Moving to America from the UK: Your How-to Guide!

If you want to find out how to move to America from the UK, then look no further. This page details the costs, tips and checklists you need to know to make moving to America simple. If you are already searching for a removal company, visit our top 10 international removal companies list.

Cost of Moving to America from the UK

How much does it cost to move to America?

You should expect to pay between £6,000 and £9,000 when moving to the USA from the UK. Below, you can see the average cost of moving to America by sea.

Household sizeTimeCost
1 bed flat10-15 days£6,073 – £6,271
3 bed house10-15 days£7,084 – £7,388
5 bed house10-15 days£8,528 – £8,984

You can either move your belongings via sea or air.  The speed and convenience of air transport mean that it is quite costly. Therefore, it is more common for people to ship their belongings via sea cargo. If you want to know how you can save money when moving to America, be sure to read our guide on international moving costs.

The table above provides you with an estimate. However, if you are looking to find a more accurate cost estimation for your move, feel free to fill out our simple removal quote form.

Moving to America?

Select the size of your household to receive free quotes for your move!

Visas for Moving to America

Although British tourists do not need a visa to visit the USA, they do need one to live there. For expats or people moving to America from the UK on a permanent basis, you will need to apply for an immigrant visa or a green card. Visit our page to find out more information on visas in America. With proper Visa paperwork, opening a bank account and getting a driving license in the US is fairly straight forward.


Moving to the USA from the UK Checklist

If you want to know how to move to America from the UK without any surprises, then be sure to follow the following checklist!

  • Health insurance: unlike the UK healthcare is not free, you will need to apply for health insurance as it will cost you a lot of money if you become ill and aren’t insured. Visit our page for more information about healthcare in the USA.
  • Social security number (SSN): If you are living or working in the USA you must have a social security number so apply for this in advance. If you need more information about this, you can take a look at the Social Security Administration website.
  • Bringing pets: Your pets must be vaccinated in order to enter America. All pets are subject to being inspected at the ports of entry and may be denied entry into the United States if they have evidence of an infectious disease that can be transmitted to humans. For more information, you can read the CDC website or take a look at our moving pets abroad blog for tips.
  • Transporting your car: You are required to complete EPA form 3520-1 and DOT form HS-7 when entering the USA with your car. These forms declare the emissions and safety of the vehicle. Cars cannot be imported into the USA if they don’t meet the fuel emission requirements for America.
  • Tax: We strongly recommend to contact the tax authorities before departure. They can help you with tax situations you still have to deal with before you leave. You can take a look at our taxes in America page for more information. Also, make sure that you find a company that can transfer your money into American Dollars, otherwise, it can end up being expensive doing it on your own.

For more tips that could help you move to America, be sure to check out our 34 Steps to Moving Abroad.

Living in America

Moving to America is a big decision, which is why you should have a good idea what it is like living there. To find out more about the culture, read our living in America page or visit the UK government website for information on living in the USA.

Moving to America

Working in the USA

Apart, from the generic ways of applying for vacancies, such as online or at an employment agency. You may find that unsolicited applications to companies are a good way to find employment if you are moving to America. American employers normally recognize UK qualifications. However, it may be worthwhile to find out whether your UK degree will be accepted before applying for a job.

Applying online is also a popular way to search for a job, the most popular job sites in the USA are Glassdoor and Indeed. Other websites that are popular for finding work in the USA are Craigslist, LinkedIn and Jooble.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you are planning to work in America:

  • A work-week is generally 40 hours, but working overtime is quite common and often expected.
  • Holidays are shorter and you may need to negotiate how many days you are entitled to with your employer. Be aware that you can expect as few as nine paid holidays a year.
  • Consider joining a Union or reading the official employee handbook to find out more about your rights and duties.
  • Another thing you may have to negotiate is your benefits package, for example, health insurance and your pension plan.
  • It may come as a surprise that American companies do not always draw up a contract of employment. Moreover, even if they do, it may not protect you from dismissal from work without a valid reason. Likewise, you may hand in your resignation without a valid reason.

Take a look at our working in America page if you’re interested in finding out more.

Living costs in the USA

Similar to most countries the cost of living varies depending on where you are going to live. Generally speaking, prices are more expensive in larger cities and places located close to the centre. Below you can find a rough guide of what you might expect to pay once you move to America

City scoresCosts per city
CityQuality of lifePurchasing powerSafetyHealth careCost of livingPollution
Los Angeles656756655867
New York555862557558
CityCappuccino price1L milk priceOne dozen eggs priceThree room apartment rent
Los Angeles£ 3,15£ 75,00£ 2,82£ 2.365,53
New York£ 3,22£ 0,81£ 2,84£ 3.413,00


Moving to USA - San Francisco

Education in USA

If you are moving to the USA with your family then you should take note of the education system. Similar to the UK, there are private and state schools, but there are also many other differences. Here is a rundown of the compulsory stages of the education system in the USA:

  • Pre-school: Pre-Kindergarten (3-5 yrs)
  • Elementary School: Kindergarten and 1st to 5th Grade (5-11 yrs)
  • Middle School: 6th to 8th Grade (11-14 yrs)
  • High School: Freshman/9th Grade, Sophomore/10th Grade, Junior/11th Grade and Senior/12th Grade (14-18 yrs)

If you’re interested in discovering more, you may like to read our education in America page, which goes into deeper detail.

What Next?

We hope that you have found this page informative and that you know a little more on moving to the US. Below you can find some other pages that you may be interested in: