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Moving to Puerto Rico from the USA

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International Moving Company to Puerto Rico

When you move to Puerto Rico, you will want to engage the services of a company experienced in shipping household goods.

Although Puerto Rico is still an island over 1100 miles from the closest point in the US in Florida, your personal belongings will be moved on a ship. Though this is a domestic move and not an international move per se, it is still an intricate move with many steps more than a typical relocation from one state to another. 

You are encouraged to use the services of an international mover licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission. This US government body regulates sea freight companies and ensures that you will be getting fair service. SDC International Shipping is licensed by this commission; our license number is # 02238N. 

Easy Relocation to Puerto Rico

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a very attractive destination for Americans. Most importantly, Puerto Rico is a part of the United States. You don’t require any visa or special permission to move there. You can work there, retire there, or purchase a second home as you please if you are a citizen of the United States. 

Puerto Rico could even be considered a tax haven by some, and there are taxation reasons you might want to make San Juan or Condado your permanent residence while maintaining your old home as a second residence.

If you speak Spanish, you should not expect any problems on the island, as it is comfortable and considered safe. If you don’t speak Spanish, you will probably prefer to move to the nearby US Virgin Islands, where English is spoken, but you will be able to enjoy the same weather and tax advantages.

What to Know Before Moving Household Goods

There are no restrictions on what you can and cannot bring to Puerto Rico. As an integral part of the United States, whatever is legal in the US is legal there.

You are moving to a tropical island, so ensure that the furniture and equipment you are sending are appropriate.

We are sure you are moving to Puerto Rico partly to enjoy the tropical weather. So we recommend sending along whatever you will need to facilitate this. While you can get a lot of things on the island, the selection available to you now is greater, so you should send appropriate things like furniture, grills or fire pits, and equipment for an outdoor kitchen if you want it.

One of the things that you should keep in mind is that when moving to Puerto Rico, your cargo will be sent by sea, and much movement should be expected on the journey. We recommend that you use our professional packing services for your move. 

Packing Services

Our international household movers are experienced at packing fragile items to reduce damage as much as possible. Special packing materials are used, depending upon what you are sending. For instance, if your shipment includes mirrors or framed art, our movers will bring moving boxes.

If you are sending items that are breakable or of particular value, we will build customized crates for them. Please let your SDC International Shipping relocation specialist know about this so that necessary supplies will be sent when our movers come to pack your belongings for shipment. 

The professional packing service is a prerequisite for purchasing international moving insurance against damage to your property. You can get marine insurance against the total loss of your shipment.

Customs and Regulations

As the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a part of the United States, there are no customs charges. Your shipment will not have to pass through customs clearance, but it might be x-ray inspected.

You might be charged the Puerto Rico sales tax for certain new items you send. In such cases, you should be able to have any sales tax you paid in your state of origin refunded.

Moving to Puerto Rico with a Dog or Cat

  • You should provide a Health Certificate issued within 10 days of departure. 
  • Pets should be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before flying. 
  • The best practice for your pet is to have basic vaccines and be microchipped.
  • Important: If you are sending a dog, there are a few breeds that can’t be brought
  • For more information about Puerto Rico pet import, visit the USDA website.

We can arrange safe pet relocation from the US to Puerto Rico – guide you through the process, from paperwork and regulations to travel logistics. 

International Car Shipping to Puerto Rico

You are allowed to send your car to Puerto Rico. Almost all makes and models can easily be serviced there, so you can send yours instead of selling your car and buying a new one in Puerto Rico. If there is space, you can send it in a container. Most cars take up over half the room of a 20’ container, so in some cases, you can send a 40’ container instead. This is more affordable than using a special car transport service.

Below find the list of documents required for Puerto Rico car shipping: 

  • Bill of Lading
  • Lien Holder Authorization letter
  • License 
  • Your Passport ID
  • Power of Attorney if another person delivers and picks up the vehicle.

How Much Does it Cost to Move to Puerto Ricco?

The cost of moving to Puerto Rico varies based on the size and volume of your goods, origin/destination, and services chosen. 

You can contact one of our representatives to get the most accurate cost. We’ll discuss the details of your move and create an accurate quote so you can plan your international move. To get started, you are welcome to fill out an online quote form.  

How Do I Become a Permanent Resident?

As a US citizen, you can take many advantages of living in this Caribbean country. However, there are still some conditions to meet to become a permanent resident and enjoy all the benefits. 

  • You must reside in Puerto Rico for 183 days during the tax year and have no “tax home.”
  • You must demonstrate that you have lived at least 549 days within the next three years. 
  • To take the most out of the benefits, you must live and purchase in Puerto Rico. 
  • Another option is donating $10,000 or more a year to a registered charity on the island. 
  • When traveling back to the USA, you can stay there for not more than 90 days per year. 
  • Finally, you need to prove you have no “ties” to the US or any other country worldwide. 

Your transition to Puerto Rico will be stress-free if you meet these requirements. As your international mover, we’ll do our best to ship your household goods right to the doorsteps of your new home. 

Do You Move from California to Puerto Rico? 

SDC International Shipping can move individuals and families from any California city. Please see below the top origins in the USA: 

  • Los Angeles
  • Houston
  • Sacramento
  • Seattle
  • Las Vegas
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Miami
  • And more.

No matter where you are in the USA, we can arrange a service that assumes picking up your household items, transporting them to the nearest ocean port, and delivering them to a final destination. 

Moving to Puerto Rico Checklist 

You have probably visited Puerto Rico many times and already know where you will live.

 Some of the things that you start doing before your move include:

  • Downsizing – if you are moving permanently, start disposing of things you don’t need early. Things like furniture left behind can be a pain to eliminate at the last minute.
  • Supplying – if you are setting up a second home, get whatever you need to supply it. This includes full sets of cooking and dining equipment, bathroom and bedroom linens, and household tools.
  • Health insurance – the health insurance in Puerto Rico is a little bit different than the rest of the United States, they have something similar to universal health care coverage, but you still need to pay. Your overall cost will probably be less than what you are currently paying. If you plan on maintaining a second home, consult your current health insurance regarding coverage while living in Puerto Rico.
  • Make sure you have all the right clothing for a tropical climate. You will not require any winter clothes.
  • Your mobile phones will continue to work in Puerto Rico, and you will likely not have to switch plans. However, you will be looking at different internet and TV service providers. ATT services the whole island, but most clients will be shifting to new service providers. Make sure that you cancel or transfer your contracts.
  • Schools in Puerto Rico teach in Spanish, even though English is taught to all ages. If you are moving with school-aged children who don’t yet speak Spanish, you will need to register them in special English; you should try to make early arrangements, as places are limited in these schools.

Other Useful Resources for Moving to Puerto Rico

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I move to Puerto Rico not to pay taxes? 

Yes, Puerto Rico is a tax-free country. You will only have to pay the country 4% of your income. However, to be exempt from taxes, you must live in your Puerto Rico residence for 183 days. 

I am an American. How long can I stay in Puerto Rico?

An ESTA states that US citizens can stay in Puerto Rico for up to 90 days for tourism, transit, and business matters. 

What are the reasons not to move to Puerto Rico?

Every country has living pros and cons. As for Puerto Rico, this could be a slow pace of life and sometimes a poor internet connection. 

What are the top destinations for living in Puerto Rico?

Top destinations are San Juan and Condado. Other popular places are Dorado, Palmas Del Mar, Rio Mar, West Coast, Rincon, Humacao, and Cayey.


Moving to Puerto Rico from the USA

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