If you are joining one of the estimated 50 million expatriates living and working away from home there can be a lot to organise. It can feel a little overwhelming sometimes, so we have created a moving overseas checklist. It is in no way intended to be exhaustive but it should help you to get started.
Get the correct visa
Pack or store your possessions
This is likely to be one of the most difficult tasks you face before moving overseas. Our recommendation is to start early. Begin by decluttering your living space so you know you are only packing or storing your most important possessions. If you are shipping your furniture to your new destination be aware this is likely to take a considerable amount of time so have a backup plan for your new home.
Have a medical check-up
Have a thorough medical examination including blood tests in advance of your move. This will help you to identify any potential issues and receive any treatment needed in advance of your move. It is also a good opportunity to discuss your move with your doctor. It is worth asking them what vaccinations are needed for your planned destination. If there are compulsory vaccinations, ensure they are administered at least 6 weeks prior to departure to allow them time to take effect.
Move your pet
If you are hoping to bring your pet to your expat home, don’t leave it until the last minute. Quarantine regulations and paperwork may take some time to complete. While it is usually possible to bring a family pet, it can be an expensive exercise. As a minimum your pet should have a passport and microchip. After that transport arrangement and quarantine regulations vary by country.
Learn the basics of new language
If a different language is spoken in your destination, learn the basics before you leave on assignment. If it is a common language maybe complete an evening course before you move. If it is less common or time is limited, there are a wealth of language resources and apps on your smartphone so you can pick up the basics on your commute.
Know how to transfer money
Although your company may provide you with a budget to cover the cost of your move, chances are you will want to have access to your own money too. Speak to your employer to see if you can open a bank account in your destination before you arrive. If not, you may have to face international charges from your existing bank for a few weeks.
Plan your healthcare
While we all hope to avoid illness or injury, if you do require medical treatment while overseas, international health insurance will ensure you receive a high standard of care for you and your family.
Re-route your post/mail
If you receive mail, get in touch with your local distributor about rerouting it. You may wish to send it to family living in your home country or have it forwarded directly to your new address. Whatever option you choose, this is particularly important if you intend renting out your home while you are away.
Get an international driving permit
If you will need to drive in your new home, you may need an international driving permit. This is a translation of your driver's licence or permit from your home country allowing you to legally drive overseas. Research your planned destination to ensure they recognise an international licence.