The planning involved with any move is of the utmost importance and never more so when preparing for an adventure abroad. Make sure you plan the transfer to your dream destination and lifting sticks won’t seem like such an insurmountable task. Take a look at our essential to-do checklist to help make your move abroad go as smoothly as possible.
Investigate the bureaucracy
To be admitted as a resident in the country of your choice, you must have the corresponding documentation. As such, visas are the most important element of any move abroad. While many companies can provide their employees and their families with the corresponding work permits or visas, it is advisable to meet with an immigration office in your destination country.
When organizing your own immigration, it is essential to complete all the paperwork correctly. The visa application process for some countries can be very long, so make sure your stay proposal meets the requirements. Hiring the services of an immigration attorney is one way to help cut through red tape. Specialists in this field can also offer helpful help with application forms and other elements of the immigration process as a whole. Make sure you understand the immigration laws of your chosen country. Take note of the deadlines for filing the forms and, more importantly, the legalities surrounding residency.
Similarly, make sure your and your family’s identification documents are up-to-date and accessible. From birth and marriage certificates to driver’s licenses and medical records, you’ll need to be able to easily access all your important documentation. A good tip is to back up your documents digitally. Scan and store them in the cloud to make sure they are available at all times.
Calculate your finances
From the cost of living to the practical costs associated with moving, it is important to anticipate both the resettlement period and beyond. Considerations may include an emergency fund as well as financial planning for the future.
Depending on your state of residence, you may have to pay UK tax even when living abroad. However, if you pay taxes in more than one country, you may be able to claim a tax break. With this, it is worth reaching out to Inland Revenue to discuss whether this would apply to you. You should also consult the tax policies of your destination country.
It is advisable to check with your bank if you can use your funds abroad. Most banks offer an online banking service and large global banks often offer specific services for expats. Opening a bank account abroad may not be as simple as you think. As such, contact your current bank for advice on opening accounts abroad.
The cost of living varies enormously around the world. Calculate the average daily and periodic expenses at your destination, as it is essential to be able to face your new life abroad.
It’s easy to underestimate the cost of moving abroad. However, from furniture to people and even pets, moving abroad is not an easy task. Make sure you have realistic estimates of the costs involved to avoid nasty crashes.
In general, it is advisable to consider organizing your home move abroad with at least one month’s notice, but ideally as soon as possible. The notice period required often depends on the time of year, as some months are busier than others for international moves. It’s definitely important to get quotes from at least three different moving companies. A reputable moving company can visit your property before confirming a reservation, as this allows them to accurately assess the volume of merchandise that will be moved. This also offers an ideal opportunity to discuss any custom requirements. Specialized international moving companies can provide you with a guide to your destination country’s customs requirements regarding household items. Having familiar things from home will help make relocation an exciting experience rather than just overwhelming.
Home Sweet Home
Initially, renting a property may be preferable to buying. However, whether you rent or buy, it is important to have a place to hang your hat when you arrive to help lessen the initial shock. Technology has made it much easier to find a home abroad without having to travel.
For security reasons, it is recommended to keep your domestic home in case you change your mind about moving abroad. A sensible approach would be to rent your home in the UK, settle into your new environment and take time to search for a home. Buying a home in the country you have decided to move to is also worth doing your research.
Covers your health care
Be sure to check the medical care available in your destination country. It may be covered by your contributions to the NHS. However, you may still need to purchase private health insurance. You will need to notify your GP of your move. Once you move out of the UK permanently, you will generally not be entitled to NHS healthcare in the UK and will need to unsubscribe from the program.
Also, health care requirements differ from country to country. If you are registered to work and pay taxes, you should be entitled to state health care under the same conditions as a resident of that country. However, many countries still expect residents to make contributions to patients or join a national health insurance plan. Also make sure to confirm any injections that may be necessary and arrange them in plenty of time before traveling.
The stress of moving abroad can overshadow what should be an exciting time. With good planning and preparation, the right support, and a reputable moving company, the transition to your new life abroad will be much easier.