains, coastlines and deserts. Here are some characteristic climates in the United States:

  1. Temperate climate:
    • The eastern coastal regions have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. The Northeast (New York, Boston) experiences cold winters and warm summers, while the Southeast (Florida, Georgia) has milder winters and hot summers.
  2. Desert climate:
    • The Southwest region (California, Arizona, Nevada) has a desert climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. Temperatures can be extremely high, especially in desert areas like Death Valley.
  3. Mountain climate:
    • There is a mountain climate in the Rocky Mountains and other mountain regions. Summers can be pleasant but winters are cold with lots of snow. Temperatures can vary greatly depending on altitude.
  4. Mediterranean climate:
    • California’s coasts have a Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. This creates ideal conditions for viticulture and agriculture.
  5. Tropical climate:
    • Hawaii and parts of South Florida have tropical climates with high temperatures and humidity. There is no clear separation between dry and wet seasons.
  6. Continental climate:
    • The Midwest and North Central regions have a continental climate. Summers are hot and humid, while winters can be very cold.
  7. Pacific Northwest:
    • The Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington) has a temperate, oceanic climate with mild temperatures and abundant precipitation.
  8. Arctic climate:
  • In Alaska there are regions with arctic climate, which is characterized by extreme cold and long winters.

Language

The United States is a very diverse country, which is reflected in the variety of languages spoken. While English is the dominant language, numerous other languages are also spoken in the U.S. due to the diversity of ethnic backgrounds and the country’s immigration history. Here are some of the major languages spoken in the US:

  1. English: English is the predominant language in the U.S. and the official language of the country. It is used in most aspects of public life, government, education, and the media.
  2. Spanish: Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States. Because of the large Hispanic population, Spanish is used on a daily basis in many parts of the country. Spanish is especially prevalent in states such as California, Texas, Florida, and New Mexico.
  3. Chinese: The Chinese language, particularly Cantonese and Mandarin, is spoken by a significant community of Chinese-speaking immigrants and their descendants.
  4. French: French is spoken primarily in the Louisiana region and in areas with a French-speaking population, such as parts of Louisiana and Maine.
  5. German: German was historically spoken by German immigrants in the country and continues to be influential today, especially in communities with German ancestry.
  6. Tagalog: Tagalog is a widely spoken language among the Filipino community in the United States.
  7. Vietnamese: Due to the wave of Vietnamese immigration in the 1970s, Vietnamese is spoken in communities with a Vietnamese background.
  8. Korean: Korean is spoken by the Korean-American population in the U.S. and is present in many cities and neighborhoods.
  9. Arabic: The Arabic language is spoken by communities of Arab immigrants and their descendants.
  10. Native American Languages: There are a variety of indigenous languages spoken by Native Americans, although many of these languages are in danger of extinction.

This list is not exhaustive, as the U.S. has a rich diversity of languages due to the different populations and their immigration histories.

USA school system

For emigrating to the USA with your family, the school system obviously plays a big role:

The school system in the U.S. is federally organized, which means that educational policies and standards can vary from state to state. Here is a general overview of the school system in the US:

  1. Early education:
    • Kindergarten: Kindergarten is the first stage of formal education and usually begins at age 5 or 6.
  2. Elementary School:
    • Elementary School: Elementary school typically includes grades 1 through 5 or 6, with a focus on basic subjects such as reading, mathematics, science, and social studies.
  3. Middle School and Junior High School:
    • Middle School or Junior High School: These are the schools for grades 6 to 8 or 9, where students are taught a variety of subjects.
  4. High School:
    • High school typically includes grades 9 through 12, where students have the opportunity to take a wide range of subjects and specialize in specific areas of interest.
  5. University preparation and diplomas:
    • High school diplomas vary by state and school. Common diplomas include the “High School Diploma” and the “General Educational Development (GED)” diploma for those who left school early.
  6. higher education:
    • Higher education is widespread in the U.S. and includes community colleges, colleges, and universities. A bachelor’s degree typically takes four years to complete, while a master’s or doctoral degree requires additional years.
  7. Types of higher education institutions:
    • Community colleges offer two-year programs and offer courses in a variety of disciplines as well as professional degrees.
    • Colleges and universities offer four-year bachelor’s degrees as well as advanced degrees such as master’s and doctoral degrees. There is a wide range of specialties and courses of study.
  8. Educational freedom:
    • There is no central educational authority in the U.S., and educational policies are often set by individual states. School districts and schools have a relatively large amount of autonomy.
  9. Extracurricular Activities:
    • Students have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, art, theater, clubs, and community service projects.

