From the country's founding to modern times, the USA has found success through immigration, attracting thinkers, leaders and businesspeople from around the world. Now with its own distinct identity, the country is a melting pot of colours and flavours and continues to be a favourite expat destination.

Expats moving to the USA will be exposed to one of the world’s largest economic powers, supporting more than 300 million people in 50 states and across six time zones.

Throughout the country's history, immigration has always been a constant. The inspiring sign greeting immigrants at Ellis Island, one of the historic entry points, famously reads, "Give me your tired, your poor, your humbled masses yearning to breathe free." 

On the other hand, the upward mobility of the USA and policy changes since 9/11 have resulted in much more selective immigration regulations, and many more expats would like to relocate than are accepted. President Donald Trump's anti-immigration stance has also led to a stricter enforcement of current laws and a more stringent application process. However, immigration rates remain high, with roughly a million people moving to America each year – and the influx of foreigners is still responsible for the majority of the country's population growth.

Some of the benefits of living in the US include high wages, possible rewards for those with a bit of do-it-alone pioneer spirit, a safe and child-friendly environment for the family-oriented expat, and efficient infrastructure that makes systems such as education and healthcare in the USA some of the best in the world – but only for those who can afford them.

As a downside, the USA does tend to have a thin safety net and limited aid for those in need of monetary assistance. Not to mention that competition for jobs in many US cities is intense. 

Still, expats in the USA are known to bring enthusiasm and new ideas to an economy that highly values both – as a result, there is plenty of opportunity to make a mark and live life well.

Fast facts

Population: 330 million 

Capital city: Washington DC

Largest city: New York City

Neighbouring countries: Canada to the north and Mexico to the south.

Geography: The United States is one of the world's largest countries with diverse geographic features ranging from the grasslands of the Great Plains in the east to the harsh desert terrain in the southwest to the infamous Great Lakes in the north.

Political system: Federal presidential constitutional republic

Major religion: Christianity

Main languages: English and Spanish

Money: The US Dollar (USD), divided into 100 cents.

Tipping: Standard 15 to 20 percent in restaurants and taxis.

Time: The USA spans six time zones from GMT-5 to GMT-10. Daylight saving time applies between March and November in all states except Arizona and Hawaii.

Electricity: 120V, 60 Hz. Standard plugs have two flat blades but three-pin plugs are also used.

Internet domain: .us

International dialling code: +1

Emergency contact: 911

Transport and driving: Traffic drives on the right. There is a comprehensive public transport system in place, including subways, cabs and buses. Cities are well-connected. 

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

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GeoBlue International Health Insurance


GeoBlue is one of the best international health insurance plans for US expats abroad or internationals residing in the USA. The GeoBlue Xplorer plan includes worldwide coverage and great customer service with access to a premium international network of hospitals and doctors including the Blue Cross Blue Shield network in the USA.

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