Phoenix AZ International Moving Guide

Phoenix AZ International Moving Guide

The city of Phoenix is as vibrant as the legendary bird it's named after. Thanks to its rapid growth, it's made a name for itself as an attractive international destination for expats seeking new ventures. 

Whether you're moving to Phoenix, AZ, from another country or getting ready to use this bright city as your launching pad for worldwide adventures, Atlas International is ready to help pave the way. As a trustworthy international moving partner, Atlas will facilitate a smooth transition to your new home. 

Welcome to Phoenix: Sun, Opportunity, and Culture

People choose to move to Phoenix for all sorts of reasons. Its booming economy and diverse job market make it a land of opportunity for natives and international expats. Beyond that, some people find the hot desert climate particularly attractive.

The city offers plenty of opportunities to explore culture, from museums to performing arts theaters. The Roosevelt Row Arts District in the downtown area features art galleries, street art and regular festivals. Even better, you'll find yourself in the heart of a major metropolitan area, granting access to all the urban amenities you could want. 

Preparing for an International Move to Phoenix

Your international move to Phoenix requires extensive preparation to come off without a hitch. However, with some planning and diligence, you can live your dream. 

Key Steps for a Successful Move

Before moving to Phoenix, Arizona, from a country outside the US, you need to gather and complete all necessary documentation. Most people immigrate to the US to either join family members, seek employment or attend school. Other visas may be more appropriate based on the conditions and reason you choose to enter the US. Regardless of your reason for moving, if you aren't a US citizen, you need a visa, which typically involves a lengthy application process and fees.

For family immigration, a qualifying family member must sponsor you. While US citizens may sponsor their spouse, children, parents or siblings, lawful permanent residents may only sponsor their spouse or unmarried children. You and your sponsoring family member must go through a specific immigrant visa process for final approval.

Employment-based visas allow around 140,000 foreign residents to enter the US each year under the sponsorship of their US-based employer. To receive an immigrant visa for employment, your US-based employer must obtain a labor certificate approval from the Department of Labor and file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140. Preference is given based on skills.

Foreign nationals interested in a US-based education may obtain a student visa, although this is considered a nonimmigrant visa. To attend a university, college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory or another academic institution, you must seek an F visa. Attending vocational training or other nonacademic institutions requires you to file an M visa. To receive a visa, you must first gain acceptance at a SEVP-approved school and pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. Your school then issues a form I-20, which allows you to apply for an F or M visa. 

Beyond getting a visa, you'll also need to secure housing and prepare yourself to adjust to the US, especially if you've never been there before or you're coming from a country with a drastically different culture. However, with plenty of planning, you'll find housing in the perfect neighborhood and learn how to integrate into the community.

Exploring the Best Areas to Live in Phoenix

Choosing somewhere to live can be daunting, especially if you've never seen it in person. In Phoenix, you'll find all sorts of neighborhoods and suburbs offering different vibes and amenities. Some of the most popular include:

  • Downtown Phoenix: Living in Downtown Phoenix puts you at the heart of the city's action. This area houses one of the Arizona State University campuses and embraces students and young professionals. Expect delectable pizzerias, cocktail bars and plenty of trendy shopping. The area is also home to many families, offering close proximity to hiking trails, the Children's Museum of Phoenix and excellent schools in a walkable neighborhood.
  • Scottsdale: Scottsdale is technically east of Phoenix, but it's a favored area to live. Not only will you have access to the urban amenities Phoenix offers, but you'll also be surrounded by an extensive public transportation system and plenty of festivals throughout the year.
  • Tempe: This Phoenix suburb offers easy access to big-city life with a more suburban feel. If you're a keen traveler, you'll be a short drive from the Phoenix Airport. It also houses an Arizona State University campus, making it ideal for students.
  • Paradise Valley: Paradise Valley is a true paradise for outdoor adventurers. Whether you want to spend your time hiking the Phoenix Mountains, traversing biking trails or practicing your swing on the golf course, you'll have plenty to do here. It's also filled with dining options and trendy nightlife scenes.

Understanding the Cost of Living in Phoenix

The cost of living in Phoenix is somewhat higher than the US average. However, it's on the lower side compared to other major cities in the country, such as Seattle, New York and San Francisco. 

Housing costs in Phoenix tend to outpace the national average, but its robust economy can make this feel more manageable. Utility, food and public transportation costs tend to align with the national averages. 

Making Phoenix Your New Home

Once you're ready to settle in, it's time to get your affairs in order and integrate into your new community. Many rental units require you to maintain utilities in your name, which may require a deposit to activate. Your lease should include details about this process once you choose where you'll live.

Phoenix is highly accepting of immigrants — an estimated 19% of the population was born outside the US as of 2022. As you integrate, you'll be surrounded by a friendly, laid-back population ready to welcome you. Outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking and golfing, are highly popular. However, if you're more interested in arts and culture, you'll find plenty of events, festivals and museums to enjoy.

Meeting like-minded people is relatively simple, especially if you join classes, sports leagues or volunteer groups tailored to your interests. 

Preparing for an International Move From Phoenix

If you're getting ready to leave Phoenix for international destinations, you must first understand the rules and regulations surrounding immigration for the country where you wish to relocate. In most cases, you'll have to complete a similar immigration process and qualify for a residency visa in the nation of your choice.

You'll also need to organize the international move itself. This often involves partnering with international movers, such as Atlas International, to get your belongings overseas and to pass customs.

Every nation will have its own immigration process. You may need to meet financial criteria and get a permit to attend school or work in the new destination. Some nations may require you to arrive with a set amount of money if you intend to stay long-term. 

You'll also need to integrate into your new community. This might involve learning a new language, respecting a new culture or adjusting to new norms.

Choosing Atlas International for Your International Relocation

Atlas International has over 60 years of experience managing international relocations, both to and from the US. As experts in the industry, we have comprehensive services designed to make your move as hassle-free as possible. We can do everything from a door-to-door move to storing your items and clearing customs. 

Our process is simple. You first consult with an international relocation specialist to determine your unique needs and timeline. From there, we handle the rest, even helping to unpack in your new home if you'd like us to. We prioritize total transparency, remaining in contact with you every step of the way, and we offer support and guidance throughout the process. 

Embark on Your Global Adventure With Confidence

Are you ready to make your global adventure a reality? With Atlas International at your side, the world is your oyster. We provide the personalized services and expert advice you need to move internationally.

All you have to do is take the first step and reach out to us for a personalized moving quote and consultation. Rather do it by phone? Call 1-888-669-6031 from the US or 1-206-526-1137 from anywhere in the world.