International Relocation Checklist
A concise relocation checklist, which you can print and follow, from the moment you’ve made your decision to after having completed your international relocation.
International Relocation Checklist
Now that you’ve decided to move to another country, there are plenty of preparations that need to be done. Of course, every family will have a different checklist, but there are a lot of things that need to be done by everyone.
#1 Make Sure You are Allowed to Move There
Are you entitled to live in your destination country? Are you sure?
If you are a citizen of your destination country, returning after living in the USA for a few years, you can always move back home. However, if you were married or had children while living here, you may have to jump through a few administrative hoops before you can move.
Almost any country will allow your spouse to move, but that doesn’t mean automatic citizenship. It almost always means permanent residency. However, if you are moving with your spouse, they will probably want to work and enjoy all of the rights your country allows. In many cases this could be the difference between getting. The minute you start thinking about moving back, you should start any processes necessary at your country’s consulate. If you had any children born while you lived in the States, you will have to have them recognized. If you were wed, or divorced, or widowed, this will also need to be recorded before you move.
If you are not a citizen of the country you are moving to, you will need an immigration visa or a long term residency permit. You should arrange for these right away, as they might include a process that will take several months to complete. If you are retiring, you usually have to already have managed for living arrangements as well as the transfer of a minimum amount of funds.
If you are moving hoping to work, some countries will require that you already have a signed employment contract before you are allowed to move there. Other countries require that your future employer initiate the official request for residency.
We can send a container to almost any country in the world. If it is legal to send a container from the USA, then we can do it. However, this doesn’t automatically mean that you are permitted to send it tax free. Most of the people who move from the list above usually can, but not always. Some countries will require that you get some sort of affidavit that you lived abroad for such and such time first.
If you are planning on setting up a business, for instance a foreign branch of an American company, you will have to register beforehand.
#2 Contract SDC International Shipping
Getting everything you own from one country to another is a complicated task. It takes months. Don’t wait, contact SDC International Shipping as early as possible. Some clients will require on site visits from our movers. Some of our clients will have intricate moves, divided up into a container, some things to storage maybe, perhaps some of your things will be moved via air cargo.
We also know that most of our clients prefer to check quotes for service with more than one international shipping company. We don’t mind this, as we are fully confident in our ability to give you the best quote available. If you think that somebody is offering you similar service for less money, please be sure to send us their quote, as there is a very good chance that they are leaving out a few services that you will be billed for when your cargo reaches its destination. When we send you a quote, this does not happen. Please see our detailed document about quotes for shipping services.
Booking early will also allow us to plan your relocation better. For many of our clients, cutting down total transit time for your shipment is a priority. For others, the main priority is minimizing the total cost of your shipment. Having already relocated thousands of families from the United States to countries all over the world, we know that many people also have intricate schedules that are hard to meet. The earlier we know about your move, the better you will be served.
#3 Get Health Issues in Order
Do you know what kind of health services are available to you in the country you are moving to? While a lot of countries have “comprehensive” health care, you might find that they are very inadequate for our clients’ needs. In many cases you will have to supplement the health care with private insurance. Some countries will only offer coverage after a waiting period of six months or a year, so you will have to purchase comprehensive medical coverage.
If you have any existing health issues, it is prudent to ask your family doctor or the appropriate specialist to prepare a summary of your condition, what has been done until now, and what medications you take now and have taken in the past. For most countries, English is the common language that all doctors speak, but if you are moving to some countries, consider translating your key medical records. You might want to engage the services of a professional medical translator as you don’t necessarily know all of the correct terminology.
You will have to translate your immunization records, especially if you have school aged children. As diseases that were eradicated in the world have reappeared, most countries now require that children be fully immunized before attending school. We recommend that you also check the CDC travel site to see if there are any additional recommendations for the country you are moving to.
Are you bringing your pet with you? We hope you do. They are an integral part of your family. You will have to check the health requirement for each country, as they vary greatly. The USDA maintains a website with updated information about travelling with pets. Look up your destination country and read the information there carefully.
#4 Make Sure You can Send Your Car
Many people like to move with their cars. If you are moving to Europe, this is an especially good idea. Make sure that you are allowed to bring your car of choice with you. For most countries, cars must be at least six months and owned by you in order to move them. Check this out. In terms of the best value for you, this could mean that you should buy a new car six months prior to your departure. And yes, they are sticklers and most country won’t accept 5.5 months.
#5 Make another Trip to Destination
It is highly recommended that you make an additional trip to your destination country to start getting things in order. It is very likely that you will need to register for schools if you have school aged children. You definitely need to open a bank account. Having a bank account with your name on it will make transferring money from the USA to your new home much easier. When you get back to the states ask your bank about how you will be able to facilitate transfers from one bank to another. You might even want to consult them before your trip. Other things that you will need to look into are credit cards (both an American one without international fees and one from your new locality), requirements of the municipality you are moving to and more. If you have time, it would be prudent to meet with a tax advisor in your target country. If you haven’t contracted for a place to live yet, set up meetings with real estate agents before you fly there, so you can take advantage of all the time at your disposal while there.
#6 Get a Certificate of Good Citizenship
Not every place requires this, but these are easily obtainable and might be requested from potential land lords or employers. You can request these from your local police station or sheriff’s office. They basically state that you are not a criminal or haven’t committed a crime.
#7 Get Other Documents Ready
We’ve already mentioned a few documents that are a good idea to have ready. Other things that you should have, and if necessary, translated include: certificates of birth or death, marriage or divorce, any diplomas that you have earned, any professional distinctions that you have, school records. If you are moving with young children, or plan on having children, you will need to have American primary school records with you if you plan on obtaining American citizenship for your children. Consider renewing your American passports before you leave the United States, even if you have a few years before expiration, as it is far easier to accomplish this in the USA than it is in foreign countries. Also check with your state’s department of motor vehicles if your are allowed to renew your driver’s license early or not.
Decide what you will be sending to your new home with SDC International Shipping, and what you will leave behind. Things left behind should be disposed of properly. Consider a garage sale, contacting a service like Goodwill, or donating your unwanted things to another charity or giving them away to friends.
#9 Forget about the Hassle
You should order packing service from SDC International Shipping. You have enough things to worry about, let us make sure that all of your belongings are professionally packed, protected, disassembled and loaded onto your shipping container. Don’t waste your time looking for old boxes, in many cases this can trigger an expensive manual inspection of your container at the port of entry. Only new cartons should be used, ones especially made for international shipping. There are many advatages of ordering full packing service. Just ask your SDC relocation specialist.