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Am having second thoughts

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After three months of living in America I am seriously reconsidering my decision to move here. I had high hopes and expectations when I was issued my immigrant visa after being one of the 50,000 people randomly selected in the DV visa lottery but my hopes have all been dashed after landing in America and here is the reason why:

- Homelessness: I live in LA and one thing that struck me was the number of homeless people in this city. If you go to downtown LA you will see quite a number of destitute people in tattered clothes and on San Julian/ 6th Street there is lots of people that live in tents pitched on the curbs of the road. The reason for this is that the cost of living is high and people cannot afford housing.

- Dead end jobs: I have been applying earnestly for bank teller positions, data entry positions, customer service positions but to no avail. The only thing I have only managed to secure a catering assistant/food service worker at a senior living facility.

- Protocol: The system here in America is very bureaucratic and you have to prepared for delays. For instance I was told that I had to wait for 30 days to elapse before I could apply for my social security card then once those thirty days had elapsed I had to wait another two weeks to receive my social security card. This delay made me miss out on a job opportunity. Another thing is that most employers conduct background checks and/or medical tests even for temporary positions. For example, I had a background check done on me and had to wait for a week for the results to come in yet the position was only for three days.

- Language barrier: If you are in LA spanish proficiency is very handy as most employers prefer bilingual candidates. People like me who speak with an accent are regarded as inferior.

- Discrimination: I had my first experience of discrimination when I was denied entry into a social security administration office by an american latino guard for petty reasons (because I was carrying a grocery store bag) yet I could see people inside with grocery store bags). I tried to protest but he called for back up (two fellow american latino guards) who had their hands on their holsters ready to pull out their guns. I decided to just leave the office but this incident I can relate with the black lives matter campaign because African males are victimised unfairly in some cases. Also I have noticed that sometimes in buses and trains people will seat on opposite chairs from you which kind of absurd.

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Similar to the response above, I would not consider Los Angeles as a good landing spot for any immigrant - unless you are drop dead gorgeous and modeling agencies are outbidding one another for your services. lol

I don't know if you have the opportunity to move elsewhere but I would explore the possibility. As lovely as San Francisco and San Diego are, I would stay away from those spots too because they're equally expensive. Good luck!

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My husband used to live in Los Angeles and hated it. I only ever visited on vacation to see him and loved it, but then we were staying in hotels and the like. We didn't have day-to-day worries, since I was visiting and he still lived with his lawyer father. Hubs still had the presence of mind to notice how impoverished LA can make people and knew it would be more difficult than it was worth to stay in the area.

If you ever get the opportunity to move further out (especially to the Mid-West), then take it. I work in data entry, a 12 year old child could do my job, yet I have no problem affording things and having a savings account and Roth IRA. That would never be possible in LA.

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as previous people have stated get the hell out of LA its not all glamorous and full of opportunity like how the countries out with the USA potray LA to be... Califonia is also in a really bad for finding employment at the moment. I have a friend she lived just north of LA shes highly educated and she lost her job due to company downsizing she searched for job for 2 years before she gave up and moved... she ended up having MULTIPLE job offers wihtin 2 weeks of moving

Edited by Moslund

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You say Phoenix which is where i visit and intend to live once my K1 visa goes through.

I love Arizona and Phoenix in particular. It sounds like moving away from LA would definitely solve a lot of the issues you have but 1...

The homeless! Please don't think that you won't see them in Phoenix too, last time i travelled to visit my fiance we put put some bits and bobs together in bags and gave them to the homeless when we saw them. We also went in target and brought a homeless man that was outside some food including something sweet and something savoury, fruit and water (and a bottle of Gatorade if i remember correctly) He was so happy!

This is something you cannot escape i think when you are living in big cities.

I was blind to how much homeless we have here in the UK because i avoided London like the plague (this has a higher rate of homeless than where i am from), this immigration process forced me to London and i was heartbroken to see rich people stepping over the homeless, It was freezing and people are wrapped up outside shops on the floor with a sleeping bag and their dog, shivering trying to get warm and stay dry.

Sadly homelessness is everywhere but maybe when you move and get that job opportunity that you deserve maybe you can do some things to help them... :)

Good luck with your move if that is what you decide to do. Maybe see you around Phoenix one day you never know! :)

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You say Phoenix which is where i visit and intend to live once my K1 visa goes through.

I love Arizona and Phoenix in particular. It sounds like moving away from LA would definitely solve a lot of the issues you have but 1...

The homeless! Please don't think that you won't see them in Phoenix too, last time i travelled to visit my fiance we put put some bits and bobs together in bags and gave them to the homeless when we saw them. We also went in target and brought a homeless man that was outside some food including something sweet and something savoury, fruit and water (and a bottle of Gatorade if i remember correctly) He was so happy!

This is something you cannot escape i think when you are living in big cities.

