Denisse: I moved to the United States September 2002. So almost 11 years ago.
Why did you decide to move to the United States?
Denisse: My aunt moved here in 2000, and then my sister decided to come to UNCC and study here. So, when I decided to start my master, I decided to come where the family was already living.
How did you get your visa/greencard/citizenship?
Denisse: First I came with a Tourist Visa to see if I really liked it here (Charlotte, NC) and to see if UNCC was the University I wanted to be. When I decided to proceed, I had to go back to Perú and apply in the embassy for my student visa. When my student visa was approved, I came back to the US. I was with a student visa for a little over a year, until my employer helped me to obtain my work Visa (it took only 2 months for my work visa to be approved with the help of an attorney). When my visa was approved, I applied for my greencard and I got it in 1 year. After being a resident (Greencard holder) for 5 years, I applied for my citizenship and I received it in a couple of months.
What was the most difficult part of your immigration?
Denisse: To get all the papers that they asked me to obtain from Peru.
You’ve been living here for a while. What do you like the most?
Denisse: I like to be safe. In Peru you can’t walk with your purse on your shoulder, you can’t drive with your purse in the passenger seat (you always have to hide it), because somebody can break the window and steal it. And also, here, the people respect you when you are driving.
Is there anything that you miss from home other than family?
Denisse: I miss the food and being able to walk from one place to another (here in Charlotte, you don’t have many sidewalks).
What techniques worked best for you to learn English?
Denisse: I listened to the radio and watched TV a lot. That’s what helped me to get used to the accent of the people.
Looking back at your migration to the US, would you have done anything differently?
Denisse: I would have brought all my documents and papers (birth certificate, school documents, and college documents) with me (already translated from Spanish to English, because here they require everything to be translated and certified).
I didn’t bring them with me, so I always had to ask a family member to do that for me in Peru.
What is one piece of advice that you would like to give other immigrants about life in the USA?
Denisse: Learn some English before you come.
Other blog posts you might be interested in:
How to Jump Start Your School English: For those of you who learned English in school but never really needed it in life until now, this article will help you to dust off your vocabulary and to prepare yourself for your trip or migration to the US.
5 Ways to Get a Green Card: The five most common ways to obtain a green card for the USA. The permanent resident card makes living and working in the US a lot easier than being on a work visa.