When to Leave

Deciding the best time of the year to move will be dictated by the time of the year that you are interviewed. Your Green Card has to be activated within 6 months of the medical. That’s right, it isn’t from the date of your interview or when you receive your passport back in the post. It’s from the couple of weeks earlier when you were getting poked, probed and pierced by the doctor.

There will local factors to consider, like breaking it to your family, your boss, your mates, etc. There will be financial factors, like how quickly you can get your money together and finances sorted and there will be emotional factors too. But then you have to consider the other end of the equation. What will it be like where you want to settle? When is the best time to get flights at the best prices? What season will it be when you arrive? Are you planning on trying to find work straight away or do you have enough money saved to cruise at first?
The answers to these questions all have their potential implications. If you leave too early, you may not have enough money saved. Arrive in winter and it will be freezing cold. Land in the middle of summer and a lot of companies won’t be hiring. Do your research before buying your tickets.

We had to leave earlier than anticipated due to the stressful process of getting our Green Card back from the consulate. Because it took almost three months to be in our hands (the only way you know you actually have it), we only had three months to do the telling work, selling up, buying tickets and flying out. In a perfect world, we would have departed in late April, after our birthdays and with a few extra months to save. Instead, we had a firm deadline, early March.

Scouring the internet, we found the cheapest fares possible, $1460 to NYC. The downside was flying out in the dead of winter. Luckily we had already experienced a February winter the year before and already had the warm clothes and snow boots. We arrived 5 days after a severe blizzard; with an icy cold average of -12 each day and a layer of snow still visible in most places. But we’ll discuss that soon.

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