Removals and Moving to the USA

Moving to the USA

Ok, you’ve decided to take that big step and move to the green pastures of America, you may be single or taking your family with you, it’s a country that has so much to offer, with a rich heritage of Irish Immigrants, so there is a good chance that you will settle for the long term.

With that in mind if your moving on a short term visa to see what opportunities are there for you, and decide to move your household and personal effects after you find employment, we offer the option to collect your effects from your house or store them until you are ready, export wrap and pack your furniture and personal effects and ship them to you when you find employment and decide to stay.

On the other hand if you have employment and the decision is made, its straight forward, be it only a few pieces or a full house move, we will come in with trained and uniformed staff and export wrap and pack all your furniture and personal effects, we do this with export grade double wall cartons (boxes), we have different sizes based on what we’re packing, from book cartons, to general cartons (ornaments and kitchenware), linen cartons (clothes and bedding) and wardrobe cartons for any hanging clothes that you don’t want creased. Every inch of your furniture is protected with a wrapping material called furniguard (unlike bubble wrap it does not leave resin marks on highly polished furniture), we’ve been doing this so long we know what works and what does not work.

We complete an inventory listing every box and item of furniture with a description of the condition of each item. As the customer you sign off on every item that we collect at origin and again on delivery.

We offer All Risks Insurance, which unlike some of our competitors is a new for old policy and in the unlikely event of a claim your effects will be replaced at the valued you insured and not the value you insured less ware and tare.

To be honest if your not happy we’re not happy and that’s why after 25 years in the Removal Business we strive to offer the fastest transit times through using the shipping lines or airline companies with the most direct routes, providing trained staff and the most update packing materials best suited to what we are packing or wrapping. A good move doesn’t happen by chance, it happens by planning.

We smooth the customs clearance process in America by having all the American Customs paperwork completed in Ireland (we supply you with the relevant paperwork) before you leave Ireland which is submitted by our agent in America for clearance of your effects.

With what we offer in mind we still promise you one of the most competitive quotes you will get, we encourage you to get three quotes, compare the protection your effects will get, transit times, the smooth and uncomplicated removal service we provide. We have a network of partner Removal Companies in every major city in America (these are tried and trusted partners we constantly use and they offer a superb destination service), which undertake the full customs clearance and delivery of your effects including placing your effects in rooms specified by you, unpacking cartons and unwrapping furniture and disposing of the boxes and wrapping materials.

All our quotes and free and we are more than happy to answer any questions you might even if your just contemplating a move down under….


The modern United States was built by migrants chasing the dream of a better life. This dream continues into the 21st century, and America is still known as the land of opportunity. With so many lifestyle options available, it has become a hotspot for people looking for a change, or a better life. So, maybe you’re looking for an experience of a lifetime and a bit of an adventure; possibly you’re looking for a great job opportunity and a different lifestyle; or you think that a fact finding trip is the best option so you can test the water; otherwise you’re in lock stock and barrel, selling the house, moving the family (including the dog) and all your worldy possesions. Once you get your head around the idea of moving to America, then you need to think about the actual logistics – when, where, why and how?

America is more than twice the size of the European Union, so it should be no surprise that each of its 50 states – and one district – has unique lifestyle opportunities and landscapes. The diversity ranges from the wilds of Alaska to the skyline of New York; from the snow capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains, to the arid Nevada desert. The varied geography is matched by the demographic makeup of the states. Whatever you’re looking for in life, you should find it.

Whether this is the first time you’re researching moving to America, or you’ve made your decision and you’re finalising your plans, we can help you with useful, well researched information allowing you to get everything you will need in one place.

To your left you will see a range of headings including a guide to visas, relocation guide, cost of living and employment as well as useful information on relocation services such as bank accounts and international shipping.

Don’t forget to take a look at our blog for our latest news, and our jobs board for a varied range of jobs available in America. You can also meet us and our large network of employers and relocation service providers at our exhibitions held in cities across the globe.


Within its 50 states, the United States of America offers something for everyone, no matter what their geographic or climatic preference.

