Essentials of International Relocation: Planning An International Move

Essentials of International Relocation: Planning An International Move

Have you decided that it’s time to consider international relocation?

Maybe you’ve had a job opportunity arise, maybe you’re on the hunt for greener pastures, or maybe you just can’t stand living in your current country anymore.

Whatever the reason, you have to understand that moving abroad is a lot more complicated than moving domestically.

In this guide, we’ll go over some tips on finding a job and a place to live overseas, some things you need to remember before you move, the necessary paperwork you’ll need, and information on transporting all your belongings to your new country of choice.

If you’ve decided that international relocation is right for you, keep reading to find out everything you need to know before the big move!

Finding a Job

Unless you’re independently wealthy or have quite a bit of money saved up, your top priority before moving to another country is going to be finding a job that can cover a place to live and living expenses.

If you already have a job lined up, then you’re already over the hardest part, but if not you should know that most countries aren’t going to allow you to have citizenship unless you have skills or experience that can transfer.

  • You might be able to transfer your current job overseas if you work for an international company or you can look at competitors in your industry to find another company that might allow you to work overseas.
  • If you work in an industry that doesn’t seem likely to transfer you overseas, then try contacting a professional employment service that represents international careers.
  • Another good resource for finding international employment are job sites like or
  • If none of these options are working for you, you can always place an ad in an English-speaking newspaper offering your services and skills.

Finding a Home

Once you know you have a source of income, your next biggest priority is going to be finding a place to live.

Depending on your situation and resources, you’ll need to decide if renting or buying is right for you, but most experts suggest starting with renting regardless. International relocation is filled with big changes, so it’s a smart idea to give yourself some wiggle room in regards to a living situation.

Renting allows you the opportunity to change locales and living situations if you decide you don’t like the first locality you try. Buying a house tends to be a long-term investment and you may end up regretting your commitment to your first choice.

If you have a chance to visit your host country before you move, this would be the perfect time to do some apartment hunting, but if you can’t visit, there are many reputable websites that post rental home listings online.

Specifically, you can try English-language newspaper sites or sites that specialize in vacation home rentals or owner-managed apartments and homes.

Before You Move

There are a lot of things people tend to overlook when planning their international relocation. Before you can start a new life in a new country, you have to put your affairs in order in your home country first.

  • Make plans to put your house on the market or cancel your lease.
  • Cancel your cell phone plan and start looking into mobile plans in the country you’re moving to.
  • Cancel any memberships or subscriptions that won’t transfer overseas. (Magazines, book clubs, even Netflix in many countries)
  • Schedule final healthcare appointments for vision, dental, physical, women’s care, dermatologist. You’ll likely have to change health insurance options when moving internationally, so you should try to get as much out of it as you can before canceling it.
  • Sell your car or find a place to store it. It’s very difficult and expensive to have a car shipped overseas, so unless you can’t part with it, you should probably sell it. Keep in mind that if you decide to put it in storage it while you’re gone, you’re still required to pay for insurance.
  • Get an International Debit or Credit Card. Even if your bank is international, you’re going to have to get new cards that work internationally. If you’re planning to move your money, wait until after you don’t run into a situation where your midway through the moving process and can’t access your funds.

Necessary Paperwork for International Relocation

  • Long-Term Visa- The type of Visa you’re going to apply for will depend on your reason for moving to a new country.
  • Birth Certificate or copies of your birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Entry permits are required for some countries
  • Copies of the front photo page of your passport and most recent visa. Many hotels and businesses will need to keep copies of records like this as verification of your identity.
  • 2×2 passport style photographs
  • Driver’s License- Eventually, you’ll want to get a local license, but if you get pulled over before you get a chance to take your driver’s test, you might get away with showing the officer your former country’s driver’s license if you’ve only been in your new country for a short time.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Copies of Graduation Certificate or Degree
  • Medical records and Vaccination paperwork

Transporting Your Belongings

When you’re planning your international relocation, you’ll need to decide what you’re putting in storage (or selling) and what you want to come with you to your new home. It would be extremely expensive to buy all new clothes and furniture when you move, but there are professional moving companies that specialize in international relocation.

They can take care of packing your house up, transporting everything to your new home country, and if you like, many companies will unpack and organize your belongings in your new home for an additional fee.


International relocation is a big commitment and it means a lot of hard choices have to be made, but it isn’t impossible.

If you make your plans early and make sure all your affairs are in order in your home country, then you can keep the moving process relatively painless.

If you don’t want to have any last minute surprises, then stick to our guide and you can’t go wrong!