Things to Know Before Moving to the U.S.A. from Japan

Things to Know Before Moving to the U.S.A. from Japan
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Are you thinking about immigrating from Japan to America? If so, here’s all you need to know before getting your American green card.

There is no denying that Japan and America have very different cultural settings and lifestyles. However, many Japanese citizens are continuing to relocate from Japan to the U.S. for a number of reasons. Whether you’re moving for a job opportunity, school, or to be closer to family, it’s essential to know what documents and requirements you must satisfy to get your green card to make a success of your move from Japan to the U.S.A.

Do Your Research on Your Move Beforehand

Researching which state you wish to live in is a great place to start when thinking about moving from Japan to the U.S. Because each state is different, make sure to thoroughly research what each state has to offer, including job opportunities, schools, climate, and culture to make sure you choose a place that aligns with what you are searching for. In some state there are many people who moved from Japan and the rest of Asia. California, Oregon or New York will be good examples of popular moving destinations from Japan. In some states, there are not many people from outside the U.S. 

You can start preparing for your move by visiting the U.S. Embassy in Japan for bureaucratic process.  While doing so, you probably need to find out a way to ship your personal belongings from Japan to your new home in America. It is recommended to contact Japanese shipping companies early and decide what to bring to your new home in America with you. If your employer pays for your move, then you might be able to ship some large items, however, if you are paying for your move yourself, you should probably be shipping items that can easily be packed in cartons without the help of professional moving companies.

Find Out if You’re Eligible for a Green Card

Much like Canada, the U.S. has eligibility categories required for an individual to satisfy before applying for a green card.  The U.S. federal government currently categorizes eligibility under these groups:

  1. Eligibility through family.
  2. Eligibility through employment.
  3. Special immigrant.
  4. Refugee or asylee status.
  5. Eligibility For human trafficking and crime victims.
  6. Victims of abuse.
  7. Other categories.

To determine which category you and your family may fit into, you can visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for more details.

After Satisfying the Eligibility Requirements  

Once you’ve determined that you are eligible under either of the seven categories listed above, it is now time to apply and file a Form I-485 application with the USCIS. When preparing your documentation and application, you may wish to consult with an immigration agent who will help you collect all the necessary documentation needed to submit your application. Depending on your eligibility group, you will need to provide certain documents and other forms with your application, which you can find here.

After you’ve submitted your application, the immigration department will review your application and schedule an interview with you for further details. Once the interview is completed, you will then be issued your green card, which will allow you to work and reside in the U.S. for 10 years. After the 10 years have expired, you have the option of renewing your green card or applying for your permanent residency after 5 years of living and working in the U.S.

What Awaits You in the U.S.

Moving from Japan to the U.S. can be scary, but like any destination choice, when you choose to immigrate from your home country, remember to keep an open mind and trust that people will be there to welcome you into their society. The U.S. is a very diverse country, and you and your family will fit in perfectly. We are so excited about the opportunities that are coming your way.

Jenna Walter



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