Want a great year round climate and lush beaches on which to enjoy those increased sun hours? Then why not take a look at either Florida, Georgia or California. Looking for a thriving metropolis where your career could soar? Then check out an economic hub like New York or Chicago. Elsewhere, the six New Englan states, located in the north-east of the country, offer a fantastic lifestyle complete with four district seasons. Colorado has fantastic ski opportunities, while the island paradise of Hawaii is famed for its surfer charm… The lifestyle choice list just goes on and on.

So, no matter what kind of lifestyle you’re after, the chances are you’ll find it in one of the 50 states in America.

Five reasons to choose America


Despite some shaky moments, hopes are still high across America that President Barack Obama can deliver a new and improved America.

Cost of living

Given its highly developed state, America offers an affordable lifestyle compared to many other economic powers.

The great outdoors

From Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, and from the Great Lakes to the coast of Maine, America has some awesome landscapes.


America’s can-do attitude – even in a time of economic crisis – is a refereshing change to the ‘used to, but can’t anymore’ attitude of many of the countries that migrants are leaving to move to America.

First among equals

Its role as a global economic big shot may well be coming under increasing pressure, but America still sets most world trends.

Facts & Figures

Population 312,879,000

Area 9,826,675 km²

Capital Washington DC

Largest city New York City

Currency US Dollars (USD$)

Average annual temperature by city

Seattle, WA 8°c

Chicago, IL 9°c

Denver, CO 10°c

Boston, MA 11°c

New York City, NY 12°c

Houston, TX 20°c

Orlando, FL 22°c

Average property price see Finding a Home section

Average annual salary USD $44,410

Number of cities in top 50 quality of life survey 8

Highest ranked city Honolulu: 29th

Number of universities in world’s top 100 51

Highest ranked uni Harvard: 1st

State Profiles


California is located on the west coast of the United States, and is the most most populous state, home to 1 out of 8 Americans. Known as the Sunshine state, it is famous for it’s famous people (mostly found around Los Angeles, it’s capital city) and the multitude of tourist attractions found around the state. As of 2012, if California were it’s own country it would have the 9th largest economy in the world! It’s also a great place to live, with a mediterannean climate throughout most of the state.


Colorado is the US state that encompasses most of the famous Rocky Mountains. Is it is a central state, with a more complex climate then states found outside of the Mountain States region. Most of Colorado is made up of mountains, foothills, high plains and desert lands – making for some extreme weather. It also means there is some amazing natural scenery to be enjoyed throughout the state, suiting individuals who like to pursue outdoor activities. Colorado is a great state for business, with many large corporates having their headquarters based in the states capital city, Denver.


Texas is the second most populous and second largest state in the US. Historically, the whole of Texan culture comes from a blend of Southern, Western, and Mexican influences, making for a melting pot of cultures, food and arts. Texas contains diverse landscapes that resemble both the American South and Southwest. Although Texas is popularly associated with the Southwestern deserts, less than 10% of the land area is desert. The large size of Texas and its location at the intersection of multiple climate zones gives the state highly variable weather, making for extreme weather conditions in some parts, and relatively temperate conditions in other areas. Texas’s large population, abundance of natural resources, thriving cities and leading centers of higher education have contributed to a large and diverse economy, founded on the petroleum industry after the discovery of oil in the early 1900’s.


Illinois is a state in the Midwestern United States. It is the 5th most populous and 25th most extensive state, and is often noted as a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resourceslike coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base and is a major transportation hub. Most of Illinois has a humid continental climate, with hot, humid summers and cold winters. The southernmost part of the state, from about Carbondale southward, borders on a humid subtropical climate, with more moderate winters.

New York

New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. New York City, with a Census-estimated population of over 8.3 million in 2012, is the most populous city in the United States. Alone, it makes up over 40 percent of the population of New York state. It is known for its status as a center for finance and culture, with some of the most famous landmarks and tourist attractions found in the city. It is also know for being the largest gateway for immigration to the United States. In general, New York has a humid continental climate, though New York City has a humid subtropical climate, with warm summers and very cold winters.


