Green Card United States

The Move: Part 1

The past month has been a very very busy one! After receiving our approval at the U.S Consulate in Sydney and spending some time with family afterwards, we headed home with only 18 days to finish packing up our lives and move to Los Angeles. We halved our wardrobes, listed many things for sale on eBay, Gumtree and Facebook “For Sale” groups, including all of our furniture and donated bags of clothes to the local op-shop and Bridging the Gaps (a group that collects items of need for newly arrived refugee families in Melbourne). Luckily we have family that were happy to keep some boxes of things for us in storage, so we packed up all of our books, CDs, personal keepsakes and a few other items and shipped them back to Perth for the time being.
We made sure we had been to see our GP one last time, went to the dentist for a final check up and clean and I had my hair done one last time with my hairdresser.  On the 30th of January we had a big going-away party at a friends bar/club The Liberty Social  to see as many of our friends as we could before leaving.
We did a preliminary pack of our luggage to take with us last Wednesday, to make sure we didn’t need to cull even more of our clothing! Seeing it all packed away made things feel very real!
We have been in our rental unit for over 4 years, so the process of cleaning every single inch of it for our final inspection was quite the effort!
It is now Saturday the 7th of February, our flight is Tuesday the 10th, and our rental is almost empty. There are still many things we need to do! Here is a bit of a list of things we have already done in lead up & things we need to do before we leave:

  • Cancel Foxtel, internet & set up electricity/gas disconnections
  • Authorise family on bank account so they can close it for me in a few months
  • Change mailing addresses on bank accounts/super accounts/anything that may get mail to a family address
  • Cancel private health insurance
  • Get copy of optometrist prescriptions
  • Sell shares
  • Get driving records from VicRoads  (may help with car insurance in US)
  • Get copy of dogs vaccination/vet records
  • Pay USCIS fee
  • Send boxes to storage with family interstate
  • Book a hire car for a few weeks once we first arrive
  • Purchase some temporary health insurance till we get a proper policy
  • Check to see what we are covered for with travel insurance under my credit card
  • Confirm everything is ready to go with our dog’s flight on the 11th!

We transferred some of our savings over to USD at the beginning of the week (the rate sure isn’t getting any better, so we thought it was time!). We used HiFX as they allow you to exchange and provide the beneficiary account (US bank account for us) at a later date, whereas OzForex did not. As we couldn’t set up a US bank account before leaving Australia, this was the best option for us. Once we have the US bank account we can then get our USD transferred into it. For the interim, we will use my 28 Degrees Mastercard for credit card transactions (no fees) and to withdraw a small amount of cash.
The countdown is definitely on!

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