How To Make Your Move Abroad the Smoothest Possible?

Today, we will look at all you have to think about and remember when you are planning to move. As there are many things to deal with, we designed a handful checklist to help you navigate through this key step more easily. Following this list is the best way to achieve a stress-free and smooth relocation process. Do not hesitate to print it and check it regularly to always have it on hand!

Ensuring A Smooth Move 

What can facilitate your moving process? 

  • Check with your future employer or the rightful authorities about the immigration policy and requirements of your host country. Prepare well in advance the papers and certificates that might be asked for and make sure they will be valid when on D-day. Your passport, medical checkup, and vaccination, criminal record, letter of acceptance from your future employer are the main documents that might be required. Some of those documents might be necessary to allow your personal belongings to be imported.

  • It is time for a spring cleaning! Check with all the family members what will be kept and what will not. For clothing items you might not wear anymore, think about donating them to friends or charities. Nowadays, many charity programs gather a large array of items from clothes to toys, to the benefit of those who lack them.

  • Organizing your future interior and conceiving the rooms’ layout beforehand is key. Arranging your interior’s layout will help you foresee which furniture will fit your new place. Free interior planification tools are available nowadays to run simulations (e.g. IKEA, etc.), provided you already know the layout and measurement of your new home to do that.

  • If you have a pet, make sure you consult your vet to ensure your companion is healthy enough to travel and change environments, she/he has received all vaccinations needed (especially rabies), and has the host country’s required certificates. Some countries will also require your little friend a microchip and a quarantine period.

  • Give notice to your landlord of your leaving, most of the time one month or more in advance. Remember to check your contract or the policy of your building. If you are living on a higher floor, sometimes heavy furniture shall not pass by the elevator. The moving company can arrange a forklift to process such a matter.

  • Once you have completed all the previous steps, it is time to consult a moving company. Serious agents will visit your place to do the estimations, according to the volume you want to take with you. Check with the agent the fragile or unusual items that will require special care. The moving company will inform you about the regulations of your host country. Be aware that some items might be not allowed to move in your host country.

  • Inform the consulate your new home will depend on your arrival. The staff will then deliver you a certificate enabling you to benefit from tax exemption on the goods imported during your moving process depending on the destination country. This document has to be presented to the customs by your moving company.

Preparing Your Life In A New Country

Preparing for your new life is as important as preparing for your move. New country, new habits, new languages, new people… If surprise is a part of the expatriation adventures, preparing upstream will make your integration easier and facilitate your life there.

  • Choosing your new address. Looking for a new home, if you are not on-site and do not know well the country might seem difficult, but it is not impossible! First, you can target the area not so far from your work, or schools for your kids if you have some. Many websites give you highlights about the city, each suburb's vibe, and also the real estate average price. You can obtain some help from expat groups and associations, with members already being established in the area you are targeting. They will have probably better tips and contacts that will facilitate finding the best place for you. The other advantage of contacting expats already on site is to make new friends upon your arrival.

  • From the same associations and contacts, you could get a list of the schools available Better not waiting the last minute to do so as some International schools have very limited available seats. For this purpose, you need to compile your children’s past achievements and record their grades, you may ask the current school of your children to provide them to you. At the same time, you might notice that you are leaving.

  • Be ready to discover new payment channels. Many of your interlocutors will not accept international transfers or other currencies. Get an appointment with your personal bank advisor to explain your situation and see the option proposed by your bank. But you will probably need a new bank account there to benefit from some local services, so take time to review the different options available. Opening a local bank account remotely may not be possible in some countries so that step needs to be achieved when you arrive there, but some online banking solutions nowadays exist and become more and more internationalized.

  • You will probably need a new insurance policy. Moreover, to be registered on the national social security system is mandatory in some countries, but some private regimes exist. Your company might have some exclusivity with a broker that can offer solutions.

The Final Days

Your departure is now approaching! Here are our last recommendations for the last weeks before the D-Day:

  • Inform the business and services that you will move or even end contract:
    • Gaz/electricity/water
    • Internet and phone providers
    • Post office: forward your mail to your new address or to a friend’s one
    • Bank & insurance, for your family, your new home, and eventually your car
    • Social security
    • Tax Registration
    • Newspapers/Magazines
    • Voter registration
    • Gym
    • International driving license
  • Inform also your friends and colleagues about your move, and give them your new address and contact information.

  • Check again with your moving company your relocation date, and manage the last details and information you need to know about their process.

  • Gather your medical record, and eventually refill your prescriptions for the next months. Check if your medicines are allowed in your host country, gather some information about the equivalent that you will find there.

  • Compile in a file all digital copies of any important documents.

  • Empty your freezer and fridge, as to defrost them 2 days before the moving.

  • Empty your freezer and fridge, don't forget to defrost them the night before the move.

Relocating Soon?