Planning an international move is an exciting time of life, as it often comes as a result of a new career, travel, or educational opportunity. Relocating overseas also includes many different moving parts that can seem overwhelming to handle on your own without forgetting any important details.


But don’t worry—Help is available, Platinum will take care of the packing and transportation of your household goods and vehicles, from the early planning stages through delivery at your new residence abroad, so you can take of your family and all the legalities involved in an international move.

Here’s a quick checklist of what to do in an international move.


1 – Gather all needed documents. 


First, visit the consulate of the country you are moving to. This is a must! They will inform you of what documents you need, what you can import into their country, what taxes you will be paying, and what other requirements they have for people moving into their country.

You will definitely need your passport stamped with the appropriate visa. Additionally, gather your (and each of your family’s) documentation, including birth certificates, drivers licenses, Social Security cards, marriage certificate, school transcripts for your children, insurance documents, and financial records. Put all these in one location (a bag, a folder, a briefcase, etc) so that they don’t get misplaced and you have them readily available upon request. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to keep all the passports together and readily accessible, as it will be the documents you most have to handle while in transit. You can keep all other documents separated by family member.


If you have a pet, this also includes immunization records and a pet carrier once you confirm your animal is allowed entry into your new country of residence.


As for the cargo documentation, you will need a copy of your passport, to be given to Platinum Moving services at origin prior to shipping of your belongings. Platinum will draft all other documentation for your cargo, such as the Bill of Lading, and export declaration. If you are transporting your vehicle you will need a copy of the original title and, depending on the country you are moving to, the latest exhaust test.


2 – Make financial preparations. 

Begin saving up for an emergency fund as soon as you start planning your move and get your tax obligations in order if you plan on remaining a United States citizen. It’s also wise to have cash with you when you travel internationally.


3 – Apply for needed programs in the country you’re moving to. 

This could include property insurance, health insurance, visas, housing contracts, long-term storage facilities, and schools for yourself or your children.


4 – Notify the proper organizations of your move.

Organizations like the U.S. Postal Service, The United States Embassy, the Social Security Administration, utilities companies, insurance providers, your bank, landlords/realtors, employers, family, and friends will need to know you’re moving, and this process can take time. Getting a head start now will help make the transition smoother for you.


5 – Book an international moving company. 

Enlist the help of an international moving company, such as Platinum Moving Services, to take care of the heavy lifting for you. The right company will have experience with the processes and regulations in your destination country. Do your research, acquire three quotes, and check out online reviews, and what moving organizations they belong to before making your final decision. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples when you get the quotes. Distrust any quote that is way too low compared to the average of the other quotes (they are probably either hiding fees, or providing a subpar level of service).


At least three weeks prior to your move, reach out to your international movers to confirm final details and review your contract.


6 – Sort through your belongings. 

Go through your things and determine what you plan on leaving behind. Store, sell, or donate any items you don’t intend on taking with your prior to the movers arriving.


7 – Confirm last minute arrangements. 

Within a week of your move, make sure you have your flight itinerary, cash in hand, and your suitcase packed with the items you plan on bringing on the plane with you. You’ll also want to call your credit card companies and let them know you’re moving overseas and that you authorize purchases in your destination country. Also contact your mobile provider to switch your cell phone over to an international plan.


8 – Say goodbyes and celebrate what’s to come.

Take the time to visit those you may not see for a while and say your farewells. Also, take the time to celebrate this exciting time in your life!


9 – Unpack and enjoy your new home. 

When you finally reach your new home, take time to settle in and unpack your items. Verify that all of your belongings made it safely and undamaged. If anything is missing or damaged, contact your moving agent to make an insurance claim. Get to know your new neighborhood, and take some time to rest and recoup.