The famous Fifth Avenue, Central Park, Rockefeller Center - this is what those who first come to one of the most desirable cities in America, well known to us from American and Russian films, are eager to see. But for a migrant, very different values are important - where to find housing, how to get a job and organize life in such a way as to spend as little money as possible. Russians in New York have created entire districts with their own internal way of life.
New York is a city of skyscrapers and the center of the country's financial life, consisting of five districts:
Between different parts of the city there are many tunnels and bridges, traffic along which does not stop day or night. Only the Bronx is located on the mainland, all other areas are on the islands.
Life in New York for Russians is not too different from that of other migrants. The main concern is housing and employment. Finding a good quality apartment or room for reasonable money is as difficult as finding a high-paying job. Many people rent housing for several people at once.
There are some other peculiarities:
The high congestion of city streets is the cause of constant noise and smog, which local residents begin to notice only when they leave for the countryside.
How many Russians live in New York is impossible to say for sure: many of them do not participate in the population census and do not conclude rental contracts. In addition, if in the 80s and 90s of the last century, Jews and their non-Jewish relatives who fled from Soviet oppression in the United States were called "Russians", then in the early 2000s they began to include all legal migrants from the CIS countries and those who come with nonimmigrant visas hoping to somehow stay.
According to the Census Bureau (Bureau of Statistics), in 2021 the Russian-speaking population in the suburbs of New York is 1.5 million people, in the city itself - about 600 thousand (8% of the total number of people, living in the metropolis).
Most of all here are Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians. Today the metropolis is the first city in the United States in terms of the number of Russian population.
It is a long and unpredictable process to enter the United States according to all the rules, having received the appropriate permission. And if you face insurmountable obstacles along the way, you can ask yourself an alternative - how to get to the United States without a visa?
There is one legal way to come without a visa to the United States, but not everyone can use it. The program of visa-free travel to the United States, or in English Visa Waver Program, has 38 countries. These are the member states of the European Union, in addition to Cyprus, Croatia, Romania, Poland and Bulgaria, a number of other European states, Australia and New Zealand, Asian countries - South Korea, Brunei, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and Chile. Russia, of course, is not a participant.
The purposes of staying within the borders of the country should be as follows:
Possible stay is limited to 3 months and you must have the following documents:
But that's not all. A traveler who is a citizen of a country from the Visa Waiver Program, with a second citizenship of countries that are questioned by the American authorities, for example, Iran or Sudan, will not receive permission to visit. Persons with convictions, citizens who were ever deported from the United States in the past, or who could potentially remain in the country, will also be denied entry into the United States. Such tourists need to obtain a visa in the United States in a general manner.
In the case of a visit by invitation, indicate the personal data of a US citizen or resident. Then a fee is charged - 14 US dollars, and the free path to the country is open.
There are two more countries, in addition to members of the Visa Waver Program, for whose citizens it is possible to travel without a visa. These are Bermuda and Canada. Here, the time spent in the United States increases to six months. At the same time, it is forbidden to get a job, enter, seeking to reunite with the family or invest in the economy of the United States. Persons with convictions or those involved in terrorist activities are denied entry.
My name is Oksana Kochesheva, for three years I have lived in a city that millions of people dream of visiting. I remember this time with warmth, but I hardly want to move there again. If you want to know about real life in New York, read my story.
Many, like me, want to conquer America one day: build a brilliant career and live in Manhattan. It seems that it is enough to just come to the City of the Big Apple and life in New York will turn out by itself. But it’s not that simple. Read my story about how I took the risk of moving to New York and what came of it.
I ended up in the USA because of my mother, who was receiving treatment in this country. She lived in a remote village in New Jersey. I went to New York to try my luck in the big city and to be close to my mother.
For several years in New York, I managed to live in different parts of the city. The very first was Harlem. To be honest, this is a terrible place. Why was I there? When I was living with my mother in New Jersey, I accidentally found an ad that indicated the address - Upper Manhattan, 125 Street. I did not know that Upper Manhattan is already Harlem. The apartment was owned by an elderly Russian emigrant. At first it seemed to me that everything was fine, I gave him the money for the room and began to look for work. Very soon I regretted that I had rented a room from him. The man turned out to be extremely unpleasant: he was addicted to hypnosis and, at the age of eighty, showed me excessive attention. And the area was dysfunctional, with a high crime rate.
I soon moved to Queens, the Greek area, which became my favorite area of New York. Then I settled down near the famous Brighton Beach - a good place for Russians, it feels like you are surrounded by your own people. Then I lived near the Brooklyn Bridge.
