Moving across borders can be complicated and stressful–especially not knowing where to start. A checklist and timeline for your international move would be useful. Read on to find out what you’ll need to do for your move abroad.

Two to three months prior to moving
  • Decide what to do with your current housing: sublet, sell, or terminate your lease
  • Arrange for housing in your host country
  • If you are moving for work, figure out when you’ll need to report and if your family will have to arrive after you
  • Research storage costs for leftover personal possessions
  • Choose your international moving company and make arrangements for your international move
  • Apply for visas, working permits and other documentation
  • Perform more research on your host country
  • Give notice to your child’s school and request school reports and documentation
  • Obtain original copies of your birth certificate, passport, marriage license, driver’s license, work references and medical files
  • Check quarantine laws
  • Research international health insurance coverage
One month prior to moving
  • Notify the post office of your change of address
  • Change the address on your credit card accounts, bank accounts and other billing accounts
  • Verify whether your bank has an international branch in your host country
  • Stop/transfer any subscription services you have
  • Cancel your insurance policies and begin coverage on your new insurance
  • Make changes to your banking information with your employer for your salary to be deposited into the correct account
  • Host a garage sale to downsize the amount of items you have and will bring with you on your move
  • Order any prescriptions you may need to bring with you: contact lenses, medications, etc. 
  • Find out generic names of your medications so you can find them abroad
  • Consider sending a smaller shipment of essential items ahead of your move so they will be there before you arrive
Three weeks prior to moving
  • Separate items that will be staying behind during the move
  • Send out change of address notifications to friends and family
  • Schedule the date of your utility services to be shut-off in your old home
  • Enjoy your time with friends and family before you leave
Two weeks prior to moving
  • Take your pets to be immunized and obtain travel documents for them
  • Make sure any bills are up to date
  • Continue downsizing your items
  • Begin packing your belongings
  • Move items that will be left behind to the storage facility
One week prior to moving
  • Continue to pack and purchase last-minute items
  • Make an inventory of your items that will be moved including the value for each item
Two days prior to moving
  • Continue packing last minute items
  • Clean your home
  • Withdraw cash or buy travelers checks needed for your trip and for your first week. 
  • Pick up and drop off any last minute things: books to the library, pick up dry cleaning, etc. 
Documents to bring with you:

No matter where you are moving, overseas or locally, the following documents will be necessary for you to bring on your journey. Locate and obtain these documents as far ahead of your move as possible, so you are not scrambling at the last minute. 

  • Passports
  • Travel documents 
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce papers
  • Child custody papers
  • Adoption papers
  • Drivers licenses
  • Medical records
  • School/university transcripts
  • Insurance policies and legal documents: tax records, power of attorney, last will and testament, bank statements
Free quotes

When you’re ready to make the leap and move internationally, contact International Sea and Air Shipping for a free moving estimate and let us handle your move abroad.