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Checklist for moving outside the UK

If you’re about to move outside the UK there’s a lot to think about.

Creating a checklist of things to do can put your mind at ease and help ensure you don’t forget something important.

Here are some steps to get you started. 

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 depending on whether you're renting or buying.

If you'll be looking for work when you reach your new country or region, make sure you budget 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’re able to stay on track.

If you feel you may not be able to save enough to meet your budget, consider whether there are any areas where you may be able to cut back in terms of your current spending, or your planned costs once you move.

Tax planning

You may need to let your tax office know you'll be moving outisde the UK to see if there are any steps you need to take to get your taxes in order. 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 required before you enter your new country or region.

Make sure you're able to access any medication you need in your new location and don't forget to pack extra in your carry-on bag, in case your checked baggage is delayed on arrival. If you’re unsure about anything, chat to your doctor about your options.

Organise storage and/or shipping

If you’ll be leaving some things behind, look at your options for storage and the various costs.

If you’re going to be 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 also 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 access 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, with HSBC it takes 30 days to process an international bank account and a further 10 to 20 days for it to become active. Find out more about how banking works in the UK.

Gather key documents

There are some key things you’ll want to arrange before arriving. This includes things like an international driving licence, accommodation and education if you have school-aged children.

Get a record of any documentation you may need (such as rental references and school reports), so that you’re not trying to coordinate from outside the UK once you’ve moved.

Pay all your bills

Contact your gas, electricity, water, telephone, TV and broadband suppliers to inform them of your changing circumstances 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 a family member. 

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, which makes it easier if you switch to a contract in your new country or region.

Double-check all documentation

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