International Movers Guide
Pre-planning is the key to an uncomplicated international relocation it will take the guesswork out of your move. Instead, you will get a list of a series of manageable, scheduled events. SDC International Shipping has prepared this international moving guide to help you plan a trouble-free overseas move for your family.
Choose Your International Relocation Services Provider
Early planning of your move will save you both time and aggravation. Professional international moving companies will have logistics specialists who will coordinate the different facets of your move. This will allow for the creation of a unique relocation schedule that fits the needs of you and your family.
We, of course, recommend that you choose SDC International Shipping for your international relocation. As an international relocation services company licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission for the maritime export of household and commercial goods from the United States, SDC is an expert at the planning and executing of international moves.
Once you have chosen SDC International Shipping, most of your logistics will be taken care of for you. You can concentrate on the personal matters that need to be dealt with.
The earlier you contract SDC International Shipping, the sooner we will get started planning your move. The date of picking up your household will be important to you.
Just to be clear, we will faithfully serve our clients given any timing. Even if you call us only two days before a move, we will do our best to facilitate your time table. However, to get you the best service possible, at the best price available to you, we need time to work.
There is a complicated network of operators that need to work together. When we try to coordinate at the last minute, sometimes we will have to put things into storage or keep a packed container, both of these processes cost money.
Have you ever tried to book airline tickets? Compare a trip from your city to your destination or any other international destination. You will see a variety of prices for the same route, sometimes at huge differences in price for the same route. The exact same thing will be true for sending your shipping container from the United States to your new home. Container spots on ships are very similar to seats on airplanes. There are many ways to get from point A to point B. We want to find you the most affordable one, this means we need to be able to have some flexibility on the scheduling.
Obtain Residency Permit
Most people will need to obtain some sort of long term residency permit. If you have been made a job offer, in most countries your employer will need to cooperate, or even initiate the process. If you are retiring, you will usually have to show that you have sufficient income to support yourself in your new home. Some locations require that you transfer a minimal amount of money before you receive this type of visa, or that you promise to do so within two months.
If you are a returning citizen of the country to where you are moving, you might have to get certificates for your children born while you were a resident of the USA or for your spouse if not also a citizen. If you are moving to a country with mandatory military service, you might have to obtain additional permits from your country’s US representatives.
All of these usually require a physical visit to the consulate of the country you are moving to. Almost every country today will allow you to start this process from their website, but you will usually have to make at least once visit the bricks and mortar consulate.
Though not absolutely necessary for your move, it is a good idea to renew American passports before you leave the United States. Passports can be renewed at any time at any post office in the USA.
Prepare Your Family’s Documents
If you’ve lived in the United States for many years, you are a known quantity. Banks can check your credit in seconds, potential employers can give a quick call to your former employers, and landlords can speak with your former landlords.
When you move to a new country, this won’t be true, and it will be best if you prepare documents for use there. While it is sometimes OK to present documents in English, for many destinations you should consider translating the documents as well. These documents should be gathered for all family members where appropriate, and include:
- Declaration of good citizenship — This can be obtained from your local sheriff or a police station.
- Employment records — Ask for letters of recommendation. If you have received any awards or recognitions at your place of work, they should also be brought.
- Health records – You must bring your full medical history with you. This is true not only of people with particular problems. Things that seem trivial are important.
- Immunization records – These are often maintained separately from other medical records. You will have to show that you have the MMR and other vaccines to enter most countries. If you don’t have a record, you might have to do a blood test or repeat the immunization
- Credit reports – These are available in only a few clicks from your bank’s website or the credit report providers, but are not easily obtained outside of the country.
- Bank statements – These will be necessary both for opening your bank account in your new account and a slew of other things. If you are claiming continued income from some entity in the United States, they will want to see the documentation of this.
- School records – Not only the children need to bring these, but adults do also. If you hope to pass along American citizenship to future children or grandchildren, they want to see that you lived in the United States before the age of 18. The only real way that American consulates can check this is with school records.
- Professional certificates and academic diplomas – High school and college diplomas, advanced degrees, professional accreditations, advanced courses, and qualifications should all be verifiable. If you are going to tell an employer in your new home that you know how to drive a tractor-trailer or teach physics, bring real documents to prove this.
Immunizations are required in almost every country. There are many additional vaccinations that you may not have ever gotten that are recommended for specific countries. Notably, malaria, yellow fever, typhoid, and Japanese Encephalitis are necessary for different locations and most Americans will not be immunized for these deadly diseases. Some vaccines are available only at selected locations and have seasonable demand. We highly recommend that you consult the travel website of the Centers for Disease Control making sure you choose the “Extended Stay / Study Abroad” option. You should do this early.
Prepare Your Pets
The actual regulations for bringing your pets will change from one country to another. For some, it requires serious early preparation, including special blood tests and immunizations not available at every vet. The USDA pet travel site is an official resource providing detailed requirements for each country.