Seattle International Moving Guide

Seattle International Moving Guide

Despite the frequent overcast skies and drizzle that keeps the Emerald City as green as it is, Seattle is a vibrant city that attracts people from all over the world. Nearly 20% of residents are foreign-born. With world-class university programs and some of the top corporations in the world, this city attracts a lot of immigrants. These same factors can lead to international moves from Seattle as people move abroad for new job opportunities or to return home after studying in the city.

Regardless of why you choose to move to Seattle, Washington, or leave it, international moves are a lengthy process. With the right international moving partner by your side, your move can come off without a hitch. Atlas International has a decades-long proven track record of helping people manage moves across borders. We're ready to help you create a seamless international relocation.

Embracing the Emerald City: Why Settle in Seattle?

Seattle is a particularly attractive place to live for a multitude of reasons. The most common reasons for moving to this city include:

  • Robust economy: Seattle's economy thrives, thanks to major businesses and corporations. It's the birthplace of Starbucks (the original store remains in Pikes Place), and its stronghold over the tech industry drives nearly 30% of the economy. Seattle is the second-largest tech hub in the nation, behind only San Francisco.
  • Strong job market: With so many major corporations in the city, Seattle's job market attracts many people seeking employment in the tech field. 
  • Highly rated universities: The city is home to several phenomenal universities, the most prestigious of which is the University of Washington. It attracts students from around the world and is renowned as one of the top public research universities.
  • Vibrant culture: Seattle's vibrant culture comes from a rich attachment to the arts. Several iconic bands, including Nirvana, got their start here, and numerous performance venues can be found throughout the city. 
  • Welcoming to immigrants: In many cases, immigrants are welcomed with open arms in Seattle, thanks to policies supporting acceptance and tolerance for people of all backgrounds. Its Welcoming Cities Resolution commits to supporting immigrants and refugees.

Moving Abroad From Seattle

If you've chosen to move abroad from Seattle, you'll need to prepare accordingly. Depending on where you choose to live, the process may look a little different. However, you'll still need to plan, pack and fill out paperwork before you can bring your international move to fruition.

Selecting the Right International Moving Partner

Ideally, you'll start planning an international relocation several months in advance. This allows you to work with an international moving service provider and ensure the timeline works for you. Of course, you'll need to do your due diligence and choose the right partner first.

Atlas International has extensive experience handling moves like yours. Our global network and comprehensive knowledge of packing and moving, as well as the policies and paperwork behind the process, make us a prime choice. Our relocation experts can assist in organizing a move that complies with all legal requirements based on the laws of the country where you intend to relocate.

Preparing for an Overseas Relocation From Seattle

The first step in preparing for your overseas relocation from Seattle is planning. We offer a handy guide to international moving to help you create a timeline and to-do lists to ensure your move goes as smoothly as possible. Some of the steps you'll need to follow regardless of where you intend to move include the following:

  • Apply for permission to live in your chosen destination country. If you're a US citizen departing from Seattle, you'll likely need to receive visa approval. However, this varies from country to country.
  • Start planning as soon as you know you're going to move. Figure out what you want to take with you and which items you'll leave behind. This process should start about 3 months before your official move.
  • Set up a consultation with Atlas International at least 2 to 3 months before the move to discuss timelines and logistics. We'll help you get everything ready, and we offer services that can take the bulk of the process out of your hands.
  • Ensure everything is in order 2 weeks in advance. Double-check all arrangements and paperwork. 
  • One week before moving, make sure all items are packed, sorted and ready for pickup.

Moving to Seattle From Other Countries

Moving to Seattle from abroad requires similar levels of attention to detail.

Preparing for an International Move to Seattle

To move to Seattle from a foreign country, you'll need a valid visa. If you're moving back to Seattle as a US citizen who lived abroad, you can skip the paperwork step, but you'll still have to plan accordingly.

Most immigrants move to Seattle to attend school, gain employment or join a permanent resident or citizen family member. Each visa has different requirements to qualify.

Once you're approved to move, you'll have to find housing accommodations, which may be challenging. Seattle is known for its competitive housing and rental market, and it may be in your best interest to look into neighboring suburbs or shared housing arrangements.

Local laws in Seattle are primarily straightforward and follow along with most of the US. However, it's important to note that jaywalking is technically illegal in Seattle. While it's rarely enforced, you can be ticketed for it.

If you're moving to Seattle, partnering with Atlas International is the best way to make it a seamless experience. We can ensure your belongings meet customs regulations.

Integrating Into Seattle's Community and Culture

The Emerald City has a mostly laid-back climate, but the notorious "Seattle Freeze" throws many people off. This concept describes the general reservedness of area residents. While people tend to be family-oriented and friendly, they generally focus on their inner circle rather than extending it. Many people find bridging the gap between acquaintance and friend difficult.

Despite this, people are quite tolerant, regardless of your place of origin. Racism and exclusion are largely abhorred in the area. However, finding a new social circle that will become lifelong friends can be challenging. 

The best way to find friends is to attend the numerous community events, classes or workshops in the area. On university campuses, public events and special interest groups offer the perfect solution to meeting people with similar interests.

Local events also create prime opportunities to meet new friends. You'll find them just about everywhere, from music night at local bars to the museums offering interesting tours of their exhibits. While it might take time to cultivate your inner circle, you'll make friends as you engage with the community.

While not strictly community- or culture-based, the weather in Seattle poses a unique challenge for many. The near-constant overcast weather in the cooler months causes many people to become vitamin D deficient or develop seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Therapy lamps that mimic the effects of sunlight can help prevent this.

Why Atlas International Is Your Ideal Moving Partner

Atlas International is the premier choice for people moving to or from Seattle. With our deep understanding of moves across US borders, we're armed with the knowledge and expertise you need to create a seamless experience.

Each move is handled according to its unique specifications. Our process begins with a thorough consultation to fully understand the scope of your move, the items you're bringing and your timeline. We create a detailed moving plan based on this information and the services you request. The result is a fully customized moving solution that works for you.

While we do everything we can to avoid any hiccups that might throw off your timeline, we also understand that not everything will always go according to plan. Our expert moving team knows how to handle issues as they arise to prevent them from completely derailing your move.

Start Your International Journey With Confidence

Your international journey awaits, whether you're coming to Seattle for the first time or getting ready to leave the Emerald City for a new international destination. We're dedicated to providing smooth, streamlined international moving support and services to ensure you and your belongings reach your final destination on time.

Whether you're just dreaming of spreading your wings or you already have your visas ready to go, Atlas International is ready to help. Contact us today for a personalized consultation, and we'll provide you with a free moving quote with custom-tailored services to make your Seattle-based move a success.