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    Essential Tips for Moving Abroad

    By The reallymoving Team Updated 28th Mar, 2024

    Take a look at reallymoving.com's top tips for moving abroad to help you have a successful overseas move.

    Essential Tips for Moving Abroad

    Moving abroad can be a daunting prospect; the reallymoving.com team have put together a checklist of essential things to do prior to your move to help things go as smoothly as possible. 

    1. Arrange Visas

    Visa are the most important part of moving abroad, as without them you cannot reside in your country of choice, so it is vital that you organise visas and relevant documents.

    Even if your employer is supplying you and your family with work permits or visas it would be best to meet with an immigration office for your destination country. You can do this by contacting the local embassy for your destination country in the UK.

    If you are arranging your own immigration, you will need to ensure your paperwork is correct yourself. The best approach will be to employ an immigration lawyer, but there are also visa agencies who can help you obtain your visas.

    Most importantly, make sure you understand the immigration laws, deadlines for submissions of forms, time frames, such as how long you can legally reside in your chosen destination and, essentially, the rules applying to importing your household goods into the country. 

    2. Book Your International Removal

    It is usually advisable to look at arranging your household removal overseas with a minimum of one months’ notice to your chosen international removal company. This would be dependent on the time of year (summer is a particularly busy time for removal companies).

    It would be advisable to obtain quotes for your move from a minimum of 3 companies. Using our reallymoving.com International Removals Quote Form you can request up to 4 companies details instantly into your inbox. You will then be contacted by our International Removals Partners to arrange a survey.

    It is always advisable to arrange a removal company to visit you prior to booking your removal, as this way you can be sure of the volume of your goods. It is also a good opportunity to discuss the customs requirements of your international move. Your international removal firm can usually supply you with a country guide for your destination country’s customs requirements for importing your household goods.

    3. De Clutter

    Remember that the more you take with you, the more it will cost you for shipping, so you should not move items abroad that you don’t need or use.

    Make a full list of your possessions so you know exactly what you own. This will help you to decide which items you need to take with you and what you can do without. It might be worth getting a floor plan of your new home so you can determine which items of your furniture will fit – this will make the decision of what to take with you easier.

    4. Documentation

    When you are aware of the documents you require you will then need to make sure  yours and your family’s are all up to date and accessible.

    Check that you have easy access to all your important information such as marriage certificates, birth/adoption certificates (long forms), current up to date driving licences, medical records, etc.

    It is also important to digitally back up all your important documents i.e. scanning and storing on the cloud to ensure that they are readily available at all times.

    For more information about what you'll need to have with you on your international moving day, view our international packing checklist.


    Find an international removal company for your house move abroad.


    5. Change of Address

    You will need to notify all Government agencies of your change of address, such as HM Revenue & Customs, National Insurance Contributions Office – centre for Non-Residents, and the DWP.

    6. Health Care

    Make sure you check the health care available in your destination country or if you will need to take our private health insurance. It may be that you are covered by your NHS contributions, so it is important to find this out. You will also need to notify your GP of your move.

    Check with you GP regarding which injections you should have prior to you and your family travelling. Make sure you arrange these with plenty of time prior to your travelling.

    7. Relocating your Pet

    Most international removal companies will not usually move your pet for you. You will need to speak to a specialist pet relocations company to arrange this, or arrange the pet’s travel yourself.

    If you are moving your pet abroad yourself it would be advisable to check the customs and entry requirements well in advance. Sometimes your pet will need to spend a considerable amount of time in quarantine at your destination.

    However you choose to move your pet you will need to arrange a pet passport and make sure you have all the documentation in place for your destination country’s entry requirements. You can also check with your vet regarding moving your pet overseas. 

    8. Finances

    Check with the Inland Revenue regarding the rules applying to your tax now you are emigrating from the UK. You will also need to check the tax policies for your destination country.

    It would be advisable to check with your bank about being able to use your funds overseas. Most banks now provide you with an online banking facility.

    9. Accommodation Costs

    Investigate the laws about house purchasing in your chosen destination. It is important to seek independent legal advice before you purchase a property.

    10. Research

    If you are not familiar with the country you are moving to it would be advisable to do as much research as possible on what it is like to live there. There are many online guides and books available. Check the area surrounding your destination address for the locations of useful facilities such as hospitals, embassies, banks etc.

    It is also a good idea to find out about local customs such as public holidays and festival days. Most useful though would be to try to learn some of the language of the country you are moving to if you are not a native speaker. There are many night classes or online courses that can assist you.

    If you have a business or looking to set one up, consider how you are going to register it. Different countries have different processes for registering a business. Registering a business in Hong Kong or the US have favourable tax benefits and legal systems, so do your research to find what will suit you and your business best. 

    11. Get Excited!

    With all the stress of moving and planning your relocation, it can be easy to forget that this is a huge and exciting step for you and your family to take. With the right support from a good international removal company your transition to a new life can be made much easier.

    Making sure that you have your familiar things from home around you can help to balance what can be an overwhelming but thrilling experience.

    For more useful information on moving international, here is a link to the govt website: https://www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo.

    We have a range of international removal guides and advice articles to help you with your move abroad.


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    JCL were really helpful organising and moving my stuff from Netherlands to UK. Mark was knowledgeable about all the customs documents. They were able to organise transport at late notice. The driver was friendly, his truck was tidy and nothing was broken during transit. I highly recommend JCL.

    Ell on 21/03/2024

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