The U.S. education system often emphasizes individual student development, critical thinking, and character development. Higher education in the U.S. is known for its diversity, innovation, and access to research and degree programs in a variety of disciplines.

Healthcare system

The health care system in the U.S. is complex and diverse, and it has led to various debates and challenges over the years. Here are some features of the U.S. health care system:

  1. Mixed system: The U.S. does not have a unified health care system like many other countries. Instead, there is a mix of public and private players, including public hospitals, private health care providers, insurance companies, and government-funded programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.
  2. Private insurance: much of the U.S. population has private health insurance, which is provided by employers or can be purchased individually. Coverage and costs can vary widely.
  3. Medicaid and Medicare: Medicaid is a federally funded health care program for low-income individuals, while Medicare is a government health insurance program for the elderly over age 65. These programs provide health care to those who cannot afford private insurance or who meet certain criteria.
  4. Health care costs: Health care costs in the U.S. are often high compared to other countries. The cost of medical services, prescriptions and health insurance premiums can be a financial burden.
  5. Access to health care: Access to health care is not equal for all in the United States. People without insurance or with limited coverage may have difficulty getting appropriate medical care.
  6. Health Care Reform: In recent years, there have been efforts to reform the health care system, including the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), which aims to improve access to health care and make health insurance more affordable.
  7. Healthcare Providers: The U.S. has a high number of qualified healthcare providers such as doctors, nurses, specialists and therapists.
  8. Criticisms and challenges: The U.S. health care system also faces criticism, particularly with regard to high costs, lack of coverage for some populations, inequitable access, and the need for health care reform.
Der Adler - das so typische Tier für die USA

Vaccinations and medical certificates

Various vaccinations may be required for emigration to the U.S.; these may vary depending on immigration status and individual circumstances. The exact requirements may change over time, so it is important to check the latest information from official sources such as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Basically, the following vaccinations are considered common requirements:

  1. Tuberculosis (TB) Screening: individuals wishing to immigrate to the U.S. are normally required to have a tuberculosis screening. This may take the form of an x-ray or blood test.
  2. Mumps, Measles, Rubella (MMR): Vaccination against mumps, measles and rubella is common in the U.S. and may be part of immigration requirements.
  3. Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap): Immigrants could also be required to receive the Tdap vaccine, which provides protection against tetanus (lockjaw), diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).
  4. Polio: Polio vaccination is often part of immigration requirements to prevent the spread of this disease.
  5. Hepatitis B: Vaccination against hepatitis B may also be required.

Tax system

The U.S. tax system is complex and multi-layered, consisting of different levels of taxation. Here is the basic information about the US tax system:

  1. Federal taxes: Federal taxes in the U.S. are levied primarily by the federal government. The main types of federal taxes are income tax, corporate income tax (for businesses), and value-added tax (sales tax) at the state level.
    • Einkommensteuer: Die Einkommenssteuer in den USA ist progressiv, d. h. der Steuersatz steigt mit zunehmendem Einkommen. There are different income brackets and tax rates, which are revised regularly. Federal income taxes are collected at the federal level and are generally payable as a function of the tax return, which must be filed by April 15 each year.
    • Corporate income tax: Companies pay corporate income tax on their profits. Tax rates can vary, and there are also special rules for different types of businesses.
    • Social Security Tax: A special type of tax is the Social Security tax, which is used to fund social insurance programs such as Old Age Security (Social Security) and retiree health insurance (Medicare).
  2. State-level taxes: In addition to federal taxes, individual states levy their own taxes. These may include income tax, sales tax, real estate tax, business taxes, and other taxes. Tax rates and types can vary significantly by state.
  3. Local-Level Taxes: In addition to the federal and state levels, local governments (municipalities, cities, counties) may levy their own taxes. These may relate to land ownership, sale of goods and services, or other local activities.
  4. Tax Return: Every citizen or taxpayer is generally required to file an annual tax return to disclose their income, deductions and tax obligations. The tax return is used to calculate the tax owed and may result in a refund or additional tax payment.
  5. Deductions and credits: U.S. tax law contains various deductions, credits, and tax breaks that take into account certain expenses or life situations. These include, for example, deductions for mortgage interest, childcare costs and education expenses.

