Before you move

A checklist of things you have to consider

Preparing everything to move to another country involves much more than simply packing. If you do not plan in advance, you may have many difficulties when you arrive (or even be refused to enter the country).

The most important thing when planning your move abroad is timing. Make sure that you consider everything you have to do well in advance and know all the deadlines for getting each item done. The following checklist is designed to make this task easier and help prevent an ulcer or a nervous breakdown:

Getting started

  • Check that your passport are valid (your family’s too). The process of applying for a visa may take several months and some countries require at least six months of passport validity to issue a visa, so be careful.
  • Find out if you and/or family members need a visa and make the application as soon as possible if you do.

Getting ready to go

  • Buy your tickets and make any necessary reservations for your trip.
  • Check if you need an international driving license (remember that it is valid for only one year and it cannot be renewed, you must apply for it again).
  • Make sure you and your pet have all the vaccines required to travel abroad. It may be required that your pet goes into quarantine.
  • Arrange your travel insurance and your health insurance abroad (do not forget all other family members).
  • Check whether your contributions towards your pension are recognized in the country you are moving to.
  • Make sure that you and your family get medical and dental examinations, take a copy of the results. Also take documents that prove and describe your insurance cover.
  • If you are renting a house, tell your landlord. Under many contracts you are required give notice several months in advance.
  • Sell anything that you are not taking with you (cars, furniture, property, etc). Otherwise you can ask friends to take care of it or put it in a deposit.
  • If you are leaving for a long period, perhaps you should give “powers of attorney” over your financial affairs to someone while you are absent.

Last things

  • Cancel your utilities in advance: electricity, gas, oil, water, telephone (also your mobile) and internet.
  • Cancel your subscription to any clubs, associations, courses, newspapers, etc.
  • Close your bank accounts unless you think that you will use them.
  • Inform the tax authorities that you are leaving.
  • Give your new address to your friends, family and business associates.
  • Redirect your mail through the Post Office.
  • Pay all outstanding bills and loans before you leave the country. Give back any money you borrowed from friends.

Further reading

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