I was blind to how much homeless we have here in the UK because i avoided London like the plague (this has a higher rate of homeless than where i am from), this immigration process forced me to London and i was heartbroken to see rich people stepping over the homeless, It was freezing and people are wrapped up outside shops on the floor with a sleeping bag and their dog, shivering trying to get warm and stay dry.

Sadly homelessness is everywhere but maybe when you move and get that job opportunity that you deserve maybe you can do some things to help them... :)

Good luck with your move if that is what you decide to do. Maybe see you around Phoenix one day you never know! :)

Thanks ZoeUK1989 for telling me about the situation in Phoenix with regards to homelessness and also for wishing me luck with my move to Phoenix

I am sorry for digressing a little but let me say that I can relate to your post because I have been to the UK - I was in brum (birmingham) for a couple of years and visited London a couple of times (using London midland and virgin pendolino trains from birmingham new street to London euston station and also took the National express coach from digbeth coach station to london victoria station. I liked how it was so easy to get around from one city to another ... here in America the fastest time you can get from LA to phoenix is 6 hours via plane

Out of curiosity why are you living such a lovely country such as the UK for America? If I had the choice I would choose UK anyday over America as the quality of life in UK is much better (very low gun crimes, people are more courteous than here in America and employee unions are strong so you have better work - life balance)

I like the way you said you were heartbroken to see the way people disregarded homeless people ... that's one thing I miss about UK - people are compassionate, here in America that compassion is lacking as people just ignore homeless people and pretend as though they don't notice them.

Anyways I apologize for getting carried away and writing a lengthy response but I am so delighted to speak to a Brit.

Touch wood everything will work out fine for you with your move to America.

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Americans are very kind LA is exception . We just live in a fallen world , the bad is everywhere but there's good everywhere also. I think three months you may be home sick and adjusting to new culture. Get out of LA is good decision I think. We really are friendly people and I pray you get to Arizona and find your spot that's comfortable.

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With all respect to the LA haters, don't let downtown LA be your judge of America, I live in Marina Del Rey, and love living here, yes there are some homeless but that isn't unique to USA!


Before you give up totally on USA, either move further out, remember LA is pretty damn big! or as other posters suggest maybe another state.


I speak appalling Spanish yet I work with a 99% workforce, and have little or no problems.


California is a slightly odd state, and LA even worse!


There are some great burbs to LA, give it a chance.



But think hard before you give up on USA totally, it was hard work getting here, try and make it work, if not at least you tried.



PS don't get me wrong there are some things that drive me crazy, but I have a far better life here than I did in the UK.


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I also agree with the other posts. You have to give the USA a chance. Each state is almost like another country and to be honest I didn't come across many Americans that were not pleasant. People lead different lives in all different parts of the world. Visiting the UK is probably different to living there all your life. The following things I am listing are things that become depressing...

1. Never having a nice summer or at least when you do get warm spells they last for two weeks! This is rubbish when its cold and you have Raynauds disease!

2. The NHS is great for a lot of people however because they try and cut costs left right and centre, people's illnesses get missed and left untreated, People die in this country because the NHS neglect patients! Hospitals are closing A&E departments so your nearest hospital is miles and miles away if you have an accident after 10 o'clock.

3. Trying to get into the doctors is an absolute joke (again down to cost saving and people abusing the NHS system)

4. Schools do not try and educate children and help them when they are struggling academically (I can personally vouch that this happens as I was one of those students and so was my Dad)

5. I was living in a country where racism didn't seem to exist anymore or was at least a very low amount... then Brexit happened! People all of a sudden came out the woodwork and felt that they had the right to dictate to people of different nationalities where they should be able to live and work. (in all honesty I would rather people keep their opinions to themselves when they are fuelled by hatred pressed into people's brains by a government that lie every opportunity they get.

6. Being able to claim money because you're bone idol frustrates me too. When I was made redundant I couldn't claim anything to help support my household apart from job seekers allowance (£200 a month) where they made me feel like I was the biggest piece of scum of the earth for not having a job before I was made redundant even though I had worked doing different jobs since the age of 12. When I was 15 I quit my jobs before and after school so I could concentrate on my GCSE's which I was really struggling with because I couldn't get the help I needed. Insulting when you get people who never worked a day in their life, never paid into taxes and had no intentions of ever working because they don't want to getting all sorts of money.

7. Service in stores or restaurants in the USA is second to none! The UK is appalling compared to the US in that respect (for the most part)

London especially, Starbucks in USA great service in everyone I have been in (lots by the way) UK... miserable as sin. Couldn't even say good morning or What can I get you... Just looked at me and raised an eyebrow!

The list could go on and on and on I'm sure! But even though the UK has a lot of downsides it is a fantastic country! It has a lot going for it and it depends on where you live too. For me same goes for America!