Tax tricks

There are several legal ways to save taxes in the US. These options can apply to individuals and companies. Here are some common methods:

  1. Tax Deductions: Taxpayers may be entitled to deduct certain expenses from their taxable income. This includes expenses such as mortgage interest, donations to charitable organizations, medical expenses, and work-related expenses. These deductions can reduce the tax burden.
  2. Tax-Free Accounts: Some accounts, such as the 401(k) retirement account or IRA (Individual Retirement Account), offer the opportunity to save money for retirement on a tax-deferred basis. Contributions to these accounts can, in many cases, be deducted from taxable income, and taxation does not occur until they are paid out in retirement.
  3. Education Expenses: Education-related expenses may be tax deductible in many cases. The education credit system allows taxpayers to reduce some of their spending on higher education.
  4. Tax exemption for children: families can benefit from tax advantages such as the child tax allowance and the child tax credit, which can reduce their tax burden.
  5. Business Depreciation: Businesses can write off business expenses such as investments in equipment and real estate over a period of time, resulting in a reduction in taxable income.
  6. Tax Credits: Tax credits are direct reductions in tax owed, not just reductions in taxable income. Examples include the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit.
  7. Tax avoidance strategies for businesses: Some companies use legal tax avoidance strategies to minimize their tax burden. These include shifting profits to countries with lower tax rates and using tax incentives.

Economy

The U.S. economy is one of the largest and most diverse in the world. It is characterized by a wide range of industries, high productivity, technological progress and strong entrepreneurship. Here are some characteristics of the U.S. economy:

  1. Diversity of Industries: The U.S. has a wide range of industries, including technology, finance, healthcare, automotive, energy, agriculture, entertainment, aerospace and many more. This diversity contributes to the stability and resilience of the economy.
  2. Technological progress: The U.S. is a leader in areas such as information technology, biotechnology, space and innovation. Companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft have global influence.
  3. Labor market: The unemployment rate in the U.S. can fluctuate depending on economic conditions. The labor market offers a wide range of employment opportunities in various industries and professions.
  4. Entrepreneurship: The U.S. has a long tradition of entrepreneurship and innovation. The country is known for its promotion of start-ups and new business ideas.
  5. GDP and wealth: The U.S. has the highest gross domestic product (GDP) in the world, due to the size of the economy and high productivity. The country also has a relatively high quality of life.
  6. Trade: The U.S. is a major player in global trade. They import and export a wide range of goods and services.
  7. Stock Exchange: Wall Street in New York City is the center of the financial industry and is home to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ.
  8. Challenges: The U.S. economy also faces challenges such as inequality, unemployment, health care costs, and economic uncertainty.
  9. Global impact: Since the U.S. is one of the largest economies, economic developments in the country often have an impact on the global economy.

The U.S. economy is complex and dynamic. It is influenced by a combination of government policies, market forces, technological advances and other factors.

Auswandern in die USA - hier kann für viele ein Traum in Erfüllung gehen

Prices by index

Since prices can change constantly even in one of the strongest and largest economies in the world, we refer here to the Cost of Living website. This website constantly updates the information so that you are always up to date.

Real Estate

As an immigrant in the U.S., you can buy or rent real estate. The ability to purchase or rent real estate depends on your immigration status, financial situation, and local laws. Here is some information about it:

Buy real estate:

  • Immigrants with valid visas or legal residency status usually have the right to purchase real estate in the United States. This includes permanent residents (green card holders) and holders of work or investor visas.
  • The process of buying real estate for immigrants is similar to that for U.S. citizens. You can take out a mortgage to finance the purchase, and you have the option of buying residential property or investment property.

Rent real estate:

  • As an immigrant, you can also rent property to meet your housing needs. Renting an apartment or house usually requires fewer long-term financial commitments compared to buying real estate.
  • Many landlords typically require proof of income, credit, or a security deposit to enter into a lease agreement.

We will be happy to help you find an apartment or a house. Click here for our real estate listings.

Company foundation

As an immigrant in the U.S., it is possible to start a business. The U.S. has a long tradition of encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, and immigrants have started many successful businesses in the past. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Visa and status: Depending on your immigration status, the conditions for starting a business may differ. Some visa categories allow self-employment and starting a business, while others do not. If you want to work or live in the U.S., you should check the specific rules and requirements of your visa type.
  2. Required Documents: You may need to submit specific documents to start a business, such as a business registration, an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and possibly other documents that may vary by state.
  3. Financing: Starting a business often requires financial resources. Immigrants may consider their own savings, loans, investments from family members or friends, and other financing options.
  4. Tax implications: Corporate taxation can be complex. It is important to be aware of your company’s tax obligations, including federal and state taxes.
  5. Business Planning: It is advisable to create a well thought out business plan before you start a business. A business plan helps you define your business goals, target audiences, marketing strategies, financial projections and more.
  6. Work Permit: If you want to work in the U.S. as an immigrant, you need to make sure that you have the required work permit. Some types of visas allow you to work for your own company, others do not.

