Hero image

Compare removal quotes

Get connected to top-rated movers

Free - No obligation

Moving to the USA

Moving to the United States is an experience desired by many. However, moving to the United States can be not so easy. Administrative procedures, applying for a visa, finding a job and finding accommodation, are some of the items to solve. Moreover, the formalities for moving to the USA are many, so it is better to be well prepared. Read more in this complete guide to move to the USA from the UK.

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Table of Contents

    What is the Cost of Moving to the USA?

    While the US is a long way from the UK in distance, you may be surprised to know that cheap international shipping does exist. The average cost of a USA move is in fact between £1,600 and £4,000. The United States is protective of its immigration and organizing a removal requires several procedures and regulations to be followed.

    Price Overseas Removals USA

    The table below shows the estimated costs for shipping containers of 20 ft and 40 ft to the most popular cities when moving to the United States. Also, see our article on rates for an international move for more details.

    Destination Port20ft Shipping Container 40ft Shipping Container
    New York£1,650 – £1,824£3,135 – £3,466
    Chicago £2,200 – £2,560£3,050 – £3,250
    Los Angeles £1,745 – £2,228£3,350 – £3,750
    San Francisco
    £2,000 – £2,350£2,998 – £3,200
    Miami£1,538 – £1,750£1,893 – £2,120
    Houston £1,169 – £1,450£1,806 – £2,115

    Find Now the Best International Removals Companies to the USA

    Planning a relocation to the USA can be time-consuming and you’d most likely prefer to focus on other aspects of the move. That’s why partnering with an international removal company, will allow you to rest assured knowing your belongings are being well taken care of. Let us know how we can best serve you by filling out the free quote request form – you’ll receive up to 6 personalised quotes from trusted professionals waiting to assist you!

    Sea Shipping Costs

    The most cost-effective mode of transport

    Having your personal goods transported by sea container is the optimal solution for the first phase of the journey, from the port of departure in the UK to the port of destination close to your new city in the USA.

    To further transport your furniture and all your belongings to the final city of destination, you can opt for rail transport or moving truck. Your international mover expert will make sure to help you choose the best solution available at the best price.

    The size of the shipping container

    Depending on the size of the cargo, you can decide to share a container or choose a container dedicated solely to transporting your belongings. Generally, an apartment with 2-3 bedrooms will fit into a 20-ft container. While a larger house will have to get a 40 ft container.

    How to Immigrate to the USA?

    It is therefore easy to go live in the United States once the visa is in your pocket! But it’s impossible to envisage a USA move without having picked up the precious sesame. It is strongly discouraged to go to the United States on a simple tourist visa (ESTA) and to consider staying illegally. Heavy sanctions apply in this case, with a ban on returning to the territory for a very long period.

    How Easy is to Find an International Mover to the USA?

    Moving across the Atlantic Ocean can feel like quite the adventure, but the process can easily be streamlined alongside the right international removal company. There are plenty of removal companies out there offering the same service, moving from the UK to the USA, so it’s smart to focus on ones that have already been vetted and are, therefore, trustworthy.

    Customs Formalities when Moving to the USA from the UK

    You must also comply with all the customs formalities to relocate to the USA. Your moving company is going to help you fulfil these regulations. In fact, not all items and products are accepted in the USA, in particular food.

    Moving to the USA Checklist

    Find below the first essential steps to facilitate your USA move and settle:

    1 – Get your SSN

    Similar to our social security number in the UK, the SSN is essential to complete all administrative procedures in the United States (banks, housing, schools, etc.). Go to the Social Security Agency closest to you in the 10 days after you arrive in the USA.

    Which documents do you need?

    • passport,
    • visa,
    • the filled-in application form,
    • the I-94 form
    • the DS 2019 form.

    Your assigned number will then have lifetime validity.

    2 – Open a bank account

    The process is simple and similar to any bank in the UK. Bring your passport, proof of address and your SSN. The main American banks regularly offer advantages for new registrations. Take your time to find the best offer and more details about your new bank account. Credit cards are more usually common in the USA.

    3 – Buy a car

    In the USA it’s almost impossible to get around without a car. However, some regions or cities have good public transportation systems (such as New York, San Francisco, and Chicago).

    Credit score

    Depending on your Credit score, it is sometimes not possible to consider leasing a car at the start of your stay in the USA. You can also rely on car rental companies, but this is a more expensive solution. Remember to apply for an international driver’s license before leaving.

    Why Move to the USA?

    It’s no surprise why the United States ranks second place for Brits to emigrate to, according to the United Nations. There are many things shared between both countries; the language, top foreign employers of each other, and collaborators for science and innovation. To a certain extent, this makes the acclimation period a bit easier than in other countries.

    Living in the USA

    However, this is not to say that life will be the same as that in the UK. There are plenty of cultural differences between the UK and the USA, such as healthcare, work-life balance, and education system, among others. While the US is a long way from the UK in distance, you may be surprised to know that cheap international shipping does exist.

    Where to Move to the United States?

    The United States is culturally rich and diverse. Moving to the United States of America, either to the East Coast or to the West Coast will, therefore, show a very different lifestyle (excluding more than 9 hours of jet lag). The British are generally well appreciated in the United States, because of the historic relationship and friendship between the two countries.

    What to Know Before Moving to the USA?

    Living in America is quite different from the British way of life in many aspects that are part of our daily lives and which we do not pay attention to. Before your relocation to the USA, pay attention to these details, as your adjustment may be more difficult if you have not prepared in advance.

