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Checklist for moving outside the UK

If you’re about to move outside the UK, it can put your mind at ease if you create a checklist of things to do.

Here are some steps to get you started and make sure you don't forget something important when moving outside the UK. 

Check your passport is valid

If your passport is due to expire within the next year, you may want to renew it before you move to save you having to manage it from outside the UK.

Apply for work permits and visas

Each country or region has its own requirements and timings, so make sure you have the relevant applications submitted well before you are due to move, or start work.

Set a budget for settling in costs

Aside from your flights and initial accommodation, there may be other costs you want to save for. These can be for anything from new clothes to new furnishings, as well as a bond or deposit on a new place to live.

If you'll be looking for work when you reach your new country or region, make sure you allow for a decent amount of time to find employment. You can find out more about setting up your finances outside the UK and how to create a budget.

Start saving

Once you have your budget, set yourself a savings goal so you’ll be prepared when the time comes to move. Make sure your goal is achievable so you can stay on track.

If you feel you may not be able to save enough to meet your budget, think about any areas where you may be able to cut back. It could be your current spending, or your planned costs once you move.

Notify HMRC you’re moving outside the UK

You’ll need to let HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) know you’re moving outside the UK. It can be a good idea to do this early, just in case there are any tax payments you’ll need to make that you haven’t accounted for.

Complete a health check

Vaccinations and health checks are sometimes needed before you enter your new country or region.

Make sure you'll be able to get any medication you need when you move. Don't forget to pack extra in your carry-on bag, in case your checked baggage is delayed on arrival. If you’re not sure about anything, chat to your doctor about your options.

Organise storage and shipping

If you’re leaving some things behind, look at your options for storage.

If you’re taking some of your furniture with you, you may need to think about shipping. Get several quotes to make sure you get the best price and read the fine print of any agreement before you sign. Many companies say they're insured, but that doesn't necessarily mean your possessions are.

Set up your banking

How are you going to get money in your new home country or region? You may be able to apply for a bank account online before you arrive, or you could choose to open an international bank account before you leave.

Allow yourself a bit of time. For example, During peak international moving season it can take a little longer than normal to open an account.

Gather key documents

There are some key things you’ll want to arrange before arriving. This includes things like accommodation, education if you have school-aged children, and making sure you're allowed to drive.

You may need some or all of these before you move:

  • passport
  • driving licence
  • marriage certificate
  • birth certificate
  • child custody papers
  • divorce papers
  • adoption papers
  • rental references
  • school reports

Pay all your bills

Contact your gas, electricity, water, telephone, TV and broadband suppliers to let them know and pay any outstanding bills.

Redirect your post

Make sure your post doesn't get lost by setting up a redirect to your new home, or perhaps someone in your family. 

Consider travel insurance

A fully comprehensive one-way travel insurance policy can cover you for your belongings, illness, travel delays, missed departure and airline failure.

Check your phone is unlocked

If your phone is unlocked you'll be able to use any SIM card. This makes it easier if you switch to a contract in your new country or region.

Moving outside the UK with pets

Make sure you allow plenty of time to plan if you're taking your pets with you. With some countries and regions, it can take up to 6 months to move pets internationally. 

Rules about bringing in pets vary greatly around the world, so it's important to research the laws for wherever you're moving to carefully. You may have to quarantine your pet after arrival, for example, and some countries and regions don't allow certain animals at all. 

You might find it worth thinking about using a pet relocation service. You could also speak to your vet before leaving to get their advice on how best to make the move.

Double-check all documentation

In the final couple of days, make sure you have all the documents you need together in a file.