Expats working in the USA earn an average 60% more than American workers, according to new research.
Around 3 million expats move to the States on working visas each year, says a study by expat vehicle provider International Autosource.
Despite earning high wages, sorting out their financial affairs is one of the biggest challenges as credit scores from their home countries do not follow them to the USA.
Expats explained that this led to problems in renting or buying a home, buying a car and opening bank accounts.
The report found almost a fifth had issues with credit scores, a similar amount had difficulties securing somewhere to live and 43% had problems with sorting out the right paperwork required by financial institutions.
Money was not an issue as eight out of 10 expats earned an average $129,000 – almost two-thirds the salary of an average US worker.
The data also identified where most US expats arrived from – 16% originated from The Philippines, and 12% each came from Britain, Brazil, Australia and Mexico.
The top expat destinations were Texas (20%), California (18%), followed by Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
“Most expats find they are anonymous when they come to the USA,” said a spokesman for the firm.
“They have no financial history and can only prove who they are with a new social security number or driving licence. Unless everything is paid in cash, getting by financially is not easy as companies do not want to entertain them as customers.”
Expat credit scoring
Although most developed countries have some form of credit scoring, the information is not swapped between countries, so even if an expat as a spotless financial history in one country, it means nothing in another.
“Not having a credit history is a huge disadvantage in America, as companies base all their financial decisions on the score,” said the spokesman.
“You have to show them that you are someone who pays their bills and a trustworthy and reliable person to give credit or you get nowhere fast.”
The spokesman explained that the concept of a global workforce with expats moving between countries is outpacing the way financial institutions work.
“Moving to the USA has many positives for expats in terms of money and lifestyle, but can still be a challenge and at this time in their lives, many expats need the support of their employers to ease the first few months of moving.”