    For example, note that Americans only have 2 weeks of vacation per year. On average, an American works 40-45 hours per week. There is indeed no law limiting the number of working hours in companies.

    Do I Need Health Insurance in the USA?

    The cost of healthcare in the United States is much higher than in the UK. The United States has no single nationwide system of health insurance. Instead, health insurance is purchased privately or provided by the government based on certain criteria. You can, however, choose to continue to adhere to independent British social security insurance for British citizens living abroad.

    Moving to the USA with a dog?

    If you are considering moving to the US with a cat or a dog, there are a few things you need to know first. Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies 30 days before they enter into the US territory. The puppies less than 3 months old are considered rabies-free. You must also require a health certificate for your pet before flying, from a veterinarian, within 10 days before leaving the UK.

    The USA visa for UK citizens

    UK citizens who want to enter the country of the United States must first obtain legal permission. The type of permission depends on how long you plan on staying and the reason for your move. For example, if you wish to live permanently or to work in the USA. Below are some of the main ways Brits can legally relocate to the USA.

    Gain sponsorship via a family member:

    If you plan to reunite or move with a family member who is a U.S. citizen, then you can request a Green Card by filling out Form I-130 petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

    Have an employer sponsor you:

    A work permit is the easiest way to move to the U.S. Your employer can begin the process by filing a Form I-140 petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on your behalf.

    Other ways:

    You can do a visa application to move to the U.S. through a student Visa, or non-immigrant Visa, among others.

    List of visas and resident permits to live in the United States:

    Visa typesDetails
    Sponsorship by a US citizenIn order to submit a green card request for certain family members
    K-3Family reunification and spouse reunification
    F and MPermit to study in the United States or the pursuit of extra-curricular and professional studies
    JInternship and exchange program
    H1B (3 years maximum)For all work visas, it is imperative to have a signed job offer beforehand
    Diversity lotteryPrize draw providing 55,000 permanent resident visas (subject however to geographic and selection conditions)

    You can then apply for a Green Card to become a permanent resident. For more information on the types of visas, we invite you to consult the UK Diplomatie website.

    Few Facts and Figures about the USA

    Check out these important facts and figures about the USA. While you may be wrapping up things in the UK, new experiences are waiting to be uncovered in your new home. Below is a table with the essential information you want to be aware of before immigrating to the USA.

    Currency US Dollar
    Population 325 + million people
    Capital Washington, D.C.
    LanguageEnglish is the primary language spoken among others, such as Spanish, Chinese, French, Tagalog, and Vietnamese
    Government TypeConstitution-based federal republic
    Unemployment Rate4.0% (as of June 2018)
    Country Code +1
    Religions Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%

    Quality of Life in the United States

    Depending on your destination city, the quality of life and cost of living in the United States can be quite different from one state to another. Even if this is generally defined as less advantageous compared to in the UK (number of paid leaves, protection of rights, hours of work, free social security, etc.).

    The American Dream!

    The Anglo-Saxon system also offers more opportunities and is considered to be more egalitarian for those who want to take their chance! You will also be able to benefit from all the services and advantages of a country that lives 24 hours a day and that never stops, Sundays and public holidays included!

    Accommodation and Rental in the USA

    Rental prices vary widely from city to city, of course, New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco are among the most expensive American cities. To find accommodation, you will first need an SSN. Similarly, learn about Credit Score, which determines your financial profile and will be examined in multiple applications in the United States.

    Best Places to Move to the USA for British citizens

    Access to healthcare, employment and education are the three most important factors for British people who have decided to move to the United States. Below we compiled a list of the most chosen cities by Brits.

    Seattle –

    This city is green, livable, and the weather allows for many outdoor activities for sailing, hiking, camping, gardening, etc. The tech, art, environmental, and nonprofit industries are always booming.

    San Francisco –

    There are many reasons why this city attracts so many people. The San Francisco Bay area boasts more Fortune 500 companies than any other area in the entire country. Life in the city is bustling with more than 3,500 restaurants and 400 bars. San Francisco is generally very safe with a very diverse population of intelligent, environmentally conscious and progressive people.

    Los Angeles –

    The City of Angels is the very definition of California living. Boardwalks by the coast, glamorous Hollywood streets, and palm trees as far as the eye can see make L.A. a top choice.

    Chicago –

    If you are seeking life to be an adventure full of dining experiences, shopping, arts, culture and history, then the Windy City is the perfect city to point to. This city has a steady job market, festivals, world-class dining, and nightlife.

    New York –

    The city that never sleeps, offers everything you can think of to the 120,000 British people who currently live there. From getting a burger delivered at 3 am to partying until the small hours of the morning, there’s something here for everyone.

    The State of Florida –

    There are multiple cities in Florida that attract British expats, such as Sarasota and Kissimmee. The climate is enviable throughout the state, properties are generally affordable, and the lifestyles are laid back – what else could you ask for?

    Austin –

    This city is the perfect mix between urban cool, suburban tranquillity, and idyllic countryside. It is hustling and bustling with arts, events, and a tad of weirdness. It is also the nation’s fastest-growing city! Little wonder the Brits decide to make this city their home.

    Compare and Save on your International Removal to the USA

    No matter your city destination, cargo weight, or time frame, our platform of 200+ service professionals are sure to meet your needs! Let us know how we can best serve you by filling out a short form with your specifications. Within two working days, you will receive up to 6 quotes which you can then compare and save on your international removal costs.

    5/5 - (8 votes)

    Receive quotes for your move

    Discover which companies match your requirements in a matter of minutes.

    Related Articles

    Compare quotes from removal companies and save