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How Far in Advance Should I Schedule an International Move?

homeowner planning an international move

Whether for business or personal reasons, if you are considering moving internationally, you know how difficult and exciting the process is. You know how expensive a move overseas will be, and you probably have an idea of what forms, documents, and other items you will need to have in order before leaving the United States. Or maybe you don’t! In either case, you can benefit from some professional support as you begin making plans.

When Should You Start Planning an International Move?

As with any other move, the sooner you can start planning, the easier it will be to prepare. Even though an international move generally involves crossing oceans as opposed to streets, you'll still have many of the same hoops to jump through along the way. You will have to sort through belongings, sell or donate things you will no longer need, pack boxes, make plans for furniture, and contact a moving company to transport your belongings. Also, you will need to find out visa requirements for the country you are moving to, make sure all identification for family members is valid, and learn about the language, culture, and customs of your new home country.

Ideally, you will want to leave yourself 6-9 months to accomplish all of these goals. This length of a lead time allows you to fill out paperwork for identification cards, visa applications, and other things without having to scramble for them at the last minute. It will also allow you the maximum time to go through your belongings, consolidate what you are taking with you, and figure out how you are transporting things to your new home.

Tips to Make Your International Move Smoother

Are you still a little overwhelmed by what you need to do before moving overseas? Here are a few rough timelines to remember that will help ease the process:

  • About 6-9 months before your move, research your housing options, school admission requirements for your children, and decide whether you will sell your current home or rent it out. You might also want to make a pre-move visit to your future home country.
  • When it's 3-6 months until your move, you should contact a moving agency to survey what you will be sending overseas. Also, make sure you have copies of all important documents stored in a safe place, notify your children's schools of the move, make sure everyone is up-to-date on vaccinations, decide how you will handle your finances, and hold a garage sale for any unwanted items. Also, be sure you notify the appropriate organizations about your change of address.
  • With 6 weeks or fewer to the big move, make sure your movers are ready to transport your belongings. You will want to make sure your address changes have been finalized, check your travel plans to make sure they are in order, and contact utility companies to have services terminated.

Moving Internationally Will Be Worth the Effort!

Ask anyone who has immigrated to the United States, and they will tell you it was a long and difficult process to move here. The inverse is true as well; packing up your belongings, uprooting your entire life, and moving overseas is just as long and difficult of a process. This is why it’s important to leave yourself ample time to get everything situated. By doing this, you are far less likely to forget any steps along the way. It will all be worth the trouble when you arrive at your new home in your new home country!

We here at Nilson Van & Storage look forward to helping you as you make plans for moving internationally. To get the process started, get in touch with our team of experts today.



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