Moving to the USA

After you have been approved for an immigrant or non-immigrant visa allowing you to work and live in the United States, you might have household belongings you wish to bring with you. Prior to moving any belongings to the United States, there are procedures you need to be aware of before moving your belongings. Find out about the process of bringing your belongings to the United States here.

How do I bring my household belongings to the USA?

You are required to complete US Customs FORM 6059B Customs Declaration for accompanying goods, and/or US Customs FORM 3299 Declaration For Free Entry of Unaccompanied Articles to bring your household belongings to the United States.

What can household belongings can you bring to the United States?

You are able to bring household effects are furniture, carpets, paintings, tableware, books, libraries, artwork, and other usual household furnishings and effects that were used abroad for not less than 1 year by residents or nonresidents, and not intended for any other person or for sale. Household effects used abroad for not less than 1 year by a family of which the importer was a resident member for not less than 1 year during the period of use, may be allowed free entry whether or not the importer owned the effects at the time of such use. In order to obtain free entry for household effects, the use of the effects abroad for 1 year must be proven to the satisfaction of the port director. The port director may require evidence other than the declaration.

Note – For you to import your household goods and personal effects duty-free, you should not wait longer than 10 years after your last arrival in the United States from the country in which the goods were used.

When can I bring my household belongings to the United States?

You do not have to bring your household and personal effects into the United States all at once. However, after 10 years, the only way they may be imported duty-free is if you can provide the Port Director with an explanation of unavoidable circumstances, which made it impossible to import them within 10 years. Under no circumstances can they be imported duty-free if 25 years or more have elapsed, since the last arrival into the United States from the country in which the effects were used.

What are personal effects?

Personal effects are items that belong to and are used by one person, such as wearing apparel, jewelry, photographic equipment, and tape recorders. They cannot be entered as household effects. As with everything entering the United States, these items will still be subject to inspection by a CBP officer.

I am a “snowbird”, what do I need to bring household goods?

Canadians who live in the United States for parts of the year must submit a CBP Form 3299 to import unaccompanied household goods into the United States. No form is needed if you plan to travel with your goods. However, a manifest listing the items contained in your vehicle is necessary to present to the CBP officer.

What is the US Customs FORM 6059B Customs Declaration?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection CBP FORM 6059B is required to be completed by each arriving traveler or responsible family member. Only one declaration is required per family. “Family” refers to members of a family residing in the same household who are related by blood, marriage, domestic relationship, or adoption.

What is US Customs FORM 3299 Declaration For Free Entry of Unaccompanied Articles?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection CBP FORM 3299 Declaration For Free Entry of Unaccompanied Articles is to be completed by all persons seeking free entry of personal belongings to the United States.

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