Moving to Puerto Rico from the USA

Every year, Puerto Rico welcomes more than 4 million tourists. The most attractive aspects of this territory are the white sand beaches, natural beauty, rich history, culture, and food. Now more than ever, though, moving to Puerto Rico has gained traction and isn’t slowing down anytime soon. In fact, for the first time in nearly 15 years, the population of Puerto Rico increased significantly.

This indicates further that more people are moving to Puerto Rico and permanently staying. After Hurricane Maria caused massive devastation to Puerto Rico back in 2017, the island saw a decrease in population of roughly 130,000 people.

If you’re planning on moving to Puerto Rico here are some other articles that might help you plan your move:

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  • How much will your move cost?: This cost calculator will provide an immediate calculation of what your move should cost. Just plug in your moving dates, the size of your move, where you’re moving to/from, and let the calculator do the rest.
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Here are some facts about the territory to acclimate those who are potentially getting ready to move to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic. It is made up of one main island and numerous smaller islands.

The main island is a prime destination for a majority of people. The only areas that are inhabited year-round are Vieques and Culebra. Individuals who love nature and try to escape tourism tend to relocate to one of the smaller islands.

How Much Does it Cost to Move from the USA to Puerto Rico?

Home Size Moving Company Moving Container Freight Company
Studio/1 Bedroom $1,680-$5,840 $1,923-$2,429 $1,520-$2,160
2-3 Bedrooms $2,200-$8,050 $2,422-$3,650 $2,185-$3,180
4+ Bedrooms $3,885-$10,300 $3,273-$4,134 $2,850-$3,600

*Pricing above does not include gas, tolls, lodging, and other related moving expenses.

What are the best USA to Puerto Rico movers?

Company Quote Rating Price
Safeway Moving Systems
Best Overall Value
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5 overall rating
American Van Lines
Best industry reputation
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4.85 overall rating
Air Van northAmerican Van Lines
Best for complex moves
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4.35 overall rating

How to Move to Puerto Rico

It doesn’t matter why you may be moving to Puerto Rico; no matter for school, work, or desire, the move requires detailed coordination. Be sure to acclimate yourself with some basic information before purchasing a one-way ticket.

Transporting automobiles, furniture, or other large pieces of furniture can take up to two weeks to arrive at your new destination. Due to that, it may be in your best interest to sell certain items rather than ship them, such as older cars valued at less than a thousand dollars. Stay informed on prices and cargo company schedules.

A key piece of information you need to know is that license plates are not transferable. License stickers are renewed each year where you pay a $35 annual fee for no-fault insurance. Or you pay $65 for yearly insurance.

Cost of Living in Puerto Rico

The cost of living in Puerto Rico is approximately 14.2% lower than in the United States. However, typical grocery items are 7.5% higher in price on average than those in the United States. When it comes to housing, Puerto Rico’s house prices can be compared to Miami or Los Angeles.

Although, property taxes are much lower than most places in the United States. Puerto Rico’s real estate market is also booming because of population growth. The median property value back in 2016 was $111,900. Below is a table that compares Puerto Rico home prices and home values with states in the United States:

Location Median List Price ($)
Puerto Rico $195,000
Virgin Islands $299,000
Florida $179,000
South Carolina $165,000
North Carolina $176,000
Georgia $155,000
California $319,000
New York $325,000
Texas $174,000

To obtain information on Titles, Deeds, and Land Records, it is necessary to know the purchaser’s name, the approximate date of purchase, and the city where the land is located.

Finding Work in Puerto Rico

If you do not have a job before you arrive in Puerto Rico, you want to ensure that your resume is up to date and you have copies of all relevant documentation. Finding a job in Puerto Rico can be done in several different ways that include:

  • Asking for job leads from family, friends, people in the community, and staff at career centers
  • Going door to door of employers, factories, or any offices that pique your interest regardless if they have vacancies
  • Using the Yellow Pages to help identify jobs that you are interested in near the town or city you live
  • You can even call the employers in that field to find out whether or not they are hiring too

Education in Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico, education is mandatory for kids between 6 and 17 years old. The primary school comprises six grades; secondary levels are divided into two cycles of 3 years. School terms begin in August and end in December, then start again in January, ending in late May.

There are plenty of colleges and universities throughout the island, including the University of Puerto Rico, Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, and others.

Moving to Puerto Rico is an Easy Transition

With Puerto Rico being a United States territory since 1898, you are likely to have an easy transition if you are moving from the United States to Puerto Rico. There is no need for work permits or visas. Living in Puerto Rico is similar to living abroad without pesky paperwork or other immigration concerns. Another reason moving to Puerto Rico from the United States is simple is that the territory uses the United States dollar. This enables easy banking and handling of finances. United States residents will also appreciate the fact that:

  • If you are a customer of AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Sprint, your cell phone will work the same way it does in the United States. There are no roaming charges either. This makes it effortless to keep in touch with friends and family.
  • In regards to mail service, USPS considers Puerto Rico the same as any other domestic destination. You can mail items to Puerto Rico at no extra cost. With media mail services, it generally takes a week or two within the continental 48 states, but with Puerto Rico, it can take weeks. It is better to use Priority Mail or First Class for faster service. Remember, though, that UPS and FedEx consider Puerto Rico international. For this reason, you will find that mailing via USPS is the most economical option.

