The decision to come to the United States is a difficult one and comes with some expectations. Many immigrants wonder what they can expect when they move to the U.S. Those entering with green cards from a U.S. consulate will need to go through an immediate inspection. This is generally a simple review of your paperwork and is completed at the airport or terminal of entry. In some instances, you may be pre-inspected on board your flight. Here is a short U.S. guide for foreign nationals that may help you in the process.

Maintaining Visa Status

Immigrant visas are provided for specific reasons and you must keep your visa status current. If your circumstances change, you are required to provide this information to the USCIS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. This includes a change of address. If you are represented by an immigration attorney, that address may also be included. Keep in mind that if your visa expires or if you are no longer allowed in the U.S., you could be considered removable and subject to deportation.

Daily Life

It is expected that you will immediately begin to make your permanent residence in the United States and begin to take part in regular daily activities. If you are in the U.S. on a student visa, you must begin your studies. An individual on a work visa must start his or her jobs. It is helpful to learn to read and write in English. Children must be enrolled in the local school. You will want to obtain a driver’s license and a bank account.

Obey the Laws

The United States has many laws, including federal, state, and city. Everyone must obey the laws, including immigrants. In fact, immigrants could be deported if they commit certain types of crimes or do not obey the laws. Familiarize yourself with the laws that pertain to you and your location. It is important that you carry your green card or immigration visa with you at all times, because you may be required to provide it upon request.

Seek Legal Guidance

Moving to the United States can be a frightening and intimidating experience. You are likely to have many questions and concerns as you begin your new life in the United States. The best place to seek guidance is from a knowledgeable immigration attorney. Your lawyer understands the many complex immigration laws and will assist you in making sure that your immigration status remains legal. Your attorney will also help you with resources and information to help you assimilate more easily in the United States.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding U.S. Guide for Foreign Nationals or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at  480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.