Moving Overseas

Moving to San Francisco

Moving to San Francisco

Are you moving to San Francisco in the USA?

Crown are an international relocations company, specialising in international removals, storage, overseas moving, movers insurance, relocation services and lots more. We will even relocate your vehicle and pets!

Our team is available to answer any relocation questions you may have. They can be reached between 8:00 am and 5:30 pm from Monday to Friday on 0508 227 696 or email


San Francisco is a beautiful city by the bay, set along the blue water of the Pacific Ocean, on the west coast of the USA, with rolling hills and its unique mix of architecture. It contains some of California's most notable landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Of course, the city is known for many more things; the cable cars; Pier 39 (or Fisherman's Wharf) where the sea lions snooze in the sunshine; the Golden Gate Park, which at 1017 acres, makes it one of the largest urban parks in the world; the late Steve McQueen’s Ford Mustang being chased through the city streets in the movie Bullitt, or sampling the delights of China Town.

The city is the cultural, commercial, and financial centre of Northern California, and surprisingly covers only 46.9 square miles (121 km2), with a population of some 850,000, although when you include the wider San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland areas, the population increases to 8.6 million.

San Francisco is a delight move to and visit with many things to do and see, a good place to start is the official tourist website at

Visa Permit

New Zealanders need an Immigrant Visa to be able to live in the USA, and details of how to obtain one, can be found at the United States Diplomatic Mission to New Zealand’s website at


The official currency of the United States of America is the US Dollar, and shops and service providers will only accept the US Dollar. Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cent, and notes in $1, 2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills.

Many migrants have found it helpful to set up a US bank account before moving to the country. This makes it easy for converted money to be transferred straight in to your account, as well as minimising the need to carry cash while travelling. There are many banks in San Francisco who offer an on-line sign-up service.

The best way to convert large sums of money is through online transfer companies, who provide a much cheaper rate. Crown has entered into a partnership with NZForex to provide an easy, reliable and cost effective solution for clients who are moving their funds internationally. The deals offered by NZForex are at super competitive exchange rates and in most cases there's no fee. The cost structure is so good that the saving you make may even pay for the entire cost of your relocation. Click Here for more information.


San Francisco has an excellent public transport system, and details can found at

If you do choose to drive in San Francisco, the first point to bear in mind, is that in the US, they drive on the opposite side of the road to that in New Zealand.

The city’s roads are narrow and congested, with very limited parking, to the point that visitors are advised not to rent a car while staying in the city, but to use the extensive public transport system. For those planning to live in San Francisco, then a car will be useful, and limited resident’s parking is available in most suburbs.

You can drive in the US on a NZ drivers licence, but only for a short period, and the US Embassy in New Zealand recommends that you apply for an International Driver Permit, and if staying in the US, you should apply for a US driving licence.

San Francisco has a major international airport, with flights to most major destinations around the world, there are also services to cities within the US. The airport is linked to the city by the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) system.


There are six universities in the San Francisco, the most famous of which are University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University, and in terms of the local schooling system, there are both private and public education services available for children in America. Most expatriates choose to enrol their children in private or independent schools, this is because state schools are generally based on ‘catchment areas’.

The school year begins in September and ends in June, typical school-days run Monday-Friday from 8.30 am to 3.00 pm, although this can depend upon the age of the children.

Students generally travel to school by car with their parents, or in some cases, take the school bus (the bright yellow ones you see in the movies), others will cycle or walk.

Crown can arrange an appointment with a specialist education consultant who can provide an in-depth explanation of local education systems, the curricula available and arranging interviews, as well as assist with enrolment requirements. Please contact us for information and rates.


America has a public health-care system, called Medicare, but most people take out private insurance as well. If the insurance company you were with in New Zealand is a member of the International Federation of Health Funds, you may be able to transfer your policy to the USA without penalty - at a similar level of cover. Check with your insurance provider for details, or visit


When choosing where to live in San Francisco, the deciding factor for expats is normally how close you need to be to your work or tour children’s school. The cost of accommodation and commuting to work are also significant considerations.

Rather than purchasing a home, most expatriates choose to rent, at least at first. This is because house prices in San Francisco are expensive. Looking for a home in San Francisco can quite often be a daunting task, and Crown can advise on rental accommodation or purchasing properties, and can also arrange for temporary accommodation.


San Francisco‘s diverse, multi-cultural population means that you are bound to meet people from all walks of life. Expatriates blend into the community through the sports and hobbies they are interested in.

The relaxed environment that California is justifiably famous for provides numerous opportunities to meet new people. Social media is also a great way to get to know like-minded people.

Next Steps

Crown Relocations has 50 years of international moving experience relocating individuals and families to San Francisco and throughout the USA, contact us today for more information about our services.

For more information read our Blog on why you should choose Crown for your move to the United States?

To arrange a moving quote call our office Free on 0508 227 696, get an online Ballpark estimate, complete our Home Visit Request or get a Full Quote or email us now at


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