Massachusetts , officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It’s capital city is Boston, and the state is most famous for it’s history, as the original Pilgrims settled in the state in the early 1600’s. Massachusetts economny is a strong, with sectors vital to the Massachusetts economy including higher education, biotechnology, finance, health care, and tourism and a low unemployment rate of 6.0%. The climate of Massachusetts is a humid continental climate, with warm summers and cold, snowy winters.


Florida is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south. Florida’s culture is a reflection of influences and multiple inheritance; Native American, European American,Hispanic and African American heritages can be found in the architecture and cuisine. It’s economy is driven by tourism, industry, construction, international banking, biomedical and life sciences, healthcare research, simulation training, aerospace and defense, and commercial space travel.


If you want to live and work, study or start a business in America the first thing you need to do is find and apply for the right visa. This is often easier said than done! We have summarised the visa process to help you with understanding which visa is most suitable for you.

The official website for America– listing all available visas types and the requirements for each – is run by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). You should visit this site once you have read the summaries below.

Working in America

Most people migrating to work in America will either be sponsored by an employer, or will apply independently for working visa.


EB- 1 Priority Worker

For foreign national of ‘extraordinary ability’. Also covers multinational managers and executives who have been transferred from international companies to a US affiliate company.


For professionals with advanced degrees or persons with ‘exceptional ability’


For ‘skilled’ or ‘professional workers’, defined as foreign national professionals with bachelor’s degrees; skilled workers with two years training and experience; and unskilled workers whose jobs are in short supply in the US. A job offer and labour certification are also required.

EB-4 Special Immigrants

For religous workers and current/former US government employees abroad.

Find out more


H-1B Speciality Workers

For professions in which labour shortages are experienced in specialist industries. The applicant should have a four year degree or the equivalent practical experience (12 years) in their occupation. The employer must be be prepared to pay an applicant the prevailing wage. Fields most likely to be eligible for an H-1B visa are: IT, engineering and healthcare. There is an annual quota of these visas available, so timing and find an employer who can obtain and H-1B for you are important considerations.

Other H-Classes visas are available for nurses working in health professional shortage areas; temporary agricultural workers; temporary workers; skilled or unskilled’ and trainees invited by an organisation or individual

Find out more

Other visas

Employees of foreign companies with parent companies, branches or subsidiaries in the United States may work in America under the L Intra-company transferee visa.


For executives or people in managerial roles; this category is also used by business owners to effectively transfer themselves to a US branch of their own company. The transferee must work at the same managerial level in America as they did in their home country.


Allow for the transfer of workers with specialised skills or knowledge from and international company to a US partner.


For the spouses and children of the receipients of a L-1A and L-1B visa (spouses are also able to seek paid employment in the US).

Family visas

US citizens may sponsor relatives for permanent residency in America, but they have to be defined as ‘immediate’ family. Qualifying as such are spouses, parents or step children of US citizens. For more information, visit the USCIS website.

Business Visas

There are several visas available to anyone looking to set-up a business in America, with some rules around investment and employees. For more information, visit the USCIS site.

Registered migration agents

A migration agent is a professional person who can advice on immigration matters, and can help you to prepare and lodge an application. They will also deal with the USCIS on your behalf, this is all usually done for a fee.

It is most certainly not compulsory to use a migration agent, and it will definitely save you money on fees, but if you do not feel confident lodging an application yourself, or your case is quite complex, you may wish to use a migration agent.

Ensure the agent you use is registed to provide advice on migration to America.


