Moving Abroad Checklist: 6 Months Before You Go


Moving house is a huge undertaking - combine that with moving abroad and you have a logistical nightmare. To help you keep on top of things, we’ve put together a three-part guide to help minimise last-minute panicking and maximise adventure.

Part 2: 3 months before you move

Part 3: The final month

Half a year might seem like a huge amount of time, but you have a lot to get done. With six months to go, you can start crossing off some of the big ticket items that require more time and commitment.

Start Learning The Language

If you’re moving to a country where you don’t speak the lingo, now is the time to start learning. You will feel much happier and safer if you are able to communicate even at a basic level - and it will certainly help you jump through the administrative hoops.

An app such as Duolingo, or the BBC’s free online lessons, are a good place to start. Also, check your local college for evening classes, or find a local tutor for more intensive learning.

Do Some Tentative Job Hunting

If you don’t have work waiting for you, this is the time to start getting familiar with what is available and realistic in your new home. Tailor your CV to local tastes, set up alerts on the relevant job hunting sites - and research local employers. Get a LinkedIn profile and start putting the word out that you will be looking for work somewhere new - connections come from the most unlikely of places sometimes.

Join Some Local Forums

Anywhere that is home to a decent number of expats will have its own web forum. It’s the go-to online place to swap local information, sell and buy furniture and other items, arrange meet-ups - and of course moan about what you miss about the UK!

Most countries have an active expat internet forum (a quick “{country} expat forum” Google search or take a look at with people who have been in your situation, happy to help with information. You might not want to get heavily involved in the community, but it can be really useful for some advice when you first arrive.

Organise Your Belongings

Start the long process of sifting through your stuff. Decide what you will be selling or giving away, what will go into storage and what you will take with you.

Take A Field Trip Or Two

If possible, spend at least a long weekend in the town or city you are moving to - get familiar with the different areas and speak to some local property agents if you do not already have somewhere to live.

Prepare For The Paperwork

Buy a decent, hard-wearing, expanding document case to keep all your paperwork (and there will be a huge amount) tidy and organised. Future you will be so grateful!

Start Thinking About Moving Your Finances

Begin researching the banking available in your new country. Think about things like which bank has the most ATMs and branches in your new town or city? Which accounts apply monthly charges? Which bank has an English speaking helpline? Set up an account with Wise so that you can move money easily between your UK account and your account abroad - saving on bank charges and unfair exchange rates.

Passports and Visas

Check all passports are up to date - you still have time to renew if you need to. Get final confirmation about any visas you will need. This is also the time to work out what you need to do in order to bring along the family pet, if that is your intention.

Tell The School

If you’re moving as a family, now is the time to tell the school and arrange for paperwork and school records to be compiled, ready to be sent to the new school. Moving your life abroad is a huge undertaking, and the amount of things to think about can be paralysing - hopefully this article has got you motivated.

We’ve also put together some guides specifically for people who are retiring abroad. If that includes you, check them out. They cover the implications on your finances, your tax, your pension and your healthcare.

Part 2: 3 months before you move

Part 3: The final month

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