Last Updated: 5/21/2019

Whether you’re relocating for a job or seeking the tropical island lifestyle, Guam has plenty to offer. Pristine white beaches, vibrant coral reefs, plentiful retail shopping options and a roster of indoor and outdoor entertainment options all make Guam an attractive place to live. You’ll also discover that Guam is home to a unique melting pot that incorporates the Chamorro culture of the islands’ original inhabitants, as well as colonial influences from Spain, Japan and the U.S.  

Guam holds a special attraction for U.S. citizens, who can easily live and work in the territory. Neither citizens nor permanent residents require work visas for employment on Guam, and everything runs on the U.S. dollar, just like on the Mainland.  

As a U.S. territory, Guam is subject to all federal regulations, but it does have its own customs and quarantine agency. As a result, there are a few local procedures and regulations that can trip up new residents. We’ll walk you through what you can and can’t bring to help you make a smooth transition to Guam. 

What Documentation Should I Bring to Guam? 

Entry requirements for Guam are the same as they would be for any destination in the United States. 

  • U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents 

Although you’re not technically required to present your passport or Green Card if you haven’t touched at a foreign location prior to entry, their presence will speed your entry into Guam. At a minimum, make sure you have a government-issued photo ID and birth certificate. For children under 16, a birth certificate will suffice. 

  • Foreign Citizens 

In most cases, you’ll need to show your passport and valid U.S. visa. However, make sure to check the specific requirements for your country to avoid any potential challenges. 

Do I Need Any Specific Vaccinations to Come to Guam? What About Daily Health and Medical Care? 

Guam does not require any specific inoculations prior to entry. However, the CDC recommends that travelers consider the following vaccinations: 

  • Hepatitis  A 
  • Hepatitis B 
  • Typhoid  

Talk to your doctor to create the immunization plan that’s right for you. 

When it comes to day-to-day health, wellness and medical care: 

  • Tap water in Guam is safe for drinking. The chlorination used to treat the water may cause mild stomach upset for those who aren’t used to it. However, for comparison’s sake, about 98 percent of U.S. water treatment systems use some type of chlorine disinfection process to help provide safe drinking water. Bottled water is easily available if desired. 
  • Milk and dairy products in Guam are safe to enjoy, along with local meats, fruits and vegetables.  
  • There is one civilian hospital, Guam Memorial, available for medical care.  
  • Additionally, Guam has a number of private clinics and pharmacies to assist with day-to-day ailments and care. 

Do I Need a Work Visa in Guam? 

U.S. citizens and permanent residents do not need a work visa for Guam. 

Foreign citizens will need one of two visas to work legally in Guam: 

  • H1B Visa – The primary work visa for foreigners in Guam, available for international professionals to live and work in the country. As a “dual intent” visa, the H1B allows visa holders to enter the U.S. while simultaneously seeking lawful permanent resident status. In order to get an H1B visa, you must: 

    • Be sponsored for a job by an employer who fills out the proper application.  
    • Qualify for a specialty occupation in a field like business, teaching, computing, engineering, financing and more.  
  • H2B Visa – Available for temporary or seasonal work in Guam. This includes occupations such as sales representatives, camp counselors, ticket sellers, security guards, hospitality representatives, food service workers and more. The visa lasts as long as the job contract, which usually does not exceed one year. To qualify, you must: 

    • Have a current job offer
    • Agree to return home once your job contract is over. 

Student visas are also available for those who are accepted into an accredited private or public institution, such as the University of Guam. 

For help on applying for a visa, visit your nearest consulate. 

What Am I Allowed to Bring to Guam?  

As we mentioned, although Guam is a territory, it has its own Customs & Quarantine Agency (CQA). Although the agency is responsible for enforcing hundreds of federal and local regulations, the rules relevant to newcomers include: 

  • Any household goods you bring with you when moving to Guam must have been in your possession for at least three months prior to your move. They also must clearly not be intended for resale purposes. 
  • Any prescription drugs should be carried with you. Bring a doctor’s note, just in case additional documentation is requested. 
  • Your duty-free alcohol allowance is 1.136 liters per person. Anything above that limit may be subject to customs duty. 

When it comes to tobacco, your duty-free allowance is: 

  • 200 cigarettes 
  • 50 cigars 
  • 2000 grams of tobacco 
  • Or proportional combinations of the three. 

