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Thread: Russian couple moving to the USA - any advise from others that did it?

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    Russian couple moving to the USA - any advise from others that did it?

    Hello - I know a Russian couple in their late 20's that is moving to the USA in a few months. They have their green cards and a job for one of them. They've never visited the USA. Any advise from others that have moved to the USA from Russia/Ukraine/Belarus etc.?

    Thank you,

    Scott

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    1. Start speaking in English
    2. Start learning how to drive a car (not sure if it's needed for NY/NJ)
    3. Preferable find somebody who speaks Russian and has been living in the US in the area they are moving in
    4. Always check your bills
    5. Shop around before you buy (especially for service)
    6. Think like you don't know anything about life
    7. Do not move to NY

  3. #3
    Hanna
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    A question, how did they get a green card and a job without even visiting the USA?
    Are they some kind of very rare specialists or artists, or how was this arranged?

    Normally it takes 7-10 years to get a green card, from what I understand, and it is required that you are IN the US practically uninterrupted for this period.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    A question, how did they get a green card and a job without even visiting the USA?
    Are they some kind of very rare specialists or artists, or how was this arranged?

    Normally it takes 7-10 years to get a green card, from what I understand, and it is required that you are IN the US practically uninterrupted for this period.
    APPLY FOR USA GREEN CARD LOTTERY

    I can't possibly believe you didn't know of the lottery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    A question, how did they get a green card and a job without even visiting the USA?
    They probably Ukrainians

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric C. View Post
    APPLY FOR USA GREEN CARD LOTTERY

    I can't possibly believe you didn't know of the lottery.
    Obviously I know of it, since ads for it are running in the international editions of certain American magazines... But a lottery isn't known for having odds that favour the player, and most of the odds are for scams. I know a few people who got Green Cards in the US, and they got it through many years of working and playing by the rules... or marriage.

    "I can't possibly believe" that you don't know that... If that lottery had even remotely decent odds, then half of the third world, and Mexico, just for starters, would already be in the USA...

    But the question was for Scott, lets hear what he says.

    I don't think the odds are any better than the Euromillions lottery.... Probably worse.


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    Hanna, I know three families who won Green Card by the official lottery. Two Ukrainians and one Moldavian. And that's only around place I live

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    They both won the green card lottery. They are Russians.

    Scott

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    Hanna, the Green Card lottery doesn't work that way - it's not open-ended. There are 55,000 permanent resident visas each year. The government specifies a number of allowed immigrants from each country (not the same number, and the number is 0 for some countries), then the "winners" will get to immigrate if they fall within the allowed number. Diversity Immigrant Visa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    PS I know a family that immigrated under the lottery.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika View Post
    Hanna, the Green Card lottery doesn't work that way - it's not open-ended. There are 55,000 permanent resident visas each year. The government specifies a number of allowed immigrants from each country (not the same number, and the number is 0 for some countries), then the "winners" will get to immigrate if they fall within the allowed number. Diversity Immigrant Visa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Interesting - I got curious and looked it up. Funny I never, ever heard of anyone using this lottery and it turns out you know several. According to Wikipedia, the chance of winning are about 1.5 % for anyone entering the lottery in Europe. I agree that it is much better odds than winning the Euromillions...

    If I ever want to live in the USA without being tied into an employment contract (or marriage.....!) I'd definitely try it. A friend of mine went through a lot of hassle to get hers - among other things, she could hardly leave the USA at all, for something like 8 years. Only a few very brief holidays. And she couldn't change jobs, practically, because employers did not want the hassle of having to sponsor her residency.

    Anyway, now we know the reason why the couple needs advise!


    I can't offer any since I am neither Russian, nor American. But wait, I too moved to another country and had opportunities that might not have been open otherwise.... Hard work, posessing sought-after skills.. and having a bit of luck helped me.

    Good luck to them anyway, and hope they find what they are looking for.....

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    Scott,

    I know that my hubby's is NOT Russian... however... Having seen first hand both my husband and his family come to America with no English, jobs, and some of his friends without many contacts... I can tell you that the biggest thing that this couple should do is learn English and then assimilate.

