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Expat Checklist Before the Big Move

Posted February 24 2015


Expatriate ChecklistTaking the leap and becoming an Expatriate can lead to an overwhelming wave of emotions. From excitement, to scary, to nervous, to anxious, even nostalgic, knowing that you are leaving your home to start a new life in a new place will give you a rush one way or the other. Deciding to become an expat is step one of a long list of things to take care of before you set sail on your new adventure. So use this Expat Checklist when organizing, packing, and scheduling everything that needs to be done before your big move!  

  

  1. Medical check-ups for you and each family member are a must before you leave, and make sure to get an extended supply of any prescription drugs. Also, obtain a copy of the medical file related to the condition that requires prescription drugs, and be sure to keep these with you during your travels (keep in your carry-on). Check what vaccinations are required.
  2. If you have children, look into education opportunities abroad. The countries school system, boarding school, home schooling, etc.
  3. Learn the language! At least the basics in order to communicate important stuff.
  4. Passports and VISAs need to be valid, and it may be a good idea to renew them if they are set to expire in the near future. If you’re filing for a new passport, file your application early because it may take some time to complete. Remember, some VISA applications require a lot of paperwork so start those early as well.
  5. Cancel any subscriptions you may have. Such as magazines, telephone, cable, internet, etc.
  6. Apply for an international driver’s license. Keep both your international and domestic licenses with you at all times.
  7. Make photocopies of all important documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, social security cards, etc.
  8. It may also be a good idea to get any important documents translated into the language of your new country of residence. It could make this whole process a lot easier and quicker.
  9. Handle your property before leaving. Your house, are you selling it or renting it? Your car. Anything else of significance you may own. Also, make arrangements for your vehicle at your destination. Are you shipping your car there, or do you need to rent or purchase a new one?
  10. Ask your bank about money transfers and banking abroad. Look into online international banking, it may be easier to make transfers and manage funds between countries.
  11. Take food items, or any other items for that matter that you enjoy but won’t have available to you in your new country. At times you may be homesick, and these items may help sooth your soul.
  12. It is very important to share the new address and your new contact information with your friends and family. Just in case of any emergencies.
  13. Set up your utilities ahead of time, so you won’t be without power or water upon your arrival. This goes the same for cell phone and internet access, in order to let your loved ones know that you have arrived safely and are settling in.
  14. Determine the tax rules of your new country, as each country has specific tax rules on foreign earned income. Also, there may be taxes on any shipped items that you have shipped to your new country.
  15. Insurance! Expats need International Health Insurance in order to have worldwide coverage. Instead of trying to figure out the insurance plan that is best for you and your family, find an insurance broker to do that for you. You have enough things to do as it is.
Print this checklist and carry it with you to use when packing and moving to your new country. Moving to a new country can be an amazing experience. For more information on what it’s like being an Expat, read our previous blog, 5 Reasons why it’s Great to be an Expat. If you are interested in more information about Expatriate Insurance, or are interested in purchasing Expat Insurance, contact us at +1 954-828-1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com for help finding expatriate insurance coverage for you, your family or group!