Monday 30th July 2012

Organizing your move abroad

No matter where in the world you are planning on relocating to, there are a number of basic steps you will need to take to ensure that your move goes smoothly, you remain within the law of your host country and are prepared for all eventualities. This checklist contains an overview of the elements you will need to consider together with information about where you can learn more.


Secure the Correct Visas/ Work Permits

Ensuring that you have the appropriate visa or work permit for your needs is essential and should be top of your priority list. Ensure that you fully research the documentation you will need and that you understand what your visa will, and will not permit you to do. This is especially important in the case of the trailing spouse. Some countries allow the spouses and family members to work and/or complete voluntary labor, while others do not. Ensure that you understand in advance what the situation is and make the appropriate applications in a timely manner.


Open a Bank Account

You will need to ensure that you have access to funds and can transfer money between your home and host country. This involves gaining an understanding of the banking system in your host country and assessing whether or not it will meet your needs. You may also wish to consider the option of opening an offshore account if the accounts available in your host country will not be entirely suitable. Our expatriate city guides contain comprehensive information about opening a bank account in cities throughout the world and offer the full lowdown of what’s on offer, how you can open a bank account and what some of the limitations of the host country accounts may be.

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Find a Home

Again, finding a home that will meet your needs will involve a great deal of research and careful consideration. Some people prefer to start to create a shortlist of suitable areas in which they may base themselves before they relocate while others opt to wait until they are on the ground in the city where they can witness what’s on offer for themselves. Regardless of which approach you take, choosing the right place to live is an extremely important decision. To help you, each of our city guides contains detailed information about popular expatriate suburbs together with information about what you can expect from each of these areas, local facilities, transport connections and infrastructure.


Research Education and Schooling Options

If you are relocating with children, selecting an appropriate school for your kids will be extremely important. You will need to make several decisions: whether you will use the local education system, opt for a private facility or home school your children, which curriculum you will opt for and which school you will send your children to.

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Find a Job

If you are a trailing spouse or are planning on relocating to a new country without a job, you will need to research the job market and start to generate a network that can help you to make contacts with the right people and assist you to find a suitable position. Be prepared for the fact that finding a job in a new country can be extremely challenging and may take a great deal of time and effort.

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Learn the Language

If you are relocating to a country that uses an alternative language to your native tongue, you should make an attempt to learn some of the local language, even if it is just the basics. Having the ability to engage in conversation will be extremely beneficial, will help you to fit in better and will win you the respect of the people you meet.

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Get the Right Insurance

While expat insurance may not necessarily be at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to planning a move abroad, it is absolutely critical to enjoying a healthy and happy existence overseas and should not be missed out at any cost. Expatriates will generally need several types of insurance, health and medical insurance, travel insurance and life insurance. There are a large number of different policies available on the market and expatriates will need to carefully research what is out there and the extent to which various offerings will meet their needs.

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Understand your tax obligations

Depending upon where in the world you live and where you are planning on relocating to, you may have tax obligations that you will need to be aware of and adhere to while you are living overseas. Furthermore, you should fully research the tax compliance requirements in your host country. Some countries will tax you on an annual basis while others may expect you to pay monthly. Some may calculate your tax payments for you, others will expect you to submit your own return.

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Plan your move overseas perfectly with our free moving checklist template.

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