International Moving Checklist

Moving Checklist

Moving internationally can be a challenging process that requires a lot more planning than just moving domestically. Follow our checklist to help you get international shipping quotes as well as assist you in renewing your passport, applying for work visas and looking into health insurance options.


  • Visit & Research Your New Home

    Visit your future home in-person to gain a better understanding of the country’s culture, as well as its various cities and neighborhoods. Around this time, you should also start conducting research on your new home by reading local guides, blogs and newspapers online.


  • Find a Relocation Consultant

    Finding an experienced relocation consultant and/or professional Realtor to show you around the area will help make your transition a smooth one. A relocation consultant should be able to assist expats with everything from locating housing and furniture rentals to finding job opportunities and language classes.



  • Book Travel Arrangements

    Now’s the time to make any airline, car or hotel reservations needed for moving day.


  • Get Free Quotes From International Movers

    When moving abroad, you’ll want to request quotes from several international movers well ahead of time. Fortunately, makes it easy for those moving internationally to receive estimates and compare movers. We vet all movers for key certifications, capabilities, and insurance. Our movers are also licensed and bonded with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). For help finding the best international movers, check here.


  • Gather All Important Documents

    A few months before your move, begin gathering all birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates, driver’s licenses, school records, medical forms and social security cards. You’ll need these when you move, so go ahead and place them in safe location.


  • Obtain or Renew Passport

    Need a passport? Whether you need to apply for a new passport or renew an existing one, you should start the process early. For more information on the passport application process, check here.


  • Contact Embassy

    To learn more about your new home’s entry requirements and quarantine laws, give the country’s embassy a call in Washington, DC. Each embassy should be able to provide future newcomers with more information about customs forms and any other important documents needed for importation of goods.


  • Apply for Visas or Work Permits

    You may be required to apply for a visa or work permit before entering the country. In many cases, this can be a lengthy process. For more information on requirements, immigration laws, and deadlines, contact your local embassy or consulate as soon as possible.


  • Look Into Health Insurance Options

    When moving to a new country, you’ll need to research various health care plans available to you. If moving for work, your new employer may be able to assist you with health care coverage. In addition, you should look into purchasing international health insurance – especially if you plan to live in several different countries.



  • Get Necessary Vaccines

    Your new country may require that you, your pet and your family receive certain vaccinations before entering. Check with a health care provider in the country a few months before the move. Be sure to gather and save all medical records of vaccinations as well.


  • Book International Moving Company

    If shipping belongings abroad, you’ll need to book an international moving company well in advance.


  • Look Into Storage Options

    When moving abroad, you’ll likely need a temporary or long-term storage solution. If looking to reserve a self-storage unit in the U.S. before moving, check’s ‘Find Storage Now’ tool. We’ll pull quotes from the closest storage unit facilities near your new home to compare.


  • Donate or Sell Belongings

    Those looking to lighten their load before moving should consider donating or selling unnecessary items. When donating clothing and furnishings, all you have to do is call your local Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity or Goodwill to schedule a pick-up, free-of-charge. Those hoping to make a few extra bucks can try selling their belongings at a garage sale, consignment store or through an online marketplace.


  • Contact Banks

    Contact all of your banks to let them know that you are moving. You should also find out if your existing bank has a location in your new country. If not, look into opening a bank account in your new home after you move.


  • Research Tax Laws

    Before you move, research tax laws in your new country. You may be subject to pay taxes in both the U.S. and your new home, so be sure to enlist an expert who can help out with understanding confusing tax laws and regulations.


  • Figure Out Furniture Rentals

    Those moving abroad often need to rent furniture to outfit a new apartment. To figure out furniture rentals, ask a relocation consultant to help with coordinating this task. For more information on furniture rentals and other important checklist items, read our tips for moving abroad here.



  • Confirm All Details With Movers

    One month before your move, confirm all dates and times with your international moving company.


  • Purchase Travel Guides

    Having travel guides on hand will help you learn about the country’s attractions, food, culture and other fun details. When purchasing travel guides, be sure they also include maps and information about the country’s public transportation system.


  • Refill & Pick Up Prescription Medications

    Before moving, refill all prescriptions ahead of time. You should have at least one month’s supply to get you through the first few weeks.



  • Let Friends & Family Know Your New Address

    After you arrive in your new home, email friends and family to let them know your new address.


  • Explore Your New Community

    Moving abroad is an exciting time! Get to know your community and surrounding areas by exploring the city during the first few months in your new home.


  • Meet Locals & Other Expats

    If there’s a language barrier issue, try finding nearby expat groups and meetups with other U.S. nationals. Strike up conversation with neighbors, coworkers and people you meet throughout the city. Building a network of friends takes time, but it’s well-worth the effort – especially when moving abroad.


  • Sign Up for Language Classes

    Part of understanding a culture is understanding its language. To truly immerse yourself in a new country, sign up for language training courses at a nearby learning center. Your relocation consultant should be able to help you find the appropriate classes. You should also be able to search online for group training or private training courses in your new city.


  • Locate Your Home Embassy

    It’s important to know where your home embassy is located in the country for several reasons. For starters, your embassy can assist you in the case of an emergency. They can also give you plenty of information on work permits, marriage requirements, passport issues, driver’s license requirements, health care plans, local schools and other important things to know when moving.


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International Moving Checklist
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