Moving Abroad Checklist

Moving Abroad Checklist

Moving abroad is a big job. There are some many things that you have to take into consideration when you are moving abroad, and in some cases, to an entirely new continent. A moving abroad checklist can help you stay organised and make sure that all the tasks that you need to do are completed before the big move abroad.

This moving abroad checklist was put together for the people who are planning to settle abroad or looking to live out of the United Kingdom. This checklist was designed to help you have everything you need before you start to move. The checklist for moving abroad will also help you get organised and give you a list of what needs to be done within a couple of months after you have moved to a new home abroad. It is very important to follow the timeline to make sure that your stay is legal and you do not run into any trouble. There is also a timeline of events that you can download. In addition to the moving abroad checklist, you can download a timeline for moving overseas.

Basics of Moving Abroad Checklist

This is a brief look at the task that you have to accomplish before moving abroad. The HMRC moving abroad checklist will cover some of the basic things including tax forms and tax obligations you have to do before you leave. It will also list some considerations that you have to think about before your move abroad is finalised . This checklist will help you get organised before you begin the process of moving abroad.

  1. You need to know the requirements for getting a Visa in the country you are going to. If this process is not done correctly and within a specific time frame, you may not be able to leave. You do not want to be all prepared and ready for moving abroad just to be turned away.
  2. Decide if it is more beneficial to you and your family if you rent a property or if you are going to purchase a property. Find out if you can purchase a property or land in your new place abroad.
  3. You need to have a plan that will help you get settled abroad. Moving abroad is a huge adjustment, and you should find out ways to meet new people and any community events that will be able to help you meet new friends. You do not want to get there and be all alone. It is important to get involved and to be active in your new home abroad, as this will help you get settled in quicker.
  4. Learn about the tax requirements and your tax obligations abroad.
  5. Before you leave, you need to ensure that all tax requirements are met. You do not want to owe money on a foreign country and get in trouble as soon as you begin moving abroad.
  6. Decide what you are doing to do with the property in your new country abroad. You may want to rent it, sell it, or have a family member care for the property for the time being.
  7. If you have pets, you need to have certain arrangements to relocate them. Figure out how to transport them and care for them during and after the move. Your pets may have to go through an immigration process as well.
  8. Take a look at your belongings and decide what items you are going to put in storage. You then have to find a storage facility and price out different options.
  9. Look for and get quotes from international moving companies. A reputable company can help you greatly with your move.
  10. Get your insurance in order at home. This includes home, travel, life, as well as car insurance. Make sure that you will still comply with any rules and policies with the insurance company.
  11. Before moving abroad, learn about any driving requirements in your new country abroad. This can include licensing and exams you may have to take to be on the road.
  12. Make sure you have your finances in order. This includes getting your bank accounts straight and knowing all the accounts that you have. You should also know the conversion rate on the country you’re going to. Having your local bank account settled is important.
  13. Make a list of all the utilities in your home. You may need to turn them off once you move.
  14. You are going to want to be in contact with people. Take time to set up a mobile phone provider, possible landline, and internet service before you leave UK. This way, when you get to your new home abroad, everything is ready for you.
  15. Be sure to tell the local authorities in your home country that you are leaving and settling abroad. This way they can keep an eye on your property until you decide what you are going to do with it.
  16. Look at the logistics of settling down to your new home abroad, this could be renting a van or hiring man with a van.

Settling In

Moving abroad is going to be a lot of work and you should make plans for how you are going to settle in when you reach your new country. You are going to have to set up utilities, which are very important and will take up time. Adapting to your new culture is also something that you have to consider before you leave the UK. Take this checklist as a guide that will help make things easier for you. You should also be prepared with a list of things to do if you feel yourself getting homesick.

Tax Requirements in the United Kingdom

Before leaving the United Kingdom, you are going to have to tell the tax authorities including the HMRC that you are looking to leave the country. If you do not notify them, you are still going to be responsible for the taxes. You may even have to pay additional taxes and penalties.

Ask for the P85 form. You can get this form from the Revenue and Customers service. Be sure to fill out the form completely and return it in a timely manner.

If you notify the tax authorities that you will be leaving, they will help ensure that all your taxes are paid up to date before you leave.

Tax Planning

If you are looking to move abroad but you are still going to get interest income from your savings accounts in the United Kingdom, you are going to have to fill out the R105 form. This form can also be obtained from the HMRC. You should send the form to all of the banks where your savings are going to be kept. Taxes are normally deducted from your interest income before it gets to you. This form will allow your interest to be taxed in your new country of residence. If you do not fill out this form that you may be taxed in both countries and pay twice as much.

Non-Resident Taxes

Even if you no longer live in the United Kingdom, you are still required to pay taxes on income and gains that you make off of your assets that are still in the country.

You will still have to complete a tax form and return it on time. There are certain requirements for non-residents that you have to be aware of before you leave, so it will help to have all these settled before you leave.

Capital Gains

If you have decided that you are going to keep property that you own in the United Kingdom, you have to understand the rules for future sales and any taxes you are still going to be responsible for. Before you move you should find out information about the changes in the Capital Gains Tax Rules.

There are specific tax rules that you must follow for each country. If you do not follow these rules you can be facing a number of fines and maybe even some time in jail. It is not worth risking your freedom. Simply do your research to know some information on what to do to help you manage your assets.

You should seek advice from a financial advisor that specializes in moves. An advisor can help ensure that you are in compliance with all laws.

Renting Your Home in the United Kingdom

You may have decided that you want to rent out your home in the United Kingdom. There are a number of additional decisions coupled with this decision. Renting can help you with expenses, but it can also be a headache.

