Moving Country Checklist


When work takes you overseas, there's a lot to prepare. If you're moving country for a long time, there can be alot to think about including what to do with your existing home, how much of your belongings can you take and how will you get it there? Take some of the stress out of your departure with our guide to making a clean break.

90 days before departure

Ensure that you and your family have valid passports. It's worth looking into the specific requirements for your destination country - for instance, the authorities in Singapore might delay your entry if your passport is in poor condition

  • Decide whether you are going to rent, sell or terminate the contract on your existing home. If you're selling, contact your realtor now so there's enough time to complete the sale before you leave.
  • Weigh up the cost of storing personal possessions in your home country against the cost of shipping them to your new host country.
  • Book flights to your destination and any hotels if required
  • Inform your children's school that you will be moving overseas and request transfer certificates and any information relevant to their education
  • If you have a pet, check quarantine requirements in your destination country and look into transportation options or the possibility of re-homing
  • Shop around for the best professional moving company and set a date for movers to pack your belongings
  • Create a folder for hard copies of important documents along with one on your computer for digital files. Check the documentation requirements for the country you are moving to as many countries require that official paperwork is certified before it can be accepted
  • If your relocation expenses will be paid for you, create a tax and finance folder for receipts that can be claimed back on tax
  • Some countries may not accept your home country's driving license. If that's the case, now is the time to apply for an international driving license
  • Research if you, your family and your pets need to have any vaccinations and keep a written record of any immunizations
  • Print out or email change of address information and to send to friends and family
  • If you are renting out your house and do not have tenants yet, contact local rental agencies for help
  • Don't leave packing to the last minute. Get ahead by packing the items you won't need in the next three months: ornaments, books, photos, jewelry and out-of-season clothes.
  • Consider learning the local language - even the basics will go a long way to help you feel part of your new community.

60 days before departure

  • Organize a final medical check-up for you, your family and your pets. Ask your doctor, dentist and vet for copies of everyone's medical records
  • Check all insurance policies and apply for visas if they're required
  • Book a date for leaving parties for yourself and your children
  • Contact the post office to set up their mail re-routing service
  • Determine if you will nominate someone to be in charge of your affairs while you're away and hand over any relevant documents to them
  • Contact your bank and explain that you are moving abroad. If necessary, research banking options for your new destination
  • Set up direct debits with your bank for any bill payments which you will still be making while you are away including mortgage payments, loan repayments, pension contributions and savings
  • Ensure you understand your tax obligations - both for the country you are leaving and the one you will be living in
  • Research the generic names for any prescription medication you may need and ensure that it will be available in your destination country. If not, arrange to take a supply with you. Many countries have strict laws regarding medication so you'll need to also bring medical proof of your need for the medication for customs and excise purposes
  • If you are working for the same employer but in a new location, see if your salary can be paid into your existing account or if you need to set up a new overseas account
  • Consider a garage sale of all the things you want to sell or donate items to charity
  • If you are renting out your house, get all minor repairs completed
  • Organize the cancellation of all magazine and newspaper subscriptions along with any regular deliveries

30 days to go

  • Consider packing and sending a small shipment of essential items that you would like to be at your destination on arrival
  • Pay all outstanding bills
  • If you're selling your property, contact the various utilities departments and ask them to discontinue your supply of gas, electricity, water, cable TV and telephone. If you're renting, change the name on the bills
  • Keep all paperwork and information required for the shipping company in one easily accessible file.
  • Continue packing, leaving out the essentials you'll need for the next month. To ease both your stress and theirs, ask friends or family to take your children for a day out while you're packing.
  • Order the foreign currency you'll require

Moving day

  • If you are shipping items, confirm your delivery date
  • Pack essentials in your suitcase. You'll be living out of these cases until your shipment arrives
  • Verify all delivery plans with the company and go through the inventory list
  • Relax. This is the start of your new adventure!

This information is for educational purposes only. Cigna does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information. This information is not medical, legal or financial advice. Your use of this information is at your sole risk.

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