Are you moving abroad? Careful planning is imperative for any relocation. The last thing you want is to run into problems whilst trying to adjust to your new lifestyle! After all, there is so much that needs to be considered, from organizing your paperwork and visa to getting your finances in order and adjusting to the new culture and way of life in your new destination. Keeping that in mind, read on for the ultimate moving abroad checklist…
What You Need To Do Before Your New Life Begins
- Identity documents – Make sure you have all of the relevant identity documents you require as it is likely you will need these at some point when moving abroad. This includes everything from proof of identity to your birth certificate. It is always recommended to make copies of these in case you need to hand them over (you keep the real version).
- Forwarding address – It is important to make sure you change your address with all of the companies and organizes you need to. This encompasses everyone from your bank to the local authorities to former employers. You can also find great companies who provide dedicated mail forwarding services for expats. This is something you may wish to consider taking advantage of.
- Visa – Do you need a visa to enter the country you are moving to? Perhaps you will need one in order to work there? It is imperative that you not only check this out before moving but you will need to apply for your visa and ensure you are accepted as well.
You will undoubtedly need to sort out your financial affairs before you make your move. Here are some of the monetary matters you will need to think about:
- Bank Accounts – Should you close all of your bank accounts in your home country? If you want to take advantage of foreign tax jurisdictions and get permanent residency status this is something you will definitely need to consider.
- Cancel Standing Orders and Direct Debits – Failure to do this could result in penalty charges.
- Tax – You will need to inform your local tax office that you are going to be living and working in a different country.
- Local Banking – You will probably need to open a local bank account. What options will be available to you in your new country? In some destinations, foreigners are unable to open a local bank account.
- Offshore Banking – This is something you should definitely contemplate, as it allows you to use multiple currencies.
From getting the right work permit to assessing the job market, there is a lot to think about when moving abroad. A lot of expats already have a job lined up. If this does not apply to you, it is imperative that you make sure there are jobs available in your field of work. You also need to determine what type of permit you need and what conditions are in place for you to be granted a permit. How much money can you expect to make? Are your qualifications going to be accepted in your new country?
Another aspect you need to think about is driving in your new location. This is especially the case if you are moving from somewhere quiet and peaceful in terms of the roads to a place whereby people drive on the opposite side of the road and the driving is hectic. A lot of expats book driving lessons just so they can adjust to the area and feel more confident while they are on the roads. Aside from the driving, you should look into the culture and lifestyle in your new location in general so you can get a feel for what it will be like.
Health care is one of the most important components of your relocation planning. Does the country have a public healthcare system? Can foreigners use it? Is it of a high standard? These are all questions you need to find out the answers to! In most cases, international health insurance policies are the best solution. You will gain access to the best healthcare and you will reduce financial risk dramatically. You should definitely look into expat medical insurance before you leave and secure the right policy for you. The importance of doing this before you move cannot be overlooked. We have all heard those stories about people falling ill on the plane. It’s not worth the risk.
Last but not least, it is vital to do your research about the culture and the way of life in the country you are moving to. This will make it a lot easier for you to settle in. You could even try and make contact with expats in the country before you move. There are often forums and websites available to make new friends.
As you can see, there are lots of things you need to do and plan before you move to another country. If you use the above as a starting point, you can make sure that you do not overlook anything important. Of course, there are plenty of other things you may need to sort too. For example, are you taking a pet with you? If so, this is something you will need to organize. So, don’t stop at everything mentioned above! After all, everyone’s journey to a new country is different.