Thinking about moving abroad? Don’t leave home without reading through our ultimate moving abroad checklist.
Moving overseas, whether to study at university or to begin an exciting new employment opportunity, is a hard process with many activities. As a result, it is easy to become engrossed in the difficulties of the relocation.
But don’t worry! If you divide your move into little tasks, you will have a much less stressful move. Use this move abroad checklist to organize your relocation to make things easier.
Regulations and rules fluctuate greatly between nations, so it’s critical to do your homework so you understand the variations between your current country and the one you’re relocating to. For information about relocating to your new country, contact the appropriate embassy or consulate for information including:
- Visas and permits
- Vaccines for family members
- Restrictions or taxes on shipped household items
- Import taxes for high-value items
- Vaccines and quarantines for pets
Make sure to submit all of your applications for permits or visas well in advance. Check to see if any of your key documents are likely to expire shortly.
Things You Need To Consider For Your Relocation
One of the first things to consider before relocating abroad is how the cost of living there compares to where you are now. You’ll need to know how you’re going to sustain yourself. Although it may seem difficult, doing your research will help you greatly:
Check average food costs, rent rates, mortgage costs, and utility expenses. Note down your findings and compare them with what you pay now. This will give you an idea of how your outgoings will change.
If you’re going to need a job in your new country, research local job markets and make sure you’re not moving somewhere it’s difficult to find work as an immigrant. Find out whether the area has sectors that value the language(s) you speak, whether it’s welcoming to immigrant workers, or if the unemployment rate is high.
If you intend to retire overseas (especially if you have a flexible pension system like the British pension scheme), you must have sufficient funds to live comfortably. The ability to easily access your pension is critical to this. If you intend to transfer your pension overseas, you should investigate the most cost-effective method.
Check Out Healthcare Provision:
Healthcare differs across the world, but it’s an essential part of keeping you and your family happy and healthy when moving to another country. Here are some things to think about when moving about healthcare:
- Medication: If you or any family members take regular medication you might want to stock up as best you can before you move. You may not be able to access prescriptions when you first move to another country, so it’s always best to have enough medication to tide you over.
- Health insurance: When setting up your new life, you’ll likely have to choose between relying on local healthcare or taking out private health insurance. Many people choose private coverage for extra peace of mind, so it’s a good idea to check your health insurance options before you arrive in your new home.
- EHIC: The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows EU/EEA citizens to access healthcare across Europe and can provide important health coverage. Getting an EHIC can take a few weeks, so make sure you apply ahead of time.
Sort Out Your Living situation:
Having your own home will help make moving abroad that much easier, so here are some things to think about when it comes to your living situation:
- Selling: To finance your move abroad, you may need to sell your existing home. Make sure you list your property well ahead of time to give yourself more time to process the sale. Create a contingency plan in case your home sells more quickly than you expected, or if it fails to sell in time. If you can afford it, you may prefer to lease out your previous home for the holiday or long-term lets. This will give you the security of having a place to return to in case you decide to move back.
- Buying: If you’re able to buy property in your new country, look into getting a mortgage or loan. Contacting solicitors and estate agents in your destination is essential. Get in contact with industry experts who can help you with any language barriers and local tax issues.
- Renting: This is the easiest option for many people relocating abroad. Even if you plan to buy, it may be easier to rent in the short term. This will give you time to look into the local housing market while you find your feet in your new surroundings.
Move Your Belongings:
It doesn’t matter whether you’re heading abroad for a semester or relocating the entire family to the other side of the world, you’ll still need to move your belongings. The process will largely depend on your situation. For example, if you’re moving to Europe, you may be able to transport everything on the train. However, for most ex-pats, the idea of moving an entire family household across borders can be daunting.
To help make the process easier, many immigrants choose to use a relocation company. These companies are well-versed in helping with all aspects of moving abroad, whether you need help every step of the way or simply want to ship your belongings overseas.
If you’re looking for an easy way to get some peace of mind during your move abroad, a relocation service should be your first port of call. Global relocation companies include:
- The Relocator
- Parcel ABC
Keep in mind that the process can take a while, so contact these services as early as possible. International shipping can also take weeks or even months, so don’t pack anyway anything you’ll need on arrival.
