Moving to the USA: 5 tips for a successful crossing

5min. leestijd

The USA is the most popular country to emigrate to in the world. This is also our experience at Schmidt Global Relocations: more than a quarter of our customers move to the USA every year. Because we know how much organising is involved in this, we’ve written this blog with 5 tips for a successful move to the United States.

1.Think about what you want and can take with you to the USA

What am I allowed to take to the USA? This is a question we often get. Our answer: a lot! Please see the Country Guide: United States on the website iammovers.org for the exact list. It explains in detail what you are allowed to take with you to the USA and what documentation you might need.

This list also contains products which are better left at home. The most notable being:

  • Alcohol: Some states in the USA do not allow the import of alcohol. And in other states you need a permit, or you have to pay import tax. Our tip: Leave alcohol in the Netherlands, use it during your goodbye party, and then buy new bottles in the USA to avoid unnecessary inspection by customs.
  • Weapons: despite the fact that you can buy a weapon every 500 metres in the USA, you cannot just take them with you from Europe. This is to protect their own weapons trade.
  • Cars: the USA also protects its own vehicle industry as much as possible. Wanting to take your car with you will be very expensive. As a result, it is often cheaper to buy a car there. Oldtimers (cars older than 25 years) can enter the USA under certain restrictions.
  • Most food, exotic animals, wildlife and gold are also on the list of ‘forbidden products’ to import.

2. Groupage transport: move your household contents to the USA at a lower cost

You can, of course, move your entire household contents to the USA, but perhaps it would be wiser to only take the essentials with you. This can make a huge difference to transport costs. We also advise you to request several quotations from international removal companies in plenty of time and to research different transport methods. Groupage transport is the most popular transport option among our customers for moving to the USA. This is where several small loads are combined into one large load, making it possible to share the cost of a sea container with several households. The disadvantage is the longer transfer time, making it more important to start planning on time.

3. Collect all necessary documents

A lot of documentation is needed to permanently/temporarily live and/or work in the USA. Start collecting these documents on time and make sure they are translated into English. This speeds up the customs process considerably. Because every situation is different, our Personal Move Managers are happy to help you put together all the necessary documentation on time. We also advise you to make copies of every document: both digitally and on paper. In the unlikely event of a piece of luggage being lost, for example.

4. Have your household contents professionally packed and avoid extra costs at customs

Because of the political climate in the U.S., in recent years the American customs have become much stricter regarding importing goods. On average, one in two containers is checked. Because these checks are unexpected, the costs are not included by default. So, if your container is checked, you have to pay the costs yourself. To reduce the chance of this happening, it is highly recommended that you have your household effects professionally packed by a recognised removal company.

5. Choose a specialist in the USA who will unpack and assemble your household contents

If, after the move, you don’t feel like, or simply don’t have the time to assemble your furniture yourself or hang up lamps, mirrors and TVs on the wall, we advise you to call an American handyman. Most removal partners in the USA do not offer assembling services for furniture they have transported.

A Schmidt Global Relocations’ Move Manager is always ready to help

Schmidt Global Relocations will gladly help ensure your move to the USA runs smoothly. We will connect you with a Move Manager, who you can turn to with all your questions. They will also ensure that all the necessary documentation is collected on time, arrange for the transport of your household contents, and they will also help you after the move.

If you have any questions after reading this blog, or would like more information about a carefree move to the USA, please contact us. Our Move Managers will be happy to help you.

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