Moving to the USA

They say that change in life is inevitable. Sometimes, changes are planned, and sometimes they are completely unexpected. Sometimes, they are small, like getting a new dining room table. And sometimes they are big, like relocating from Japan to a completely new country. If you are moving to the USA from Japan, then this article is for you. Today, we will go through the necessary paperwork you will need for your move, as well as finding housing and packing your home when moving.

The paperwork you will need when moving to the USA

You will need your passport when moving to the USA.
You will need your passport when moving to the USA.

One of the first things you will need is a valid passport. Without it, you cannot board any plane. You also need the passport to fill in your other moving applications. Depending on why you are moving to the USA, there are multiple choices for your visa.

Green card

One of the easiest ways to obtain the permission to move to the United States is to get sponsored by your employer. If you are moving to the USA for work, then you don’t need to apply for a visa – your employer will do it for you. All they need to do is file the Form I-140 on your behalf. This permanent status is called “green card”.

Have a family member sponsor you

If you already have a family member in the United States, you can get them to sponsor you. The family member needs to file the Form I-130 petition. Once the petition is approved, then the process continues in Japan.

There are multiple ways to go about this, depending on your family member’s and your own statuses. If a person is a U.S. citizen, they can immediately petition for an unmarried child under 21, their spouse or their parents to move to the United States. The same goes for the married children or unmarried children over 21 and siblings, but they will need to wait for a visa.

However, if a person is a green card holder, they can petition for a spouse or unmarried children to move. A thing to know here is that there is a waiting period for this to finish.

Other types of visas

There are other ways to obtain paperwork for moving to the USA too! If you don’t have an employer or a family member who will sponsor you, then you can try to gain the green card through self-petition. If you have outstanding abilities in arts, athletics, science, business or education, you can try and petition for this green card.

You can also apply for various other non-immigrant visas. These are temporary, and you need to go back to Japan after they are done. Another way to go about this is via an intra-company transfer if your company is opening a new foreign office in the United States. For both of these, your employer will usually file the Form I-129 for you.

Finally, there are a tourist visa and a student visa. The tourist visa allows you to stay in the United States for six months, but you cannot look for a job while there. If you are a student, you can talk to your school and see if you qualify for a student visa.

You can apply for a non-immigrant visa at the local United States embassy or consulate, or you can do it online. After filing for a visa, you will need to go through a certain process, which may include a medical exam, immunization shots, and also includes an interview.

Finding housing when moving to the USA

The building can tell you a lot about the landlord.
Make sure the building is clean and safe.

If you plan on living in the United States, you will need to find housing. No matter how long you stay, your best bet will be to start by renting an apartment. This way, you can learn about the area you will be living in and see if that’s where you would like to have a permanent residence. There are multiple ways to do this. You can search for a home on the internet, or you can find a realtor to do it for you.

You can even obtain a short-term visa and travel to the United States to look for apartments yourself. If you do this, remember that the apartments in the big cities, like New York and Los Angeles, will cost more than those in smaller areas. When looking into apartments, see how clean and safe the landlord keeps the building. This can tell you a lot about the landlord, but also about the neighborhoods. For example, if there are bars on multiple windows, then it may not be the safest neighborhood to move into. Talk to the landlord about any concerns you might have. It might also be a good idea to bring a camera with you and take photos of every apartment you look into. This way it will be easier to compare the apartments you saw once you head back home.

Apply for housing

Once you have found the apartment you like, you will need to apply for housing. You can probably pick up an application when you visit the apartment, but you can also ask the landlord to mail it to you. The application may ask you for personal information, your Social Security Number, and your Driver License Number. It can also ask for your employment information (proof of income included) and references.

Make sure you review your lease well before signing it. Check how long it will last for, and what you can and can’t do in the apartment. 

Moving your belonging to the USA

Decide carefully how much you will move to the USA.
Decide carefully how much you will move to the USA.

Finally, after you have found your housing, it’s time to pack and move. Start thinking about packing well in advance. Decide what you will take with you, and what you will leave. Also, think about what you will do with the things you leave in Japan. Will you sell them? Donate them to charity? Will you get a temporary storage for them?

Remember that you will need to use some International Movers Japan and that heavy furniture is hard, and pricy, to transport. Decide whether it’s cheaper for you to get new furniture or to transport your own. You will need to find a good and professional moving company, like Kokusai Express Japan.

Finally, don’t forget to get certified copies of important documents. It’s a good idea to take with you your birth certificate, as well as birth certificates for everyone in your family. Also bring adoption records (if you are adopted), marriage license or divorce decree. If you’re moving with children, bring their school transcripts. Don’t forget medical and dental records for yourself and everyone in your family!

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