The planning involved with any move is of paramount importance and never more so than when preparing for an overseas adventure. Make sure you mastermind the move to your dream destination and upping sticks won’t seem like such an insurmountable task. Take a look at our checklist of essential tasks to help make your overseas move go as smoothly as possible.
Research red tape
To be admitted as a resident to the country of your choice you must hold the appropriate paperwork. As such, visas are the most important element of any overseas move. While many businesses may supply their employees and their families with the appropriate work permits or visas, it’s still advisable to meet with an immigration office for your destination country.
When arranging your own immigration, it’s essential to complete all paperwork correctly. The visa application process for some countries can be painfully long, so ensure your proposal for permanence meets with requirements. Employing the services of an immigration lawyer is one way to help shred the red tape. Specialists in this field can also offer useful help with application forms and other elements of the immigration process as a whole. Make sure you understand the immigration laws of your chosen country. Make a note of submission deadlines for forms and importantly, the legalities surrounding residency.
Similarly, ensure both yours and your family’s identification documents are current and accessible. From birth and marriage certificates to driving licences and medical records, you’ll need to be able to easily access all important documentation. A good tip is to back up your documents digitally. Scan and store them in the Cloud to ensure they are readily available at all times.
Figure out your finances
From the cost of living to the practical costs involved with moving, it’s important to make provision for both the resettlement period and beyond. Considerations may include an emergency fund as well as financial planning for the future.
Depending on your residency status, you may still need to pay UK tax even when you’re living abroad. However, if you are taxed in more than one country you may be able to claim tax relief. With this, it is worthwhile contacting the Inland Revenue to discuss if this would be applicable to you. You will also need to check the tax policies for your destination country.
It’s advisable to check with your bank whether you can use your funds overseas. Most banks provide an online banking facility and large global banks often have services specifically for expats. Opening a bank account overseas may not be as straightforward as you’d imagine. As such, contact your current bank for advice on how to open accounts abroad.
Cost of living varies hugely around the world. Work out average daily and periodic expenses in your destination, as it’s essential to be able to afford your new life abroad.
Get a move on
It’s easy to underestimate the cost of moving abroad. However, from furniture to people and even pets, moving abroad is no mean feat. Ensure you have realistic estimates of the costs involved to avoid any nasty shocks.
It’s generally advisable to look into arranging your household removal overseas with a minimum of one months’ notice, but ideally, as soon as possible. The notice period required is often dependent on the time of year, as some months are busier than others for international movers. It’s definitely important to obtain quotes from at least three different removal companies. A reputable removal firm may well visit your property prior to confirming a booking, as this enables them to accurately assess the volume of goods to be moved. This also offers an ideal opportunity to discuss any custom requirements. Specialist international movers are able to supply you with a guide for your destination country’s customs requirements regarding household goods. Having familiar things from home will help to make relocating an exciting rather than merely overwhelming experience.
Home sweet home
Initially, renting a property may be preferable to purchasing. Yet whether you rent or buy, it’s important to have somewhere to hang your hat when you arrive to help lessen the initial upheaval. Technology has made it much easier to find a home abroad without having to travel.
For means of security, it is recommended to keep hold of your domestic home in case you have a change of heart about moving abroad. A sensible approach would be to rent out your UK home, settle into your new surroundings and give yourself time to house hunt. It is worthwhile to also carry out your research about buying a house in the country you have decided to move to.
Cover your health care
Make sure you check the health care available in your destination country. It may be that you are covered by your NHS contributions. However, equally, you may need to take out private health insurance. You will need to notify your GP of your move. Once you move from the UK permanently you will not usually be entitled to NHS healthcare in the UK and will need to deregister from the scheme.
Furthermore, healthcare requirements differ from country to country. If you are registered to work and pay tax, you should be entitled to state-run healthcare on the same basis as a resident of that country. Yet, many countries still expect residents to make patient contributions or to join a national health insurance scheme. Make sure you also confirm any injections that may be required and arrange these in plenty of time prior to travelling.
The stress of relocating abroad can overshadow what should be an exciting time. With good planning and preparation, the right support and a reputable removals firm, the transition to your new life overseas will be made much easier.