Moving abroad is an exciting event that can mean a new career or adventure. To make the international moving process smooth, you should have a plan in place when you move overseas so that you can enjoy the experience. This international moving checklist, current for 2024, will provide you with a step-by-step plan that will help you cross international borders without stress.

Get the Right Documents

moving checklist

The first step in any international movement is to study the relevant documents and provide you with everything you need to obtain them. The reason why this step is so important is that it helps you save valuable time when you have every document you need. 

It means that you must know where each document is, and store it safely in a location where you can easily find it before you move internationally.

Put aside these essential documents:

  • Adoption documents
  • Birth certificate
  • Reports of custody of children
  • Divorce papers
  • Driver’s license
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Passport. You can also take your passport with you if you are traveling to a new country in North America.
  • Social security cards.
  • “Pro Bono.” (NCB) recording. Make sure you have this document handy if you plan to travel to your new place of residence. This will prove that you have a “no claim” insurance record and that you can get a discount on your car insurance.
  • Medical and dental records. Gather copies of your medical files, including your medical history, immunization records, insurance cards for medical, dental, ophthalmic, and/or health insurance. Also, make sure you have copies of prescriptions and any disability cards.
  • Academic records. If you or your family members will be studying at a school abroad, bring copies of your school records and any other academic documents.
  • Other insurance policies and legal documents. It includes any legal documents such as your power of attorney, will, medical consent forms, and any other relevant notarized or legal documents.
  • Financial Documents. Take copies of your bank statements, if you do not have access to them online to confirm your income. Also, carry copies of other relevant financial documents such as income tax reports and financial statements for any business you own.
  • Travel documents. This may include your passport or any other travel documents that you may need, such as work permits, or customs forms. 

Don’t Forget Your Pet


When transporting your pets abroad, it is vital to make sure you have all the necessary documents in order. Also, make sure your pets are ready to move by getting permission from your vet to do so. 

Here are some steps and documents to take care of your pets before you move internationally:

  • Get a pet carrier. You’ll need a proper pet carrier to move your domestic pet, whether your pet is traveling by air or sea, Your airline may require a pet carrier, so make sure you check with your airline’s restrictions and requirements well in advance. Besides, pick up one that’s IATA-approved so you can avoid possible delays.
  • Check the requirements. Before leaving, make sure you have checked the needs of the new country for the movement of your pets. Make sure your furry friend is allowed to enter the country. Some states, such as Australia and New Zealand, restrict the entry of sure pets such as birds, ferrets, and American pit bullfighters. Some countries also require vaccinations and customs clearance for a certain period before your pet will be allowed into the country. Your pet may need to be quarantined, depending on the country you are moving to.
  • Immunization records. Collect all vaccination records for your pet before you move to another country. You will need them to prove your pet’s vaccination history. Make copies for international companies that will also coordinate the movement of your pet abroad.
  • A medical certificate. Your vet can give you an international veterinary certificate.

Get a 3-Month Start

Now that you know which documents you should have in order, it’s time to set deadlines for essential tasks. If possible, give yourself a three-month start so that these tasks can be completed.

  • Decide what to do. If you are moving with a family or loved ones abroad, it is vital to decide when everyone is moving. Look at your financial situation and schedule to determine if it makes sense for everyone to run at the same time or to settle in your new home before the rest of the family arrives. You may need time to get acquainted with the new environment along with your work, or each of you may not have a schedule that allows for change. Also, make sure you have time to schedule each task, including the time needed to complete it. 
  • Start saving money. If you haven’t already done so, start allocating extra cash for moving abroad. It can serve as an emergency fund if you need to take care of any last-minute expenses.
  • Checking tax liabilities. Just because you move across international borders does not mean that you are exempt from your tax obligations. If you are a U.S. citizen, you must pay taxes wherever you move to or work in. There may be provisions to help reduce your tax obligations. For example, you may be entitled to a tax deduction of up to $104,100 for the tax year following the tax deduction on foreign income tax. There are also tax provisions for houses you own or rent abroad. Make an appointment with a tax officer to review your tax liability before you go abroad.
  • Let’s consider property insurance. If you buy a home abroad, it is imperative to purchase property insurance. Also, consider taking out rental insurance so that your belongings in the house are protected from damage.
  • Think about storage. If you are storing your belongings yourself, be sure to research the costs.
  • Focus on health care. In a new country, medical services can become unexpected costs if you are not adequately prepared. Remember to research and ask your current health care provider for advice based on the country you are moving to and any current health care needs. You can buy international private health insurance to cover the costs for you and your family if you do not receive medical benefits from your employer.
  • Do not miss out on extra insurance. Think about other types of insurance, such as travel and life insurance, to make sure you get all the coverage you need.
  • Review and book temporary housing. You may need extra time to settle into your new home abroad before your belongings arrive. So be sure to explore potential short-term accommodations and book them in advance, so you don’t risk losing the deal or being left homeless.
  • Think about your current home. Think about how long you will stay in your new place and decide whether you should continue to rent your current location, sell it, or cancel your tenancy.
  • Apply for visa and passport. It is time to take care of the passport and visa application procedure. The time required to apply for a visa depends on the country, so double-check the time you are traveling. Also, extend your passport if you have not already done so to avoid extra fees to speed up the application process.
  • Gather all your files and applications. Get copies of the documents listed above, such as your passport and medical records. Also, ask for all necessary school documents or files if you have children.
  • Plan your visit. If you have the time and budget, plan a trip before you move. It will make it easier for you to find schools and accommodation in person.
  • Research schools. If you plan to go to school or have school-age children, it is time to explore schools in your new home area. Start by finding out what the requirements for education are in the country to make sure you meet those requirements. If you plan to attend school online, make sure that there are reliable online services in your area.

