immigrating to usa with pets

Immigrate to the United States With Your Pet

How to Immigrate to the United States With Your Pet


To immigrate to the United States with your pet, you will need to follow certain guidelines and requirements. These may include updating your pet’s vaccinations and complying with specific import regulations. You may also need to provide additional documentation such as proof of ownership and a record of your pet’s travel history.


Preparing your pet for travel is an essential part of your immigration checklist when moving to the United States. To ensure a smooth process it’s best to plan ahead because the specific requirements will vary depending on the type of animal and country of origin.


Moving Your Dog to the United States when you Immigrate


Moving your dog to the United States requires some important steps to follow. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are the regulating authorities for dogs. Their regulations are designed to limit the transmission of infectious or contagious conditions.


Three essential items you’ll need to Immigrate to the United States with your dog


  • Health certificate from a licensed veterinarian that confirms your dog is healthy and free of infectious or contagious diseases, with details such as breed, weight, age and vaccination record.
  • Rabies vaccination certificate and a written or verbal statement in English confirming that your dog lived in a country that is not high risk for at least six months.
  • Certificate from a licensed veterinarian stating that your dog has been inspected for screwworm if you’re traveling from a region where screwworm is known to exist.

Moving Your Cat to the United States


To Immigrate to the United States With Your Pet cat is relatively easier to travel with, as CDC and USDA do not require proof of rabies vaccination or additional health requirements for your Pussy. However, it’s always advisable to check the local regulations of your final destination.


You’ll need a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian and proof of rabies vaccine for cats in some states and airlines. For other animals like ferrets, hedgehogs, or snakes, there may be state or local regulations that you need to follow. If your pet isn’t a dog or cat, it’s best to check the CDC and USDA regulations and confirm any additional requirements with your airline and local officials at your final destination.


Things to Consider when Planning to Immigrate to the United States With Your Pet


There are several additional factors to keep in mind when traveling with your pet. In addition to the documentation required by CDC, USDA, and some states, your airline and country of origin may also have specific regulations that you need to follow. Here are some important things to consider:


Check with your airline: Different airlines have varying policies when it comes to traveling with pets. Some airlines only allow certain species of animals and may have requirements for health certificates, vaccination records, and crate size. If you’re shipping your pet, there may be additional information you need to provide. It’s important to check with the airline directly or consult their website for more information.


Look up regulations with your home country: Your home country may have specific requirements for exporting pets. You can find information about these requirements by checking with your country’s Ministry or Department of Agriculture. If you’re unsure where to start, organizations like IPATA and PetRelocation can connect you with agents who can help coordinate your pet’s travel safely.


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Taking these additional considerations into account will help ensure a smooth and stress free trip for you and your furry friend when you Immigrate to the United States With Your Pet.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the importation of dogs, cats and other pets into the United States to protect against the introduction of animal diseases. When importing a pet into the United States, pet owners must meet the specific health and vaccination requirements outlined by the USDA.


This includes obtaining a health certificate from a licensed veterinarian, providing proof of rabies vaccination, ensuring that the pet is free from infectious or contagious diseases and if you are immigrating with your dog you will have to provide proof of treatment for screwworm. This is especially important if you are traveling from a region where screwworm is known to exist.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has regulations in place for importing a dogs and other pets into the United States. The CDC regulates the importation of animals that could potentially pose a public health risk. Dogs, cats and some types of turtles are subject to these regulations.


The CDC requires that dogs be vaccinated against rabies and have a valid rabies vaccination certificate to enter the United States. If the dog is coming from a high risk country, then additional requirements such as a CDC Dog Import Permit also apply.


Cats are not required to have a rabies vaccination certificate to enter the United States but some states and airlines may require it. The CDC recommends that cats also have a veterinary health certificate to ensure they are healthy enough for travel.


Turtles, particularly small turtles with shells less than 4 inches long, are often carriers of Salmonella bacteria which can cause illness in humans. As a result the CDC prohibits the importation of small turtles for sale as pets.


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Subject Matter Expert at Migration Made Simple | Website | + posts

Jacqueline Chow is an international immigration and visa expert with over 15 years of experience in the field. With a background in law and a passion for helping people, Jacqueline has built a reputation as a trusted and reliable source of information and advice on all aspects of immigration and visas. She has worked with clients from all over the world, including high-net-worth individuals, professionals, skilled workers and families. As a sought-after speaker and commentator Jacqueline has been featured in various media outlets and has given talks on immigration and visas at conferences and events around the world.