International moves are much easier with some planning and a helpful checklist
Making a move internationally is a big life change, and without the proper checklists, it’s easy to forget important items or tasks. Make sure you’ve got everything accomplished by preparing ahead of time using checklists as a guide.
Before Moving Day
Downsize your belongings
Get rid of as much as you comfortably can if you’re planning to take your household with you. For example, you probably won’t need to take along large appliances, and those can be sold for some extra money before you go. Consider holding a garage sale to help you lessen your load and earn some money at the same time.
Get documents and records in order
Make sure your passports are valid and up-to-date, and contact your doctor to obtain current copies of all your medical records. Us a cloud service to back up any data on your computers, and make sure that all paper copies of important documents are in watertight containers, as well as backed up digitally. If children will be moving with you, get copies of all of their school records as well. Check that your immunizations are up to date and have printed records for every member of your household.
Make plans for vehicles and pets
If you’re planning on bringing a vehicle to your new country, check regarding import taxes first. Look into the process for obtaining an international driver’s license, and speak with your insurance about transferring over or cancellation. Planning on bringing Fido? Do some research into quarantines, as pets will likely face a holding period before they’re released to you.
On Moving Day
Get your survival kit together
Pack what you will need to travel comfortably for about two weeks. Set aside any small, valuable items that you’d like to take with you instead of pack and don’t forget a double supply of any medications you might need.
Communicate with your moving team
Talk with your New York international movers when they arrive, identifying any objects you’d like them to take extra special care with. Stay in contact throughout the day with the supervisor as well, and make sure that you get a copy of the inventory from him at the conclusion of packing.
Turn in and turn off
Return any keys for rental properties or storage units, and return any equipment you may have that doesn’t belong to you. Your cable company may need the box back or you may need to return routers to your Internet service provider. Be sure that you’ve arranged for all utilities to be turned off after your last day.
In Your New Home
While it sounds like a no-brainer, get to work unpacking and try to complete the job within the first couple of weeks in your new place. The longer you leave boxes, the more likely they will stay packed up indefinitely.
Make an appointment with immigration
Contact your new local consulate or embassy and meet with an immigration official to help make sure you’ve got everything taken care of. They will be able to guide you through the immigration laws and help you with any policy questions you may have.
Find social events in your new area (like farmer’s markets, clubs, or classes) where you can get involved with the community and meet new people. Find replacement activities for your kids as well, like sports or music lessons. If you can, introduce yourself to your neighbors, as they will have valuable information about the community.
Meet to transfer records
In addition to an immigration official, you should make appointments with new doctors (if needed) and new teachers so that you can get squared away in your new country. Give them copies of any records they may need and get a plan together to ensure the kids get started on a successful new school year.
Einat Mazafi is the owner of NY International Shipping, an International Shipping and moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.