Before you goTo read country specific information related “Before you go” – please visit our country pages which can be found here.

So, you’re planning on an international relocation. Packing up and living in a foreign country, maybe for a few months or maybe even for a lifetime is indeed an exciting first step in an exciting journey. Regardless of the time you intend on spending abroad, moving overseas to a new country is a big step and you have to take care of numerous odds and ends prior moving abroad.

Legal Matters

One of your major concerns before relocating overseas / moving abroad should be the legal formalities. Start looking into visa requirements and contact a local embassy to see what steps you have to take. In some cases, it might take more than 1 year before you receive your visa or work permit, so this is the first aspect you must take care of. Inquire about any medical prerequisites, such as vaccines, you might be required to take. Don’t forget to ask for a copy of your medical records.

It is advisable that you contact your host country’s immigration office and inquire about any requirements you need to comply with.

Sort Your Affairs

If you’re planning on selling your home before you relocate internationally, make sure you list it on the market as soon as possible. It can take up to several months for you to find a buyer. Another idea would be to rent it out for the duration whilst you live abroad. For this purpose, contact a specialised rental company that can find you the perfect tenant and take care of everything while you’re gone.


Go through all of your belongings and decide what you want to take with you. A good rule to use in this case is “the 1 year rule”. Basically, anything that you haven’t used in the past year has to go. You can sell them, give them away, or, if no longer usable, throw them in the rubbish-bin. You should consider contacting a moving company that specialises in relocating belongings overseas, in order to get an estimate on how much you would have to pay for this service. If you own a car, you can choose to sell it or have the moving company store it or ship it to your country of destination.

If you already know someone living there, try contacting them to see if they have any pointers to give you. If possible, consider taking a short holiday a few months before you actually move. This will give you a better idea about the people and lifestyle out there and, when the time comes, your transition will be much easier. Travelling with children? Make sure all of their papers are in order. Also, be on the lookout for schools or nurseries in your host country and make all the necessary arrangements early on. You can also have your pets relocated, so make sure their paperwork and vet records are up to date.

Financial Considerations

Moving to another country is often a costly affair. Even if you have a job waiting for you in your country of destination, you should start saving some money, because unexpected expenses can come up at any given moment. Get used to setting budgets and sticking to them, as this will help you in your new home as well.   

Contact a financial adviser and inquire if and how your move will impact your tax status. Unless you’re planning to stay abroad for several years, you probably should not close your local accounts. Do make sure you notify your bank that you are leaving and ask if your local cards can be used in the country where you are planning to move.


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