Sending Mail as an Expat
What’s the easiest way for expats to send letters and postcards from outside the USA? The short version is that Mailform lets you send mail from anywhere in the world to the USA: Try Mailform Now!
It’s a bit more complicated than “buy a stamp and put it on the letter,” especially when you’re new to a country. How much is a stamp? How long will it take to get there? Where can you find a post office?
To help you out, we’ve spelled out the best way to send snail mail to folks in the USA from anywhere in the world. Then we’ve also shared the basics you need to know in order to send mail from various countries the old way.
Mailform allows you to upload a PDF from your computer or smartphone, add recipient address, set any return address and choose between USPS First Class, Certified, Priority & Priority Express Mail. Further, select from color, to flat documents, print single sided or even send a postcard. Mailform’s interface is easy to navigate and the user experience is straightforward. Once you’ve completed uploading and click send, all mail is intelligently printed and posted from the USA, and you pay for everything in US dollars, in many cases we’re cheaper and faster than the local mail service.
Mailform has the type of flexibility that many you won’t find at any local post office, especially if you’re living in a rural area. You can opt for Certified or Priority mail to track your documents online, giving you confidence that your mail piece is on its way. If you’re looking to send a postcard or letter to a group - we make that easy as well - just try our BulkMail tool.
Use the time you would have spent at the post office to explore the country where you live. We think the decision is easy! - Send mail now with Mailform, no accounts or log-in necessary
Finally, if you’d like to do it the old way and buy paper and supplies as well as postage, walk over to the post office and send via an international carrier, see some tips below
Send a Letter to the USA from Mexico
Mail in Mexico has come a long way since it was carried from one place to the other by young men who ran fast. These days, mail travels via vehicle except in extremely rural areas, but it still takes seven to 10 days to reach its destination.
Lonely Planet describes Mexican post as “slow, inexpensive and fairly reliable.” However, the Mexican postal service website quotes $11.50 as the price for sending a single letter to the US, so one might question the “inexpensive” descriptor.
Send a Letter to the USA from Canada
Canada Post is a fairly easy system to navigate, though it’s getting more expensive. In 2018, the price for a regular letter within Canada jumped from $1 to $1.05. Letters to the USA cost an extra $0.07 and $0.20 on top of that.
If your letter is 5 sheets or less, the final cost of sending it to the USA will be about $1.30. Heavier letters of up to 9 sheets cost $1.94.
Send a Letter to the USA from the UK
If you’re living in the UK and sending letters to the USA, you’re going to get very familiar with Royal Mail. Their bright red post boxes are easy to find, and that same red logo means that you can spot a store with a stamp counter easily as well.
You can send a letter to the USA from the UK for as little as £1.20, but the letter might take 42 days to get where it’s going. Fortunately, for just 15p extra, you can get International Standard postage that arrives in 6 to 7 business days. Tracked and signed letters cost £6.10.
Send a Letter to the USA from Germany
Deutsche Post, the mail service of Germany, has been privatized for a quarter-century, but it still operates much like any other national postal service. You can buy stamps online or purchase them from a local post office or stamp kiosk. Deutsche Post is partnered with DHL, so you might be heading to a DHL kiosk if you want to buy stamps.
However you buy your stamps in Germany, a standard letter costs €1.10 and a large envelope will set you back €3.70. Larger envelopes cost €7 for lighter envelopes and €17 for heavier envelopes up to 2,000g, but no side of the item can measure more than 60 cm.
Send a Letter to the USA from India
Sending mail from India to anywhere is complicated. India Post will send your letter via what they call International Speed Post, but the price quoted depends on who you ask. The India Post website quotes 850 INR and 153 INR tax for a total cost of 1003 INR, but the private website India Philately quotes just over half of that, or 585 INR.
Either way, you’ll have to find a branch post office. You can search online by district and city or pin code, which will give you a list of nearby post offices and the services they provide. Not all post offices support the International Speed Post option.
Send a Letter to the USA from Costa Rica
Compared to India Post, Costa Rica makes it easy for you to learn about sending mail to the USA. CostaRica.com quotes $0.70 to send a letter to the USA from Costa Rica and states that the process will take between one and two weeks. If you’d like certified mail, you pay about $1 more.
CosaRica.com advertises that there is a post office in most cities and towns, but you might have a different experience if you’re outside of common tourist areas. Remote villages may have mailboxes instead of post offices, in which case you’ll need to find a town to buy your stamps before you try to mail anything.
Do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you have about sending mail to the USA.