International migrants are moving to the USA in droves – one every 37 seconds. They are attracted by the abundance of possibilities and the incredible vastness of the country.

For centuries, moving to the USA has been a dream shared by people from all over the world. Even now, after the country has lost some of its reputation as the land of freedom and unlimited opportunity, the USA exudes a certain fascination on people moving to the USA.

Thousands of expatriates, entrepreneurs, investors, business people and adventurers arrive every year to make their dream of moving to the USA come true. This makes the United States one of the most diverse nations in the world, with a significant share of its 313 million inhabitants speaking a language other than English at home.

Moving to the USA?

Grab our FREE Guide to get the low down on all things USA before you get there.

We offer all types of shipping to the United States. Our shared services depart on average every 8-12 weeks, whilst our sole use container and LCL services depart weekly. Air freight services are generally a daily service.

We will forward you all the necessary documentation for completion prior to your relocation so that we can pass this information on to our destination agents prior to the arrival of your effects. This will then ensure you a stress free customs process and onward delivery to your new home.

What to expect when shipping to the USA

As well as providing reliable moving services, we seek to inform you about important factors that may impact your move in each country. The main point to keep in mind when you are shipping to the United States of America is that your items are likely to be inspected.

Following 911 and the introduction of Anti Terrorism Laws, the USA have tightened up the Customs clearance process for all personal effects shipments. A large majority of shipments are inspected on arrival in the USA.

Whilst you are able to pack your own cartons please ensure that you take a detailed inventory of the items packed in the cartons. Customs will more than likely inspect any Packed by Owner carton which can delay the clearance of your items and potentially include additional charges which are not part of your removal contract. As a general rule Customs prefer Packed by Removalist shipments. Whilst this doesn’t guarantee that Customs will not inspect the shipment it is their preferred packing method.

Visas

Before making your move to the USA you must have a valid visa in place. If you have no visa when your personal effects arrive in the USA there will be major issues with Customs and more than likely additional charges for items such as storage and administration charges until the items are cleared – if at all.

When moving to the USA the authorities class people in two main groups for visa purposes. These groups are immigrants and non-immigrants. There are several categories within these two main groups and we will give a brief overview of the most important ones below.

If you don’t plan on settling permanently in the USA and you are moving there for a stated, limited period of time you fall under the category of a non-immigrant visa. The sub-categories that fall under the non-immigrant visa depend on the various reasons people might be moving to the country.

If you are planning on moving to the USA permanently you fall under the immigrant visa category. The Green Card (officially called the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program) is the most well known immigrant visa and is highly sought-after. To find more information about this visa visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

Other visa categories are for employment-based immigration, EB 1-5. If you have been offered a job in the USA, your prospective employer needs to prove that there are no available USA workers to fill your potential position. They will also need to prove that hiring a foreign employee will not put the wages and working conditions of USA workers in similar positions in jeopardy. There are some people who are exempt from this rule. This includes multinational executives or managers, foreign investors (EB 5), researchers, outstanding professors and people with high-profile achievements in a certain field (EB 1).

If you are immigrating to the USA you will need to register before your arrival as required by The Electronic System for Travel Authorization. This can be done via the Department of Homeland Security on the ESTA homepage. To qualify for entry using a Visa Waiver Program, a valid, machine-readable passport must be presented by every traveller (children inclusive). For nationals of some countries, an electronic passport can be presented.

Further Information

Storage
Insurance
Wrapping & Packing
Moving Special Items
Home Cleaning & Gardening

Useful Forms

Customs Regulations
Customs Form 3299