New in Town: Documents You Need to Add to Your Moving Abroad Checklist

Moving Abroad Checklist

Moving abroad is one of the most exciting experiences you will have in your life. However, it is also a complex process that requires good planning regardless of whether you relocate to study or start a new career. 

To help you out, in this article, we will give you a short guide to all documents you might need for moving and establishing your life abroad.

Research your new country’s rules and prepare your essential documents

Each country requires different documents before it lets you cross its borders and settle. As regulations and laws vary widely between them, it is essential to research and understand what documents you need. 

For starters, contact the appropriate embassy or consulate for information. The basic set of documents usually include, but are not limited to:

  • Passport 
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Medical and dental records
  • Vaccines certificate
  • Financial records
  • Insurance
  • Qualifications for job/work permit (academic diplomas and employment records)
  • Social security cards, 
  • Visa
  • Permits

Remember that you will need to use document translation services as state institutions in the country (and embassies) require you to submit certified translation copies to support your original documents and certificates. For example, if you are relocating to the USA, you will need many immigration documents translated even before you get there for your visa application. Therefore, getting all the necessary records translated in advance will save you a lot of time and hassle once you arrive.

Ultimately, pay attention to whether or not your documents are with the appropriate validity dates. If they are not, file for new ones, and once you receive them, make copies and keep a digital copy at hand. Then, make an appointment in the respective embassy and file all applications for any permits or visas you might need well in advance. 

Moving Abroad

Arrange your travel

Once you obtain all the documents you need to legally enter your new host country, you will need to arrange your travel.  

Make travel reservations 

It is impossible to move abroad without booking travel tickets to get there. However, keep in mind that last-minute tickets can be expensive, so make sure you pick a reasonable departure date (in terms of flight prices) and, ideally, one that leaves you a few days to settle before starting with university or your new job. Then, print your boarding passes (or have them electronically), accommodation confirmation, and emergency documents such as health insurance card, allergy list, and emergency contact. 

Organize your bank accounts and credit cards

It is wise to notify your bank about your relocation plans and discuss your assets with your financial advisor. Consider services that make international bank transfers more accessible, and more importantly, check whether or not your credit cards work where you are moving. Importantly, do not leave before also having some cash in your pocket. 

Rent a place

When moving abroad, it is always better to rent a property before you get there. However, many first-time movers book one on arrival as well. So whatever you decide, keep in mind that if you rent the place before coming, play it safe and rent it for the first six months – just in case.

Download travel resources

Before leaving, it is also good to download all travel resources such as guidebooks, language apps, etc., that you have previously prepared. 

Arrange your arrival 

There are plenty of things that need to be arranged once you arrive at your destination. Some things to consider include:

Health insurance

Depending on your moving country, you may be legally required to get local health insurance coverage within a short time. So, research your options (there are usually public and private insurance policies available) and make sure you sign up for the suitable healthcare provision for you and your family as soon as possible.  

New bank account

To open a bank account, in most countries you usually need a local address which is why it is a good idea to have rented a place before coming. However, many banks, especially mobile ones, will let you open an account even before you’re in the country. 

Tax obligations

Taxation rules for income earned abroad vary from country to country. So, once you are there, go to the local tax office or hire a financial adviser to determine your obligations and help you gather and submit the necessary paperwork.

The bottom line

Moving abroad can be challenging emotionally and physically, so it can be easy to lose yourself in the complexities of the move. However, if you break your moving plans into many small tasks, you will have a much less stressful relocation experience. To help you out, use this document moving abroad checklist to make your relocation as smooth as possible.