I moved frequently due to high rents. I paid seven hundred dollars a month for a room in Harlem. Manhattan is an expensive area, especially its southern part, it is cheaper to live in Brooklyn and Queens. But that was more than ten years ago, now it is still more expensive: for a small studio in Queens, you will have to shell out about three thousand dollars.
Due to the fact that I was in the United States on a tourist visa, I could not count on official employment. My friends offered to try myself in the modeling business. They said that due to my tall stature and good physique, I have a chance to succeed in this area. I agreed and came to the casting. The modeling agency received me well, promised a lot and took decent money for my portfolio. As a result, I was given unprofessional photos in poor quality. Our cooperation ended when I was left without money and the promised portfolio.
With my diploma in philology, I could not find a job in my specialty in New York, but I was striving for it. I completed the CELTA courses and received a certificate that confirms that I can teach English. Although the program was very intensive, I enjoyed studying. Of the thirteen people in the group, only two were foreigners, including me. The native speakers took the course in order to teach English abroad. I was very glad that, according to the final score, I was among the best students.
Without documents, I was able to get a job as a bartender. It is not difficult to find a position in the service sector. I didn't really like this job, but I had no choice, since I didn't want to take money from my mother. The bar also paid well in cash. Thanks to this work, I was able to survive in New York and meet new friends, with some we still communicate.
The large territory of the United States allows a tourist, traveling around the country, to find himself in almost all climatic conditions. It is an incredible combination of culture, nature and lifestyle. You can go sunbathing on the beach or see the sights of the metropolis. The country is called universal, it will suit absolutely everyone, thanks to the wide range of entertainment. What is the easiest and right way to come to the USA on vacation from Russia?
Visas to the United States are issued at the American Embassy in Russia. They are:
Tourist visa is perhaps the most demanded one. It is issued to those citizens who go on vacation, on personal matters, etc. Such a visa has a category "B1". For short business trips, a B2 visitor visa is issued. Often visas for these purposes are combined. In this case, one general document is issued, which already has a category B1/B2.
Consider the step-by-step instructions for personal visa processing. If you decide not to contact the travel agency and other intermediary companies, the procedure will be as follows:
Attention! The official website has a warning that it is possible to generate a receipt only on a computer. This feature is not available for tablets and other devices.
Depending on the type of visa, additional information may be required. For example, if you had a criminal record, you will need to provide a certificate of them.
Consular fees must be paid prior to invitation to interview. In case of cancellation, the fee is not refundable. The amount of payment depends on the type of visa. In 2021, a Category B business and tourist visa costs $ 160. You can pay the fee at Russian post offices in cash at the dollar rate or by credit card. The fee is paid separately for each person, including children. The receipt for payment is valid for a year.
New York is considered one of the most attractive cities for employment. And not only in the USA, but all over the world. An obvious plus of the Big Apple is that work in New York is always available for Russians. Both for qualified specialists and for people without work experience.
There are two main problems in New York. First, it is difficult for citizens of the countries of the former USSR to get here. Secondly, it is expensive to live here. And the weather is not very good here. High humidity, typical of the entire east coast of the United States, in addition to the cold.
You can search for a job in New York only if you have a legal status of being in this country. It can be an H1-B work visa or a green card. Both documents are very difficult to obtain.
Another problem is housing. Now, for less than $ 1,400 a month, finding a decent one-bedroom apartment or studio is almost impossible, even in areas such as Far Rockaway or Jamaica. Only semi-basements converted into apartments or separate rooms are cheaper.
On the other hand, in New York it is quite possible to make $ 700 a week in cash. This is the main advantage of this city - there is a lot of highly paid work, even for unskilled personnel.
Where can I find fresh vacancies? On the Internet, of course. It is also possible in newspapers, but this method is used less and less every year. If a foreigner already has a green card, then he can find vacancies in New York through recruitment agencies.
If we are talking about unskilled vacancies, then visitors from the CIS countries find it easier to find work in New York on the craiglist website. om. There are vacancies for urgent recruitment. Highly qualified professionals can look for jobs on monster sites. om and indeed. om.
More than 200 thousand Russian-speaking citizens live in New York. This is the largest community of immigrants from post-Soviet countries in the United States. There is even a separate Russian newspaper in New York, RusRek, to publish news about the life of the community and place advertisements. In addition to the printed version, this edition has a website - rusrek. om. It hosts a lot of vacancies in Russian.
Contacting a recruiting agency