Company forms

As an immigrant in the U.S., you basically have the option to establish various forms of businesses. Exact options may vary depending on your immigration status and specific state laws. Here are some common business forms you might consider:

  1. Sole Proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is the simplest form of business formation. As the owner, you have full control over the company and bear personal liability for debts and obligations. You report your business income and expenses on your personal tax return.
  2. Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC provides personal liability limitation for the owners (members) while offering the flexibility of a partnership or sole proprietorship. Profits and losses can be divided among the members. LLCs can be formed by an individual or multiple partners. For the consultation and formation of the LLC, the company RM Digital Life with its many years of experience is at your disposal. You can find more information about the LLC HERE.
  3. Joint Stock Company (Corporation): A corporation is a separate legal entity from its owners (shareholders). This means that personal liability is usually limited to the invested capital. There are different types of Corporations, including C Corporations and S Corporations, which have different tax and structural aspects.
  4. Partnership: A partnership consists of two or more people who join together to form a business. There are two main types: the general partnership, where the partners have personal liability, and the limited partnership, where there are both general and limited partners, with the limited partners having limited liability.
  5. Sole Proprietorship: As an immigrant, you can also operate as a sole proprietorship if you wish to engage in a business activity without officially establishing a company. You report your business income and expenses on your personal tax return.
  6. Non-Profit Organization: If you want to start a nonprofit organization that has social or charitable purposes, you can start a Non-Profit Organization (NPO). NPOs have special legal requirements and tax status.
Visa

There are different types of visas for emigrating to the USA. Each visa has specific requirements, conditions and purposes. Here are some of the most important immigrant visas for the US:

  1. Family reunification:
    • Immediate Relative Visa: This visa category includes spouses of U.S. citizens, unmarried children under 21 of U.S. citizens, and parents of adult U.S. citizens.
    • Family Preference Visa: This covers relatives of U.S. citizens who do not fall into the Immediate Relatives category. This includes unmarried children over age 21, married children of U.S. citizens, and siblings of adult U.S. citizens.
  2. Work and investment:
    • H-1B Visa: For professionals in specialized occupations.
    • H-2B Visa: For employees who want to work in a US company for a limited period of time.
    • L-1 Visa: For employees of multinational companies who are transferred to a U.S. subsidiary.
    • E-1 Visa: For self-employed persons and employees who work in a company that conducts trade between the U.S. and another country.
    • E-2 Visa: For investors who either want to invest in an existing US company or start a new one.
    • EB-5 Investor Visa: For foreign investors who invest in U.S. companies and create jobs. Unlike the E-2 visa, the EB-5 visa offers a green card.
    • O-1 Visa: For persons of exceptional ability or achievement in the arts, sciences, sports, business, and other fields.
  3. Asylum and refugee protection:
    • Asylum: For persons seeking protection in the U.S. from persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or social group.
    • Refugee Visa: for individuals who have been persecuted outside the U.S. and are being resettled in the U.S. for protection.
  4. Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery:
    • Also known as the “Green Card Lottery,” this program awards a limited number of visas each year to nationals of countries with low immigration numbers to the United States.
  5. Humanitarian Programs:
    • These include visas for victims of trafficking, violence or other serious situations.
  6. Research and education:
    • F-1 Visa: For foreign students who wish to study in the United States.
    • J-1 Visa: For exchange visitors, including researchers, students, interns and teachers.
Security in the country

Safety in the U.S. can vary by region, circumstance, and individual perception. The U.S. is a large and diverse country with urban, rural, and suburban areas that can have varying levels of security. Here are some aspects to consider when looking at safety in the US:

  1. Crime Rate: Crime rates vary from city to city and neighborhood to neighborhood. Large cities may have higher crime rates, especially in some neighborhoods. It is important to find out about the security situation in the desired region.
  2. Natural Disasters: The U.S. is vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, and tornadoes. Depending on where you are in the U.S., these events may pose a potential threat.
  3. Traffic and Highway Safety: traffic crashes are one of the leading causes of injury and death in the United States. Traffic safety can vary depending on the region and traffic volume.
  4. Public Policy and Terrorism: The U.S. has extensive security measures in place to minimize terrorist threats. However, there may be rare instances of violent incidents.

We recommend to have a look at the safety advice of the German Foreign Office: Safety advice USA.

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