Tell us about where you’re from!
I am originally from Chihuahua, Mexico.
What brought you to the U.S.?
My father has been a U.S. citizen for about 25 years, and it was always the plan that I’d eventually join him. He filed a petition for me to move here a long time ago, and in June 2018, my priority date came up. I then got my work permit in October 2018, so that’s when it really felt official.
Had you been to the U.S. a lot before you moved here?
I have visited the U.S. twice a year ever since I was a kid. Needless to say, I am very familiar with it!
What were some of the places that you used to go to?
When I was younger, I mainly visited my father in Los Angeles. I would visit the parks, Hollywood, and everything else you can think of when you think of California. The thing that got my attention about life in the States is that there is just so much opportunity.
What was the main drive to move from Chihuahua to the States?
I think the main thing is that I wanted to work for an American tech company. I really wanted to take on the challenge of trying something new.
What do you do?
I am a software engineer. Before moving to the U.S., I was working for a startup in Chihuahua hat sells construction management software in San Francisco, so I was able to work remotely for a bit when I moved here.
I am now working for a healthcare company based in Seattle and they’re actually opening an office in Denver, where I live now.
What was the first thing you did when you moved to the U.S.?
As soon as I got my work permit, I started thinking about responsibilities in the U.S., like establishing a credit history and looking for a new job. I did some research on how to build credit and stumbled upon on ad for Nova Credit on Instagram of all places!
Before that, as soon as I got my social security number, I created a checking account, so that made it easier to start life in the States.
Anything you’re still looking forward to establishing in the U.S.?
I am still not sure what I need credit-wise to get a car loan, so I am in the process of researching that.
So how are you getting around?
I have family here in Colorado, and that helps a lot!
Did you experience any culture shocks here when you moved to the U.S.?
Aside from the high healthcare costs, no! This isn’t something so shocking, but the culture here is just so different. Here in the States, people are really open and respectful when it comes to talk about religion and preferences and things like that. It of course exists in Mexico, but there aren’t a lot of immigrants there. It’s pretty homogeneous. So you don’t experience those conversations as much.
In Mexico, it’s common to greet a woman by kissing her cheek. Here, not so much! So one challenge is that it takes time to be able to show your true personality while also adjusting to a new culture.
Have you connected with any other expats or people from other parts of the world in Denver?
Yes! I have friends from Mexico, but I also have made friends with my colleagues who are all from around the world, like India, Canada, and Ireland. That has helped me become integrated in a more diverse society.
Any advice for newcomers to the U.S.?
Spend some time doing research on your credit status! For example, right now, my goals are to be diligent about getting proper credit to get a car loan and eventually a down payment on a house. Having a good credit history will help you get there.
I’d say get one or two credit cards and be responsible with them. Take one step at a time and don’t go too crazy.
Where and how did you research how to build credit wisely?
I just Googled all of the banks to learn more about them and landed on several websites and learned about the U.S. credit system from there. It’s quite different than Mexico’s!