Prepare Your Documents:
Before you leave, make sure you have all your documents in good order to avoid any disappointments on arrival. Be sure to request official copies of important personal documents, allowing at least several weeks to receive them, just to be safe. Once these documents have arrived, make copies of them and keep a digital copy in a safe place. Documents you’ll need to add to your moving abroad checklist include:
- Birth and marriage certificate
- Proof of citizenship
- Vaccination, medical, and dental records
- Driving license
- Insurance policies
- Academic records and diplomas
- Employment records
- Proof of residence and/or your new job
- Living will
Before You Go
Great! Now that you’re all set to legally enter your new host country, you’ll need to map out your moving abroad checklist. Keep these things in mind when finalizing your stay at your current household:
- Make travel reservations: This should go without saying, but it’s impossible to move abroad without booking tickets to get there. Consider that last-minute tickets for flights, trains, and ferry sailings can be expensive. Pick a departure that is affordable and, ideally, not arriving at your new home in the middle of the night.
- Organize your bank accounts and credit cards: Review your accounts and notify your banks that you are relocating overseas. Discuss with your bank or a financial advisor how to handle your assets. Consider registering for a service that makes international bank transfers easier and more affordable. Look into whether or not your credit cards work where you’re moving.
- Get an International Driving Permit: Renew your driver’s license if it is set to expire soon. If you plan to drive immediately upon arrival, get an International Driving Permit before you go and take some extra copies of the form so you can renew it annually by mail. This allows you to drive before you’ve figured out how to secure a new driving license in your new host country. Remember to carry both your International Driving Permit and your national driver’s license with you at all times.
- Cancel subscriptions and forward mail: Cancel all of your publication subscriptions. Complete the appropriate forms at the post office to ensure your mail is forwarded to your new address.
Once You Arrive
In your new home, whether they say üdvözöljük or huānyíng, welcome! Many items on any going abroad checklist must be completed after you arrive. Some things to do are:
- Open a new bank account: You need a bank account to rent a new place, but you need a local address to open a bank account. Many banks, especially international financial institutions and mobile banks, will let you open an account before you’re even in the country. In the meantime, if you need to transfer money quickly and easily, check out international money transfer companies:
- CurrencyFair offers money transfers to over 150 countries and has exchange rates up to eight times cheaper than the banks, helping you avoid excessive bank fees.
- Moneycorp offers foreign exchange and global payment services to individual and corporate customers in over 120 currencies.
Remitly lets you transfer money abroad, collected through bank transfer, cash pick-up or home delivery.
- Wise is an international money transfer provider available in 59 countries that offers transfers between cross-border bank accounts up to eight times cheaper than traditional banks.
- WorldRemit offers low-cost global money transfers in nearly 100 currencies across 150 countries worldwide.
You can also use Monito’s online comparison tool to save on fees, obtain the best exchange rates, and find the cheapest option for your international money transfers.
- Sign up for healthcare: Even if you have the European Health Insurance Card, you may be legally required to get local health insurance coverage within a short time. Once you’ve researched your options, make sure you sign up for the right healthcare provider for you and your family. Even if your destination country has a public healthcare system, you may not necessarily be eligible. If you’re not covered under a group medical insurance program, purchase private insurance policies to protect you from any coverage gaps.
- Research your new home: Take some time to learn the history and culture before you move. Learn a handful of basic phrases in the local language and make sure you know how to introduce yourself. Arrive prepared so you can adapt quickly to your new home.
- Learn about your tax obligations: Each country has distinct taxation rules for income earned abroad, which could be relevant to you; special considerations apply to Americans, Britons, and Canadians. Determine your obligations and gather the necessary paperwork.
- Learn how to get around: Whether you’ll be taking the train to work or driving on new roads, research the best ways to get around town. Look into the advantages (e.g., discounts for monthly transportation passes) and disadvantages (e.g., car bans in city centres) of each mode of travel.
- Enroll your kids in school: It’s worth considering whether or not your children attend a public school or an international one. You may also want to consider hiring an au pair depending on your work schedule and if your children need extra assistance.
- Register for insurance: Considering you’ll be starting afresh, secure comprehensive insurance plans. You’ll have a lot of things to cover: vehicles and property are two you’ll want to lock down first. Contact an insurance provider specializing in Immigrants.
- Get a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone number: These phone numbers are a lifesaver when it comes to keeping in touch with your home country. Using VoIP allows you to have a phone number in the area code of your choice. It helps your family and friends feel like you’re not so far away.
Moving abroad may be more difficult than you think, especially if you intend to stay for an extended period. This article has highlighted the majority of the things you must do before departing and upon arrival at your new location. We hope that this checklist will be of assistance and guidance to you as you embark on your relocation adventure.