Moving to the USA
from Australia

Since 1969,OSS have provided complete global door to door moving services. That’s 50 years of specialist international moving, and over 200,000 moves.

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Thinking of trading Melbourne for Manhattan? What about Sydney for Seattle? The U.S. is — and has always been — a popular and exciting destination for Australians. Moving to America to further one’s professional training, skill base and/or career opportunities are common occurrences. For 50 years OSS World Wide Movers has been assisting individuals, business people and Corporates, with the professional service and advice that comes from choosing a quality international moving specialist.

All about the United States

As a main player on the world stage, the United States is constantly under the global media spotlight. From its vast plains, snow-covered mountains, deep forests and strange rock formations, to soaring skyscrapers and a thunderous cultural scene, the United States is a collage of extremes.

Marvel at the thunderous spectacle of the 12,000-year-old Niagara Falls in northern New York, or seek an antidote to urban chaos amidst the flat farmland of the Midwest. There are also the black hills of South Dakota, the dramatic mountain and ocean landscape of California’s Pacific Coast Highway and, of course, the world-famous Grand Canyon, just one of the 397 National Parks in the country. All 50 states are scattered with gasp-worthy natural wonders.

It’s not just the range of landscapes that have attracted so many to the United States. Nothing can prepare you for your first glimpse of Manhattan’s unforgettable skyline, the sweet strains of New Orleans jazz or the neon-lit excesses of Las Vegas. While New York City is the most densely populated with soaring skyscrapers, including the iconic Chrysler Building and Empire State Building, other cities have admirable architecture as well, like Chicago’s Willis Tower or the monuments of the nation’s capital in Washington DC.

The USA is also the unrivalled entertainment capital of the world, bursting with theme parks, sports venues, and theatres. The turquoise waves of surf capital California and ski resorts of the snow-cloaked Rocky Mountains in Colorado provide ample excuses for adrenaline junkies to explore, whilst the palm-lined beaches of laid-back Miami and sweeping Oklahoma prairies offer true relaxation.

From its vast plains, snow-covered mountains, deep forests and strange rock formations, to soaring skyscrapers and a thunderous cultural scene, the United States is a collage of extremes.

Visas and immigration

Your path to successfully immigrating from Australia to the United States will depend on how long you intend on living in the country and the kinds of connections you already have there. U.S. immigration law can be notoriously difficult to navigate and get a successful outcome from. Luckily, because of the close relationship between the U.S. and Australia, several paths to temporary or permanent residency exist, some exclusive to Aussies.

If your move is for work purposes and you’ve already been extended a job offer, you’ll want to apply for E3 visa, a special visa designation just for Australian citizens. Applications go directly through the U.S. Consulate rather than the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), greatly reducing the timeline for acceptance compared to most other visas. It’s important to know that the E3 visa only lasts for 24 months. After that you’ll need to apply to become a permanent resident or U.S. citizen.

While this visa is good for many job opportunities, it’s not a given you’ll be extended an E3 visa just because you’re an Australian citizen with a new position in the States. The U.S. Department of Labor only gives out the visa for skilled positions, typically meaning jobs that require a college degree. If your new job doesn’t meet the threshold for an E3 visa, your visa options will include the H1B visa and the L1 visa. In each case, you’ll need your new employer to sponsor your application.

If you’re making the move to the U.S. for personal reasons, your path to residency may be a little harder. While the children and spouses of American citizens can qualify for a green card, this isn’t true in every situation. Notably, the U.S. doesn’t allow for “de facto partner” green cards, meaning that only a legal marriage to a citizen will qualify you for residency.

Moving your goods

Working with a professional removalist team won’t only save you precious time here in Australia, but will also make logistics easier once you’re in America. “Owner packed” goods are more likely to attract a stringent inspection by Customs on arrival — possibly holding up parts of your move. Having your goods packed by a moving company, meanwhile, can help ensure you pass through clearance with minimum fuss.

Overall, the cost of your move will vary according to a range of factors like freight type, if your container is personalised or shared and whether you have any fragile or exotic items that require specialised attention.

Some other factors to consider include:

household items

Household goods

Household goods can range in size and importance, from furniture and family heirlooms to miscellaneous kitchen equipment. When planning your move it’s important to ship as much as you can early, otherwise you could be without your possessions in America. Clearance of your goods into the USA takes approximately 5 to 7 working days for an FCL (Full Container Load e.g. not a shared container), and 7 to 10 working days for a GRP (Groupage or shared container load) once the shipping container has been unloaded from the vessel.



Moving motor vehicles and motorbikes to the United States is possible provided Customs criteria are met. The exact timeline, however, will vary depending on where you’re moving, with shipments to America’s west coast most likely to take the shortest journey.

Car shipping service usually goes from depot to depot, meaning the motor vehicle will be collected by you from a partner depot in America following customs clearance. Customs may require evidence that the owner of the vehicle has lived abroad for 12 months or longer. A copy of your passport with a date stamp showing arrival in the USA, or a copy of a lease or rental agreement in the U.S., would be sufficient.

Our guide to moving cars overseas



Moving a boat to the United States has similar requirements to moving a car when it comes to registration requirements and process.

Customs and Quarantine in the USA will have a special interest in the boat due to its exposure to marine life, however as Australia has a fairly clean marine environment, your boat should pass customs and quarantine without any problem.



Moving living things across the world always comes with a unique set of logistical challenges. In most cases, it’s recommended to send your pet through a registered pet transportation agent who will be able to contact all the relevant agencies in the USA.

Our guide to moving pets overseas

Are you moving furniture and other household goods to the United States? OSS World Wide Movers provides safe and reliable moving & relocation services to all parts of the USA. Our professional international relocation service can quickly and efficiently move your effects through customs via our US moving partners.

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