Moving to the USA: Ultimate Relocation Guide & Checklist

Do you also have an American dream of moving to the States and being a part of a country where all individuals have equal rights to pursue happiness?

The United States is one of the world’s greatest cultural, political, and economic powers, well recognized for its history, culture, and famous historical sites. The country also has advantages in healthcare, education, and career opportunities in addition to its career opportunities and support for private enterprises and corporations.

If you are one of those dreamers who seek new opportunities and hopes by moving to America, IMovingTo will ensure that your new life, initiating with the international relocation process, will start pleasantly without any complications.

How to Obtain a Visa to Move to the USA?

In order to enter the country, you need to apply for a US immigration visa at the US embassy or consulate in your nation. The US Department of State generally grants American visas. Nevertheless, it has a face-expiration date ranging from 6 months to 10 years, depending on the US visa you’re applying for.

The following is a list of the numerous work visas that are available in the US:

  • H visa – for specialists looking for work in a particular industry that requires a college degree or equivalent.
  • L Visas – available to intracompany transferees who intend to work for their present employer in the US in a managerial or executive capacity.
  • O Visa – for people with exceptional ability or achievement in business, athletics, motion pictures, and television, as well as the sciences, the arts, and education.
  • P visa – for artists, entertainers, or athletes.

You will require an immigrant visa, commonly known as a “Green Card,” if you intend to immigrate permanently to the United States.

The following documentation is required to apply for a US visa for most nonimmigrant visas:

  • Filled-out DS-160 form
  • A valid passport and confirmation of the $160 visa application fee
  • 1 passport size photo

What is a Green Card?

You can live and work permanently in the US if you have a “Green Card,” also known as a “Permanent Resident Card.” Depending on your particular scenario, the USA provides a wide range of green card choices.

  • Family-based immigration program – Offers green cards for selected relatives of US citizens and lawful permanent residents.
  • Employment-based immigration – This category applies to green cards for permanent residence, employment of temporary foreign workers, and immigrant investors.
  • Diversity Visa Lottery – Annually, a limited number of green cards are granted to people from countries with low rates of immigration who satisfy the criteria for the Diversity Visa Program (e.g., green card lottery).
  • Specific Immigrant Visa – It offers a Green card to various categories, such as asylum seekers, former US government employees, and those with family members living overseas.

Basics of the American Healthcare System

In the USA, healthcare is quite expensive. The US has a combination of commercial medical insurance and 2 government-run programs known as Medicare and Medicaid, unlike many other developed nations where universal health care offers a baseline level of coverage.

  • Older Americans over 65 can enroll in the Medicare program, which is a tax-supported health insurance program run by the US government.
  • Medicaid is a form of health insurance used by low-income people, notably expectant mothers and families with young children. It consists of a coordinated effort funded by state and federal taxes.

Besides, you can take advantage of private health insurance, usually provided by work or school. Your company has the choice of paying the entire cost of your health insurance or asking you to pay a part of it.

When you arrive in the US, sign up with a primary care physician (PCP). Your PCP will be your primary contact for routine medical requirements, and they can advise you on any required treatments or tests.

Cost of Living for Expats in America

Depending on where you are moving and how you intend to live when you get there, the cost of living in the United States might vary as much as the size of the country. In the USA, a single person’s average cost of living is $3,189 monthly or $38,266 annually.

Regarding accommodation, at around $1.2 million, Bethesda, Maryland, an affluent suburb of Washington, D.C., is commonly considered to have the most inflated average listed home prices.

In and around major cities, it can be challenging to find affordable housing. Across the country, a single person’s rent equates to over $1,000 per month. Expect to pay between $1,300 and $1,500 a month in the Northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions, which include Wilmington, Philadelphia, Trenton, and Boston.

These numerical identifications will give you a rough idea of ​​the general cost of living in the United States.

  • Basic bills (Garbage, Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water) for small Apartment: $174.65  
  • Three-course meal for 2 individuals in a mid-range restaurant: $65
  • Monthly transport pass: $70   
  • Cinema ticket: $12

Moving Costs

It takes a long and expensive process to become a permanent resident of the US. It will require between $3000 and $12,000 to immigrate to the US, including all moving fees. Although moving abroad can be challenging, it can be a satisfying and enjoyable experience when done properly. The costs indicated below are some of the most important ones to consider as you prepare to relocate.

If you need to ship many things from your home country to the US, choose a professional shipping service or moving company. The first step in moving is packing your belongings.

Make sure you have all the necessary visas and vaccinations for entering the USA, and set up your short-term accommodation in advance because you’ll need time to select a house to rent or buy.

How to Relocate Your Household Goods & Pets in the USA?

