Monty is a moving consultant and content specialist from 5 Stars Movers. If he’s not helping families start new lives in different locations, he spends his time improving education for others.
Every now and then we get this question in our mailbox:
“What are the requirements for moving abroad?”
And, we almost always answer with the same thing: it depends.
We know that there are several checklists available online, but in this quick article, we discuss a couple of the non-negotiables that we have come across as we’ve helped families move from one country to another.
1.Get Your Documents in Order
Getting your documents in order is the first step in defining the requirements for moving abroad. Does the destination country require special permits? What are the visa requirements? Is your passport expiring soon? Do you need book the plane tickets in advance?
The answers to these questions vary depending on your point of origin to your targeted destination and there’s really no general rule that covers all of these points. One thing that you have to note – especially if you are going to be an expatriate in your destination – is if there is a consulate in that particular country.
This could come in particularly handy should anything happen to you. They should also be able to help you get some of your affairs in order should you need help with other legal documentations.
Make sure that you have physical photocopies and digital copies of all your documentation. This piece of advice has come in handy for the hundreds of families that we have consulted with.2
2.Get a Mailing Address Setup
Sometimes getting mail is tricky, especially if you want mail sent to another country altogether. Consider getting a mailbox in your home country if you still plan on receiving mail or subscribing to a service that allows you to have a virtual P.O. Box – some of these services can even scan your mail for you and send it via email.
It’s not an absolute must, but we have found that it has come in handy for numerous families.
3.Make Sure Your Mobile Phone is Ready
In this day and age, you really can’t live without a smartphone, and this is why it is absolutely important that you find out if your phone is compatible with the country that you are moving to.
Your phone could be network locked – that could require you to get phone in your destination.
Another option is for you to start checking out the various network providers in your target destination. There could be a few attractive phone plans for you to consider.
4.Get Some Goodies
Deny it all you want, but there’s be a couple of things that you’ll miss from home. It might not be the bagels around the corner or that deli you always go to, but there’s always that weird snack that’ll always only be available in your home country.
Yes, there is the off chance possibility that there’ll be a local store that stocks your favorite cookie, jar of pickles or bread spread, but why risk it?
Based on our experience, we really advise that you get a couple of those goodies before leaving. We’re not saying that you won’t be able to adapt to your next country’s goodies, but there’ll come a time where you’re homesick and the best way to heal a lonesome heart is through food.
Pro-tip: make sure the goodie that you choose to pack has a long shelf life and packaging that won’t leak out.
5.The Other Paperwork
We already covered getting your travel documents in order in the previous section, but what about the other paperwork?
We’re talking about bank documents, leases, utilities and subscriptions. It gets exceptionally tricky when it comes to your bank because there have been numerous cases of people having to inform their bank of a closure in their accounts twice before the banks got the fact that they were leaving,
Make sure you also get the necessary “closure” documents; you might need them as proof just in case anything untoward happens.
You also don’t want unnecessary subscriptions that are still active should you wish to retain your other bank accounts, they’ll send you magazines long after you’re gone and cost you money.
6.Get Your Belongings in Order
This is where it is highly advised that you consult with a reputable long distance/cross-country moving company. You have to understand that not every moving company will be able to help you with moving your belongings.
The first thing that you need to do is to decide what goes with you and what stays. You can’t take everything that you own with you because that would be too expensive – or you could, should you wish to do so. There are plenty of things that you could do with the things you can’t take with you.
You could start a garage sale, donate some items to charity, or just leave some furniture with your friends and family members.
A professional moving company will help ensure that all your items are properly packed and ready to go. However, you have to check things out for yourself, too. Make sure that you’re not missing anything and that you haven’t packed anything that isn’t allowed at your destination – your moving company will be able to help you with these restrictions.
7.Get Comfortable on Your Last Week
One thing that people fail to remember when they move across large distances is the fact that they, too, have to be mentally prepared for the move. You can’t just up and leave at moment’s notice; there will be a lot of goodbyes and a lot of possible issues that could flare up.
You need to make sure that everything that you need to do is done a week before you actually leave for your new home.
These are just a few general pointers that you should use when planning to move abroad and are by no means a completed list. However, these tips should be enough to get you on your way to a hassle-free move to another country.
We wish you all the best, and should you need anything, you can always hit us up for more tips!