Leaving your home to move overseas can be one of the most exciting chapters in your life. Uprooting your world, establishing yourself (and perhaps your family) in a completely new location, and being away from your bubble of security, however, is not something you can do without planning.
With so many areas of life to organise, moving internationally can also be extremely stressful.
Here are a few things you should consider before taking the plunge:
Cost of living
Before you consider moving overseas, research the cost of living to make sure you can afford it. Expenses you perceive as cheap at home may be double the price overseas.
A good place to start is to hop onto Expatistan. Here you can compare costs in your current city with the location you’re planning on moving to.
In addition, if you’re going to look for work when you arrive, check what your specialism pays. Cities like London have been known to pay much less for similar roles than in Sydney, for example.
The amount of admin involved in moving countries can seem endless. With enough planning, however, it doesn’t have to consume you.
This handy check list, by Good Migrations, breaks down the tasks you should think about from 12 months prior to leaving.
- Applying for a visa
- Enrolling your children in local schools
- Ensuring your passport and driver’s licence are up-to-date and have a lengthy validity period
- Evaluating your finances to ensure you have enough funds to cover the moving process
- Registering for a tax file number (or equivalent) in the country you’re moving to
You’ve sorted your shipping and booked your flights, so don’t let it all be a waste of time if something goes wrong. Obtaining insurance when you’re moving overseas typically only requires ‘one-way’ travel insurance. Covering you in the same way as regular travel insurance, it allows you to make a claim without returning to Australia.
Read our blog post on more information on travel insurance when moving overseas.
Naturally you’ll want to take some personal belongings with you, however, if you can avoid it, don’t haul every item you own halfway across the world!
For instance, it will probably be cheaper (and a lot easier) to sell your car and buy another when you arrive – rather than shipping your Hyundai Excel 12,000 miles across the world.
Taking pets with you
You’ve sorted your budget and the rest of your family’s, but have you accounted for your pet to come along?
Shipping animals internationally is expensive. It’s not just the flight you need to think about – the additional costs can add up. They might include:
- Micro chipping and vaccination certificates for common viruses and diseases.
- An international health certificate from your vet.
- Pet passport documenting your pet’s vet history.
- A quarantine period both in your country of origin and country of import.
Each country will have specific requirements, so definitely do your research ahead of time.
Language – including local slang
If moving to a location where the language is completely foreign, consider taking language classes ahead of the move. There are many useful apps and online courses available in today’s technologically-advanced world – such as Duolingo – or there’s even the option of purchasing real-time language translation earphones.
If you’re moving to an English speaking company, however, language obviously won’t be much of an issue. It does help, however, to be mindful of local slang and research any terms or expressions that may be offensive in the country you’re moving to.
Transferring your money overseas
If you already have a bank account set up before you leave, the cheapest way to transfer your savings to your new home country is to use a specialist money transfer provider, such as WorldFirst.
Many people use their bank to transfer funds internationally, however, what they don’t realise is that it’s nearly seven times more expensive to do it this way.
If you’ve already set up a bank account in the country you’re moving to, it’s a good idea to transfer money ahead of time so you can access it immediately upon landing.
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