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    How Long Does it Take to Move Internationally?

    By The reallymoving Team Updated 22nd Mar, 2024

    If you're moving to a new home abroad, you're likely to want to take your belongings with you. Find out about the length of time it takes to move internationally, and how the method of shipping your items can affect how long your move takes.

    How Long Does it Take to Move Internationally?

    Are you planning to move to another country? The decision to move abroad is not an easy one and it will be a major life transition. While you are preparing for this decision you might be wondering, “How long does it take to move internationally?” How much time should you expect to spend between the moment when you choose to move to another country and the moment when you are settled in your new home?

    The answer to this question is not that simple. How long it takes to move internationally will depend on the country you are coming from, the country you are moving to, how you choose to ship your belongings, and how complicated it will be to obtain visas, find work, clear your items through customs and get set up in your new home.

    So what are the factors that will affect how long it takes to move internationally? Here are some aspects to consider:

    Which country you are moving to?

    Some countries have stricter and more complicated immigration policies than others and you will have to go through a lot of paperwork and jump through more hoops until you can move there. This will make the process take a lot longer.

    You can decrease the time that this takes as much as possible by making sure that you have filled out all immigration forms correctly and that you have  a good understanding of all the rules. 

    How much stuff do you have?

    Do you only need to bring a few boxes of items, or will you be shipping entire home’s worth of possessions through international customs? The amount of stuff that you need to bring to your new country will affect how long the move takes.

    If you can streamline your possessions and get rid of everything that you don’t need, you will make your move a lot easier and faster. 


    Get international moving quotes for your move abroad.


    How will you move your items?

    The timescale of your move will vary greatly depending on whether you decide to move your items via air, sea or land. For example, if you were moving the items from a three bed property from Manchester, England to Alicante, Spain, it would take approximately 3-5 days to deliver them by Road. The cost of transporting them by road would be between £3,100 and £3,900 approximately.

    If you were to ship the items by sea it would cost between £2,900-£3,600 and it would take around 25-31 days. Finally, shipping the items by air would take around 8-10 days and would cost approximately £5,900-£7,300.

    If you’re moving abroad outside of Europe, you may not have the option of moving your items by land. For an overseas house move to a more distant destination, you’ll find the time it takes to transport your belongings much more notable between air and sea.

    For example, if you were moving to Sydney, Australia, from London, it would take around 9-10 days to move your items by air, and around 51 days to ship them by sea. The price you will pay is also significantly different between the two shipping methods, with it costing around £14,500 by air, and £4,500 by sea.

    You can get an estimate for how much it will cost to move your belongings by using our international moving cost calculator

    Are you working with a removals firm?

    If you hire the services of a professional moving company to help you move overseas this can be another factor in how long it takes to get from point A to point B. The company will know how to make the process easier and more efficient, saving you time and money.

    In addition to working with a professional international removal company, there are a number of ways you can make your house move abroad more efficient. Get tips on moving overseas with our article, How long does it take to move to another country?.

    These are just a few of the factors that affect the answer to the question, “how long does it take to move internationally?” The answer will be different depending on your situation, so take these factors into consideration when planning for your international move. 

    page last updated June 2015


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