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Discover the United States of America

Prepare for expat living with our handy guides to life, work and managing your money in the USA.

Want to move to the United States of America?

Spanning 6 time zones and with climates that range from arctic to desert, the USA is a vast, diverse land. Each of the country’s 50 states has its own unique character – from the energy of New York to the striking beaches and rolling vineyards of California. Those moving there are drawn by exceptional opportunities like San Francisco's tech scene or the academia of Boston. Across the country, you can improve your standard of living. However, you may find you have to work much longer hours and have less leisure time to make the most of your money. Whether you’re looking for top professional opportunities, bucket list adventures or a great place to raise a family, the American Dream awaits.

Working in the United States of America

A driving force behind the robust and diverse economy of the USA is the belief in the American Dream, the idea that anyone can prosper through hard work. The business culture values innovation, entrepreneurs, and a strong work ethic, often characterised by long working hours. There's a notable demand for skilled workers in the medical and IT sectors. The business culture operates on speed and directness, with decision-making power mostly resting with senior managers. Work-life often extends into social settings, and workers generally put in more than 40 working hours per week, with less annual leave than their European counterparts. Women equally share the same rights as men, and management is relatively egalitarian. Business hours usually run from 09:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday.

A handshake is the customary business greeting, and business attire varies based on the company and location. Business gifts are not customary, and some companies even prohibit gift acceptance. Salaries significantly vary depending on job description, experience, and location, with higher rates in the major cities. Long-term expats with large corporations often receive generous packages that include housing, education allowances, and medical insurance.

Explore life in the USA

What's on your moving abroad checklist? We break down the essentials including salaries, education and accommodation in the UK to help you prepare.

The USA entices expats with enhanced career opportunities and a high standard of living. Its appealing local atmosphere, quality educational institutions, and healthcare systems, along with the stunning landscapes, encourage many to settle permanently.

Should you get an offshore bank account?

An offshore account can be useful for expats looking to keep some money in a central location, rather than one specific country or region. 

Our Expat Bank Account is an offshore account that comes with a range of benefits, including:

  • A Global Money Account - Make quick and easy payments across borders.
  • Relationship manager - Someone to help you and your family manage your money.
  • Online and on mobile - Manage your banking, FX and investments wherever, whenever.

You can set your account up in USD, EUR or GBP and you can hold it alongside accounts in the country you're leaving or the one you're moving to.

Top tips

Here's what expats have told us about living in the U.S.

Be prepared for massive changes in the weather. It can be very hot, very cold or very wet!
Have a cushion of savings you can turn to if certain things take longer than expected (immigration papers, finding a place to live, etc.).
If you have children, plan so as to live in a place with a good public school as they are locally administered: a good school means a good community. Make sure that you have good health insurance.

You might be interested in

Discover how offshore bank accounts can help you manage your international finances.
Looking to build better financial future abroad? Discover our plan to help you get there.
Read our 10-step guide to moving abroad to make sure you've got everything covered.

Additional information

    All Expat Explorer survey data, including the tips in quotation marks, is provided by HSBC.

    All other content is provided by, Globe Media Ltd and was last updated in July 2023. HSBC accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of this information.

    This information is purely for orientation and to inspire further research, it does not constitute advice and no liability is accepted to recipients acting independently on its contents. The views expressed are subject to change.

    Always remember to ensure you're aware of and comply with any laws in your host country or country of origin that apply to gift giving and bribery.

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