When moving to the U.S. from another country, there are many different variables that determine how you will navigate customs. Certain factors like whether you are a U.S. resident that was living abroad for a set period of time or whether you will be immigrating to the U.S. for the first time will affect what your specific process will look like. Other deciding factors include what country you are moving from, what types of items you are bringing with you, whether you are a military service member or work for the government, etc. It’s hard to give advice about so many different situations, but hopefully this list will help give you a starting point for researching how to navigate customs when moving to the U.S.
- When you move to the United States different rules will apply if you are a resident that was living abroad or if you are immigrating to the United States for the first time.
- When moving to the U.S. from another country you cannot just simply state that your belongings are personal effects. You will have to include a complete inventory and packing list that can be given to U.S. Customs Border Protection if they request it.
- The inventory must be thorough, you cannot simply list “misc. books”. A count of the number and type of items in each box would be recommended.
- If you are importing a vehicle into the United States, you will need to make sure it meets certain Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation standards in the U.S.
- Do not use your vehicle as a packing container.
- It may be difficult to bring alcohol or firearms to the United States, these have different restrictions than personal effects and household goods.
- Whether you are a resident or nonresident of the United States, the state wants to make sure that the goods you are bringing in are not new items to sell. You will have to declare that all the goods you are bringing in were used by you or your family for at least a year. Otherwise you may have to pay import taxes on some of those newer items.
- Dishes, linens, furniture, books, artwork, furniture and other similar household items are eligible for duty-free exception as long as they have been used by your household for at one year.
- You don’t have to travel to the U.S. at the same time as your items. You can arrange for your items to be shipped to you at a later date.
- You don’t have to accept your shipped goods in person. You can appoint a friend or relative to represent you to help clear your shipment.
- Goods that accompany you vs. goods that are shipped separately will have different procedures for going through customs.
- The forms you will need to fill out are CBP Form 6059B or CBP Form 3299.
- When moving to the U.S. from another country, it is always best to pack light. The cost of shipping and the headache of clearing replaceable items through customs may not be worth the cost of simply buying new household goods.
- When researching an important move like this, it is always best to go to the source: https://help.cbp.gov/s/login/?language=en_US
Welcome to the U.S. and good luck with your move!