Research International Moving Companies

Before you take your big step, it is essential to seek assistance from international shipping companies from the USA. They have experience in the relocation process and the rules for the country in which you plan to live. The laws in each state are different. Therefore, it is crucial to investigate the international companies that you plan to use before making any commitments. You may also want to familiarize yourself with international shipping terms to have a better understanding of the process.

Know Who to Notify

Before you move, you need to update several organizations or people. Here are some of them that are common to everyone:

  • The US Postal Service.
  • Your bank.
  • The U.S. Embassy.
  • Utilities (electricity, gas, solar).
  • Social Security Administration.
  • Tax agencies (IRS/tax agencies abroad).
  • Insurance companies.
  • Your employer.
  • Friends and family.
  • Your landlord/realtor. 

Take Care of These Important Tasks One Month Before Your International Move


There is only a month left before your big step, and you want to do some tasks. Do not lose sight of these critical tasks:

  • Cancel your subscriptions and non-applicable insurance policies. It is the time to cancel any service that you do not need or will not be able to use when you move. This includes any streaming services such as Netflix. Cancel insurance policies that will not apply abroad. Also, be sure to cancel your cable T.V. so you can avoid paying in advance for the upcoming month of service.
  • Set up mail forwarding. Tell relevant parties about your new mailing address, such as the IRS and your bank.
  • Take care of your budget. Determine if your bank has a branch in your new country. If not, make sure you look for and open a bank account where you can receive your salary or direct deposits.
  • Contact the NCB. Have your car insurance company claim a No Claims Bonus (NCB).
  • Make an appointment to see your doctors. Make an appointment with the dentist, ophthalmologist, therapist, and/or doctor. Ask about the drugs you will need, including the generic names of the drugs. Also, make sure you get the original documents of your medical history and copies of them.
  • Sort and donate. Sort out any clothes, art pieces, shoes, and any other things you have and decide what you will bring with you. Anything you plan to keep or do not need should be sold or donated.

Two Weeks Before You Leave

There are a few essential tasks that should be completed two weeks before your international relocation:

  • Tell your friends and family your new address. It is time to share your new address with relatives, so they can send you mail or know your place when they will arrive. 
  • Arrange for bank transfers. Contact your bank to make sure that the assignments in your account are made correctly.
  • Visit your vet. Take your pet to the vet for all necessary vaccinations, such as rabies or repeated injections. Besides, make sure you have your pets checked out to ensure they can safely travel across seas.

Make Last-Minute Arrangements – One Week Before You Go

With only one week left before you move, you are likely to face several last-minute preparations and different last-minute tasks. Take care of these tasks one week before your international move:

  • Get the cash (duh)
  • Get in touch with banks, because if you plan to use your credit or debit cards, be sure to contact your card company to tell them that you are moving abroad to make sure your purchases are authorized.
  • Confirm your flight. Check the departure time and luggage restrictions for your trip.
  • Confirm your meetings with international carriers. Review your meeting time and confirm it with international airlines to avoid rescheduling.
  • Take care of any unfinished tasks. Anything you haven’t already dealt with should be taken care of this week. It’s time to go over the “Move abroad” checklist again and make sure you have taken care of everything.
  • Pack your things. Pack your belongings, including the clothes and shoes you plan to wear on your trip — Mark your belongings with a color-coding. If you have children or pets – take care of their things last, so you don’t miss out on any essential things.
  • Celebrate. Make time to celebrate your move with friends and family during the last week.

It’s Time to Move!

You should know what to look out for. Deal with these tasks, and you’ll be on your way to a smooth moving day:

  • Check to see if you have any international movers. Your foreign movers must have an easily identifiable vehicle. Therefore, be sure to check the company’s identity documents, logos, and licenses to make sure you are working with the right people. You will want to leave the international shipping to experienced professionals to alleviate stress.
  • Know that you should not bring foreign objects with you. If you have any hazardous materials, the day you move is not the day to tell your international movers. Packaging of these materials should always be arranged in advance to ensure proper delivery and handling. Also, avoid packing perfumes, jewelry, food, money, or medicine to prevent any potential problems.
  • Sign on the dotted line. Look through the fine print of any documents before signing them. 

To sum it up

Wow, moving can be stressful! 

Invite over your neighbors to a little party because it’s time to celebrate and make new friends. 

We hope that our moving checklist will be useful to you – use it as a guideline to make sure you have a smooth, happy, and successful move. Happy Moving!

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