You can download a handy printable version of this Relocation Checklist at the bottom of the page.
This moving abroad checklist has been created to ensure your relocation runs smoothly, giving you the perfect start to your new working life overseas. Kent undertake over 30,000 successful moves each year, and our tips for relocating overseas are the result of the knowledge gained during our 70-year history. Kent’s reputation for excellence and capacity to handle any type of relocation has made us the largest tier one relocation and removals company with Australian headquarters.
The following relocating overseas checklist and tips are intended as an overall guide only, and while following this checklist will give you the best chance of a successful, stress-free relocation, you still need to take into account your own personal circumstances.
General Tips for Relocating Overseas
- Keep your Kent Client Service Coordinator high on your list of contacts throughout your international relocation. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how insignificant the query may seem
- Ensure you complete all the required questionnaires, compile your supporting documentation and forward this information to your Kent Client Service Coordinator before you attend your tax briefing
- Research your new home before you travel, and check that your employer has arranged an orientation visit, as well as cultural and language training (a Kent specialist can offer all of these services). Before your corporate relocation ensure that:
- You understand the local customs and culture, including food, appropriate manners, and religion
- You have some knowledge of important services in the area, such as the location of shopping centres and medical professionals (doctors, dentists, and hospitals)
- You are aware of the school and housing options available to you and your family. If you have young children, it’s a good idea to show them a selection of schools and allow them to have some input as to which school they would like to attend.
- Visit the Department of Foreign Affairs website (www.dfat.gov.au), this is a vital tool for staying updated on the security status of your new location.
Notify Important Providers
- It is important that you begin the process of changing your address early. These days, there are so many different service providers that need to be contacted, including:
- Your accountant or financial advisor
- Your solicitor
- Medical professionals (doctors, dentists, specialists)
- Utility companies
- Real estate agent, particularly if you are leasing your property or have leased a property
- Insurance companies
- Superannuation fund provider
- Australia Post
- Your local council and any councils in which you own investment properties
- Car registration (e.g. VicRoads)
- Australian Taxation Office
- The Electoral Commission.
- It may simplify things for you if you grant power of attorney to someone you trust, such as a family member, friend or your solicitor, to take care of the little things whilst you’re on assignment overseas
- You should have copies of all important documents and ensure that the originals are in a safe place. It may even be a good idea to leave the originals with a trusted family member and take the copies overseas with you (except in the case where you need the original). Important document include:
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Insurance policies (accident, medical, contents, home and life)
- Driver’s licence
- Bank account details
- You should register yourself with the Australian Embassy at your host location. The embassy will also let you know if you need to register yourself with local police. This may be time consuming, but it is incredibly important that you do this, especially in the event of a disaster or emergency at your new home.
Visas and Immigration
This is arguably the most important part of the moving abroad checklist; the success of your international relocation depends almost entirely on obtaining your visa. So, follow our checklist to ensure that this portion of international relocation goes according to plan:
- Collate all your important visa and immigration documents and then contact your Kent Client Services Coordinator. You will need to collate:
- Marriage and birth certificates
- Police clearance reports
- Academic records
- Passports (valid until well after relocation)
- Some countries may require you to undertake a medical examination. If required, ensure you have a copy of this report
- Once all documents are collated, complete visa and work permit forms and ensure these are lodged in a timely fashion.
