There are numerous sources of information out there for those who are looking into the immigration process or are currently going through it. What is less common, though, is information on how to make the most of your new life once you are through the immigration process.

That is the reason for this series of entries: To help you make a smooth transition into the United States. These tips come straight from a fellow recent immigrant.

When you first get into the United States, you should:

Obtain transportation: Whether it is a car, truck, motorcycle, or even bicycle, you should obtain reliable transportation that will work for you. Obviously, for motor vehicles, you will have to wait until you have gotten your driver’s license since most states have laws that will prohibit a vehicle being sold to an individual without a driver’s license. Some vendors offer deals to those with H1 Visas, so keep an eye out for those.

Apply for a secured credit card: Credit history is extremely important in the U.S., and a secured credit card is a fantastic way to start building that up. Your score will build faster if you don’t use the maximum amount on your card; try to keep your balance under 50% of the maximum. Credit cards can be used almost everywhere in the U.S., so in many cases, it makes sense to carry a card instead of cash, especially since credit card theft is many times easier to deal with than theft of cash. With a card, you will also be able to do online shopping, which is also extremely common in the U.S. If you will be here for 5-10 years, then it’s even more important to build up a credit history. You will most likely need to purchase a car at some point, or even sign a new lease on an apartment, and having that credit history will make the entire process much easier.

Hopefully, these tips help you or your loved ones get through the immigration process smoothly and help you transition into life in the U.S.