Checklist for moving overseas

If you’re about to move overseas there’s a lot to think about. Creating a checklist of things to do can put your mind at ease and help ensure you don’t forget something important. Here’s a guide to get you started. 

1. Check your passport is valid

If your passport is due to expire within the next year, you may want to renew it before you move overseas to save you having to manage it from abroad.

2. Apply for work permits and visas

Each country has its own requirements and timings, so ensure you have the relevant applications submitted well before you are due to move or start work.

3. Set a budget for settling in costs

Aside from your flights and initial accommodation, there may be other costs that you want to save for so you’re prepared. This can be for anything from new clothes to new furnishings, as well as a bond/deposit on a new place depending on whether you will be renting or buying. If you will be looking for work when you reach your new home make sure you allow yourself a decent amount of time to find employment.

Explore more: Setting up your finances abroad

Explore more: How to create a budget

4. Start saving

Once you have your budget, set yourself a saving goals so you’ll be prepared when the time comes to move. Make sure your goal is achievable so you’re able to stay on track. And if you feel you may not be able to save enough to meet your budget, consider whether there are any areas where you may be able to cut back in terms of your current spending or your planned costs once you move.

5. Tax planning

Depending on how taxation works in your current country, you may need to let your tax office know you will be moving overseas to see if there are any steps you need to take to get your taxes in order. It can be a good idea to do this early, just in case there are any tax payments you’ll need to make that you haven’t accounted for.

6. Complete a health check

You may need to have vaccinations or health checks before you enter your new country. Make sure you're able to access any medication you need in your new country and don't forget to pack extra in your carry-on bag, in case your checked baggage is delayed on arrival. If you’re unsure about anything, chat to your doctor about your options.

7. Organise storage and/or shipping

If you’ll be leaving some things behind, look at your options for storage and the various costs. If you’re going to be taking some of your furniture overseas you may need to think about shipping. Get several quotes to ensure you get the best price and also read the fine print of any agreement before you sign. Many companies say they're insured, but that doesn't necessarily mean your possessions are.

8. Set up your banking

How are you going to move and then access money in your new home country? You may be able to apply for a bank account online before you arrive, or you could choose to open an international bank account before you leave. Allow yourself a bit of time, for example with HSBC it takes 30 days to process an international bank account and a further 10-20 days for it to become active.

Explore more: How does banking work in the UK?

9. Gather key documents

There are some key things you’ll want to arrange before arriving such as an international driving/driver’s licence, accommodation or education if you have school-aged children. Get a record of any documentation you may need such as rental references or school reports so that you’re not trying to coordinate from overseas once you’ve moved.

10. Pay all your bills

Contact your gas, electricity, water, telephone, TV and broadband suppliers to inform them of your changing circumstances and pay any outstanding bills.

11. Redirect your post

Make sure your post doesn't get lost by setting up a redirect to your new home or perhaps a family member that’s staying in the country. 

12. Consider travel insurance

A fully comprehensive one-way travel insurance policy can cover you for your belongings, illness, travel delays, missed departure and airline failure.

13. Check your phone is unlocked

If your phone is unlocked you'll be able to use any sim card, which makes it much more flexible if you switch to a contract in your new country but want to keep your handset.

14. Double-check all documentation

In the final couple of days, make sure you have all relevant documentation - for every member of your family - together in a file.

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