Moving to the USA


Delivery timescales

Prohibited and restricted items

Every country has its own rules and regulations surrounding prohibited and restricted items. It’s important to be aware of these prior to the move to avoid any delays.
The U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection (CPB) control the import of goods into America. Any items seen as a potential threat to the health and safety of people, animals and the natural habitat (including but not limited to) may not be allowed to enter the country, or may be required to undergo further investigation.

Important to be aware of is Importer Security Filing (ISF) – paperwork which is required by Customs up-front before shipment is allowed. This is a different process to shipping to other countries and dictates that shipment of goods will not take place until there is a ‘match’ across paperwork. Any errors or delays in this leads to a hefty fine. Don’t worry too much as we ensure this paperwork is all present and correct on your behalf, but important to be aware of the requirements. Please note this applies to goods imported by sea only.

We can provide further information if you require it – please get in touch and we’ll be happy to advise.


The USA is a popular destination for immigrants offering a very high quality of life, a vast range opportunities and excellent health care and educational facilities. American culture is a veritable melting pot of different nationalities, cultures and customs. Known as the land of opportunity, America attracts those looking to follow their dreams and achieve success. Popular destinations for migrants to settle in the United States include New York, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

One of the strongest economic powers in the world the United States accounts for almost 50% of global military spending and holds considerable political, cultural and ideological weight around the world. The main industries in America include; motor vehicles, aerospace, steel and petroleum.

The process for migrating to the USA can be difficult to navigate as there are very strict procedures and vetting processes in place. To live and work in the US you will need to apply for a visa, of which there are many different options. For a full break down of each type of visa and the criteria for eligibility see here.

The healthcare system within America can also take a while to get used to, especially if you are migrating from a country that has a universal health system such as the NHS. For those not used to the cost of the healthcare system in the US it can seem relatively high. Expats should also be aware that living costs and house prices can dramatically vary from state to state and will depend upon where you ultimately choose to settle within the country. Further education prices can also be quite high within America which is an issue you should carefully consider if you are relocating with children.

When importing your goods to America, household goods can be imported duty free if they have been owned for at least a year before arriving in the USA. Transit times take around 8-11 weeks via the East Coast and 11-14 weeks via the West Coast. If you are planning on transporting a motor vehicle into the US you should be aware that there are strict emission standards and only vehicles that have been manufactured in the USA can be imported with your household goods.

If you are planning on emigrating to the United States and have questions about your removals needs, we’re here to help! Simply get in touch. E: enquiries@squab.co.uk T: 0845 4680 160

Don’t forget to take a look at our handy checklist as a guide to help with organising your move. There’s additional space for you to add your own notes, as every move is different.


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