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Expat Relocation

Are you an American citizen getting ready to relocate abroad? Are you a citizen of another country currently residing in the United States? Expats are citizens of one country who reside either temporarily or permanently in another country. Helping them move abroad is what SDC International Shipping does every day.

Planning a Move to another Country

Planning a move to another country is a significant life event. Most people never move from one country to another. Those who do move abroad will usually only do so only once in their lives. As a result, it is very difficult to get good advice from people you know about moving. 

SDC International Shipping moves thousands of clients abroad each year, to locations all around the world. While no two moves are the same, there are some things that will be true of every residential move.

Expat Relocation

Learn the Laws and Regulations

Each country will have its own rules, laws, and regulations. Don’t assume that you know them, because of these changes all of the time. Just because someone you know tells you that they did something five years ago means that it is still allowable today.

Regulations include things like what you’re allowed to bring into the country and not, which items are taxable and what is exempt, terms for long term visas, health standards, requirements for pets, for vehicles and much more.

Recently many countries have become far less lax about immunization requirements, requiring proof of revaccination before permanent residency can be obtained.

Make an Early Visit to your Destination

There are so many reasons you should visit your destination several times before the move.

Undoubtedly you have visited your destination many times in the past before you decided to move. However, a visit to prepare your relocation is different. On this trip, you will want to plan your residence.

Many people move abroad before they have contracted living quarters in their new country, others will already sign a rental or purchase contract before their relocation date.

If you haven’t settled on a particular place yet, make sure that you have a realtor show you potential properties. This is a critical part of your relocation planning. Measure the rooms, the sizes of doors, the width of internal openings and more in a typical home where you want to move to.

Your American furniture is probably really high quality, you won’t be able to replicate this quality where you are moving to, at least not at the cost of shipping. However, you will want to make sure that your beautiful armoire will fit in the door.

If your American bed is too large for the house you are moving into, it might be a good idea for you to downsize to a slightly smaller model a few months before you move.

Please note that even mattresses that are commonly called “American” in other countries will be made to that countries standards and might be noticeably different from the mattress you are accustomed to.

Other things that you might consider measuring are windows and openings. If you will be sending a shipment, adding curtains and blinds adds very little to your cargo space to your cargo. It could save you lots of money.

American Things to Ship Abroad

There are a lot of things that you love about America that you probably take for granted. You won’t be able to find everything you need in your new country. Consider taking some supplies with you.

One of the things that you should consider is hand tools. You can get fantastic quality tools in America at a reasonable price.

Unfortunately, most power tools won’t work abroad, but you should definitely get yourself a full complement of tools from your favorite do it yourself home center. You should buy both American tooled, known as SAE and metric tooled screwdrivers and wrenches and ratchets.

For power tools, only those cordless tools with external power chargers that can accommodate 100-240 v input should be sent to most of the world. If you are moving to somewhere in the Western Hemisphere, get your tools should work, and it will be a great idea to get new ones a few months before you move.

Other things that you might want to think about shipping include plates and cutlery. You can get great deals on dish sets at outlet stores. Go ahead and buy yourself a good supply, as replacements are difficult.

If you choose something like Corelle, for instance, an extra twelve plates will take up little cargo room. You might find yourself spending a fraction of what you would in other countries. 

Please keep in mind that you should usually not ship new items. Most of our clients take advantage of a tax holiday for returning citizens and immigrants with permanent residence visas available in almost every country.

What this means is that you can import used household goods and personal effects without paying import customs or value-added tax. Typically things like plates aren’t checked, but we recommend that all of our clients be compliant with all rules.

When you buy things several months before the shipping they will usually be considered used. Just to be safe, retain receipts for anything that looks new so that you will be able to prove it later.

Don’t forget to send along a good supply of books. 

Enjoy Your New Life

If you are retiring abroad, the chances are you have chosen your new home because there are lots of things that you love about the area. Many retire to mild climates where leisure activities that they love abound.

Some go to places with fishing or surfing or golfing or biking or other fun and healthy activities. Whatever it is that you enjoy, you will want to make sure that you have a ready stock of the equipment that you will need. This is what containers are for!

Learn the Language

If you don’t already know the language of your destination country, you should learn it. Many people like moving to an area with a large expat population.

In these areas, it is usually pretty easy to get along in English. You’ll find shops and service providers nearby who knows how to communicate with them.

But keep in mind that you have chosen a new place to live, enjoy it. Even in highly educated countries where large portions of the population understand English, you will forever be in the status of an elevated tourist and not a resident.

You will be a real part of your community only when you speak the language. Luckily, it is now quite easy to at least get a start over the internet. 

Plan Early

SDC International Shipping will help you move wherever you want to go. Early planning for your expat relocation means that we will be better able to plan according to a schedule that is convenient for you. Will you require storage?

Perhaps you want to do a grand tour of the United States before you move abroad, or take a trip around your new country or its neighbors. Shipments take 4-8 weeks, depending on your exact pickup and destination locations. If this time is insufficient for you, SDC can store your belongings and time your shipment so that it arrives at a time that is convenient for you.

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