Moving to the United States: a guide for U.S. citizens

If you are thinking of moving to the United States, we hope that you find the information on this webpage and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website useful.

The website links on this page are provided as a point of reference and are not intended to be exhaustive.

The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

All U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, must enter the United States using a valid U.S. passport only. U.S. passports are valid for travel to the United States up to and including the day on which they expire.

If you need to apply for a new U.S. passport in order to return to the United States, please click here for application instructions.

U.S. citizens, including dual citizens, can choose to reside in the United States at any time.

If your child was born outside the United States and you believe that they may qualify for U.S. citizenship, click here to find out if they may qualify for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) and first U.S. passport.

It is not possible for a U.S. citizen to transmit citizenship to their spouse or fiancé(e). If the fiancé(e) spouse of a U.S. citizen wishes to travel to the U.S. to live their indefinitely or permanently, they must apply for and obtain a valid immigrant or fiancé(e) visa before they travel. This can take anything from several months to several years.

A parent or sibling of a U.S. citizen wishing to live in the United States indefinitely or permanently is also required to apply for and obtain a valid visa before travel. The application process can take many years and no guarantees are possible.

It is not possible for a U.S. citizen to sponsor an aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent or grandchild for immigration purposes.

We recommend that you contact the agencies listed below to notify them of your new address as soon as you have returned to the United States
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Social Security Administration 

If you decide to use a relocation firm, please contact them directly to discuss their fees and services. We cannot recommend or vouch for any particular organization.

The Relocation Bureau
Worldwide ERC (includes searchable directory of a relocation firms)