Moving to the USA
Your move to the USA made easy
So your move to the USA has finally got the green light. Moving to the USA is no longer just a dream, it’s a reality. Time to turn your attention to practicalities.
As with any international relocation, you have plenty to think about. You might even find your excitement and enthusiasm starting to fade under an overwhelming tide of decisions, procedures and preparations.
But at least there’s one thing you don’t have to worry about. Call on international removal specialist Cadogan Tate to take care of your move to the USA and you immediately take a huge weight off your shoulders.
Moving to USA is a whole lot easier when you have a team behind you that’s done it thousands of times already. We’re well aware a move to New York or California is poles apart from a move to Newcastle or Cambridgeshire. And we’re fully up to speed with the considerations when relocating to American soil.
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We know what to expect, how to guide you through every stage of your move and how to prepare for the unexpected. We operate regular weekly shipments to both the East Coast and the West Coast and are well versed in handling everything from planning, packing, transportation and customs.
In short, our many years of experience in trans-Atlantic removals is your ticket to a simple, stress-free relocation.
The key to a trouble-free move is to plan and manage the entire process with absolute precision. At Cadogan Tate, this begins from the moment we receive your request for a quote. We’ll arrange for one of our friendly relocation surveyors to visit you and assess the extent and nature of your belongings. This will help us allocate the most suitable resources, including any specialised packaging and storage, for a safe and efficient move to the USA.
From this initial assessment, we’ll provide you with a detailed, no-obligation quote. On go-ahead, we’ll assign one of our specialist Move Co-ordinators, whose role is to plan and manage the transportation of your belongings to your destination address. This leaves you free to focus on other important things in preparation for your relocation to the USA.
So, if you’re ready to get serious about moving to the USA, take the first step to making it a smooth move – fill in the form for a free no-obligation quote. Otherwise read on for information on planning your move to the USA.
You’ve no doubt already done some research into the ins and outs of moving to the USA from the UK. There’s certainly a lot to take into account. While our main aim is to co-ordinate the move itself, our constant involvement with US relocations means we have accumulated a great deal of background information you may find useful.
In order to help you make the right decisions we have prepared a detailed guide to moving to the USA. At Cadogan Tate, we are experts in international removals. We have wealth of knowledge of the various aspects of American life.
The USA section of our website contains practical information on various
destinations, lifestyle, healthcare and other important things to consider before deciding on the move.
We have a growing library of articles about relocating to the United States and a concise but informative guide on some of the most important things to bear in mind as you plan your move. The guide, which follows, covers such essentials as regional differences, real estate, healthcare, lifestyle, tax and income.
Stretching 3,200 miles from Pacific to Atlantic, the United States of America is a nation of immense topographical diversity – from the never-ending Southern Californian sunshine to the glaciers of Alaska. But its differences in landform and climate are just the beginning.
Unsurprisingly, in a country as vast as the USA, there is significant variation state to state in overall quality of life. Cadogan Tate’s own research bears this out. On the whole, the US is seen to have a comparatively low unemployment rate. Yet this ranges from as little as 2.8% in North Dakota to a worrying 7.8% in Mississippi and Nevada. The poverty rate in most states is around 11%, but in some areas, such as Alabama and Louisiana, every fifth inhabitant is living on the breadline.
Our research also measured life expectancy and business survival rates, then used all the data to rank the places with the best overall quality of life. The most desirable places to live in the USA were North Dakota, Vermont, Colorado, California and Montana. So, if the decision on which part of the States you settle in is yours to make, these are the places to have high on your shortlist.
Most people’s view of the American way of life has been shaped over years of watching movies and TV shows. While a lot of this may be true to life, be prepared for some surprises. You’ll also encounter major differences from place to place, and, as the 2016 US election highlighted, sharp contrasts in priorities and values.
One thing you’ll notice right away is how friendly Americans are. You’ll find this wherever you go – at work, leisure, in a store, at the gym. It’s not just a superficial social interaction either. According to the Charities Aid Foundation, Americans are the most likely people in the world to help a stranger.
It’s been said the one thing that unites all Americans is their desire to be rich and successful. While this may not apply to everyone you meet, the American people are the greatest consumers on the planet. They spend more on status symbols than any other country. They want the best of everything and consider it their birthright to have it all. They’re not afraid to work for it though and are overflowing with belief they can achieve anything if they put their mind to it.
There’s so much more we could say about the American lifestyle, but we’ll stop there. You’ll find plenty more insights in our ever-expanding library of articles.
The USA real estate market took a huge hit in 2007 with property prices and market activity collapsing in a way not seen since the Great Depression. The road to recovery hasn’t been easy, but ten years on, the US property sector had finally returned to where it was in the early 2000s. For the first quarter of 2016, half the increase in GDP was down to residential property investment, with construction accounting for 20%.
It’s too early to speak of this being a turning point, as the property sector has since plateaued. Some market experts blame the millennial generation who prefer “travelling light” and are unwilling to settle down in a home of their own.
