2 Months Before Moving
Making travel arrangements to America
19. Make Travel Arrangements
To save money on your travel arrangements:
- Invest time in researching the best deals, as fare change frequently
- Book flights as early as possible
- Avoid school holidays and peak travel periods.
20. Book Temporary Accommodation and a Hire Car
If you plan on searching for your home once you arrive in the US, book temporary accommodation for when you first arrive. Depending on where you plan to live, you may also want to book a hire car.
Where possible, book temporary accommodation that is within walking distance to your work, or public transport. This way, all members of your family will have access to transportation.
21. If Children are Accompanying You, Make Schooling Arrangements
At your child’s current school in Singapore:
- Give notice regarding your departure dates
- Request copies of your child’s school reports or university transcripts, and ensure they are readily available—it’s a good idea to take copies on the plane with you
- If you plan on having your child return to the school, confirm and meet any necessary return requirements.
For your child’s education in America, you’ll need to:
- Understand how the American education system operates
- Investigate the type of school you wish your children to attend
- Shortlist specific schools
- Arrange tours of shortlisted schools for when you first arrive in America.
To assist you in finding the most appropriate school for your children, visit:
For further information, visit What is the Education and Schooling System Like in America? in our Ultimate How to Move to America from Singapore Guide.
22. Confirm Vehicle Transportation
You can move cars, trucks, caravans, campervans and motorbikes to America, so long as the following are met:
- All customs requirements
- Safety and emission standards
- Proof of ownership requirements
- Cleanliness requirements.
To avoid unnecessary headaches and expenses, speak to a UniGroup Worldwide international moving expert for all your vehicle transportation requirements.
For further information, visit How to Import Vehicles into America in our Ultimate How to Move to America from Singapore Guide, and our American Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
23. Confirm Pet Transportation
Confirming Pet Transportation To America
You can take most pets to America, so long as they are free from infectious diseases that are transmittable to humans and are not deemed harmful to the environment.
Airlines may have separate and additional requirements for the transportation of pets. Be sure to check with your airline to determine what requirements, if any, they may have.
Some states have strict prohibitions against the introduction of non-native wildlife, as well as additional regulations around examinations on arrival and quarantine requirements. It’s best to confirm these requirements with the relevant local government department of the US state that you are moving to. You can check state-specific requirements via the Department of Agriculture.
To ensure a stress-free relocation to the USA for your pet, speak to a UniGroup Worldwide international removals professional about all your pet transportation requirements.
For more information, visit How to Import Pets into America in our Ultimate How to Move to America from Singapore Guide, and our American Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
Ensure all your pet’s vaccinations and health-checks are up-to-date, and obtain a copy of your pet’s medical records or a signed letter from your veterinarian.
24. Confirm Weapons Importation Requirements
Firearms purchased in the United States and taken out of the country by a resident may be imported back into the country, so long as you can provide a bill of sale or commercial document indicating proof of possession or ownership.
Firearms purchased outside the United States are subject to complicated clearance procedures and are difficult to import. As such, if you intend to take weapons with you, it is best to confirm all importation requirements as early as possible.
For more information, visit How to Import Weapons into America in our Ultimate How to Move to America from Singapore Guide, and our American Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
H3: 25. Confirm Alcohol Importation Requirements
You may import wines and other alcoholic beverages into the United States as part of your household goods shipment, pursuant to the laws of the US state in which you plan to reside.
However, many states require that a permit or receipt be presented to US Customs officials upon importing alcoholic beverages. If a permit is required, you will need to organise it with your relevant US State Liquor Control Board prior to your departure from Singapore.
