How to Make an International Move from London to NYC

Moving across the street is easy but tiresome. Transferring to another side of the city is full of hassles but doable. Relocating to a different state is highly stressful, but it’s not impossible with the right attitude and proper planning.

However, moving from one country to another is on a whole new level. The challenges you have to face will be more daunting and formidable. So if you’re planning to move from London to New York City, telling you to prepare would be an understatement.

This isn’t your typical out-of-town relocation. It’s a process that involves traveling between two continents across the vast Atlantic. It’ll take more than just making preparations. You have to put your heart, soul, and back in it!

All things considered, here’s how you can plan your international move:

Save a Lot of Money

Whether you’re moving for career progression, studying at a prestigious institution, or simply retiring, NYC is one of the most exciting cities on the planet. But while it offers plenty of entertainment and benefits, everything in the Big Apple carries a hefty price tag.

Plus, the living costs in New York City aren’t your only concerns. You still have to account for the cost of your visa application, passport renewal, the shipment of your belongings, plane tickets, and accommodations. That’s why it’s best to prepare a budget that’ll cover your relocation as well as your expenses in NYC for a few months.

Unless you have a fat bank account, a general rule of thumb suggests that you keep six months to a year’s worth of savings for your relocation. Don’t forget to include emergency funds.

Moving from London to NYC is a HUGE deal. It’s going to require more cash than just your basic savings.

Do Ample Research

Not just ‘some research’ but try to learn everything you can about New York City. Check out living costs, tax rates, culture, norms, and additional tips for new residents. If you don’t know where to begin, here are some quick but useful must-knows:

  • Cost of living:  As a world center for trade and finance, NYC is slightly more expensive than London.
    • According to Numbeo, consumer prices (rent included) are 72% higher in NYC than in London.
    • Rent prices in New York City are 14% higher compared to London.
    • Both cities are considered expensive when buying a house. The median home price for NYC is $680,500 or £500,749.33, while it’s $649,983.71 or £478,258 in London.
  • Economy: New York City is a known titan in banking, finance, and communication. The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street leads the world in financial services. A career in law is also a viable option. Additionally, overpopulation calls for increased medical needs, making healthcare a major economic driver as well.
  • Best neighborhoods. Honestly, anywhere in New York is a great place in general. But if you’re interested only in the best, consider checking out Lenox Hill, Battery Park, and the Upper West Side in Manhattan. Don’t miss trendy Park Slope in Brooklyn, the beautifully diverse New Dorp in Staten Island, and Bayside in Queens if you’re looking to raise a family.

Apply for a Visa and Passport

So much for the NYC stuff. It’s time to plan on getting out of the United Kingdom. The most important documents you should secure are a passport and a visa. You need both to be allowed to travel abroad.

These two are closely related that they’re often mistaken for each other. Do make things clear, here’s a brief comparison:

VISA Passport

Is an endorsement that permits you to enter another country.


Is a document  that identifies you and your country of origin when traveling abroad


You apply for a visa to a specific country to reside there for a certain period of time.


Allows you to travel to any other country as long as there are no restrictions imposed on your country of origin.


Usually lasts from 3 months to 1 year


Expires after 5 – 10 years

Application cost starts at £200.00 Costs around £85.00 and higher, depending on the number of pages.


The most popular visa for US immigrants is the Green Card. You can be eligible for one through employment, family sponsorship, or being an immediate relative of a US citizen. Of course, there are other visa types like the Visa Waiver Program, but it’s mainly for tourists and business purposes.

You’re going to need to exert some extra effort if you’re serious about this move.

Downsizing and Shipping

Of course, you don’t want to bring all of your furniture to America, or you’ll have to pay a lot. Make sure to declutter first to reduce the costs on moving day. Let go of non-essential stuff and things that have already served their purpose. Once you’re done, you should now plan on how to ship the rest of your belongings.

Land transport is out of the question since you’ll be crossing the pond. So you’re left with two options, sea freight or air freight.

  • Sea freight is the cheaper choice when moving overseas. The only downside to this is that delivery takes way longer. You might want to book your shipment in advance, so it arrives just in time for your entry in NYC.
  • If you want to expedite your cargo for a higher price, air freight is the way to go. Not only is it faster, but your belongings are also safer since they’re not exposed to the shaking and rattling of sea travel.

Compare Shipping Quotes

Your shipping company will have a considerable impact on the final cost of your move. The more options you have, the better will your chances be of saving money. Collect shipping quotes from at least three companies, compare them, and choose the suitable one for your needs and budget. Note that it’s common for established companies to demand high prices in exchange for more security. However, given the wide availability of planes and sea vessels, it won’t be difficult to find a reliable but affordable carrier.

Hire an International Moving Company

Moving is no easy task. Think about it. If people feel the need to enlist the help movers when relocating out-of-state, then there’s all the more reason for you to hire a moving company. Remember that no man is an island. You don’t have to go through the entire process alone.

Here are some benefits of hiring international movers:

  • Getting past customs and handling other regulations. Taking care of the paperwork and other legalities related to your move can be complicated and extensive. But it doesn’t have to be with the help of movers who will guide you through the process.
  • Safety of your belongings. Shipment of cargo between countries involves many systems and strategies. Let your movers handle your stuff, from loading things onto the truck, monitoring its route, and setting them up to your new home.
  • Provide you the necessary information—no need to spend nights trying to digest guides and blogs on the internet. The movers will answer all your questions regarding the move.

Professional movers can help you settle into your new home in NYC that much faster.


“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry Ford.

An international move can be scary, but it’s undoubtedly a one-of-a-kind experience. Even if it’s hard, try to enjoy the process. Just follow the steps above, do additional research, and make sure you understand the logistics involved. Wishing you success on your big move!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *