The Ultimate Moving
Overseas Checklist

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Planning to move overseas, to a new country, or out of state? It might not be as romantic as packing up your belongings, suitcase half-full, and flying away. Moving homes is always a stressful endeavour, but moving to another country can be especially overwhelming. If this is your first time venturing to a new country, with absolutely no idea of what to do, we’ve put together a comprehensive moving overseas checklist to help you plan the big move. Follow along, as we cover everything from preparation while still in Australia to settling down into your new adopted country.

Preparation Before You Leave

You don’t start baking before reading the recipe and the same advice goes for moving overseas. Having a plan to follow will ensure that nothing gets left off your to-do-list, and will help you prioritise your energy towards the most important aspects of your move. Before you leave Australia, here are the most important things you’ll need to do.

Research Your Destination

Whether if it’s San Francisco or São Paulo, culture shock is real. By researching your destination, you’ll reduce the amount of unknowns you’ll face in a new country. While this list isn’t exhaustive, by tackling these issues early on, you’ll give yourself a better chance of making your new country feel like home even before you arrive.

Analyse the Job Market

For many moving overseas, the prospect of living abroad is a result of a job that’s already lined up. Still, there’s plenty of research that can be done to better help understand the job market.

Prepare Financially

From being unfamiliar with local currencies to calculating complex exchange rates, financial issues will arise when moving overseas. Being financially prepared will ensure that you’re never in a situation with a severe lack of funds, forcing you to leave your host country sooner than expected. By budgeting accordingly, you should be able to survive the first few months in your new your country, helping to offset the cost of the initial move.

Organise Documentation

Nobody likes paperwork, but keeping an organised folder of all your important documents will help you quickly re-establish yourself in your new country. Dealing with government officials or human resources will require some patience, but having all the necessary documentation at hand will help you transition with confidence.

Notify Your Providers

As you’re finalising your move, confirm that all you’re services have been cancelled. Paying for an extra month of rent, utilities, or services will add additional costs to an already expensive overseas move.

Stay Safe

It’s important to always be prepared for the unexpected as an expat. The Australian government has created an amazing resource in Smartraveller, helping travellers navigate the dangers of countries all around the world. Take these steps to stay protected while living abroad.

Moving Overseas

With moving day looming closer, it’s time to decide exactly what items to pack and ship overseas. While some leave everything completely behind, for those that wish to bring their belongings with them, here are few tips on moving overseas.

How to Move Overseas

  • Apply for passports and working visas
  • Secure a job before departure, or line up interviews upon arrival
  • Budget for a year of expenses
  • Start practicing your new language
  • Create an inventory list of all belongings
  • Keep copies of important documentation (passport, flight ticket, etc.)
  • Purchase comprehensive travel and health insurance
  • Sell, donate, or store items that you intend to leave behind


Moving Overseas Shipping

Packing for an international move may be significantly more difficult that previously outlined in our article, How to Pack for a Move. Unlike moving suburbs, shipping your belongings overseas can be a massive undertaking. It will likely require the use of removalists who are experts in packing furniture, clearing customs and duties, providing insurance, as well as delivering internationally. Here’s how the overseas shipping process works.

  1. Shipping company provides an in-home consultation

    Before attempting the move, specialists will help determine the scope of the work involved, creating an inventory packing list for future reference.

  2. Removalists pack all belongings

    Using the inventory packing list, the removalists can now begin wrapping and packing your belongings into cartons, specifically designed for shipping containers.

  3. Shipping company loads all items into a shipping container

    With all the necessary documentation, the shipping company will arrange all your items to be loaded for shipping via air-freight or sea-freight.

  4. Removalists deliver belongings to international residence

    When your items arrive, the shipping company will arrange customs clearance at the destination port and deliver your items to the new property.

  5. Removalists unpack and stage property

    When all items are delivered, the removalists will unpack all your belongings and stage your new property.

We reached out to international shipping company Seven Seas Worldwide who had this expert advice to share about deciding on what to pack.

Decluttering is vital to any big overseas move because the more you take, the more you’ll pay. If you have expansive, alphabetised CD and DVD collections, we advise not to take it all with you. These collections are heavy, expensive to ship and, let’s be honest, largely redundant in this age of streaming and downloading! The same goes for books. With an average e-reader capable of holding 10,000 titles, it doesn’t make any sense to ship your entire library overseas. And naturally, if you choose to sell your furniture before you leave, you’ll be providing yourself with a financial platform for buying replacements. Michael Spicer – Seven Seas Worldwide

Settling Into Your New Home

It may be surreal to finally be in your host country, so revel in the fact that you’ve done something that most only dream of doing. There’s still a long road ahead, but you’ve gotten over the most challenging aspects of moving overseas. There’s a new life waiting for you on the horizon and all that’s left to do is re-establish your identity.

Take a Breather

The first few weeks can be nerve-racking, but with time, you’ll slowly begin to feel at home. So, take a breather, ignore this checklist, and spend the first few days getting to know your new city.

Re-establish Your Identity

Now that you’ve had a taste of your new city, it’s time to reestablish your identity in your adopted country. Over your lifetime, you’ve accumulated years of official documentation that will now need to be reapplied for. From driver’s licenses to taxes, here are the responsibilities you’ll need to address.

Start Your New Life

There’s very little advice that we could give in this last section of our article. Everybody’s journey is unique, and from here on out, your adventure is unscripted. Hopefully, with these overseas moving tips, you feel that much more prepared for your new life abroad.

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