Moving to the USA?

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Moving to the USA

Attracted by the abundance of possibilities and the incredible vastness of the United States of America, international migrants are moving to the USA in droves. The InterNations Guide on the United States provides you with information on visa categories, residence permits, and more.
The USA is one of the most powerful and one of the most diverse nations in the world.
  • The United States offers a great diversity of nationalities and expat communities can be found in most major cities.
  • The landscapes in the US are impressive and the scenery changes from north to south and east to west.
  • With different climate zones ranging from arid to humid and alpine to tropical, there is a place for everyone.
  • There are various different visas which are divided into two main categories: immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. Furthermore, there is also a visa for people on a temporary business trip.
  • There is a great variety of housing options in the States and with the help of a realtor, you will soon find your new home.


According to recent news reports, people from various countries, including those with a valid visa and residence permit, have encountered difficulties when entering the United States. Unfortunately, the full extent of those issues seems to be unclear. Before you decide to move or travel there, or leave the country temporarily if already living in the USA, please consult a US embassy and an immigration lawyer if you fear you might be affected.


For centuries, moving to the USA has been a dream shared by people from every corner of the world. Even now, after its reputation as the land of freedom and unlimited opportunity has arguably suffered, the country exudes a certain fascination that still has plenty of people moving to the USA. 

Thousands of expatriates, entrepreneurs, investors, adventurers, migrant workers, and refugees move to the USA every year. As a result, the US is one of the most diverse nations in the world, with a significant share of its 324 million inhabitants speaking a language other than English at home.

A Difficult Decision: Where to Go

There is a lot to explore for expats moving to the USA. With a total area of 3,796,742 square miles (9,883,517 km2), the US encompasses several different climate zones. Its variety of landscapes ranges from deserts, prairies, and plains to mountains, forests, and lakes, along with, of course, the seaside. And it’s not just the scenery that changes when you travel from north to south and east to west — so do the people, local customs, attitudes, and demeanors.

As for business opportunities, there are no really typical destinations for expats moving to the USA. Where you end up can be determined by where your company sends you, on your line of business, or simply on your own preferences. Once you’ve relocated to the USA, you’ll find expat and immigrant communities in most major cities. Wherever you go, moving to the USA will almost certainly prove an exciting experience.

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

Climate and Weather: There’s Something for Every Taste

If you decide to move to the USA, chances are you will be able to find a climate that suits you. Large parts of the western half of the US have either an arid, semiarid, or highland climate, interspersed with some alpine climatic zones. However, expats moving to the United States can also find more pleasant climates in the west, such as the marine West Coast or even California’s Mediterranean climate.

The northeastern quarter of the country is mainly humid continental, with summer temperatures rising the further south you go. If you move to the southeast, you will encounter a humid subtropical climate in most states, descending into a tropical climate in the very south of Florida.

Most people moving to the USA will be aware of more or less common extreme weather events such as tornados and hurricanes during the summer months and blizzards in the winter. At times, these can pose serious threats, as illustrated by natural catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which hit New Orleans particularly hard.

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.

To help you prepare for the elements in the USA, we have taken a look at natural disasters in our Extended Guide article, Emergency Preparedness in the US.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.


Brian Norris

"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."

Caroline Stiles

"In such an international city such as Washington, D.C. InterNations holds great events for everyone to network and enjoy themselves."

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