The Ultimate Moving Abroad Checklist

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The number of US citizens living abroad, either temporarily or permanently, has skyrocketed in recent years (some say from four million in 1999 to nine million in 2016.) And that doesn’t include US Military personnel, which would obviously otherwise inflate the statistics.

There are many reasons for this boom in overseas emigration, from marrying a foreigner to getting a job overseas to studying at a college/university in another country. But whatever your motives for making the move, it will take careful planning before undertaking long-term or permanent living in another nation/culture.

Here is a checklist of 8 key factors to consider as you prepare for the transition:

1. Consider Taking a Charter Flight

Many times, we get in a “mental rut” and just assume you have to fly over to your destination via the major airlines. But if you want a higher class, more comfortable, far more customized experience (and you don’t like huge crowds!), then the charter flight route might better suit you. 

2. Plan for Affordably Shipping Your Belongings

Airline luggage limits and “rules” are far too restrictive for most people going overseas to stay or for months/years on end. And yet, shipping luggage and/or parcels to other countries has traditionally been prohibitively expensive. Explore an affordable solution that will revolutionize your “bringing ability” by clicking on the link just above.

3. Arrange for a Residence Ahead of Time

Not only should you book a hotel room in advance, but for long-term stays in a foreign land, you’ll want to set up a plan for renting or even purchasing a property. You can make initial contacts online or by phone, even if it can’t always be finalized until after arrival.

4. Dispose of or Store Away Possessions

If you’re not taking it with you and you’re not returning to live in the US, then you may need to sell off all other possessions. This could involve major items like real estate and automobiles, which can take time to sell at a fair price, so begin planning early. And if you do plan to return, arrange for a workable storage option for property you leave (at least temporarily) behind.

5. Learn About Taxes, Banking, and Other Financial Issues

You may have US taxes to pay before you leave, and you may or may not need to pay them while living abroad. And your new country of residence will have its own tax laws as well. And you’ll also need to research international banking rules, currency exchange rates, insurance policy restrictions, and other financial matters instead of being “surprised” by them later on.

6. Be Prepared for Visas and the Immigration Process

You can stay in most countries as an expat for anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months with just your passport. Beyond that, there will be visa fees and paperwork. And if you’re going to permanently immigrate, expect a long, complex, expensive process. Again, don’t let these rules and fees be a surprise to you.

7. Make Sure Your Smartphone Still Works

To use your cell phone abroad, you may need a new SIM card, but you’ll have to get there before buying it. In the meantime, you need to get on a preloaded phone plan with international service so you can communicate at airports and before you finally get your new SIM.

8. Find Out How to Legally Drive Abroad

Not all foreign countries will simply recognize your home-country driver’s license, or at least not long-term. Find out what tests you have to pass and what requirements you must meet to drive a car where you are going (and where to rent or how to purchase one as a foreigner.)

This is a guestpost written by: The Blog Frog