United States


the US


Pros and Cons

Whether it’s living the quintessential city lifestyle, or being at the centre of the world’s largest and influential economy – there’s always been an allure for Aussies to move to the US.

With so many growing tech cities, there’s almost something for everyone – the nomadlist ranks working in each of the largest tech hubs pretty high:

  • Austin – 3.35/5 score (#46/ 400+ cities)
  • New York City – 3.15/5 (#119/ 400+)
  • Seattle – 2.9/5 (#352/ 400+)
  • San Francisco – 2.88/5 (#391/ 400+)

We’ve broken down everything you need to know before making the move to the US below.

The Tech Scene
Work-life Balance
Cost of Living
Everything else - Weather, Safety, Lifestyle, etc.

Getting a job

What are your options?

Here’s the TL:DR.

We know you’re busy (or if you’re like us, have an unhelpable short attention span) 

You’ve got a couple of options to think about how to move roles into the US:

  1. Work for a global company and wait for a foreign role to open up. 
  2. Network your way to a referral from someone you know in a foreign company.
  3. Go over with no job on a tourist visa and network your way to a role. 

There are pros, cons of each – see our full breakdown below, including pro-tips on how to start the search.

Learn more

What are companies looking for?

Here’s the TL:DR.

  • The hardest part most people face is getting past the resume screen with an international CV – some hacks include 1) flagging your working rights and 2) where you can, add some local contact details
  • Contextualise your experiences (e.g., “University WAM – equivalent to [XX] percentile in college entrance exams”)
  • Check the full US standard resume guidelines before you submit – luckily, it’s pretty similar to the Australian resume

For our full breakdown, see below.

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How does the Visa work?

Here’s the TL:DR.

  • To stay for longer than the 90 day tourist period (ESTA visa), you’ll need to have a job offer and apply for an E-3 visa.
  • This will take about ~6 weeks on average from initial filings (depends on where you can get a Visa appointment) and will require coordination with your employer
  • The key here is to know the ins and outs of the process (e.g., there is no formal requirement for “sponsorship”, which is often the thing that deters employers who are unfamiliar with the process
  • The visa lasts for the duration of your employment (up to 5 years), before it needs to be renewed. To apply/ renew, you’ll need to do so from outside of the US.
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How do you relocate?

Here’s the TL:DR.

  • Finding accommodation: for temporary housing, check sites including Facebook groups, Craigslist, SpareRoom, StreetEasy
  • Insurance: unfortunately the healthcare system is predominantly private (and among highest cost in the world) – meaning it’s probably a good idea to purchase some coverage
  • Back accounts: going with a global bank is a popular option (e.g., JPMorgan, Citibank)
  • Social Security Number: you’ll need this to work (like a TFN). Apply online via the SSN.gov website – you’ll need to prepare documents and visit a local centre
  • Local tips: if you haven't already, join relevant Facebook groups to stay connected (e.g., Australians in America, Australians in New York)
Learn more