Expat Relocation Checklist for a Smooth Transition

by Nantanaa Mutharasu

Learn How to Transition to a New Expat Destination – Expat Relocation Checklist

Are you thoroughly prepared to move to a foreign country? In all the excitement of moving overseas for a new life, there are chances that you may miss some important steps because the whole transition can be a complicated process. Most expats have a relocation checklist at hand to ensure they do not miss out on any important tasks before moving abroad.

If you do not know what to add in your checklist, we’ve got you covered. To help make things easier, use this move abroad checklist to plan your relocation.

Expat Relocation Checklist

Apply for Your Visa

This should be a priority on your expat relocation checklist. Depending on the reason for your move abroad, you need to apply for a visa. As an expat, your visa can be for a long-term or short-term residency. Do all the necessary paperwork before you apply for the visa. If your passport’s expiry date is nearing, you should get it renewed immediately. Expats who are frequent travelers can plan to get a second passport of another country, which is possible in certain cases.

Book Your Flight Tickets in Advance

This, too, should be on your expat relocation checklist. Booking an international flight can be a costly affair. So, start looking for the best possible deals at least a couple of months before your departure date. You can compare prices by visiting various travel portals. You can also set up alerts to inform you if tickets are available within your planned travel budget. Websites like Skyscanner are great for getting the best airfare deals. In general, the earlier you book your flight, the lower the price.

Try to Bring Only What you Need

It can be very expensive if you plan to ship your household stuff internationally. It would be wise to carry necessary things along with you during your flight and pay for extra luggage instead of shipping them separately. However, always compare the shipping cost with the extra luggage charge and go for the cheaper option.

Expat Relocation Checklist

Cancel Subscriptions or Memberships

Cancel your mobile phone plans as soon as you decide to move overseas. Opt for a prepaid SIM that you can use temporarily till you fly out of your home country. You can also cancel other subscriptions and memberships like newspapers, internet connection, Netflix, gym, etc. before you move overseas. Check your bank statements to cross-check and see if your monthly fees for various subscriptions are pending. Pay up the pending amounts and close all the subscriptions or memberships that are not required.

Re-route or Change Your Mailing Address

Get your mailing address changed or re-routed to your sibling, friend, or relative’s house before you leave for your expat destination. If you are expecting your final W-2 to reach your residence address soon, you can inform your previous employer about your new mailing address.

Expat Relocation Checklist

Carry Copies of Important Documents

You must carry copies of all the important documents with you when you make the move. Forgetting to carry them along with you can land you in awkward situations and a lot of hassles. Apart from carrying the necessary original documents, their copies will come handy in case the original ones get lost in the transition. You can also get them laminated for added protection from wear and tear. We often suggest you leave a copy of your documents with someone you trust back in your home country.

Get Yourself Medically Checked and Treated

It would help if you got yourself thoroughly checked and treated for any illnesses before you leave your home country. The best option is to get yourself a comprehensive healthcare insurance coverage. If not, you will have to make the necessary appointments for vision, dental, and overall health checkups and pay up the required fees. Remember, healthcare can be costly in certain expat destinations.

Get a Debit or Credit Card to Use Internationally

Having a debit card or credit card that would suffice during your initial days abroad is important. Moving abroad would mean that you have adequate money in hand to ensure that your stay is hassle-free. ATM fees will apply in various locations, so take advantage as per your bank’s local ATMs as well. Note that you may not be able to secure a local bank account until you arrive in your expat destination and you will need to provide your visa information and documents.

Buy International Health Insurance

Lastly, it is important to look at buying international medical insurance up to 45 days prior to leaving, which is when most global insurance providers will allow you to purchase their plans. Note that any individual global health policy will be subject to medical underwriting, so a pre-existing condition may or may not be covered. In fact, you could be declined, which could put your expat plans on hold. There are a variety of plans in the market, but only a few global health insurance providers offer plans that are both capable, secure and high quality.

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