Across the globe millions of people are working very hard for the possibility to one day be able to live their own “American Dream”.

Each person has their own set of ideals, which may include the opportunity for prosperity and success for themselves, their family and their furry family members.

You might be very surprised to find out that taking your pet to the States is very easy process. It is an export requirement that all pets leaving South Africa are microchipped. It is a good idea to register your pet’s microchip with a local microchip company when you arrive in the States. A microchip is the best way to be reunited, should your pet go missing or get separated from you. It is also required for your pet to have a valid rabies vaccine that is older than 30 days and not older than one year when they travel. The States will also accept pets with valid 3 year rabies vaccinations.

A fit to travel health check needs to be done within 5 days of travel at your private vet. All dogs travelling to the States have to also undergo a screwworm check. There is no state vet endorsement required on the documentation for pets travelling through to the USA.

Even though it is a very easy process to transport our furry family members through to the States the opposite can be said about human travel. If you are not lucky enough to win the Green Card Lottery that is held in October each year, South Africans have a few VISA options:

  1. L-1 Visa: Business Visa or a intercompany work visa

This visa enables someone who has worked outside of the United States in a company as a manager, executive, or in a position involving specialised knowledge to work in a related U.S. company in the same capacity or to work in a new branch of their South African business in the United States.

  1. H-1B visa: Employment (specialty occupation)

Applications for this visa open on 1 April each year, and only 65 000 of these visas are granted per year. A person who has the equivalent of a US Bachelor’s degree plus a number of relevant years of work experience and who have an offer of employment from a US employer are eligible for this visa.

  1. EB-5 visa: Investment or Investment Green Card

Investors who are able to invest between +- $500 000.00 and $1 000 000.00 into their own business or as a passive investment into a Regional Center, are eligible to apply for this type of visa.

  1. E-2 visa: Business and investment

The E-2 visa allows you to invest in an existing business and you must own at least 50% of it.

  1. J-1 Visa: Student

If you are interested in being a student.

The whole visa process can be tedious and daunting, from the research we have done it has come to light that the best way to go about visa the process would be to enlist the expertise of an immigration attorney. The process can be a long one therefore it is very important that your visa application is completed correctly the first time. An attorney can help you with the application and also identify the best way forward based on your skills and qualifications.


Global Paws will take care of your pet’s travel arrangements, while you work with your immigration attorney for your arrangements. At the end of the day it will take a lot longer for your preparation than it will take to prepare your precious pet.

Photo Credits :

  • Top Images : Oscar and Toby (Mom, Jacqui) – In their new garden in Orlando
  • Middle Images : Coco and Shayley (The Blom Family) – With mom and dad in their new home in Boston
  • Below Images : Molly (Mom, Claire) – Now lives happily ever after in California.
  • Below Images : Jack and Angel (Mom, Jonitha) – also living the Californian Dream!