5 Must-Have Phone Apps for Immigrants

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Life in the United States can seem incredibly confusing from the moment you arrive. From our greetings and culture to our healthcare system and grocery stores, everything in America will be very alien to you. Understanding a completely new way of life is going to take some time. However, there are tools out there to help speed up this process and are readily available anytime, anywhere!

Whether you’re new to the USA or are still trying to settle in, here’s Golden Beacon USA’s round up of the five best apps for immigrants. You can download all of the apps below for free, although some may have premium features that require a small fee or subscription to access. Each app is available on both the App Store and Google Play.


If you’re struggling with the language barrier, then we can’t recommend Tarjimly enough. Tarjimly means ‘translate for me’ and was founded in 2017 in response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the US Refugee & Travel Ban.

The app allows any multilingual speaker to remotely volunteer their time and skills to act as a translator and interpreter for any immigrant or displaced person. A refugee, asylum seeker, or humanitarian worker can request a translation for a specific language. Then Tarjimly uses its algorithm to select the ideal volunteer. The volunteer is connected via live chat and can exchange texts and documents with clients and even accept video calls.


This app acts as a virtual panic button for undocumented immigrants experiencing an ICE raid anywhere in the US. In an emergency, family, friends, and immigration lawyers can all be contacted quickly and securely.

A user can add pre-written messages into the app, which are secured with a PIN or personal identification number. If a user is in a compromising situation, they can send all the messages with the quick tap of a button instead of typing them out individually. Once all the messages are sent, the app’s data is erased. You can also share your location privately, making it easier for your Defense Network to defend you.

Unit Converter

Did you know that less than 10 countries — including the United States — use the Fahrenheit scale for measuring temperature, and only three countries measure distance in inches and feet? Chances are, you’re used to the metric system. Sadly, most Americans aren’t.

Unit Converter quickly solves this problem. The app quickly calculates the conversion on your phone, making it easier for you to gauge the temperature outside or set your oven correctly for baking.

And what’s more, the free version of the app still converts plenty of the most common conversions including currency, area, data, mileage, power, pressure and speed.

USCIS: Civics Test Study Tools

This app, made by the USCIS Department of Homeland Security, is the perfect tool for anyone studying for their naturalization civics exams. The app provides flash cards on 100 different civics questions, covering topics like U.S. history and geography.

You also have the option to take a practice civics test to see if you can pass the real exam. A must-have app to calm any pre-test nerves!


OK we’re cheating a bit here and we’re going to put three apps in one. Many of these applications may already be downloaded onto your phone, but it’s useful to have all three as handy shortcuts on your home screen.

First, Google Translate. Chances are you’ve probably used this app before, as it’s a great resource with a straightforward interface that translates over 90 languages instantly. It’s not always grammatically perfect, but it’s ideal if you want to be understood in an unfamiliar language in real time.

Google Maps and Google Streetview are perfect for anybody moving to a new city, whether you are from the USA or not. You can look up local bus and train routes and view the waiting times at each stop. If you’re feeling hungry, you can check the opening times and menus of restaurants nearby. You can even download maps ahead of time to save your data.

Living in an entirely new country means having a lot of questions. Google Assistant has the answers for you (literally!) Ask the Assistant anything and it’ll search the answer for you and read back the top result. This is incredibly useful if a local person is describing something to you and you want them to show it to you on Google, but you don’t want to give them your phone. Simply ask if they’ll repeat their words into your phone’s microphone and Google Assistant will take care of the rest.

New to America and looking for guidance? That’s where we come in. Let Golden Beacon USA help make your transition as easy as possible, even in the midst of COVID-19! With our e-learning videos on American culture and local resources, career coaching, ESL tutoring, and resource referrals, we’ll have you feeling at home in your new country in no time! Contact us today at laura@goldenbeaconusa.com or call or text (866) 403-7173. We look forward to hearing from you!