I only came across one American whilst in Texas that was not pleasant... He copped me in a elevator, saw my tattoos and said 'who you running for homeboy' I had no idea what he was on about. He was covered from head to toe in tattoos and I hate to say it looked and sounded like he was in a gang. For one I'm not a homeboy... I'm female! and two... Why would you assume because I have a non offensive tattoo that I'm in a gang. Needless to say he scared the living ####### out of me. I was stuck in a hotel lift with a crazy man. But that could just as well happened in the UK. that's not because he was American its because he was a D*che!

The USA offers a lot of things the UK doesn't and the same the other way round too. I actually have protection in my country against being discriminated because of being a gay which I don't think I can assume I will have over there but that's a risk I am willing to take to be with my Fiance. If at any point my rights as a human are taken away because I'm gay, we will be coming back to the UK.

We decided the USA would be better than the UK because

My fiance is an only child if we live in the UK her Mom and Grandmother would be alone. Her grandmother would struggle to visit the UK as shes 21 anymore and I don't think the 10.5 hour flight is ideal for her age.

My family are able to travel from the UK more as they do get more holiday days.

Better education for our children when we start a family

All my Fiance's education at Uni is unrecognisable here basically so she would have wasted thousands of dollars to then have to spend thousands to get the degree here.

the warmer weather and less amount of time of the cold months Definitely is a benefit to me with my Raynauds disease and the fact that I'm a t-shirt kinda gal really

My Fiance hates the cold weather so to have her move from Phoenix to the UK would be too much. I think she would suffer depression and SAD's

House prices are more affordable for what we want

I couldn't get a job that earned enough to bring her here and not allowed to use a co sponsor

There were so many reasons... again the list could go on and on.

I think the USA is an amazing country but just like any other it has its downsides,

By people who live in the USA they are pretty much just advising you to try a different location and I agree when DJ6372... You have to try and make it work. I'm sure it hasn't been easy to get to where you are now but don't let it go just yet without a good try first!

:)

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I am delighted that everyone reckons that moving out of LA is a good idea, it eliminates any doubts or regrets that I may have.

I reckon that different cities have different traits or personalities and it would be a wise thing for me to travel around and get to experience different cities and cultures before concluding that America is not for me.

@Jennie & Awal you are probably right I am homesick… i guess what I miss about my home country and places like South Africa and the UK is that its convenient to get around and they are also adaptable places to live in unlike America where people are set in their ways and its a very regulated country (i.e. a very standardized way of doing things and too many technicalities) as an example when I went to the UK I visited a jobcentre plus which is the equivalent of a social security office and received a letter with my National Insurance number the same day… here in America I walked into a social security office and I was told that I had to wait for 30 days to apply for my social security number… Also as a permanent citizen if you change address you have to notify USCIS within 10 days, you cannot vote, you cannot apply for government jobs as you are not a citizen etc etc… all these rules mean that its easy to disqualify someone for a job or from an opportunity because someone is likely to find a minor legal technicality to frustrate you

@DJ6372 I agree LA is a very odd city… its a city of sharp contrasts - there are some beautiful places like Santa Monica and Westwood Village but also some shabby looking places like Inglewood, Watts, Florence-Firestone etc etc… I suppose if I was fortunate enough to afford living in one of these posh neighborhoods such as Beverly Hills I would not be complaining about being in America… but nonetheless you would think with all the money the American government gives third world countries to fight poverty they should first sort out affairs back home as charity begins at home

By the way i googled Marina Del Ray and it looks very scenic and breath taking. I will definitely put it in my bucket list of places to visit

@ZoeUK1989 I agree UK weather is unpredictable and crappy - I used to use the weather as a nice ice breaker when having a conversation with a stranger.

I am shocked to learn about the deterioration of the NHS. I actually liked the NHS system as it provides healthcare for all and you do not have to take out compulsory healthcare insurance policies as is the case here in America (Obama care). I liked the fact that in the UK the National Insurance deductions made from your wages would go towards funding the NHS here in America uncle sam tries to get as much money as he can from your salary and you are still required to buy insurance in order to obtain healthcare.

I would say that it would be a safe bet to not assume that you will not enjoy protection here in America for being gay as not so long ago there was a mass shooting at an orlando gay club. Although not very common here in LA but hate crime does exist in America and its more prevalent than in the UK (check out Dylan Roof, Rodney King, Philando Castile)

I am actually having the same issue as your fiancé with regards to my qualifications. I studied in the UK but my qualifications are not recognized here and I have to have them translated by a foreign degree translation company. I guess if you studied at ivy league university like harvard, oxford, MIT then you don’t have to worry about your qualifications not been recognized

In regards to the service in stores, I actually have a different experience from you… I find that in America I get “tailgated” around by undercover security especially if I enter a store with a shopping bag from another store because they suspect that black people will shoplift… Also this one time I visited a DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) store in Torrance California and I was stopped as I was about to exit and asked to open my bag and I was asked for a receipt for the contents I was carrying in my bag even though I bought them at a different store. I NEVER experienced this once whilst in the UK…

