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Living and working in New York
What is it like to live and work in New York? I get this question almost every day because I managed to go to the USA. My answer is always the same: it was damn hard. It starts with the New York visa, which can be quite complicated, especially with a work visa. Without a residence permit, the well-known green card, or a visa, it is not possible to get a job and live legally in New York.
Life in New York
It is a dream of many to live in New York. I was one of them! Needless to say, it wasn't easy. If you are an EU citizen, you can stay in the US for up to 90 days with the ESTA. Please note that you cannot work with the ESTA in the United States.
What have I done? I took all my savings and moved to New York for three months. During my first stay, I wasn't allowed to work because I didn't have a work visa, but I used the time extensively to get to know the city.
Rent an apartment in New York
It is very difficult to rent an apartment in New York: you must first be able to show that your income is 40 to 45 times the monthly rent. Your pay slips or your employment contract will be checked to make sure you can pay the rent. Your private environment will also be screened. You should also expect that you will have to pay one month's rent as a deposit, the first month's rent and the last month's rent, i.e. three months' rent, right at the beginning.
It makes most sense to look for an apartment four to eight weeks before you plan to move. Do not start looking for an apartment too early. As a rule, you will receive a lease for one year and usually no longer than two years.
There are several ways to find an apartment in the city. You can search for an apartment through an agency, on Google or on Craigslist, or simply respond to a “for rent” sign on a house facade. The last two options are often less restrictive and make it easier to find an apartment. But beware of scammers. If something sounds too good to be true, it is. For a shorter stay (e.g. a few months) you can also look at Airbnb. When you hire a broker, you often pay a month's rent as a commission.
Cost of Living in New York
The cost of living is not without it; we're talking about New York, one of the most expensive cities in the world. For this reason, it is advisable to work out in advance how much you will spend on average per month. If you're wondering how much a week as a tourist in the Big Apple costs, check out my listing of New York travel expenses.
In Manhattan, a reasonably priced one-room apartment costs around $ 2,100 a month, and a two-room apartment costs between $ 2,700 and $ 3,000. In Brooklyn, a one-room apartment starts at $ 1,500. It's normal to share an apartment in New York because of the prices. If sharing a flat is for you, consider looking for shared flats in Queens or Brooklyn. Here you can expect around $ 800-1,000 per person.
Gas and electricity costs are not included in the rent, so you have to pay around $ 100 to $ 200 a month. Of course, you also need a cell phone in New York. You pay 40 to 80 dollars for a cell phone contract, and if you want internet access at home, plan on another 120 dollars.
Of course, you also need the MetroCard to get from A to B. The 30-day MetroCard costs $ 127. You will then have unlimited travel on the subway and city buses.
Unfortunately, groceries are also expensive, but it also depends a lot on the district in which you live. In Manhattan, the supermarkets are often overpriced. Sometimes a delivery service is much cheaper than buying groceries and cooking them yourself. You can get an Asian takeout for around 6 dollars and there are often leftovers for the next day. You should expect $ 50-100 groceries per person, per week.
I purposely left out health insurance as it is a very personal choice. If you are only staying in New York for a few months, your personal health insurance policy can sometimes come into effect. If you work in New York, your employer may, but not necessarily, pay for your health insurance. Health care costs are very high in the United States. So make sure beforehand that your insurance will cover the costs so that you can have a carefree stay in New York.
If you don't want to get lost during the first few days in your new home, then I recommend you download my free app for New York. Thanks to GPS, you can see where you are at any time - even without the Internet!
Working in New York
If you want to work in New York, you need a green card or a work visa. These are only issued by the United States authorities (U.S. embassy or consulate) before you travel to the United States. But how do you get a green card or a work visa for New York? You need a company based in the USA that offers you a job and thus becomes your so-called sponsor. This means that this company will support your application for a work visa. Without a sponsor it is incredibly difficult to be able to work in the US.
Another way to live and work in New York is to win the annual Green Card Lottery. The US government issues 50,000 immigrant visas each year. Please check whether citizens of your country of origin have the right to take part in the visa lottery. The list of eligible countries changes annually. If you need help with your registration, please read on here.
As an alternative, you can start your own company in the USA. In this case, please keep in mind that you will need significant start-up capital to set up a business. Check with the U.S. embassy about the specific requirements for this type of visa. Of course, a good command of English is generally essential if you want to work in New York. But if you are there as a tourist for the first time and are unsure about the language, then you should take a look at my tips for New York without knowledge of English.
Study in New York
If you want to study in New York, you need a student visa. There are two types: the F-1 (for university students) and the M-1 (for apprentices). To get such a visa, you need to enroll with an institution or institute that is recognized by the government. As soon as you are enrolled, the university or college will send you an official form (DS-160) that you have to fill out in order to ultimately get the visa. You also need a valid passport and have to prove that you are financially secure during your stay. They need an average of $ 10,000 for a year-long residency. This amount includes travel expenses (to New York and back), university books and rent. You will also need to pay an administration fee (SEVIS, around $ 200) to the US Department of Homeland Security by credit card.
With a student visa, you can enter the country one month before the start of the semester. After you have finished your subjects, you can stay in the country for up to 60 days (F-1) or 30 days (M-1).
You cannot work in the United States on a student visa.
How much money do you need to live in New York?
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