If not done properly, it can lead to a lot of problems. It goes without saying that you must research your destination country and be well informed about the local culture, customs, people, and places to learn some interesting facts before you hop on the plane.

Better still, keep a good old travel book to store vital information and use as a guide in the short and long term.  You sure also know it’s important to unlock your phone and buy a local SIm rather than pay those hefty call roaming costs.

But there are other vital checklists to consider as well. To avoid last-minute packing and shipping when migrating overseas, follow the checklist below.

 1.       Start with your finances

Monetary obligations

Money is very important.

To avoid an unpleasant experience, make sure you have access to your bank accounts and you’ve saved up a substantial sum to last you for some time.

First, go online and open a bank account in your destination country. This includes savings, term deposits and transaction accounts.

 To activate the account, present your passport in any branch of the bank.

Make sure you can transfer money from your home bank account to your foreign bank account using a SWIFT code. The money can take up to 10 days to reflect on your new account.

Alternatively, take cash with you for emergencies. You can either change it to the local currency of your destination country right in the UK or when you get off the plane.

Use your international credit card or get a prepaid travel credit card. This will enable you to withdraw your funds any time you wish.

Tell your bank you’re moving and talk to your bank officer. They’ll tell you all the options available to you.

If your bank knows about your move, it won’t block your account for fraudulent activity. You can also link your bank transactions to your international number or roam your local UK phone number so that the financial transactions can go through.

Also, ask for credit references from your bank so you can use it to obtain a visa and rent a place in your new host country.

 Remember to cancel ongoing transactions like internet, TV, gym, and phone bills.


Since you’re migrating for work and will likely  be staying for a long time, it would be wise to handle your taxes before leaving.

Let the tax office know you are moving abroad and pay off all your outstanding tax for the financial year.

If you’re moving  on a work visa and you’re required to pay tax, contact the Taxation Office of your destination country to get all the tax documents.

 Loans and bills

Sort your loans, debts and bill payments and find ways to pay them off while abroad.

Ensure you organise a payment system that will offset your bills regularly so you don’t get a bad credit rating.

 2.       Packing and shipping


Divide your things into three categories:

∙         Things you will leave in your home country

∙         Belongings you will ship to your new country of abode

∙         Things that will be part of your check-in luggage and hand luggage

You can get a storage facility for those things you will leave at home or keep them with friends or family. Another option is to sell off some household items you no longer need.


When that’s done, it’s time to ship your goods. Visit the website of an established, affordable specialist international mover like www.ausmove.co.nz (which handles logistics for travellers moving from New Zealand to Australia) to know the service options for shipping goods like cars, boats, motorbikes, household goods and pets.

Note the following things before shipping:

∙         Ship items that are expensive to buy, like furniture. Also, you can get great second-hand deals in destination country for furniture.

∙         Write a list of all the things you’ve packed.

∙         Take personal items that mean a lot to you.

∙         Insure your goods against loss or damage when in transit.

∙         Be sure your appliances and electrical equipment can work with required  volt in your new country of residence.

 3.       Take all the important documents

There are several documents you will need. Some of them will be required for legal procedures while others might be needed for medical or professional activities.

Here are the three categories of documents you need:

Legally needed documents

∙         Your passport whose expiry date isn’t close

∙         A valid and current driver’s licence (an international driving licence will also be helpful)

∙         Your birth certificate and marriage certificate

∙         Financial documents that show your credit rating

∙          Foreign investment and property documents

∙          Travel insurance documents that will be your health insurance cover for your first few weeks of stay in your new country of residence. After it has elapsed, you can get a permanent health insurance cover.

Medical records

Ensure you have copies of your medical records. This will be needed to enrol your child in a school.

Here are some medical records you will need:

1.       Dental records

2.       Eye records

3.       Immunisation records

4.       All other medical records and prescription

Professional documents

Although you may have secured that lucrative job before moving abroad, you should not relax nonetheless and limit your future prospects in your professional field, wherever you may be in the world.  So always make sure have the right documents. Even if you migrate on a work visa, don’t fail to take the following documents with you:

1.        Your CV. Rewrite it to make it acceptable in your new work environment in your country.

2.       References and details of your former employers

3.       A copy of all your academic documents, which includes licences, degrees, certificates, and transcripts.

4.       A professional portfolio. This is especially important if you are in a creative industry as a portfolio goes a long way in showing your employers you can do the task.

 Conclusion Are there other things you need to consider before moving as an expat overseas? Let us know in the comments.