This could also explain the massive spike in rental prices that has followed the startup hub expansions in Southern California, New York and Seattle. The high demand for rental properties among young professionals and entrepreneurs may be welcomed by property investors, but it’s not such good news for expat families looking for a new home.
The United States healthcare system has seen wholesale change in recent years. The introduction in 2010 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, has divided opinion. Some see it as a significant improvement that lowers overall healthcare costs, raises standards and widens access; others see it as a financial imposition as a lot of existing healthcare insurance fell short of the ACA’s 10 essential benefits and people were forced to buy more expensive cover.
With the change in administration and arrival of a president vehemently opposed to Obama’s enforced reforms, the US healthcare shake-up is far from over.
Meantime, the main thing British expats moving to the USA need to remember is that there is no NHS equivalent to rely upon and all hospitals are privately owned. Expats don’t qualify for Obamacare – so it’s essential to get cover in place before you need to call on the healthcare system. Many employers include health insurance as part of their remuneration package, but if this isn’t an option for you, make it a priority to get private healthcare cover from day one.
Tax and income opportunities
Although journalists keep scaring us with tales of the end of the “American Dream,” no other country in the world offers more opportunity for carving out your own success than the USA. There are around 32 million millionaires in the world right now and 42% of them live in the United States. Many weren’t born on American soil – they are expats who came looking for, and made, their fortunes in the Land of Opportunity.
The recent trends towards globalisation and outsourcing have had an adverse effect on some service and manufacturing sectors. That said, the United States continues to lead the world in petroleum, metal, automotive, telecoms, food processing, timber and various other manufacturing industries. Yet the biggest accomplishment belongs to the startup and hi-tech industries. As many as 27 million working-age Americans run their own business or have recently launched one. Some $50 billion in venture capital is invested every year in US startups.
So, one way or another, the job outlook and financial prospects for anyone planning on moving to the USA look positive.
Art and culture
From Edward Hopper and Georgia O’Keeffe to Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol, the United States has its fair share of home-grown talent. But the best news for art lovers is the sheer volume of great works on display. In its guide to the Top 100 Art Galleries in the World published by the UK pop culture magazine Complex no less than 48 of them are located in the United States.
The country’s two most prominent art centres are New York and South California, and it’s here that most expats looking to work in the fine art sector gravitate. Global sales of art and antiques continue to rise year on year and at the last count topped $65 billion. Remarkably, the USA accounts for 38% of that.
No summary of American art and culture is complete without reference to Hollywood, Disney and today’s prolific movie industry, with its cutting-edge computer-generated graphics. Nor can we omit the legacy of the nation that invented rock and roll, and brought us everything from jazz, gospel, folk and blues to Dylan, Nirvana and Lady Gaga.
Even now, we’ve barely scratched the surface of the phenomenal contribution the United States has made to popular art and culture. For anyone moving to the USA, whether to take up a job role in a related industry or simply as an avid consumer of art and music, few places on earth compare.
How long should you allow for shipping to the USA?
For shipments to the USA, transit times vary significantly depending on location. So we advise you to speak with one of our International Removals team for a more accurate assessment. As a guide for port-to-port transit from the UK, allow two to four weeks to New York, four weeks to Miami and five to six weeks to Los Angeles.
What can you take?
US Customs has tightened controls on imports in recent years. So, if you want to avoid the risk of lengthy delays at the border, it’s essential you check a few details with your Move Co-ordinator. Certain items, such as wine and spirits, need official clearance prior to shipping. Importing plants is prohibited. Antiques less than 100 years old are subject to import duty. In some cases, you may decide to leave something behind or put it into storage rather than take it with you. Your Move Co-ordinator will be happy to advise you. For more information, see the US Customs and Border Protection website.
Taking a car or motor vehicle
Importing a car or motorbike into the USA can be difficult, so if this is your intention, you’ll need to look into the correct procedure and obtain the required documentation. All imported motor vehicles less than 25 years old must meet US standards for emissions, bumpers and safety. Most vehicles manufactured outside the United States will need to be examined for compliance as US regulations differ from those of other countries. The two federal agencies you need to satisfy are the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation. You will need to pay import duty on any foreign-made vehicle. Current rates are 2.5% or the price paid for cars and trucks, 2.4% for motorcycles.
Moving to the USA with pets
If you’re planning on bringing your pet with you when you move to the United States, you’ll need to make sure you have all the relevant paperwork from your vet and all vaccinations are up to date. Taking common household pets such as cats and dogs into the US is relatively straightforward and free of quarantine requirements. For other pets, you’ll need to seek advice as each case is reviewed individually.
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The geography and history of the US mean that the different states and cities each have their own unique ambiences. This variety means that there is something to appeal to everyone. Our guides will provide you with initial information and links to other resources for your research.
With offices and storage facilities in New York, Los Angeles and Miami, Cadogan Tate is the perfect choice for your move to the USA. Our regular services between the UK and US and local offices, give us the service and expertise to help you.