Overseas Moving Tips
Moving overseas can be a stressful time, particularly if you are commencing a new job (or role) at the same time. Follow this international relocation checklist to help reduce your stress levels, and make the move as easy as possible:
- Confirm all airline tickets, any temporary accommodation, and all other travel arrangements
- Create an inventory of all the belongings that you want to take with you. Having an inventory will assist you in noting exact volumes and any specific removal requirements for certain items
- Kent offers a secure storage service, meaning you can enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that the belongings that you cannot take with you will be safe during your assignment overseas
- Communication is key to a successful move abroad, so ensure that you confirm any packing and moving dates with your Kent Client Service Coordinator well in advance
- Complete and return relevant insurance documents to your Kent Client Service Coordinator
- Confirm which items you will take with you as airline baggage and which items you will have freighted. Your Kent Client Service Coordinator will be able to assist you with air and sea freight transit times
- Important documentation (such as passports, visas, wills, and prescriptions), jewellery and any other precious items should never be packed in your stow-away luggage. Keep all these items with you or in your hand luggage
- Tips for moving abroad with pets:
- Complete all veterinary and quarantine requirements and paperwork
- Arrange pet boarding during packing and pick up
- Check the compatibility (connections, voltage and amperage) of all electrical items. There are variations between countries and it may be difficult to find Australian adaptors in some countries
- For even more tips to streamline the employee relocation process, follow all the relocation tips included in:
Keeping your finances safe, secure, and accessible is a vital aspect of an international relocation. Follow our guide below to help your banking changeover run as smoothly as possible:
- If you require a continuation of your banking services at your new location ensure that all relevant parties have been notified of your change of address
- Contact your bank to check if there are branches in your new location, and what services they provide
- Ensure that your bank/credit cards are valid in your new location
- Organise some local currency before you board the plane, just so you have some on arrival. Some banks even offer a service where you can set up a separate account that has some local currency in it
- Write down the contents of any safe deposit boxes you have and consider leaving the key with a trusted friend, family member or associate
- You may find that it is easier and more financially sensible to open up a bank account at a local bank in your new home
- If you are going to apply for a credit card or a loan in your host location ensure you have supporting documentation of a good credit rating
- Ensure you have paid any outstanding taxes and that all correspondence from the ATO has been responded to
- Outstanding bills can affect your credit rating, so ensure that all outstanding bills have been paid and any disputes resolved.
Home Search Relocation Checklist
Finding your new home can be one of the hardest parts of international relocation. So, peruse our guide for a successful home search before embarking on this process. You’ll find it easier, and much less stressful:
- Give yourself plenty of time to decide what you will do with your existing home (sell, rent or lease) and ensure that you give yourself enough time to action this decision
- If you are renting, notify your landlord in writing
- Cancel all utility services and subscriptions, such as Foxtel or newspapers
- Cancel all home deliveries, such as newspapers and magazines
- Make sure that all bills are paid, including council rates
- Ask Australia Post to re-direct your mail for at least three months after your move
- Begin the process of researching housing options in your new home. Your employer may have organised Kent’s home search relocation service through our real estate division. If this is the case a representative will guide you through this process, including:
- Looking up inspection dates and organising a time to inspect new properties
- Finding somewhere to store your belongings until you have organised a permanent residence.
School Search Relocation Checklist
If you are relocating overseas with a family, then there is a range of additional steps you will need to undertake, particularly in relation to your children’s schooling. Follow this mini international relocation checklist when it comes to your children’s education:
- Begin the process of short-listing schools and universities for your children at your new location. Kent’s school search program will help you find the perfect school
- Ensure you have copies of your children’s school or university reports
- Education systems differ around the world, so to ensure that your children are placed in the correct level and have completed any assessments or aptitude tests
- Meet with principals and teachers, and tour new schools or universities when you first arrive. Take your children along so they feel involved in the process
- Give your children’s current school notification of departure dates
- Ensure that all necessary requirements are fulfilled if you plan on re-enrolling your children in the same school or university upon your return from repatriation.
Car and Drivers’ Licence Tips for Relocating Overseas
By following our tips for cars and drivers’ licences when relocating overseas, you give yourself the best possible chance of a painless and punctual and transfer:
- Decide what you’re going to do with your car as early as possible. If you’re going to sell it, then you’ll need ample time. If you’re going to store it, then ask your Kent Client Service Coordinator to arrange storage services
- Research drivers’ licence regulations in your new country and ensure that you have fulfilled the necessary requirements to obtain an international drivers’ licence before you depart
- Request a letter from your car insurer that details your current level of insurance and no claim bonus.
- Organise a check-up for you and your family with your local doctors and dentists. Request and bring copies of the results with you
- Ensure that you and all family members have received the requisite vaccinations that are required for your destination country
- Ask your GP for additional prescription medications in case of any problems, such as delays, or an inability to have your prescription filled. You should also ask your practitioner for a list of alternative medication that could be used if you are unable to locate your usual prescription medication
- Have a first aid kit packed to take with you on the plane.