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How to Move Overseas

How to Move Overseas.

Relocating from the United States to another destination overseas can seem like a daunting task. You have to make preparations to have your belongings shipped, your car shipped, find a home overseas, and prepare all the documentation that will be required. Some of this may be all at the same time, which causes undue frustration. Professional shipping companies exist to help make your move less stressful. These companies are staffed with international movers who can help you get on track and keep on a schedule.


Essential Documents for an Overseas Move

Before you begin making your moving preparations, some documents are going to be essential in your move. The time it may take you to acquire the items on the list will vary, especially if you do not have the requirements on hand. Before moving, make sure that you have fulfilled all the necessary documentation required and have them together in a safe place before you move.



A necessary piece of documentation is your passport. Without a passport, you will not be able to travel or move overseas. Your passport will be issued in your country of origin, like the United States. Most countries will not allow a person to cross their borders without a passport. The process of obtaining a passport can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to complete. You will have to go to the U.S. Department of State to request your passport with documentation and ID proving your citizenship and a recent photo for the passport.



In addition to your passport, you will be required to have a visa if you plan on remaining overseas for any length of time. A visa is a travel document that is placed inside the passport that allows a traveler to remain in a country for a specific purpose for a specific period of time. The visa is issued by the country in which you plan on living in. When moving, you will need a residency visa. You must contact the consulate of the country you wish to live in to receive more information on their requirements.


Birth Certificate and Social Security Card

Two documents that you will need while living internationally are your birth certificate and your social security card. These items need to be guarded and kept safe. Making several copies will make it easier for you to distribute them when an agency asks for them. Your birth certificate should be an original issued by the state you were born in, bearing the seal of the state on it.

If you need to replace either of these documents before you move, you can reach out to the agencies that take care of these. The vital records office in your state should be able to supply you with an official copy of your birth certificate, but you will be required to pay a fee for this. The social security administration has specific requirements when issuing you a new card. They will send this to you in the mail once you have completed their application process.


Other Documents to Consider

There are plenty of other documents that you can take with you when moving internationally. You may need these at some point during your move or while you are living in a new country. As always, you should have several copies of the documents available so that you do not have to take the official ones with you.

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  •         Medical records
  •         Dental records
  •         Marriage certificate
  •         Divorce papers
  •         Child custody papers
  •         Power of attorney
  •         Driver’s license
  •         Tax records
  •         Insurance cards (health and vehicle)
  •         Living will
  •         Pet vaccination records
  •         Adoption papers


Start Preparing Early

If you have ever moved locally, you know that the sooner you begin making the preparations, the better. The same applies to international moves, but on a much larger time frame. You will want to begin your preparations for an overseas move at least three months in advance, if not more. Many things have to be done before an overseas move takes place. By allowing the shipping company time to prepare will ensure your items are where they need to be on time.

The destination country that will be your new home may have requirements of their own that you have to fulfill before you can become a resident. You will need to make sure that you have all of this done before moving day, or you could be looking at severe delays. International moving companies know what is required when moving your belongings and your car. They will provide you with a list of items you need to complete before your moving day.


Choose a Method of International Shipping

Professional international moving companies have different methods of getting your belongings and your car to the desired destination. One of the most common methods of shipping belongings overseas is by container transport on a ship. This method will also be the most economical if you want your car and your belongings to reach their destination at the same time.

Cars and other vehicles can be shipped in a number of different ways. The pricing will vary based on the method and type of car. One of the cheaper methods of shipping a car is the Ro/Ro method. Ro/Ro means “rolled on/rolled off”. Your car is driven onto a ship, strapped down, and transported. Once it gets to the port overseas, it will be driven off. The car will be exposed to elements during this time, which can make it vulnerable to the elements.

Container shipping is done via boat, but it is done so inside of a shipping container. A little more expensive than Ro/Ro methods, but the container does protect your car from the elements. You may opt for this if you are choosing to have your belongings shipped the same way.

Airfreight is the most expensive of the options, but you will receive your car a lot quicker than sea methods. Many people who own luxury or exotic vehicles will opt for air freight shipping because of the safeness and the quick delivery.


Professional Packing and Storage Solutions

One of the perks of hiring a professional company to facilitate your move is that they often work with a team of professional packers. These professional packers make their living by boxing up other people’s belongings, and they do this in a way to keep items safe. When you opt for the professional packing services, insurance is more likely to pay out if damage occurs because you didn’t pack the items. Professional packers also bring their packing materials. These materials are typically high quality, making sure your belongings are safe.

There may be some circumstances that arise that make it where you are unable to take all of your belongings with you during the initial moving process. For this, you will need to find an adequate storage solution. Many people moving or traveling abroad will use storage spaces because they are cheap to rent, and they keep belongings from being exposed to the elements.


Hiring the Right Professional International Movers

Professional international movers are experts in their industry. You can find proof of this from reviews, the Better Business Bureau, and from their certifications. Doing your research before hiring a company to move your belongings to another country is vital. Many companies exist out there that are frauds, and you don’t want to fall prey to their schemes. Make sure you obtain multiple quotes when starting the process of moving overseas. You will want to make sure you have the most reputable company and at the right price.

Your international movers should be willing to answer any questions that you may have about the move and the company. If they seem hesitant about answering questions or helping you, they may not be the right fit. You will know when you hire the right international movers. You will feel like family, making your overseas move as stress-free as possible.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article: How to Move Overseas


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