Can I bring my pet with me when I immigrate?

For many people, pets are considered a part of the family. It isn’t a question as to whether or not they will bring their pet with them when they move. However, it’s a little different when you are immigrating into a new country. You can’t just waltz into the United States with your three dogs and expect it to go over smoothly. There are steps that you need to take in order to successfully immigrate with your pet to the United States.

Once all of your paperwork has been filed for you to enter the United States, then you may think about bringing a pet. The Center for Disease Control is very strict about this because they don’t want any new diseases to enter the country unnecessarily. The CDC will only allow you to bring a dog into the country if it has all of the necessary vaccinations, including rabies. However, if the country you are coming from has been deemed “rabies-free,” you do not require this vaccination. Some of these countries include Cape Verde, Japan, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand. This is only a small sample of the rabies-free countries. It is best to do research on whether your country falls into this category.

If your country is not on this list, they must obtain a vaccination. It is important to be aware that this also applies to service animals. If your dog is unvaccinated and you are coming from a country that is not free of rabies, it will likely be confined and denied entry until it has been vaccinated. The rules and regulations regarding bringing your cat into the United States do not require them to be vaccinated for rabies. Depending on which state you are going to live in, you may have to obtain vaccinations once you arrive.

Other non-traditional pets are likely not permitted to enter the United States. These include African rodents, monkeys, and civets. Birds and turtles have regulations against them, some involving a 30-day quarantine, but may be allowed.

John Sesini is an experienced immigration attorney with offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee Wisconsin. If you have any questions regarding these matters, please contact the Sesini Law Group, S.C. and obtain your initial consultation.

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