If you have any questions, talk to your moving company. They’ll be able to help you make the packing and labeling decisions that will smooth your clearance through customs. 

What Am I Not Allowed to Bring to Guam? 

The Guam Customs & Quarantine Agency prohibits you from bringing certain items into Guam, including the following: 

  • Live plants, flowers, vegetables and fruits  
  • Milk, meat and meat products  
  • Items in breach of US copyright laws (CQA reported 2,193 seizures in 2017 alone!) 
  • Illicit drugs  
  • Explosives, including fireworks, ammunition, knives and any other weapons (Although it is possible to import firearms by following their procedures.) 
  • Toxic, poisonous or hazardous materials such as fertilizers 
  • Dangerous toys 

You can bring your pets to Guam, but you’ll need to follow Guam’s quarantine procedures, which we’ll discuss in the next section. 

Ask now and avoid problems later. If you have any questions about something you want to bring with you, talk to your moving company or contact the Guam Customs & Quarantine Agency

How Can I Bring My Pet to Guam? 

Guam is a rabies-free island, and their strict quarantine laws are designed to protect both the island’s human and animal residents from the spread of rabies.  

The Department of Agriculture offers four options for bringing your pets to Guam: 

  1. A Full 120-Day Commercial Quarantine: If your pet is not arriving from an exempt area and if your pet fails to pass or complete the Rabies Antibody Test for Pet Export (FAVN) testing, as well as the other requirements, then your pet will have to complete 120 days of commercial quarantine. 
  2. Calculated Quarantine: If your pet has completed all of the requirements and has a rabies FAVN titer of at least 0.5 I.U., then your pet will have to spend only as many days in commercial quarantine as required to reach 120 total days since the FAVN blood sample reached the laboratory. 
  3. Home Quarantine on Guam: If your pet is coming from the United States or an overseas United States military installation, has completed all other requirements and has a rabies FAVN titer of at least 1.0 I.U. then your pet may qualify for home quarantine until 120 total days have elapsed since the FAVN blood sample reached the laboratory. 
  4. Exempt From Quarantine: If your pet is coming from an exempt country such as Japan or Australia—and has been there for at least 120 days—then your pet may not be required to go through the quarantine process. 

For more details, see the Department of Agriculture brochure on the quarantine program. 

You’ll also need to work with your veterinarian in order to get the necessary documentation, including a health certificate and vaccination documentation. You’ll also need to meet Guam’s microchip requirements.  

Note: If you have a guide dog or a service dog, you can apply for qualifications that may allow you to bypass strict quarantines.  

Should I Take My Car to Guam? 

We get this question often, and it truly depends on 1) what kind of car you’re shipping and 2) how long you plan to stay on Guam. We’ll walk you through what’s involved in shipping a car to Guam, which may help you make your decision. 

First, all imported vehicles must meet certain standards, including US motor vehicle safety, Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency standards.  

  • Vehicles more than 21 years old may be eligible for EPA exemptions. 
  • Vehicles more than 25 years old may be eligible for DOT exemptions. 
  • Those that don’t meet these standards may still be eligible, but you’ll want to check the make and model number, as well as understand what modifications might be required prior to import. 

Vehicles that you’ve owned for less than three months are subject to a 4% import tax. 

Additionally, you’ll need to work with your shipper to assemble the necessary paperwork, including: 

  • The certificate of title and registration 
  • An invoice, bill of sale, or statement of value that states the vehicle’s VIN, description, model, and year  
  • Proof of insurance 
  • A copy of your current driver’s license 
  • Any additional documentation required by your car’s origin, make and model 

Cars can be more expensive to purchase on Guam. However, the cost of shipping your car—especially if it’s an older car that you’d likely replace in a few years—may outweigh the benefits.  

The bottom line? Get a quote for shipping, then compare it to buying a car on Guam. Once you consider how many years your current car has left, you may discover it’s a better idea to buy on-island once you arrive. 

What If I Have Other Questions About Relocating to Guam? 

We would be happy to assist! We’ve been helping families move to, from and around Guam for the last 30+ years. If you have any questions, just reach out to us. We’ll get you the answers you need. 

Ask Our Guam Moving Experts