Moving Abroad Checklist: A Step-by-Step Guide for 2021
So you’re moving abroad from the UK? We imagine you are currently feeling a mixture of nerves and excitement, but at Sirelo we are committed to quelling those nerves. We have therefore compiled this moving abroad checklist, which outlines everything you need to prepare before setting off on your adventure. Work your way through this page and we promise all those anxieties about moving overseas will wash away!
If you are moving within the UK or want to download a more general moving house checklist PDF, we have also got you covered.
Work Out How Much it Will Cost to Move Abroad
First thing to tick off on your international moving checklist is organising how you are going to get both you and your belongings to your chosen country. We know how daunting packing a lifetime of things can be, not least because of the expenses it can incur. That’s why we offer up to five free removal quotes, based on the location and volume of your move. Choosing a moving company and then a moving date should be a priority on your moving abroad checklist, and the first step towards a stress-free move.
Not sure where to start? Check out our list of top international removal companies to get the ball rolling.
Get Your Documents Organised
Next thing to do before moving abroad is to organise all of your essential documents. Make sure you have the following documents sorted and in a safe and accessible location:
✔️ Passport – Don’t forget to make sure it is up to date!
✔️ Visa and work permits (if applicable)
✔️Driving licence – Make sure you have the right to drive in your target country!
It is also a good idea to check the government website of your target country to see if there are any specific documents you need for entry, as well as any customs regulations you should be aware of.
Will Brexit Affect Your Move?
If you are moving out of Europe, feel free to scroll past this section. However, if you are intending on moving abroad to somewhere in Europe, we sincerely recommend you stay with us.
The UK’s decision to leave the European Union has complicated many international moves. If you are moving before the 31st December 2020, you are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement and therefore will retain your European rights in your chosen country. However, you might have to apply for residency to prove you relocated prior to 2021. If you are planning on moving after this date, you may require a visa and will have to comply with the specific immigration rules of that country. For more information on how Brexit might affect your move, visit our Brexit blog.
The next thing to consider when moving to a new country are your finances. We imagine this will be a priority for you, so hang in there as we talk you through this essential part of your moving abroad checklist.
First of all, everyone’s favourite topic – tax. Besides contacting your pension fund and your bank branch, you should also check whether you will be taxed while you live abroad. You may also want to fill out your p85 form. In addition, if you are moving abroad for work, it is important to look into relevant taxes will apply to you, such as income tax, social security tax, property tax etc.
If you will continue to receive interest income from savings based in the UK, it is essential that you complete am R105 from HMRC and pass it onto the institutions where your money is stored. We know tax is a confusing and overwhelming subject at the best of times, let alone when you have a move on the cards, so for more information we recommend visiting this page on understanding the tax requirements of British expat.
Well done, you have made it through the most challenging part of our expat checklist!
Organise Your Banking
Constantly having to convert money into a different currency is time consuming and expensive. We therefore recommend that you set up a local bank account in your destination country. In some cases you might have to wait until you have completed your move to do this, but we have added it to our moving abroad checklist anyway as a gentle reminder.
What came first, the chicken or the egg? Sometimes opening a new bank account can be easier said than done- in some cases you need a bank account to rent a new home, but also an address to open a bank account...we’ll let you battle with that one.
Transfer Your Money Abroad
Now you have done the leg work, last but not least you will need to transfer the money in your British account into your new one. There are a few platforms that allow you to do this, so do some research to see which one best suits you. Here are a few to start with:
Moving can be a risky business, on multiple fronts. Therefore, the next thing to do when leaving the UK is to insure just about everything. Here is a list to start you off with, but it is by no means a bad idea to go the extra mile and insure other aspects of your move too.
- Travel insurance
- Removals insurance
- Life insurance
- Home insurance
- Health insurance (see below)
We know that more paperwork and more expenses is not what you want, but trust us, you won’t regret it when the sofa you saved up for months is covered and you can begin your new adventure with a clear head.
Sort Out Your Healthcare
Next up on our moving abroad checklist is, very importantly, your healthcare. What exactly this will entail will depend on where exactly you are moving, but it is vital that you do some research prior to your move.
If you move abroad, you will no longer be covered by the NHS, nor will you be entitled to use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in Europe. If you have private healthcare in the UK, make sure to speak with them to see what your options are, otherwise it may be wise to look into the healthcare options in your new country.
For most of you, this will not be a necessary step on your emigration checklist, but if you are heading to an exotic location, this is very much something to bear in mind. Make sure to contact your local GP while you are still in the UK to discuss and organise any vaccinations you might need, both for you and your family.
Bringing a Pet With You?
We know that leaving a pet behind is simply not an option. If that’s the case, make sure you get the following steps ticked off your moving abroad checklist. For almost all countries, there are import requirements for pets, so check the specific rules of your destination country. However, in most cases you can assume that you will need to:
- Get your pet micro-chipped
- Have your pet immunised against rabies
- Seek practical advice on how to transport your pet
- Make sure your pet has a valid passport
- Contact your airline
Taking Your Vehicle With You?
Moving Your Vehicle
Much like your pet, the specific import requirements on vehicles depend on your destination country; make sure you have checked what these are. The following steps on our moving abroad checklist are suggestions for moving your car that are generally considered good practice wherever you are moving:
- Find a trustworthy international shipper
- Fill out all the necessary paperwork (this will depend on your destination country)
- Purchase shipping insurance
- Wash and empty the vehicle
- Perform a final inspection
Switching Your Licence
First and foremost, it sounds obvious, but make sure you renew your drivers’ licence if it is due to expire soon. In most cases, you will need to switch your drivers’ licence to a local one soon after you arrive. For the interim period, we recommend getting an International Driving Permit which allows you to drive before you have got your local licence organised.
Congratulations! You have made it through our moving abroad checklist. Now you know what to do when leaving the UK you can sit back, relax and enjoy your move! Feeling tired just from reading this? A little overwhelmed? Don’t worry, that’s only natural. Just make sure to remember that moving abroad is something to be excited about; trust the magic of new beginnings! In the meantime, you can learn about the factors affecting your international moving costs. You will be a real moving expert by the end of this.