1. Applying for the right visa.
One of the first steps to take when preparing to move abroad involves researching and applying for the necessary visas. Depending on your destination, obtaining a visa can involve paperwork, fees, and interviews. It is important to research what type of visa you need and any deadlines that may apply. To ensure that your application goes through quickly, you may want to enlist the help of an experienced immigration lawyer.
2. Research the cost of living.
Before making a move abroad, it's important to research what life will be like in your new country. Consider researching the local currency exchange rate, as well as costs for everyday necessities such as housing and transportation. This can help you plan and budget for your move accordingly. Additionally, familiarizing yourself with any additional fees or taxes that are associated with moving internationally can help ensure that there are no surprises down the line.
3. Build up your emergency fund.
For added peace of mind, it is always a good idea to build up an emergency fund before making an international move. Moving abroad is an expensive venture and it helps to have a cushion of funds in case of unexpected expenses. This could involve setting aside money for big-ticket items like flights and visas, as well as saving enough to cover your living costs while you settle into your new home.
4. Make arrangements for your pets.
If you plan on bringing any furry family members with you on your move abroad, it’s important to make sure that they have all the necessary documents. Depending on the country that you are moving to, this may include a pet passport or other paperwork related to vaccinations and health certificates. Additionally, research what airlines allow pets onboard and inquire about any additional fees associated with transporting them overseas.
5. Downsize your stuff as you prepare to move abroad.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when preparing for an international move, particularly when it comes to packing. To keep organized and ensure that you don’t end up bringing too much with you, begin downsizing your possessions early on. Consider selling items or giving them away—this will help reduce the number of items that need to be packed and shipped overseas.
6. Carefully decide what to pack.
Once you’ve downsized, it’s time to decide what will actually make the journey with you. If you are flying, this could involve researching baggage allowances for the airline that you are flying with and carefully selecting items that fit within these limits. Additionally, if there is anything particularly valuable or sentimental that needs to be transported overseas, look into special shipping and insurance options.
7. Review your tax requirements and retirement plans.
Depending on where you relocate, your tax obligations may change as well. Doing research ahead of time can help ensure that taxes are paid properly and on time in both countries. As part of this process, consider reviewing any existing retirement plans—such as 401(k)s—as rules and regulations may differ from country to country.
8. Sort out your banking at home and abroad.
To stay organized and ensure that your finances remain secure during the move, it is important to sort out your banking needs at both home and abroad. Research what bank accounts are available in your new country as well as any applicable fees or regulations. Additionally, consider setting up a backup account in case of emergency.
9. Create a payment plan for every bill and utility.
Whether you are moving just for a year or permanently relocating, it is important to ensure that all bills and utilities are taken care of before the move. If you can, try to create a payment plan so that payments will be made on time in both countries. Additionally, research any automatic payments that may need to be cancelled when you arrive at your new home.
10. Take out international health insurance.
Finally, make sure to secure adequate medical coverage during the transition. Taking out international health insurance can provide peace of mind by ensuring that any medical costs incurred while abroad will be covered. Again, this may vary depending on which country you are moving to—so make sure to do your research and read up on local healthcare systems.