What to Bring
You should copy all of your important documents before you come to the U.S. and leave copies with family or friends at home in case you need them sent to you.
You should plan to bring the following with you to the U.S. (do not pack these documents in your luggage, keep them with you at all times!):
Passport with entry visa
DS-2019 form (in most cases this will be enclosed in an envelope that the U.S. Consulate has given you)
Proof of finances to support your stay in the U.S. (if you are supported by your department you should bring your department’s offer letter)
Credit card Information
International and home country driver’s licenses
Certified copies of your birth certificate and any national identification card, if applicable
NOTE: Remember, you must bring the originals of these documents with you to the U.S.
Get copies of your immunization records (Measles, Mumps, Rubella [MMR] is required). You will need to provide these if there is an outbreak.
Bring prescriptions for any regular medications (plus several months’ worth of these medications).
Get extra eyeglasses if you need them – these are expensive in the U.S. and are often not covered by insurance.
Get your dental work done – dentistry in the U.S. is expensive and often not covered by insurance.
Buy an emergency travel insurance policy to cover you for medical emergencies if your health insurance is not yet in effect.
You should arrive with $2000 to $3000 in U.S. currency to cover initial costs. These funds will be used for your arrival expenses such as taxi, meals, supplies, apartment deposits, and other personal needs.
For your protection it is best to carry any large sums of money in the form of traveler's checks (be sure to sign your name to each one) or card, NOT CASH. You should also carry a small amount of money in U.S. dollars.
If you bring a bank draft or a foreign check to open an account, you may not be able to draw upon it for 2 to 3 weeks; so do not rely upon these funds for immediate cash.
After you have established an account, you may wire money directly from your home bank to your Albuquerque bank. Since wiring fees are expensive, consider wiring only large sums. Wiring money usually takes three to five business days. In addition, exchanging foreign currency is difficult and can be expensive and time consuming, so you should avoid bringing foreign currency with you for use in the U.S.