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How to Move to the USA as an Expat



The United States of America is also known as “The Land of Opportunity”. And for this, there are many people all over the world dreaming to become expats there.

If you are one of them, and you also wonder how to move to the USA legally, you will find some answers in this article.

You will learn about the different types of visas, the steps you should take, and some important notes about having expat insurance in the USA.

How to Legally Move to the USA?

Any Expat in the USA Needs a Visa for a Stay Longer than 90 Days

When analyzing how to legally move to the USA, take in mind that foreigners need to get a visa.

There are several types of visas, temporary or permanent, depending on the purpose of the expatriation.

Temporary Visas (Non-Immigrant)

This visa is intended for tourists and people who expatriate to the US for a specific time and purpose:

  • Students
  • Employees of NGOs
  • Temporary workers
  • Journalists
  • Teachers
  • Athletes
  • Artists
  • Etc.

Holders of these visas can often settle in the U.S. with their spouses and children.

Permanent Visas (Immigrant)

They are a prerequisite for obtaining a Green Card for those who wish to move to the United States permanently.

They can be obtained for family or professional reasons, and are sometimes subject to quotas.

Expat Work in the USA

It is advisable to seek expert help to find the right visa. Having an American company sponsoring you is the most efficient way to obtain one.

Take in mind that you can’t do any expat work in the USA without a visa.

Expatriating to the United States opens up professional opportunities.

Especially since the hiring and entrepreneurial procedures are fairly simple, but it is not an El Dorado. The unemployment rate is not negligible and social benefits are limited.

How to Move to USA: Important Steps to Take

An Expatriation to the United States Should Be Properly Planed

An expatriation to the USA cannot be improvised. It is necessary:

  • A minimal mastery of English. It is recommended to take courses to get up to speed before departure
  • Learn about the local culture and the place where you will live to integrate quickly
  • Having an address and accommodation for the first few weeks as an expat in the USA is essential
  • Plan in advance for your children’s schooling because the waiting lists for schools are sometimes long.

How to Legally Move to USA: Administrative Steps to Be Taken

Certain steps must be taken well before departure. You must remember to renew the passports of all the family members.

Bring important documents with you, along with some copies. Some examples:

  • The health booklet
  • School and University Diplomas
  • The family record book
  • etc.

Think about how to move to the USA carefully and prepare the moving step by step. You will need:

  • The cancellation of insurance, telephone, or electricity contracts
  • The sale, storage, or shipping of furniture and belongings
  • Mail forwarding.

You must also inform the tax authorities of your move.

You will need to find out about your future tax resident status and manage the paperwork before leaving:

  • Notify your expatriation to the United States and your local administrations
  • Inform yourself about opening a bank account in the USA
  • Meet with your bank advisor to manage or close your home country accounts
  • Etc.

The Importance of Having Expat Insurance in the USA

Health Care in the United States

Taking care of your health coverage is essential. The cost of care in the country is among the most expensive in the world.

Without expat insurance in the USA, you will have to pay for all expenses. And it is even possible that a medical center will refuse to offer you any kind of assistance.

It is therefore essential to have insurance coverage if you want to move to the United States.

Local or International Expat Insurance for the USA?

An expatriate can choose local insurance (usually offered by the employer), or an international policy.

The second solution is widely recommended, for simplicity and efficiency.

Local Insurance: a Less Popular Choice

American insurance only covers care provided in the United States. It also requires that you:

  • Get familiar with the specificities of the American health care system (copay, deductible, out-of-pocket-maximum, etc.)
  • Carry out all procedures in English
  • It can refuse to cover procedures performed outside its approved care network.

International Insurance: A Very Good Option for the Expat in the USA

International insurance has many advantages:

  • It covers health care, hospitalization, and repatriation expenses worldwide
  • The management of the contract and the procedures is done in your language
  • It offers freedom of choice of practitioner
  • Special guarantees for expatriates can be subscribed.

How to Move to the USA and Choose the Best Expat Insurance

In some places, you still get coverage from your country’s Social Security when you go to work abroad. But you may need to get a supplementary policy to be fully covered in the USA.

It is a solution that can suit young people and the ones with chronic pathologies.

The fees are calculated exclusively according to the age and family situation of the members. And there is no health questionnaire to fill in.

The “1st euro policy” is the other solution for expat insurance in the USA.

Flexible and offering good value for money, they are generally very popular with expatriates.

The downside is that they have a mandatory medical questionnaire which can increase the premium or reduce the coverage.

Using an online comparison tool allows you to easily choose the most suitable international insurance for an expat in the USA.

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We know, you are very busy, and so are we! If you prefer to choose the date and time for us to call each other, just do so using the calendar !

This is also interesting:

What countries should I move to? The best countries to move to are not the same for everyone! Finding the ideal destination depends first of all on what is expected on a personal level.


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