The most important thing when planning your move is timing. Make sure you consider everything you have to do well in advance and know all the deadlines for getting each item done. The following can be used to help to build your personal moving checklist.
- Find out if you and/or family members need a visa and make the application as soon as possible.
- Check that your and your family members’ passports are valid (at least 6 months remaining validity is usually required to apply for a visa and enter the country).
Getting ready to go
- Set a moving date. If you are moving with children, keep the school year in mind: they will find it easier to settle in if they start at the beginning of the academic year. In the UK, the school year runs from September to July.
- If you are bringing your pet(s), make sure they have the proper documentation and vaccinations. If you don’t follow the rules, your pet could be put in quarantine for 4 months.
- Check if you need an international driving license.
- Arrange travel insurance.
- If needed, arrange private health insurance for you and your family. Make sure you all get medical and dental examinations before you go and take a copy of the results.
- Research and familiarise yourself with the exchange rate and cost of living. This will help you manage your finances and keep track of spending when you first arrive.
- Check whether your pension contributions are recognised in the UK.
- Decide what you want to take (valuables, furniture, car etc.) and what you want to sell/put in storage.
- Contact several moving companies for quotes: using an international moving company can be a lot less stressful than moving everything yourself.
Before you go
- Cancel your utilities in advance: electricity, gas, oil, water, phone and internet.
- Inform the tax authorities that you are leaving.
- Redirect your mail to your new address, a friend or family member.
- Pay all outstanding bills and loans before you leave.