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Hi all,

I from Australia and am considering moving to the US. I know the meaning of each of the above visas but other than the fact that the first 2 are temporary and employment-based visas and the last one is permanent, I was wondering what's the difference between these visas in terms of cost of living. Specifically I'm looking into the following aspects:

  • Any income tax difference i.e., do I need to pay more tax as a temporary resident? Any tax deduction (e.g., childcare cost) that I'm not eligible as a temporary resident?
  • Can I buy a property while on E3/H1B? Can I apply for a mortgage loan? If not, can I buy totally with cash? Would I have to pay more land tax as a temporary resident?
  • I know public primary school is free to US citizens, would my kids be eligible too? I know it may vary depending on school, but generally do I need to pay more than the locals do for private schools?
  • Health insurance. Do I need to pay more for insurance? I heard family health insurance are generally part of employment renumeration package so I don't need to buy separately, is that right?

I've just started considering the move so still learning a lot of things. Any help would be appreciated! Also if there is anything I should consider please let me know.

Thanks
 

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As far as taxes go, you'll be on precisely the same basis as any other resident of the US. No differences in rates or deductions.

You can purchase property, though any mortgage you obtain may be limited to the term of your visa. (Varies by bank.) Many banks want to see a good year or two of "credit history" before considering you for a loan (and credit history is pretty much limited to the US).

Public school is free to all children living within the district. And health insurance should be the same as for anyone else - especially if you're getting insurance through your employer.
 

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Hi,

We are here on an E3 visa. Going into our third year.

Tax rates are the same but we have found we are unable to gain the child tax credit as our children don't qualify for SSN. We could apply for ITIN's for them, but you aren't able to use the ITIN for the tax credit, so it's kind of redundant. It's annoying as the tax credit is $2,000 per child.

We bought a house after being here for 1 year. We had NO credit history or even a US credit card. But our employer (college athletics) connected as with their bank and we were able to build a relationship with them. Our mortgage was classed as "in house" at a slightly higher interest rate and we also put down a substantial deposit - almost 45%.

We have since bought our 2nd house and our 2nd mortgage is with a different bank. Again we knew the owner of this bank so I'm sure we managed to skip many of the processes.

Public school is totally free.

Our health insurance is also through our employer and a very good policy. Heads up, even great policies are awful compared to Australia's health system. Just be prepared.

Good luck.
 
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