Expat Resources

We’ve lived in the US since early 2012. Below is my collection of how-to articles and general observations on topics such as getting a job, driving in the US, visa issues and buying a house.  I’m very happy to answer any questions on any of these topics – I want our painful experiences to make your life easier!

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Getting a Job

How to get a job in the US: advice for international spouses – February 2015

Here I describe, in my usual amount of nauseating detail, how everything work-wise turned upside down for me once we made the decision to move to the US.  I hope this post will be of help to other international spouses struggling to find work.

Driving

Getting a US drivers license Part 1 and Part 2 – February/March 2014

I passed my first driving test almost 15 years ago, in the UK, and I’ve driven in Australia for many years.  Due to the unique way this state of the USA works, I had to take another two tests (theory and practical) to get my Massachusetts driving license.

Driving in LA – May 2014

My husband vowed that no matter what, he would never drive in LA.  So, here we are.

Immigration

Getting an E3 visa – April 2014

If you’re an Australian applying for an E3 visa, this post is for you. If you’re someone applying for an H1-B visa, this post is probably relevant – it’s a very similar process. If you’re going to a visa appointment at the US embassy in London, this post might be for you. Everyone else: be happy you don’t have this in your life.

Buying a House

Buying a house in Pasadena Part 1 and Part 2 – May/June 2014

I never imagined that buying a house would be easy, but our lack of previous experience, combined with trying to do it in a new country, a new city, and in a hurry has made the process slightly challenging.  The bottom line is we’ve had an offer accepted on a place – and here I describe (in nauseating detail) how we got there.

New house: interesting mail – July 2014

As I may have mentioned once or twice we’ve recently bought a house and moved in. One thing that was immediately noticeable was the volume of mail we received.

Living at the Residence Inn – May 2014

Living in a hotel is fun – to a point. We’ve spent nearly two months living at Marriott Residence Inn, Downtown Burbank and now we NEARLY have the keys to our new house and are NEARLY ready to move out, I thought it would be a good time to review our stay.

Other observations

Where is home – December 2015

This time of year I am often asked “are you going home for Christmas?” and this brings up a good expat-worthy question – not about Christmas, but about “home”. Where is it?

Making a Christmas Cake in the US – December 2014

“What’s a Christmas Cake?”, ask my American friends.  Aside from the obvious (a cake eaten at Christmas), this British cake is made primarily of fruit, and brandy.  In the 10+ years I lived in Australia, and the nearly 3 years I’ve lived in the US, I’ve found that finding the ingredients to make a ‘proper’ Christmas cake can be difficult.

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2 thoughts on “Expat Resources

  1. Thanks for writing about getting the E-3 visa in London. I am also an Australian living in Boston who is planning to apply for the E-3 in London, but was uncertain whether they would accept first time E-3 applications there. Good to know they do. I was also wondering whether an I-797 (petition approval form) is required. Would you be able to clarify from you experience whether the U.S Embassy in London requested that?

    1. Hi Eliza. Thanks! I’m glad the post was helpful.
      Regarding the I-797 I don’t think we got one for the E-3. I’ve only ever received them when I’ve been doing employment applications.
      When you apply online for the E-3 you get the DS-160 confirmation page which you have to print and take with you, and I think that’s your only ‘proof’ of application.
      Hope that helps – let me know if you need more info!

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