Sources for this section: World Bank,

Used Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required                                          

  • Copy of Passport (some ports require Passports for all family members listed on the 3299)
  • Form CF-3299 – Declaration for Free Entry of Unaccompanied Articles, if applicable
  • Copy of Visa (if non-US citizen / permanent resident) / copy of Permanent Resident Card
  • I-94 Stamp / Card
  • A-1 Visa (Diplomats)
  • Form DS-1504 (Diplomats)
  • CBP Form 7501 -Customs Entry Summary
  • Form CF-6059B – Customs Declaration
  • Copy of Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB)
  • Detailed inventory in English
  • Importers Security Filing (ISF)
  • Food Questionnaire


Specific Information

  • All shipments are subject to examination at the discretion of Customs officials.
  • Do not indicate “packed by owner” (PBO) or miscellaneous descriptions on the detailed inventory.
  • The I-94 is an arrival stamp / card in the Passport of all foreigners that indicates the length of time they have been admitted into the USA (some ports require a copy of the card).
  • All foreign Diplomats (A-1 Visa types) are required to be processed via the Department of State on a DS-1504 form, which is submitted to the Department of State by the Consulate / Embassy of the Diplomat at least 10 days prior to arrival of the shipment.
  • Brokers are not allowed to clear Customs on CF-3299 entries for foreign Diplomats holding an A-1 Visa.
  • For duty-free clearance, the household goods must have been used at least 1 year in the foreign household prior to shipment from the origin country.
  • The importer must hold the proper long-term Visa (non-B1 / B2 Visitor’s Visa) to import household goods duty free. The importer can only import personal effects, e.g., clothing, camping gear, toiletries, etc. on a short-term Visitor’s Visa.
  • It is important for agents in the origin country to make sure the ISF is timely filed prior to the sailing of the vessel from the last foreign port for all ocean shipments to avoid penalties.
  • Customs and other government agencies can require a variety of different types of examinations that result in costs from USD 200-1700 or more on a full container load (FCL) shipment.
  • Most household items used less than 1 year will require duty to be paid.  It is important for the importer to list those items in detail on the back side of the Customs Form 3299. The importer should list the item, quantity, what material it is made out of, the value paid for the items in US dollars and the country of origin of the items.
  • To import household effects (furniture, dishes, linens, libraries, artwork and similar household furnishings, etc.) for personal use, the items must have been available for personal use or used in a household where the shipper was a resident for 1 year and is not intended for another person or for sale.  The year of use does not need to be continuous not does it need to be the year immediately prior to the date of importation (Hawaii).
  • Shipments from the 49 United States into Hawaii are not subject to U.S. Customs requirements, but shipments from foreign countries to Hawaii are subject to all of the same rules and regulations that apply to the rest of the United States.
  • Only shipments of used household goods and personal effects may enter the U.S. under Informal Entry.
  • For shipments to Hawaii containing garden tools, outdoor furniture, playground equipment, motorcycles, scooters or any other items used outdoors, it is likely to be examined by U.S. Customs.  If Customs finds outdoor items to be dirty or contain insects or snails, they will notify the State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture. The State may require the entire shipment to be cleaned, fumigated or frozen to clean potential bacteria or kill any invasive species.  Shippers should be forewarned that they are responsible to pay for the expense of this process, it can be very costly and it may result in damage to household goods.  Informed decisions should be made regarding the import of items.
  • U.S. Customs may also order intensive exams on any shipments containing food products, medications or liquor.  The shipper is responsible to pay for the exams and any damage incurred during inspections by Customs officials.


Note:  The import regulations for the 48 contiguous United States and Alaska are included herein.  Significant distinct requirements for the import of household goods shipments into Hawaii exist; therefore, a separate relocation guide has been included on the website. As the 50th state in the United States, shipments from the other 49 states in the United States are not subject to U. S. Customs.  Shipments to Hawaii from foreign countries are subject to all the same rules and regulations that apply to the rest of the United States.  Only shipments of used household goods and personal effects may enter the U.S. under Informal Entry. 


Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Form EPA-3520-21, if applicable
  • OBL (foreign purchased vehicles)
  • Bill of Sale / Pro-forma Invoice with Statement of Value (foreign purchased vehicles)
  • Title of ownership translated into English (foreign purchased vehicles)
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) Form HS-7
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Form 3520-1 (foreign purchased vehicles)
  • Proof of conformity by either:
    • U.S. Title / Registration
    • Letter of Conformity from the manufacturer
    • Foreign military sales contract that indicates vehicle meets USA-EPA / DOT regulations
    • Exemption as a 25-model year old vehicle as proven by the title
  • Copy of U.S. Title or Registration when previously registered in the USA (vehicles previously owned and shipped from the U.S. by the returning importer)
  • Completed EPA-3520-1, DOT, HS-7 and Customs 7501 forms (vehicles previously owned and shipped from the U.S. by the returning importer)
  • Letter of Permission from the EPA (non-residents importing vehicles as a tourist)

Specific Information

  • For vehicles previously owned and shipped from the U.S. by the returning importer, the ownership names must match with the consignee of the shipment on the vehicle Title and Registration.
  • A non-U.S. resident can import a vehicle for a period of up to 1 year as a tourist, but no extension will be allowed. The importer is required to obtain a permission letter prior to shipping the vehicle from the EPA.
    Vehicles imported by non-residents for tourism may not sell or offer for vehicle for sale and it must be exported prior to the 1-year period or is subject to seizure and penalties by Customs.
  • Some ports of entry (POE) require a bond for up to three times the value of the vehicle to ensure the timely export of the vehicle. Additional port specific declarations may be required for this temporary importation
  • A Bill of Sale or Pro-forma Invoice with the statement of value must include the vehicle’s description, vehicle identification number (VIN), model and year of manufacture.
  • In general vehicles that are 25 model years old and with the original drive train are exempt from EPA / DOT regulations.
  • Vehicles less than 25 model years old that were not previously titled in the U.S must comply with EPA / DOT regulations.
  • The cost and time to bring a vehicle into compliance by an ICI (certified conversion shop) make the process an unwise economic decision in most cases.
  • It is strongly recommended not to import non-complying vehicles. In the event an importer elects to attempt to import a vehicle it should be sent separately from household goods and personal effects shipments to avoid delays in the receipt of the shipment.
  • The importer must make arrangements with an ICI shop in the USA prior to shipping the vehicle in order to get an estimate and to determine if the vehicle can be brought into compliance.
  • Marine engines and gas-powered generators are also subject to EPA requirements
    and Form EPA-3520-21 is normally required for those items.
  • It is important to know that any imported vehicle, new or used, must comply with U.S. safety, fuel savings, and air pollution control standards.  If an imported vehicle does not conform to these standards, it must be brought into conformity; otherwise it must be destroyed or exported.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that the undercarriage of imported cars be free from foreign soil before they can be entered into the United States. This may be done by steam spray or by thorough cleaning before shipment.
  • Do not store personal items in any motor vehicle.



Documents Required

  • Rabies Vaccination Record
  • Veterinary Health Certificate


Specific Information

  • The importation of pets is subject to health, quarantine, agriculture or wildlife requirements and prohibitions.
  • Pets are subject to examination at the first port of arrival for any evidence of disease.
  • A valid Rabies (rage) Vaccination Record must accompany dogs arriving from areas not free from rabies.
  • There is no requirement for a rabies certificate for domestic cats.
  • Contact the destination agent to determine if special certificates and admission requirements apply, providing the common and scientific name of the animal along with the country of origin that it is being shipped to ensure all appropriate government agencies can be contacted.
  • Most turtles and monkeys are not allowed entry into the U.S.


Antiques, Artifacts, Carpets, Paintings

Documents Required

  • Purchase Invoice
  • Detailed inventory


Specific Information

  • U.S. Customs requires items to be at least 100 years old be classified as antiques.
  • A recently purchased antique should indicate the circa date on the invoice.
  • Antiques are duty free.
  • Carpets of Iranian origin that have been used in the foreign household for at least 1 year and being imported with the owner’s household goods and personal effects are generally approved for import.  It is recommended that if you have a large number of carpets or they
    are new that you do not ship as the USA currently has an embargo on Iranian origin goods, subject to change at any time.
  • Paintings of nominal value can be shipped with household goods shipments.
  • Artifacts of any type should not be shipped without first checking with the USA agent and the country of export, as different regulations may apply depending on the country of origin, type of artifact and circa date. Additionally, many countries are parties to CITES Treaties or Acts that don’t allow the import or export of certain types of artifacts or require permits that must be issued prior to export.


Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Plants and seeds (an Import Permit and Plant and Plant Product Declaration Form are required)
  • Soil (an Import Permit is required)
  • Meats and meat byproducts (e.g., bouillon soups)
  • Medications
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Game and hunting trophies
  • Gold
  • Merchandise from embargoed countries (a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control is required)
  • Certain animal species (contact the destination agent for information)
  • Textiles and clothing
  • Plants and seeds (an Import Permit and a PPQ Form 505 – Plant and Plant Product Declaration are required) (Hawaii)
  • Biological materials of public health or veterinary importance (an Import Permit is required) (Hawaii)
  • Wood packing materials (materials from China must be fumigated, verified by documentation) (Hawaii)



  • The importation of alcohol is governed by both Federal and state laws. In general the Federal Government allows a reasonable amount of alcohol to be imported in a household goods shipment. If Customs feels the amount is excessive they will require the importer to hire a licensed alcohol importer to file a commercial entry.
  • Domestic importers should comply with the residence state laws which vary from state to state. Some states allow no alcohol imports while others require the importer to obtain a permit and pay a fee and still others allow a reasonable amount. Each state has regulations and must be consulted before making a shipment.
  • A detailed inventory must be made at the time of packing in order for food and drug filings to be performed and proper duties and taxes to be paid on the shipment.
  • For imports into Hawaii as part of the household goods shipment, the shipper is required to apply for a Liquor Permit with the City and County of Honolulu Liquor Commission on Oahu.  The importer must appear in person to apply for the permit and provide the permit for the liquor to clear U.S. Customs.
  • A Permit C – Household Goods Permit form is required for the import of alcohol (Hawaii).

Inherited Goods (Imports to Hawaii)

  • Inherited goods can be imported duty free if the following conditions are met:
    • The items are over 100 years old and can be proven through documentation.
    • Were available for use in the shipper’s place of residence for 1 year prior to entry into the United States.  It does not have to be the year prior to the inheritance (e.g., the items were in the shipper’s parent’s house during the shipper’s childhood).


Food Items

  • The importation of food items is strongly discouraged.
  • Food products also require a detailed inventory for food and drug filings and duty payment.
  • A Food Questionnaire form must be completed if importing food items (Hawaii).


Fish / Wildlife

  • Ivory items, skins, feathers and shells are regulated by Fish and Wildlife.
  • Many of these items require special CITES Permits or may be prohibited from being imported.
  • It is critical for the origin agent to consult with the U.S. agent to determine if an item requires a permit or can be legally imported. The permits cannot be issued once the shipment has left the origin country.
  • The destination agent will need to know the common, scientific names and country of origin to determine if a permit is required.



  • Guns (ammunition should not be shipped as it is a hazardous good) previously owned and shipped from the U.S. can normally be imported if military, government personnel can establish to the satisfaction of Customs that the items were sent from the U.S..
  • The best method is for the owner to register the weapons with Customs prior to export from the U.S. If the importer does not have a registration then a copy of sales receipts, the export OBL, inventory and a Declaration will sometimes satisfy Customs.
  • Weapons purchased overseas are normally required to be imported using a Federal Firearms permit holder but some exceptions do apply to allow non-resident individuals to apply for a permit directly with Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
  • The ATF Permit filing should be applied for at least 6 weeks in advance of the arrival of the shipment. The application requires that the Customs broker who will handle the entry be named on the ATF application, so it is important that the application is filed properly
    from the start to avoid delays on arrival.
  • The importer should consult with the U.S. agent when considering shipping any weapons and provide all the facts regarding how and where the weapons were acquired. It should be noted that not all types of weapons can be imported.


Prohibited Items

  • Tuna
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Haitian animal hide drums
  • Cuban cigars
  • Blank tapes and CDs from Iran
  • Absinthe
  • Counterfeit items or items inappropriately using a federally registered trademark
  • Products made from dog and cat fur
  • Flavored cigarettes, including cloves


Consignment Instructions

Recommended:  Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.


Helpful Website(s):