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The Ultimate Moving Abroad Checklist

Whether you’re relocating through a new job opportunity, emigrating or retiring abroad, there seems a never ending list of things to remember when you take the plunge and move abroad. As well as the normal chores associated with a house move like cancelling the milk delivery and notifying utility suppliers you’re leaving, there are also important legal matters you need to take care of as well, such as passports and visas. All this on top of settling in to a completely new and exciting community.
At Britannia Pink & Jones we’ve acquired a wealth of knowledge and experience throughout the years and feel it only fair that to take a little stress out of the equation and help you out with a trouble free move, we share it with you. Here’s our Ultimate Moving Abroad Checklist, covering everything you need to consider when moving abroad.
1. Plan and research to the last detail: Make sure you spend time researching your chosen destination to the finest detail, you’ll want to find out what the local community is like, be informed of any local laws and customs, average salaries, popular destinations and basically what it is like to live there. Britannia have created a range of Ultimate Guides that will give you all this information and much more on a range of destinations, including the UAE, Canada, South Africa, Florida, New Zealand and California. We believe you’ll find these extremely useful during your research period.
Take time to visit online forums such as www.expatforum.com & www.britishexpats.com where you can speak to expats that have already made their move and get a real grasp for what a new life abroad has in store.
2. Eliminate the risk of additional taxes by notifying HMRC: It’s important that you let HM Revenue and Customs know that you are emigrating abroad. This means grabbing a P85 form, filling it in and returning it. A simple task that could save you a lot of extra additional tax bills if you forget to notify tax authorities in the UK, making this a burden easily avoided.
3. Open an international bank account: As currency varies from country to country, you’ll want to open an international bank account that is designed specifically in aiding the movement of money. This wil save you paying out more when you earn or spend your hard earned cash! It’s also worth looking into other options such as Expat Bank Accounts which can cut out confusion by allowing you to hold money in multiple currencies. A key decision is whether or not to close your bank account within the UK which depends on your own personal situation. If you have chosen to keep your house in the UK and rent it out then you may need your UK bank account for direct debits and standing orders, so this is all down to your own personal judgement.
4. Getting around in your new home country: If you’re going to be driving during your new life abroad it’s important to make sure you find out about specific driving laws and license requirements. It will vary from country to country whether you need to apply for a local driving license. However, if you’re heading outside of Europe then you need to look into getting an International Driving Permit. It will expire after a year or so but ensures you are mobile as soon as you touch down in your chosen destination.
5. Avoid medical bills and make sure you have health care: In Europe you should be eligible for the same health care as local citizens. However, this will only be for a short term period until you sort out more permanent medical care and social security benefits. We recommend getting a European Health Card as a priority to assist you with any health costs should you need emergency attention in the first few months on arrival. After this time period you should return your British health card and get one from your new home country. You can find out more about health care cover and the social security benefits you will need across different countries on the NHS Choices website: [link to http://www.nhs.uk/Pages/HomePage.aspx. ]
6. Tax; a somewhat long process but it has to be done: Each country has its own specific rules and regulations with regards to tax. To avoid fines or even imprisonment, it’s extremely important to adhere to these from the onset and throughout your new life in your chosen country. The most sensible thing to do is to obtain advice from your local financial advisor. They will be able to give you the best tax related advice tailored to specific circumstances.
If you’re planning on paying your tax from abroad but will still be receiving interest from your savings in the UK then an R105 form from HMRC will ensure
 that tax is deducted from your interest income before you receive it. This will make sure that you are not taxed too much, while also being taxed in another country. That’s the paperwork out the way, now to let everyone know about your exciting adventure abroad!
7. Set up a mail redirection at the post office so that you don’t miss out on important letters or bills and make sure that you inform everyone of your new address so they can get in touch!
8. If you’re not renting or have decided to keep your home then its important to remember to switch any heating, gas or electricity off on the day you depart! This will eliminate the risk of any bills coming your way for warmth and appliances you haven’t reaped the benefits of. If you’re renting out your home, then you may need to check with your insurance company and find out if your home is still covered by the same policy or or if it needs changing. Finally, inform your mortgage company about your travels abroad.
9. To avoid council tax bills make sure you let your local authority know about your move abroad.
10. Professionals such as your GP and Dentist can spend time sending out information about appointments etc, so its important to inform them of your move so you don’t waste their valuable time as well. Once you have all this covered, its time to sit back and enjoy the ride that is your new life abroad. Moving abroad is a stressful experience however once you’re there and settled, it will have been well worth the hassle! If you have anything to add to our Ultimate Moving Abroad Checklist or wish to share any experiences you have had when travelling overseas, do get in touch!
Remember that Britannia Pink & Jones can help with all aspects of your move abroad. Our network of overseas moving agents will handle everything at your destination with the same care and attention we do here. Your international removal agent will also handle all practical matters, details of import documents, customs clearance and delivery. Find more information on the practicalities of a move abroad, visit our International Removals page.