Top 10 things to organise before you move overseas

Top 10 things to organise before you move overseas

After you touch down in your new homeland there’s going to be a huge amount to do, which is why it’s a good idea to organise anything you possibly can before you leave Australian shores. Here are a few things you’ll likely want to lock down.

Passports

Make sure your passport is in order. Australian citizens need to have a valid passport before leaving the country and must make sure it remains valid for the duration of their overseas travel. If you’re travelling with your children, they must each have valid passports too.

Banking

You’ll probably want to set up a bank account in your new country, and your Australian bank can likely help with a number of aspects of this before you go. Your bank can also talk to you about the cost, convenience and limits of transferring money to and from Australia. Also check that you’ll be able to access your money overseas with your ATM card.

Healthcare

Book in some appointments for both medical and dental check-ups. This is also a good time to ask about getting copies of your medical records. You may have to follow up in writing.

It’s also a good idea to find medical professionals in your new country before you leave home. Ask your doctor and dentist for referrals, and check with friends and family to see whether they have recommendations for medical practitioners where you’re heading.

If you take medication and will need it while you’re travelling, check with your chosen destination’s embassy or consulate in Australia to ensure you can legally bring it into the country. Also make sure you bring a letter from your doctor describing the medication and the appropriate dosage. Keep the medication in its original packaging, with your name on the label where possible.

Tax

If you’ll be working and earning money overseas, you may be subject to that dreaded three-letter word – tax – in the country in which you earn it. Visit the Australian Tax Office’s website and find out the tax scenario from your new country’s embassy or consulate. It’s also a good idea to make an appointment with an accountant in Australia before you go.

School

If you’ve got kids, it’s now time to enrol them in their new schools. Armed with your children’s ever-important passports and visas, birth certificates, vaccination paperwork and previous school records, apply directly to the school you want your children to attend. Your child may have to take some basic tests so the school can assess their education level. Also be sure to have any enrolment fees at the ready.

Shipping belongings

Once you’ve got your quote from international removalist companies and have settled on one, you can turn your attention to packing. Determine what you really need and what you can buy at your destination; for example, heavier items like couches and beds. Also check with the embassy or consulate regarding customs and import regulations – there may be some items you’re not allowed to bring into the country.

Accommodation/home

If you have a place to live when you arrive, great! If not, or if you can’t immediately move into your new home, you’ll want to book some short-term accommodation in advance. In most locations, there are accommodation options to suit all ages and budgets, from hostels and sites like couchsurfing.com and Airbnb to hotels and serviced apartments.

Top 10 things to tie up at home before you leave

Once you’ve prepped things for your destination, it’s time to tie up the loose ends at home. Our handy 10-point checklist can help. Have you:

1. Redirected your mail through Australia Post?
2. Advised your children’s school that you’re moving overseas?
3. Given the requisite notice at work?
4. Sold or stored any furnishings or belongings you’re not taking with you?
5. Scanned important documents and emailed them to yourself or stored them in the cloud?
6. Disconnected utilities, such as water, electricity, the internet and cable TV?
7. Updated your will (if you have one)?
8. Alerted your bank and cancelled any direct-debit payments you’ll no longer be making?
9. Finished your lease/subleased your home if you’re a renter?
10. Rented, sold or closed up your home if you’re an owner?

Following these steps will give you the best chance of a smooth settling-in period once you’re on the ground.