For more information, visit How to Import Alcohol into America in our Ultimate How to Move to America from Singapore Guide, and our American Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
26. Confirm Plant Importation Requirements
Most items of a biological nature including plants, cuttings, seeds, vegetables, and fruits require a permit for importation into the United States. General tips to help expedite the import process of plants are:
- Ensure all plants are free of soil, sand and earth
- Label each plant with the genus and species, preferably using scientific names
- If your plants will arrive at an inspection station without you, enclose a sheet of paper with your name, home address, and permit number so the plants can be forwarded
- Speed up your plants' arrival at an inspection station by affixing a ‘priority passport’ (a green and yellow mailing label) from the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
For more information, visit How to Import Plants into America in our Ultimate How to Move to America from Singapore Guide, and our American Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
27. Investigate Employment Options
If you’ve already secured a new role (or are moving to America for a specific employment opportunity), now is the time to investigate employment options for your partner (if needed). Or, if you haven’t secured a role, to investigate employment options for yourself.
For more information, visit How to Find Employment in America and What is Working in America Like? in our Ultimate How to Move to America from Singapore Guide.
If you’re relocating to the United States permanently, it’s best to secure employment before you arrive. The alternative option (arriving on a tourist visa, securing employment, and then leaving the US to apply for a permanent visa) could see your permanent visa application denied.
28. Investigate Local Customs and Cultural Differences
If you’re an American moving to America, you should investigate local US customs and common cultural differences to help you assimilate more easily into American culture on arrival.
For more information on some of the common cultural differences, visit our Ultimate How to Move to America from Singapore Guide
29. Declutter Your Home
A cluttered house will make moving to America unnecessarily stressful; packing will take longer, and the cost of your removal and storage will be more expensive (as fees are based on the volume of items). If you’re not selling or renting out your home (in which case you will have already completed this step), now is the time to declutter your home, determining which items you will:
- Keep and ship to America
- Keep and place in secure long-term storage in Singapore
- Sell or donate to charity
- Throw away.
30. Start Packing
How can I move to America with minimal stress? Engage experienced, professional international packers, like the team at UniGroup Worldwide. Not only will it reduce, if not eliminate, the most stressful part of moving, it will help ensure your belongings are packed safely for their long journey to America.
If you’re not using a professional packing service, make sure you start packing as early as possible:
- Create an inventory of all items to be packed, paying careful attention to precious, special and fragile items
- Invest in superior quality protective wrapping and packing materials:
- Professionally designed and constructed double-corrugated moving boxes
- Packing material, like bubble wrap and packing paper (like ‘butcher’s paper’, not newspaper)
- Incidentals, like tape, markers, and zip-lock bags.
- Reinforce boxes by securely taping the top, bottom and sides
- Start by packing items rarely used (like books and CDs, and things stored in garages, basements or your roof space)
- Always pack individual boxes properly:
- Keep each box to a maximum of 20kg (45lb) to make moving the box easy and to avoid boxes breaking under excess weight
- Evenly distribute weight, with heavy items placed at the bottom of boxes and lighter items at the top
- Pack to the top of the box and fill empty space with bedding, clothing, bubble wrap or paper to prevent movement and breakages, and boxes collapsing.
- Clearly label every moving box, including the contents of the box (not just the room in which it belongs). For example: ‘Kitchen: Plates and Mugs’; not just ‘Kitchen’.
For more information, visit our Ultimate How to Pack for Moving Tips & Guide.
31. Complete Your Customs Declaration Forms as You Pack
Complete your customs declaration forms as you pack. This will help ensure the forms are completed as accurately as possible. The information you’ll need includes:
- A list of the items in your shipment
- The value of each item
- Whether each item was purchased within the last year.
The forms you’ll need to complete include:
For more information, visit our American Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
32. Organise Your Finances
- Find out whether your current bank has branches in the United States and if it can handle your future needs
- If you’re moving overseas for work, but you’re employed by the same company, confirm whether your salary needs to be paid into your existing bank account or into your new American account
- If you plan on using your existing debit and credit cards in America, confirm whether they will work and what the fees are likely to be
- Organisesome US dollars so that you have local currency on hand when you first arrive
- Consider opening a new local bank account near your new home
- Make sure you have copies of bank statements and other documentation that proves you have a good credit rating. This will make applying for new credit cards and loans easier
- Ensure all your tax returns are up-to-date.
For more information, visit What is a Credit Rating? our Ultimate How to Move to America from Singapore Guide.