    It is very easy to find a little enclave that will let you live in a pocket of "home" and not force you to learn English or the American customs. This is a trap and will only lead to dead end low paying jobs, scams and other issues. It becomes a crutch and very had to break free of. I know how hard it is to just pick up and move and be clueless, you want to have people like you nearby who understand you and you can relate to. But if you can, try not to do that or at least for not very long.

    You have to stop thinking of Russia as your home and think that the US is now your home. If you always say "oh, I'm going back to live there," then you will never fit in and accept things the way that they are here and make the effort needed.

    You have to go get a GED and try and get US college credit for anything you have already done before and then start on working to get more US college credits or a degree, even a little goes a long way here. Just having a GED made a huge difference for my hubby and sister-in-law. Maybe the one who has a job can get free money from their employer for school.
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    Thank you for the advise. They both have very good college degrees from Russia.

    Scott

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    Hey Scott,

    I wrote a reply this morning and apparently it didn't post... grrr.. let me try it again.

    I'm not certain you are understanding exactly what I am getting at about the importance of GED and College here in the US. Most HR people here (and companies) don't care about overseas degrees. They don't have the time or knowledge to research them or the ability to verify that a candidate actually went. Additionally, with it being a Russian college, it will be even harder. Unless it's like Cambridge or Oxford, most people will not have heard of schools outside the US.

    I can give you direct example of what I am talking about.

    My hubby came to the US with a degree in electromechanical engineering and he was already working in his field. When he got here, no one cared. The Unions would not give him credit for his college or work experience. The jobs he was being offered were "helper" and "apprentice" jobs at under $10 per hour. This was AFTER he had completed his GED here in the States, was speaking English pretty well and he was legally allowed to be here and work here.

    After five rounds of interviews and a hands on test, he got a job with the state; but, they made it clear that they were taking a big chance with him because they really liked him. It was the reason they gave him the hands on test, so he could prove he knew the work and how he would go about doing an assignment in an area he had never been challenged in before. They wanted to see how he thought and if he would get along with the team.

    Because of a loop hole in the law here, as a state employee, he was then allowed to take either the Journeyman or Master's test (the Union wouldn't even allow him to take the journeyman). He took the Masters and passed the first time and it was in English. Now, his boss is not Masters, only Journeyman. However, his boss has a college degree... a requirement for that position and the state does not recognize his overseas degree.

    When a company places creates a job description, they have the qualifications listed and if it states, GED, College Degree, or even College Degree from an Accredited College...then they MUST hire someone with those qualifications or be subject to lawsuits. If it states, GED or equivalent or College Degree or equivalent experience, then there is some wiggle room.

    Your friends need to get American GEDs and then American college credit to be able to get ahead. IF the Russian college is as good and well known as you say, they might be able to obtain credit for some or all of the classes they took there. It is a long process but is better than starting all over.

    This is the policy from Minnesota State University:

    Non-U.S. Colleges and Universities
    Credit Potential from Non-U.S. (Overseas) College/Universities
    In terms of any coursework from a non-U.S. college or university, we require all students who are hoping to transfer courses from a university outside of the U.S. to have their coursework evaluated by a professional credit evaluation agency. There are several agencies in the U.S., but we use ECE. The rates for all of the agencies are about the same. For more information go to the Educational Credential Evaluators website.


    They also provide an online application for credit evaluation.


    Which ECE evaluation you provide to us depends on what major you will be studying here. Computer science, other sciences, engineering and math majors should request the "subject analysis". All other majors should request the "course-by-course" evaluation. Since the purpose of the ECE evaluation is potential transfer of credit, it does not need to be submitted as part of the application review process. It can be submitted later. However, any post-secondary work you successfully completed at a non-U.S. college or university will be considered by MSU only upon receipt of the official ECE evaluation.

    Here is the one from Sacramento State:

    International Transfer Students


    The CSU must assess the academic preparation of foreign students. For this purpose, "foreign students" include those who hold U.S. visas as students, exchange visitors, or in other nonimmigrant classifications.


    The CSU uses separate requirements and application filing dates in the admission of "foreign students." Verification of English proficiency* for undergraduate applicants, financial resources, and academic performance are each important considerations for admission. Academic records from foreign institutions must be on file at least eight weeks before registration for the first term and, if not in English, must be accompanied by certified English translations.


    Priority in admission is given to residents of California. Undergraduate international and non-California resident students are not admitted to impacted programs.


    International transfer students must have completed at least two years (60 semester units or the equivalent) of college work with a 2.4 grade point average. An exception to the two-year requirement may be made for foreign visa students whose secondary school preparation is equivalent to that of eligible California high school graduates.


    *See TOEFL Requirement.
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    Scott, unless I missed it, you did not say where they were going to live. You may get better suggestions if we know about that. For example, there are online discussion groups of Russians in Atlanta, Chicago, the Carolinas, etc. Also, what kind of job does one have lined up?

  16. #16
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    Hello Rockzmom,
    I passed along your post.

    Thank you!

    Scott



    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom View Post
    Hey Scott,

    I wrote a reply this morning and apparently it didn't post... grrr.. let me try it again.

    I'm not certain you are understanding exactly what I am getting at about the importance of GED and College here in the US. Most HR people here (and companies) don't care about overseas degrees. They don't have the time or knowledge to research them or the ability to verify that a candidate actually went. Additionally, with it being a Russian college, it will be even harder. Unless it's like Cambridge or Oxford, most people will not have heard of schools outside the US.

    I can give you direct example of what I am talking about.

    My hubby came to the US with a degree in electromechanical engineering and he was already working in his field. When he got here, no one cared. The Unions would not give him credit for his college or work experience. The jobs he was being offered were "helper" and "apprentice" jobs at under $10 per hour. This was AFTER he had completed his GED here in the States, was speaking English pretty well and he was legally allowed to be here and work here.

    After five rounds of interviews and a hands on test, he got a job with the state; but, they made it clear that they were taking a big chance with him because they really liked him. It was the reason they gave him the hands on test, so he could prove he knew the work and how he would go about doing an assignment in an area he had never been challenged in before. They wanted to see how he thought and if he would get along with the team.

    Because of a loop hole in the law here, as a state employee, he was then allowed to take either the Journeyman or Master's test (the Union wouldn't even allow him to take the journeyman). He took the Masters and passed the first time and it was in English. Now, his boss is not Masters, only Journeyman. However, his boss has a college degree... a requirement for that position and the state does not recognize his overseas degree.

    When a company places creates a job description, they have the qualifications listed and if it states, GED, College Degree, or even College Degree from an Accredited College...then they MUST hire someone with those qualifications or be subject to lawsuits. If it states, GED or equivalent or College Degree or equivalent experience, then there is some wiggle room.

    Your friends need to get American GEDs and then American college credit to be able to get ahead. IF the Russian college is as good and well known as you say, they might be able to obtain credit for some or all of the classes they took there. It is a long process but is better than starting all over.

    This is the policy from Minnesota State University:

    Non-U.S. Colleges and Universities
    Credit Potential from Non-U.S. (Overseas) College/Universities
    In terms of any coursework from a non-U.S. college or university, we require all students who are hoping to transfer courses from a university outside of the U.S. to have their coursework evaluated by a professional credit evaluation agency. There are several agencies in the U.S., but we use ECE. The rates for all of the agencies are about the same. For more information go to the Educational Credential Evaluators website.


    They also provide an online application for credit evaluation.


    Which ECE evaluation you provide to us depends on what major you will be studying here. Computer science, other sciences, engineering and math majors should request the "subject analysis". All other majors should request the "course-by-course" evaluation. Since the purpose of the ECE evaluation is potential transfer of credit, it does not need to be submitted as part of the application review process. It can be submitted later. However, any post-secondary work you successfully completed at a non-U.S. college or university will be considered by MSU only upon receipt of the official ECE evaluation.

    Here is the one from Sacramento State:

    International Transfer Students


    The CSU must assess the academic preparation of foreign students. For this purpose, "foreign students" include those who hold U.S. visas as students, exchange visitors, or in other nonimmigrant classifications.


    The CSU uses separate requirements and application filing dates in the admission of "foreign students." Verification of English proficiency* for undergraduate applicants, financial resources, and academic performance are each important considerations for admission. Academic records from foreign institutions must be on file at least eight weeks before registration for the first term and, if not in English, must be accompanied by certified English translations.


