We write business plans for U.S. and Canadian immigration, and assist entrepreneurs in growth and capital raising.

American flag and buildings

Three Things I Wish I Knew Before Immigrating to the U.S.

Over the last 13+ years of providing business consulting and related immigration support services, Visa Business Plans has gathered input from thousands of clients. Again and again, customers tell us that they wish they’d had a better idea of how things work in the U.S. before transferring to the country. To make you aware of what living in the U.S. entails, we have compiled three of the most frequently discussed differences that clients have been surprised by over the years.

Time is Money: Like it or not, American culture is deeply tied to capitalism. Money is what allows the U.S. to be the #1 global powerhouse of innovation and opportunity, and the nation prioritizes appropriately. America’s healthy economy is the main reason why the nation is so attractive to entrepreneurs and businesses from all over the world. America is a nation driven to consistently generate revenues by striving for continual improvement, which requires hard work and dedication.

For that reason, it’s no secret that Americans work a lot, but they are also highly conscious of time. The culture of capitalism encourages everyone to utilize every hour for maximum returns, even if that value isn’t always measured in dollars. Many clients are surprised by how the saying “Time is Money” is taken to another level in the U.S. Americans value their time and aren’t afraid to charge by the minute (or even by the second).

Mistakes are Expensive: One of the top pieces of advice we give our clients consistently is to surround themselves with the most qualified professionals they can find. It is this network of selected professionals who will not only guide you through U.S. structures and policies but will also warn you if things take a wrong turn. For example, attorneys and CPAs are critically necessary when transferring to the U.S. Additionally, insurance cannot be underestimated. Contrary to other countries, insurance in the U.S. comes in all shapes and sizes, with many options going beyond health and life. There are even insurance programs designed specifically to fund loans and retirement.

Navigating the massively complex and interwoven systems in the U.S. can be overwhelming and confusing, especially if done alone; unfortunately, these systems don’t have much sympathy for the difficulty that poses. Mistakes can have costly consequences, and valuable opportunities are often irrecoverable if missed. Creating your professional network and support system is essential to avoiding catastrophic missteps, so take your time and do your research.

Credit is Everything: In America, having good credit is even more important than having money in the bank. Consider your credit score like a new form of I.D. Thanks to your credit score, lenders will learn how reliable you are when it comes to securing a mortgage, buying a car, or even applying for a condominium association. Therefore, it is important that you learn the credit system ahead of time so you can have a headstart when beginning your life in the U.S.

There is no question that the U.S. is one of the best countries in the world to live in. America’s high standard of living and quality of life, excellent education system, lucrative jobs, and entrepreneurial opportunities are only a few of the reasons why millions of foreign nationals come to the U.S. every year. Learning ahead of time about the nuances of living and working in America will help you and your family make a smooth and easy transition.

If you’re ready to make your transition to living and working in the U.S., Visa Business Plans is here to help! We specialize in supporting your immigration process every step of the way. If you’re interested in pursuing an E-1, E-2, L-1, EB-2/NIW, EB-5, or other visa petition, contact us today for your free consultation.

Visa Business Plans is led by Marco Scanu, a certified coach from the University of Miami with a globally-based practice coaching Fortune 1000 company executives, entrepreneurs, as well as professionals in 4 different continents. Mr. Scanu advises clients on turnaround strategies and crisis management.

Mr. Scanu received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Cum Laude) from the University of Florida and an MBA in Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Mr. Scanu was also a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University under the prestigious H. Humphrey Fellowship (Fulbright program) with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, and high-growth enterprises.

At present, Mr. Scanu is the managing partner and CEO at Visa Business Plans, a Miami-based boutique consulting firm providing attorneys and investors with business planning services in the areas of U.S. and Canadian immigration and SBA loans.