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    What to expect when moving to the US

    If you’re looking to move to the US, you’re probably already aware of all the immigration paperwork you’ll need. But even as you plan your budgeting, housing and schooling, there’s still the overwhelming project that is packing and shipping your belongings.

    Knowing what to expect before any move helps you get organised and plan finances. Detailed below is a checklist of tasks and considerations you’re likely to experience when moving from Dubai to the US.

    Find a reliable mover

    Dubai is a city with a large expatriate population always on the move. Ask for recommendations for an experienced international mover who can deliver a safe and secure move to the US. Get estimates from at least three movers, so that you can compare costs and services between providers. Trust us when we say not all movers are created equal.

    Read the fine print

    Choosing a company is not just dependent on their packing and moving capabilities. You also need to find out the mover's responsibilities for damages that may occur to your belongings. Explore insurance options and do your research on a company’s dispute settlement record. It also pays to ask about the average timeframe for settling claims in case goods are damaged. Moving with a reputable company which is financially strong helps ensure that it can honour claims.

    Question capabilities

    Moving across continents, especially from the UAE to the US, can be a huge task for both an individual and a family. Not all moving companies are up to the task. Knowing what to expect from your movers will help you plan better. Find out when your movers will be coming for packing and how long the process will take. Ask about door-to-door delivery options. Some movers also unpack, move furniture, and clear up discarded packing materials at your final address. Get contact numbers for representatives of your moving company in the UAE and the US. Being armed with information and knowing what to expect before you move is advisable as it helps you avoid last-minute surprises.

    Know the law

    Before you start with packing it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with US customs laws. In most cases, moving household items to the US is duty-free. However, US customs make a distinction between personal and household effects, which fall under different categories of duty regulations. It’s recommended that similar items be grouped together when packing. For example, your TV and camera are classified under two separate groups of items and knowing which belongs where will make your moving process smoother.

    Moving pets

    Even more rules apply if you wish to move to the US with your pets – especially if your pet is a dog or bird. You will need to book an export permit, show updated vaccination records, and provide proof that your pet has been microchipped. Whilst the process tends to be slightly expensive, you can outsource to a relocation company who can guide you through the process. 

    What to expect on moving day

    While your movers will make an inventory of your household goods, it’s a good idea to have a list of your own to check against. You should be present on moving day to answer questions and give directions, including resolving any questions regarding the condition of materials being moved. It pays to remember that the US has strict import rules on ivory and rhino horns, certain medicines and beverages, as well as other items. You’re also advised to carefully consider your electrical goods before you move. The US operates on a different voltage than the UAE and you’ll need to buy alternative goods once you reach the US. Finally, carefully read the information on the estimate, order for service, bill of loading, inventory, and all other completed documents before you sign. 

    Partnering with a professional company that has experience moving families like yours to the US can greatly reduce your stress. With decades of local and international experience, GAC is one of the few companies equipped to help you move stress-free. For information on what to expect before moving to the US, click here



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