    Priority in admission is given to residents of California. Undergraduate international and non-California resident students are not admitted to impacted programs.


    International transfer students must have completed at least two years (60 semester units or the equivalent) of college work with a 2.4 grade point average. An exception to the two-year requirement may be made for foreign visa students whose secondary school preparation is equivalent to that of eligible California high school graduates.


    *See TOEFL Requirement.

  17. #17
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    No I didn't post it. They will be living in the San Francisco area. The job is as a programmer.

    Thank you,

    Scott


    Quote Originally Posted by chaika View Post
    Scott, unless I missed it, you did not say where they were going to live. You may get better suggestions if we know about that. For example, there are online discussion groups of Russians in Atlanta, Chicago, the Carolinas, etc. Also, what kind of job does one have lined up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fortheether View Post
    No I didn't post it. They will be living in the San Francisco area. The job is as a programmer.
    Shouldn't be a problem to confirm the degrees for this profession
    English and driving experience - these two things should be in their priority list
    Since they moving they obviously need a place to live, they need to start looking before they move
    Because they don't have social security numbers (and won't get them in first couple months) it will be very hard to find a decent place to rent. For the same reason they will have problems with connecting utilities/TV/home phone. They would probably need to put some double security deposits, that means they have to bring enough money with them. Because they won't get social security numbers right away - they will not be paid be able to find a job right away and even if they have job offer they will not be paid until they have social security numbers. Same problem with opening bank accounts
    They need somebody to rely on for the first couple months

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    Quote Originally Posted by fortheether View Post
    No I didn't post it. They will be living in the San Francisco area. The job is as a programmer.

    Thank you,

    Scott
    Scott,


    As they are going to be in San Fran, they can take FREE English as a second Language classes (ESOL) at City College of San Fran, they should sign up ASAP and as the classes are FREE, offered at all hours and there are many locations, they should have no excuses for not attending!

    The Noncredit ESL program is free of charge and is designed to help immigrant students develop their general ability to understand, speak, read and write English.
    Noncredit ESL Program




    The Noncredit ESL Program offers a variety of free classes:
    1) General Noncredit ESL




    • Improves English language skills for immigrants living and working in the United States.Prepares students for further academic work.
    • Nine levels of instruction ranging from Literacy, and Beginning (Level 1) to high intermediate (Level .
    • Most classes are 2 hours a day, 10 hours a week and focus on all four skills: listening,speaking, reading and writing.
    • One-hour a day, five-hour a week classes which focus on a specific skill and intensivenon-credit ESL courses are also available.
    • Limited homework. No grades.
    • Students may enroll in more than one class.
    • Classes are offered mornings, afternoons, Monday through Friday, and evenings, Monday throughThursday at seven campuses at many locations in San Francisco.



    2) Vocational ESL




    • Improve English for getting a job, improving on-the-job skills or preparing for a specificjob field.
    • Types of classes offered include: computers for ESL, ESL office occupations, and communicationon the job.
    • Classes are offered morning, afternoon and evening, Monday through Friday at selected campuses.



    3) Citizenship Classes




    • Preparation for the citizenship exam.
    • Citizenship classes are offered morning, afternoon and evening, Monday through Saturday atselected campuses.



    How to Enroll in Noncredit Classes


    1) Location - Choose a campus that is convenientfor you.
    Noncredit classes are offered at:
    Civic Center Campus 561-1020
    John Adams Campus 561-1835
    Chinatown/North Beach Campus 561-1017
    Downtown Campus 267-6543
    Mission Campus 550-4430
    Southeast Campus 550-4344
    2) Placement Test - Call the campus you areinterested in, or go in person to get an appointment for a placement test. Placement tests areoffered at various times throughout the semester.
    3) Counseling and Registration - After theplacement test, you will have an appointment with a counselor to discuss the classes you want andthe times you can study. The counselor will register you into a class (or classes) and tell youexactly when and where to go.


    For more information about the noncredit program call the campus you are interested in. Or you may contact the ESL Department office at 239-3003.



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  20. #20
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    Doomer and Rockzmom - passed along the info.

    Thank you,

    Scott

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