If you are considering moving to another country
, it's important to think about all the reasons, factors, and obstacles to determine if it is worth it. Read on to see what you should consider before committing to an international relocation.
The first thing to consider is the reason you are thinking about a relocation. What think about living somewhere else? Are your reasons valid
- Job opportunities/obligations
- Military obligations
- Political concerns
- Proximity to industry
- Proximity to family
- Moving in with a significant other
- Wanting to see the world
- Fluctuations in income
Any one of these things could be your reason for moving, but you need to consider all the other factors as well before you can be sure that an international move is right for you. Don’t forget to contrast everything with your current situation in your home country.
A big part of the decision to move abroad is choosing a destination country. Research is required to make an informed decision. “I heard it was nice,” does not count as good reason for choosing a new place to live. Consider the following when researching destinations for an international move:
- Visa and immigration programs and policies
- Government structures
- Cultural norm
- Customs regulations
- Cost of living
Don’t forget to consider your career when deciding to move--if that isn’t the main reason why you are moving. Unless you are very wealthy, you will probably need to seek employment in your new country, even if the cost of living is comparatively low.
- Do you have a job waiting for you in the destination country?
- Is there a future for your industry in the country?
- What are the work visa restrictions?
- How are foreign workers taxed?
- What employment laws should you be familiar with?
- How is the country’s economy and job market?
- Is losing your current job worth attempting to get a new one overseas?
Consider your family
Anyone in your family is going to be affected by an international move. You should talk with your immediate family during the consideration process. Pay attention to their feedback and plan accordingly.
- Are you moving alone or taking your family with you?
- What is their initial reception of the idea of an international move?
- What would every family member have to sacrifice for the move?
- If you have kids, how difficult would it be to enroll them in a foreign school?
- If you plan on moving alone, what loved ones will miss you the most?
If you are moving a substantial amount of possessions overseas, you should hire international movers
. They are absolutely necessary if you can’t fit everything into luggage, so you should think about hiring them before you fully commit to the move.
- Which movers have experience moving people to your destination?
- What types of estimates do they offer?
- How do they compare to other moving company estimates?
- What do reviews say about them?
- Do they offer any help with customs clearance?
What will you do with your things?
It is important to keep your shipment small for an international move. Shipments are charged by volume and sometimes weight. Also, the shipment may be at sea for months before it reaches you in your new home. You can’t bring everything you own overseas, so you need to consider what to do with it.
- What things cannot be brought into the new country? Foods and certain cars are often prohibited. Pets also are heavily restricted.
- Can you leave your things at home and have other people take care of them while you are gone?
- Do you want to put your excess things in self-storage?
- Is there anything you can sell, give away, or throw out?
An international move is complex
and expensive. Before you decide if you want to move overseas, you should list all the expenses of the move and try to estimate the cost of living in your new country for the first month or two. You'll need to guess quite a bit, but try to be as scientific as possible
when coming up with your numbers. It’s pretty simple after that: if you can’t afford it, don’t move.
Here are some expenses to consider:
- Fees for documentation like passports, visas, and medical records
- Loss of your current income (if applicable)
- Hiring movers/the estimated cost of the move for a shipment of your size
- Renting or buying foreign housing/real estate agents
- Renting self-storage (if applicable)
- Cost of packing materials
- Cost of living in the country by month (groceries, toiletries, taxes, transportation, rent/mortgage payments)
- Tax considerations for both your home country and your new home
- Utilities in your new home
- Schooling in the new country
- Add another 20 percent to the total for any unforeseen expenses
This may seem like a lot to consider before deciding to move, but over preparing is better than going in blind and finding out that the move is not worth the money or hassle halfway through the process. If you consider all of these factors and your reasons for moving remain intact, it is time to call some international moving companies and get ready to travel.