United States citizens moving to Puerto Rico will also find that the highways across the territory are well maintained, and fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Subway can all be accessed on the island.

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, so it doesn’t have a government body that handles external affairs. So, it is subjected to the United States policy-making areas like foreign relations, trade, citizenship, etc. You will have to go through the United States immigration authorities to obtain a visa for Puerto Rico.

Become a Part of the Caribbean Lifestyle

When you move to Puerto Rico, you will be immersed in pristine beaches lined with palm trees as well as world-class surfing, over 20 forest preserves, a 29,000-acre tropical rainforest, and so much more. Puerto Rico has a strong boating culture since it is close to the Spanish Virgin Island of Vieques and Culebra.

Puerto Rico’s Friendly, Lively Culture

Anyone who has moved to Puerto Rico will tell you that the island residents warmly welcomed them. Many people have said that they found it easy to integrate into Puerto Rico socially. You can’t forget the rich and unique culture Puerto Rico is known for combining Spanish, African, Caribbean, and Taino traditions. The territory also supports an active art scene and culinary culture.

It isn’t required but somewhat encouraged to answer whether or not you need to speak Spanish to live in Puerto Rico. Being able to speak and understand Spanish will only add to the experience of living in Puerto Rico. Spanish is a widely spoken language, with roughly 95% of people speaking a language other than English. To fully immerse yourself in Puerto Rico’s culture, learning Spanish will benefit you in the long run.

The official languages of Puerto Rico

Keep in mind that Spanish and English have been adopted as the official languages of Puerto Rico. Although, if you are looking to start a business, you will notice that many professionals in Puerto Rico speak English. All the forms you need to complete are available in Spanish and English. Or, if you are bringing children to Puerto Rico, know that Spanish is the common language spoken in public schools. To alleviate some stress, English is part of the regular curriculum too.

The island of Puerto Rico is extensive and reaches up to 100 miles in length. Almost every region offers something different. For example, life in Rincon will be very different from the lifestyle of Palmas del Mar. Puerto Rico is highly reputable for diversity, so you are bound to find the right region to suit you.

Some of the more popular areas that someone moving to Puerto Rico may consider are San Juan, Dorado, Culebra, and Ponce.

Puerto Rico Tax Benefits

People who relocate to Puerto Rico may already be aware of the tax benefits they can take advantage of if they move their business. There are more than 1,500 people from the United States who have migrated to the island since 2012. One of the most extensive programs that United States citizens can take advantage of is our Act 20 and Act 22.

In Puerto Rico, residency requirements for these laws are taken extremely seriously. To establish “bona fide residence,” there are three tests a new resident will need to pass. The first is the presence test, which states where you were physically present during the tax year. The next is the tax home test, which is the location of your main place of business. Lastly, the closer connection test asks if you have closer connections in another area besides Puerto Rico. This is suitable if your family, for example, lives in Florida.

Puerto Rico has a welcoming community

In addition to the tax incentives and Puerto Rico’s location, the island has become increasingly appealing to live for entrepreneurs and business owners. Puerto Rico’s active business community hosts many events, ideal for those who would like to converse with others who share the same interests. Living in Puerto Rico has also been known to act as a great starting point for businesses.

Other Destinations

In contrast to other Caribbean destinations, Puerto Rico is very accessible. There are two major airports on the island. On the one hand, there is the Luis Munoz Marin Airport outside San Juan. Then there is the Rafael Hernandez Airport on the island’s west side. Even though you may be far from home, you can still connect to other destinations.

Only 1000 miles from Miami, Puerto Rico is close to the United States. As a result of this, all your belongings will travel by boat. You have the choice to pack an entire container of your items, or you can work with a moving company. When you work with a moving company, all your belongings are packed into wooden crates, otherwise known as “lift vans.”

When preparing for a move, it is helpful to get three independent quotes, downsize and utilize complete protection.

Weather Conditions in Puerto Rico

After moving to Puerto Rico, you can say goodbye to winter. The island consistently remains steady and balmy all year round. For the coasts, you can expect to enjoy temperatures ranging from 75-81 degrees Fahrenheit while island temperatures remain on the cooler side. This could be quite a bit of shock if you lived mainly in an area with seasonal weather. Celebrating a warm December holiday season may feel rather odd, but you will soon get acquainted with the climate.

If you seek additional help with your move to Puerto Rico, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional moving company or expert. They can provide you with the necessary tools, strategies, and information to assist your big move. Puerto Rico has several advantages to its name, don’t miss out on your opportunity to experience everything the island offers. You will not be disappointed with your decision to move to Puerto Rico from the United States.

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