Moving household belongings to the US is usually duty-free. Furniture, artwork, electronics, and similar items, as well as professional books and instruments, are considered to have household effects.

It may not be enough to simply state in your declaration that the items you are bringing into the US are “duty-free household effects.” For this reason, be sure to bring a detailed checklist of everything you bring in case a customs official asks for it.

Keep in mind that items like clothing, jewelry, and photographic equipment may require duty payments. However, taxes are typically waived if your items are one year or older.

You can choose between land, sea, or air transportation for your belongings.  While shipping cargo via plane is usually the most expensive option, it is typically the fastest way to acquire your belongings. The least expensive choice, in most cases, is to ship your belongings by boat, although the travel time to your destination may be quite long.

Regarding pets, animals are examined at the port of entry. They may be evaluated by a qualified veterinarian and kept for observation at the owner’s expense if they are thought to be carrying a dangerous disease.

So, if you have a dog, you will need to provide documentation proving that it has gotten all necessary immunizations and is rabies-free. In some states, your cat will also be required to have received a rabies vaccination. 

Opening a Bank Account & Managing Finances

You will need to open an American bank account to pay your bills and receive your salary after moving to America. Additionally, you need to open a checking account with a debit card so you can make purchases without constantly carrying cash.

Some US banks allow US non-citizens to create US bank accounts without a Social Security Number or remotely before coming to the US. This is not well known among US newcomers.

Depending on your US residence status, the procedure for creating an American bank account will differ. A passport is usually acceptable as identification. Most banks can provide you with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, enabling you to create an account if you don’t have a social security number.

US Federal Laws To Be Aware of Before Relocation

The main reason why people tend to turn to international moving companies is that it’s hard to find out specific laws by themselves. That’s why you should know that in addition to being a responsible resident of the United States, be sure to respect several standard regulations that are simple to remember, such as traffic laws (e.g., wearing a seatbelt, abstaining from driving after drinking, etc.).

The federal laws of the USA, including the tax code, labor legislation, and immigration regulations, should also be understood by foreign nationals.

Several variables will affect whether someone can enter the USA, which is known for its rigorous admission rules. Applying for a visa may take several months or even longer. Moreover, as state restrictions can vary, it could be wise to check them before moving.

There’s nothing to worry about, but it’s crucial to remember that the 52 states and jurisdictions have some varied laws. State or local laws only apply to residents of a specific area, while federal law applies to everyone in the USA.

In general, federal laws also cover critical issues such as:

  • Immigration regulation
  • Bankruptcy law
  • Laws related to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal anti-discrimination and civil rights laws guard against discrimination based on race, age, gender, and disability
  • Copyright and patent regulations

Pros & Cons of Moving to the USA


Strong diversity

America is commonly referred to as “a melting pot” as it is home to a vast range of cultures and languages that offer unique perspectives and delicious food.


Along with its diversified population, America also boasts a diverse natural landscape. From the warm Florida beaches and the gently rolling Appalachian Mountains to the chilly Minnesota winters and the soaring cliffs of the Rocky Mountains, America offers a wide variety of landscapes to experience and explore.


Among the numerous beautiful areas in the entire nation, it is home to 58 officially designated national parks and is available for camping, walking, fishing, and much more.

Career opportunities

The United States is a great environment to start a business or enhance your professional capabilities. Various communities promote an individual’s career development throughout many fields.


Furthermore, the majority of the headquarters of the biggest firms are located here, and the government constantly supports private enterprises.

Culinary culture


There are more than 600,000 restaurants in the USA, provide dishes from all over the world to suit every taste and budget. Professional, unique restaurateurs can be found in even tiny communities, delivering superb meals in a welcoming setting.


Undoubtedly, this is a nation that takes pride in its cuisine and sees even a simple breakfast as a chance to experiment with new flavors. The USA also sets the bar for excellent customer service. Polite workers gladly meet every need and desire with prompt service and a smile.


Measurement system

America uses the English system of measurements rather than the metric standard. In other words, be ready to use inches, feet, yards, miles, and pounds instead of the standard units in everyday experiences.

You must have a car

In the United States, owning an automobile is a requirement unless you reside in a densely crowded metropolis like New York.


Even the distances in the USA are so wide that going without a car is practically impossible. For instance, big stores are almost always far from residents, and public transportation can be more expensive and uncomfortable. Having a car will make it easier to move around to preferred locations.

Final Thoughts

If your future plans involve moving to the USA and sharing all the advantages associated with living in this country, IMovingTo will ease your tension throughout the relocation.

Our experienced team of professionals in the international moving industry will assist you in adjusting smoothly to your new environment.

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