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Moving to the USA?

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Brian Norris

Living in USA, from Great Britain

"When first moving to Washington, D.C., I didn't know many people outside of the office. InterNations has changed that with some exciting events."

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Living in USA, from Canada

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The USA at a Glance

Moving to the USA

International migrants are moving to the USA in droves. They are attracted by the abundance of possibilities and the incredible vastness of the country. The InterNations guide on the United States provides you with info on visa categories, residence permits, and more.

For centuries, moving to the USA has been a dream shared by people from all over the world. Even now, after the country has lost some of its reputation as the land of freedom and unlimited opportunity, the US exudes a certain fascination on people from all around the globe. 

Thousands of expatriates, entrepreneurs, investors, business people, adventurers, migrant workers, and refugees arrive in the USA every year. This makes the US one of the most diverse nations in the world, with a significant share of its 315.5 million inhabitants speaking a language other than English at home.

Where to Go

There is a lot to explore for expatriates in the USA. With a total area of approximately 9,820,000 square kilometers, the US encompasses several different climate zones. Its variety of landscapes ranges from deserts, prairies and plains to mountains, forests, and lakes, and, of course, the seaside. It’s not only the scenery that changes if you move through the country from north to south and east to west – so do the people, local customs, attitudes, and ways of speaking.

Apart from the obvious urban-rural gradient in terms of business opportunities, there are no “traditional” destinations for expats relocating to the US. Where you end up might depend on where your company sends you, on your line of business or simply on your own preferences. Upon relocating to the USA, you’ll find expat and immigrant communities in almost every big city. Wherever you go, moving to the USA will certainly prove an exciting experience.

We do look more closely at several popular cities in our exhaustive expat guide to the US. Read up on New York, Los Angeles, and other major expat destinations in the US

Climate and Weather in the USA

Large parts of the western half have either a semiarid steppe climate or a mid-latitude desert climate, interspersed with some alpine climatic zones. Expats moving to the United States are more likely to end up in more pleasant climates, though e.g. the marine West Coast or even California´s Mediterranean climate.

The northeast of the country is mainly humid-continental, with summer temperatures rising the further south you go. If you move to the southern part of the country, you will encounter a humid subtropical climate in most states, descending into a tropical wet/dry season climate in Florida.

Most people moving to the USA will be aware of more or less common weather extremities such as tornados and hurricanes during the summer months and blizzards in winter. These can sometimes pose serious threats, as illustrated by natural catastrophes like the hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Make sure you are prepared for such eventualities when moving to the USA. Once you are there, check the weather forecast regularly and pay attention to weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service.

InterNations Expat Magazine