Also I have noticed that stores/supermarkets/restaurants DO NOT include tax in the prices they display so when you at the checkout you end up paying more than the advertised price - I don’t really understand why they do this - its very deceptive and misleading

Also whilst am ranting about taxes, another thing I have noticed about employers in America is that they quite a number of them pay by cheque (check) and this take 3 days to clear if you bank it which means you can’t access your hard earned money immediately. I tend to cash my cheques to get money the same day at a check cashers but they charge COMMISSIONS so you end up receiving a lesser amount which makes you feel like your being robbed by the system. Actually I have come to a conclusion that the system here in the USA is an EXTORTIONIST system… the government is always trying to find ways to make you part with your hard earned money

I know this may be a controversial thing to say but I happen to think that the experiences people have can vary depending on a number of things - your race, your income, your perception to things i.e. you are either optimistic or pragmatic so you see a glass as either half full or half empty.

Edited by butter pecan

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The NHS doesn't actually provide free healthcare for all. So don't be fooled when they tell you that. Its not true. People get refused treatment because they do not feel it is life threatening and to have the surgery or whatever treatment is a choice... For example, I know someone who was bleeding from an area no one likes to think about blood coming from... This was caused by internal Hemorrhoids. The only way to stop the cause of the bleeding and pain was by an operation. The person was told she was not entitled to the operation on the NHS even though she had paid into the tax and national insurance all her life.

My mother also had Gallstones which if left untreated can kill you, it took them over 12 months to diagnose as they just kept sending her home saying it was indigestion and telling her to drink a bottle of full fat milk (this is a really bad idea as an intake of fat is what causes the pain to flare up from the gallstones.) She would tell them time and time again this is not indigestion. I have had two children so I know what indigestion feels like. They ignored her. Once she was in hospital for a week with the pain, They put a cannula in her wrist or wherever it was and continued to give her pain medication via injections to the tummy. She was covered in bruises and her cannula that they were not even using was really hurting her. It took her 13 or 14 year old daughter to go the nurses and demand that they took the horrible thing out. She was already in enough pain.

Eventually my Mother went to see a doctor who had just started at the surgery near us... He asked her to lay on the bed and felt her tummy. He said "Louise, you have gallstones, I can feel them and I don't know how this has been missed for so long"

She was then referred for surgery ASAP to have her gallbladder removed. She was put on a 12 month waiting list by the NHS... She could not wait 12 months so you had to take out a loan so she could go private and get the operation done ASAP. She had already left her job due to the fact that she had to keep having time off with all the pain she was in. So 12 months of agony and job losses she then had a hefty cost for the operation which technically she paid for already over the years.

Then was also another woman who worked in the local chinese whose daughter had gallstones. Again took them ages to diagnose it and by the time the operation had come round she had sadly passed away due to the Gallstones not being treated.

My friends daughter (the daughter was 26, the same as me at the time) went into the NHS hospital with a strange rash and an extremely dangerous high heart rate, It was so high that she should have been blue lighted to hospital as a medical emergency. NHS doctor made her mother take her to the hospital herself which was around 30 miles away. They left her in the hospital bed with a high heart rate and neglected her... They did nothing to attempt to bring her heart rate down and sent her mother around the hospital for no reason... Sadly her daughter and her unborn baby (yes she was pregnant too) passed away that day and her mother due to being sent around the hospital for no reason didn't get to say goodbye to her daughter while she could still hear her. Just 26 years old and pregnant! RIP Sophie!

These are just 4 examples of the appalling NHS service that has (or should I say has not) been provided. I know its not all like that but I shouldn't have 4 examples. If everyone that lives in the UK that's 64.1 million has 4 examples, that's 256,400,000 examples of bad NHS service. I'm sure you would agree that's a high number? Even if everyone only had 1. Its still 64.1 million too many.

Please don't get me wrong I'm not stupid and I know they will not all have suffered or even known someone who has been affected by bad NHS as some of that population are children or never come in contact with the NHS in their adult life but still.

NHS is good for people who are accident prone or suffer with permanent illnesses. Things like people who suffer with diabetes benefit from the NHS greatly but please bear in mind this is possibly being paid for by the person who pays taxes yet cannot receive the treatment they require. On a good note, sometimes, only sometimes they provide breast enlargement for women because they have low self esteem. Money well spent? I think not

I have to say in your post previously you mentioned that you were stopped by a Latino male... Do you feel as though this had been done due to your race or another reason?

Sorry to ask but don't want to assume but would like to know why you feel you were being discriminated against.

Also, may I ask where you home country is? again just curious :)

See! previously you apologised about getting carried away. Apparently it's not just you haha.

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