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International Moving Guide

Considerations for Your Move to Another Country

moving across country

An international move is easily one of the most exciting – and hectic – times you may ever experience. Whether you’re moving to a foreign country for work or simply for a change of pace, there is a lot to take care of.

You can help prevent setbacks and added stress by being prepared with what to expect well in advance of your move. Take special consideration to the information outlined below for a smooth transition to your new home across the globe.

Prepare to Leave Your Current Country

You should begin preparing for your upcoming move as soon as possible once you know you’ll be leaving. It can often take up to three or four months to file all the necessary paperwork for moving to a foreign country so allow for plenty of time.

You’ll need to obtain certain documents from your home country before you leave to ensure you can get into your destination country. Below is a list of steps to take at home before your departure.

  1. Obtain a passport. You will need identification that includes your photo and your nationality to travel abroad. Go to the US Post Office or a local passport and visa company to file for a passport. If you already have a valid passport, you may want to have an updated photo taken.
  2. Register your items that were made in foreign countries. Because taxes and tariffs differ from country to country, you will need to provide a record showing the foreign-made items you already own to avoid paying duty on them. Cameras, appliances, and electronics are just a few examples of items you will want to register. Check with your nearest customs office for a full list of items to register.
  3. Get an updated title and registration for your vehicles. This includes not just your car, but also boats, ATVs, and motorcycles. Your local tax office or DMV usually can provide these if you don’t already have them. You may also register them at your closest customs office.
  4. Register your firearms. With heightened security measures in place around the world, having proof of ownership of your firearms is of utmost importance. The customs office nearest you can help make sure your registration is accurate and determine if your destination country will even allow you to bring in outside firearms.
  5. Service your appliances. Like any move, if you plan to take your appliances with you, make sure they are serviced first. Allow refrigerators and freezers to thaw and dry to prevent mold and odors. You’ll also need to check voltage limitations in your new country and be sure your appliances meet them. Purchase any outlet adapters you may need – you’d be surprised how different foreign plugs can be!

Moving Into Your New Home Abroad

The embassy for your destination country will become an invaluable resource as you plan your move. They can tell you what documents you will need, where to file them, allowed goods, and much more.

Be sure to check with the embassy for your destination country on which of the following documents you will need for a smooth move:

  • Residence permit – Usually obtained from the local registration bureau in your destination.
  • Work permit – If moving for a job, your employer has likely already taken care of getting this for you. If not, you will need one before being able to work.
  • Visa – This gives you permission to enter a country for a specific amount of time. There are different types of visas – work, travel, etc – so be sure to apply for the correct one.
  • Driving permit – You may need a license specific to the country you will be living in. Your embassy or local transportation office will help you get what you need to get around.
  • Medical records – Be sure to get up-to-date on all vaccinations before traveling internationally. Check with the embassy for a list of immunizations you must have for entry.

When travel day arrives, keep these important documents on you. Do not pack them with the rest of your valuable documents. Being able to access them easily will make for a much smoother day of traveling.

Budgeting and Packing for International Moves

The cost of moving internationally can add up quickly. Sure, you’ve budgeted for travel costs and the rent or mortgage of your new home once abroad, but have you considered these costs?

  • Document fees
  • Vaccination and medical fees
  • Customs taxes and duties
  • Trip insurance
  • Vehicle transportation
  • Short-term storage

The type of shipping you decide to use also influences your travel cost. Usually, this is determined by the size and weight of the items you plan to ship. Large shipments are usually transported by sea, whereas smaller shipments can be taken by air.

Nilson Van & Storage can help you coordinate all aspects of your move abroad – from country to country. Our professional network extends to over 160 countries, with an experienced team in place to help you the entire way. Contact us today to discuss your upcoming international move and to get an accurate estimate for your moving costs.

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