Mail Services For Expats Explained

Written by
Amber Hobert
Published on
August 14, 2023
Table of Contents

What happens to your mail if you run a business in the United States but temporarily or permanently relocate your operations outside of the country? Would you still get mail at your office, including personal items like insurance papers and business letters?

There's also a big chance that your mail or paperwork will go missing or be stolen while you're away. Only by using a mail forwarding service for US expats can you be sure that you will always get your necessary mail.

This article explains what mail service for expats is all about and will explain all you need to know about the subject matter. Before we start, it is crucial to understand what mail service for expats means.

Expat Mail Forwarding Explained

Mail forwarding for expatriates is designed so that expatriates can still get their essential mail from the United States. When you sign up for a mail forwarding service for expats, you'll be given a postal address, typically a physical street address rather than a Post Office Box.

You can receive all your mail at these "virtual mailboxes," where they are sorted, managed, and scanned. The most crucial part is that expats can always access digital copies of their scanned documents by scanning their mail. Therefore, your mail will always be present.

Benefits Of Expat Mail Forwarding

You maintain contact with friends and family

Managing your life and career while residing outside the United States is entirely possible. You can now receive parcels, and mail addressed to you at your US virtual address instead of your physical one. You can also use a mobile app or the website anytime, from any location, to check on and manage mail and parcels.

You can arrange for your mail and shipments to be sent to as many different locations as you like, at any time, and in any way you desire. Additionally, you can mail in your check deposits or throw away or shred sensitive documents that you no longer need.

Online storage

Avoid the headache of scanning mailed documents and backing up files. Upon request, most expat mail service providers scan documents and create backups. You are allowed to upload documents to a centralized repository. You have unlimited free cloud storage for voice messages and scanned documents, which helps streamline your life as much as possible.

Instantaneous access

With the Open & Scan service provided by most mail forwarding service providers, you may view mail from anywhere on the day it comes while you are outside the United States. When you get essential mail that needs to be dealt with quickly, you can ask for a scan and get a PDF of the message's contents in your digital mailbox within hours.

Purchase from any local store in the United States

You, your spouse, and your children will want to use US shopping websites to buy your favorite brands or items you can't find where you are living now. However, many American internet retailers either don't ship worldwide or charge exorbitant rates for doing so.

With expat mail services, you can send packages to your expat mail forwarding address, ensuring they are sent to you quickly and cheaply. Prices for different shipping companies and service levels are shown in real time so that you can choose the best option. You can save up to 80% on international shipping costs.

Reduced stress

If your company lacks a corporate mail service, you may rely on family and friends to retrieve, sort, and forward your mail and shipments.

With an expat mail-forwarding mailbox, you don't have to worry about your brother-in-law forgetting to get the mail, losing a letter, or mistaking an essential document for junk mail. You will view every item in your mailbox and instruct your mail service provider on handling each letter or package.


When you use a company's "pouch service," your correspondence passes through several hands before it reaches you. Mail sent to an expat mail forwarding mailbox is sent straight to the recipient's international mailing address.

Mail Services Available For Expats

Digital mail forwarding service 

This mail forwarding service lets US expats manage their mail and documents online. There are further advantages, such as very secure cloud storage accounts. Numerous factors contribute to its appeal among expats and businesspeople, including:

  • Digital mail forwarding for expats is like a virtual mail that lets you check and manage your mail from any device, like a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
  • The virtual mailbox is essential to the digital mail forwarding service because it gives you a company address and a PMB (personal mailbox) number.
  • The emails are easily accessible through a secure and highly intuitive interface. An excellent digital service provider will give you a mail forwarding app that lets you know when you send and get mail.
  • US expats can get mail from all couriers, like USPS, FedEx, DHL, and UPS, when they use a trusted digital mail forwarding service.

International business mail forwarding service

This is for expats who live permanently outside the US but do business in the US and business people who live temporarily outside the US. Whether an expat or a businessperson, you will need to talk to your customers, suppliers, etc.

You may also have to sign or respond to specific papers or letters, especially if they involve essential clients or business deals. This is when the advantages of international mail forwarding for expats become apparent.

  • The location of your home or business will remain secret because the street address given is not the real one. This is very helpful for avoiding social faux pas, legal notices, and other mail you don't want.
  • Expats can use a mail scanning service to ensure that their essential letters are safe while being sent around the world.
  • If you utilize a mail forwarding service for American expats, you may check your mail the same day it arrives, no matter where you happen to be. Some companies specializing in international mail forwarding have made software that lets you know immediately when you have new mail. Their mail forwarding software is compatible with both iOS and Android platforms and is easy to use. Because of this, companies will be able to get the most out of the resources they already have.
  • You can add special instructions to each piece of mail, such as whether it should be scanned and sent electronically or thrown away physically.
  • As part of the international business mail forwarding service, your essential documents will be scanned and kept in a secure online account.

Virtual office

If you own a business in the United States and are thinking about moving abroad permanently or for a while, a virtual mailbox should be fine with how your business works now.

One way to ensure the move doesn't hurt the business is to get an expat virtual office with mail forwarding.

You can get business services with a virtual office without renting a physical location. Essential characteristics of a virtual workplace include:

  • A virtual office provides a physical street address that may be utilized for all business purposes, including mail forwarding for expatriates. You may provide this address to clients to open a bank account. This address will boost your professional credibility and reputation.
  • US expats can meet all mail forwarding service standards if they have a virtual office. You should not worry about business correspondence being lost or stolen. Your essential mail will be scanned and delivered to the virtual office location.

Virtual mailbox

A 2019 Gallup study says that about 9 million Americans live temporarily or permanently overseas. This includes expats and digital nomads. Most of these Americans get their mail from the United States via the US Postal Service or a virtual mailbox service.

The Virtual Mailbox Service is a mail forwarding service designed for expatriates. How does this function?

  • A virtual mailbox service offers expatriates a conspicuous physical address. You can use this address for both business and personal correspondence.
  • Some service providers will provide you with a business address you will utilize for mail forwarding for expatriates.
  • Every time you get mail, a scan of the envelope will be sent to your registered cloud account or email address.
  • After you get the scan, you can decide if the message is spam or if it should be opened, scanned, and its contents sent to you.

Get A Reliable Expat Mail Service Provider 

If you are an American citizen living or working abroad, you must have a reliable mail service provider to ensure you can access all your mail at once. Whether receiving mail from a business partner or friend, accepting a package from a friend, or getting a notification for your tax guides or expat tax filing with the IRS, a mail forwarding service is essential.

So, if you are moving abroad, make sure you choose a reliable expat mail service or virtual mailbox provider who will ensure you have access to your mail when necessary.

Sign up for Residency in South Dakota