Decide how the property is going to be managed. This includes how tenants will be found, how the rent will be collected, and how any repairs or improvements will be done to the property. One of the most common solutions is dining a letting agent stationed in the United Kingdom to take care of property management. They will charge you a fee. Their fee maybe 10 to 15 percent of the total amount of rent collected.

In addition, keep in mind your local taxes. Inform the HMRC that you are going to move and wish to rent out your home. You need to apply for a Non-Resident Landlord Scheme, which can help save you a lot of money on your taxes.

If you are a non-resident, you will have to give the government an estimate of how much income you plan on making off of the property. This will be subject to taxes in the United Kingdom.

Do not forget the landlord’s insurance for your protection. This will cover any accidents or damage to your property as well as legal fees if there is an issue.

If you still have a mortgage on the property, be sure to tell your mortgage provider you are leaving and renting out your home. You do not want to break your loan and risk losing the property.

Relocating Pets

If you have a pet and plan on taking the pet with you there are a number of things to consider when moving abroad.

Once you know where you are going to be residing, you should take your pet to the vet and have them microchipped. Get your pet a rabies vaccination. This must be given at least 21 days before you plan on moving abroad.

You should also look for information on how to transport your pet. A professional animal transportation service can help you with the move.

Think about the actual transportation. Your pet may have to use a crate and is going to have to be cared for. The pet will be needing food, water, and something to comfort them during the move.

Health Insurance

Be sure to get information from the country you are going to, and see if you may qualify for short-term medical insurance from the government or social security.

If you’re going anywhere in Europe, you should have the same coverage as the local citizen in the country.

The UK has specific agreements with some of the other European countries regarding medical coverage. You should see if the country you are moving to is part of this agreement. You will need to make sure your insurance travels with you.

The NHS Choices is a great place to find out additional information about health insurance and coverage options.

European Health Insurance Card

If you are moving to another European country you may want to apply for the European Health Insurance Card.

This card will replace the E111 and will allow you to have free or reduced insurance costs. This country is valid in many countries, including Switzerland, and it does not matter how many years you plan on being out of the country. You can apply for this service with the NHS.

This card is really designed for short-term coverage and short stays. If you plan on being away for a long time, you should look into private insurance in your new country.

Return the British EHIC Card and get a new card from your new European home.

Current Doctors and Dentists

Let your doctor and dentist know you are moving. They will send medical records and will not call for follow-up appointments.

Driving and Getting Around

If you plan on driving in your new country, be sure you know the rules of the road and all the laws and regulations. Driving on the correct side of the road can be confusing at first. You should also be aware of any driving customers and licensing requirements.

If you are looking to drive in countries outside of Europe you need to request an International Driving Permit. This form can be found at the local post office.

This permit is recognized internationally and shows that you had a valid license.

Planning Your Finances

Your Bank

Fluctuations in currency can affect your money. You should look into opening an international bank account that will help you keep more of your money. In your new country, you should also open an account at a local bank. This will help with your daily finances.

You may be wondering if you should close your bank account in the United Kingdom. This will vary from person to person. If you think you are going to have ongoing banking in the UK, you should keep your bank accounts open. If you plan on returning to the UK you will want to keep your account open. This will prevent you from having to open a new account in the future.

You may want to open an account at Expat Bank. This will allow your money to be transferred into several different currencies.

Expat Pensions

If you are looking to retire in a different country, expat pension is going to be very important. There are a number of things you need to find out about when dealing with expat pensions.

If you have a state pension, you can request a Pension Health Check to see if you will be eligible for the expat pension if you do not plan on returning to the UK. With Expat, you may have other options and you will need to meet with an advisor to speak about what options are available to you.

Other Investments

If you have other investment accounts such as an Individual Savings Account you are going to need an address in the UK for tax reasons. If you have an ISA but are looking to move you may not be able to keep this account open. If you are planning on returning to the UK in the future you may want to make arrangements for this account.

You should also get professional advice to make sure you will get the most out of your investments.

Estate Planning

If you are looking to live out the rest of your life abroad you need to make arrangements for your estate upon your time of health. Rules for estate planning and taxes will vary from country to country. You will want to develop a will. You should also look for advice from a financial advisor about your final taxes and properties.

Things to Remember Before Moving


You do not want to miss out on important pieces of mail so tell the Post Office as soon as you have your new address. This may be able to forward your mail for up to one year.

Turn off the Gas

Be sure to inform the utility companies before you start your move. If you are renting out your home, be sure to inform the insurance company as well. You may need to get a new policy to cover your home for rentals. You should also tell your mortgage company of your plans to move.

Contact Local Authorities

Let your local police department and other authorities know you will be moving. You want to leave them with a copy of your new address to send your Council Tax bill. If there is unusual activity at your property they may be able to keep you informed.

While these are some common things to do before you start your move, this is not the complete list. There are many other things to keep in mind.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

There are a number of mistakes that people make when they move. While mistakes do happen, there are some that can be avoided. There are some common mistakes that people make when they move aboard and some ways to avoid making them to make things work as you move.

Get a Valid Passport

Even when getting a Visa, some countries will still want you to have a passport. If your passport is outdated this may delay the moving process. Make sure you have all of your paperwork in order and everything is valid before you move. Some countries will have a specific time period that your passport must be valid for before moving. You may need to have an active and valid passport for at least six months before traveling to your new country.


Develop a Budget

Moving is expensive especially when you are moving aboard. You want to develop a budget so you will have enough money for the move and any unexpected expenses that are going to arise. Even if you have looked up the average cost of living abroad in your new country, you need to be prepared for additional expenses. Apart from living expenses, you need to add in the cost of the physical move, traveling expenses, the cost of finding new work if you haven’t, and even the cost of food when moving. There are some other expenses that you may need to pay. This includes any taxes, legal services, and permits. This should be included in your budget. It is important to make sure you have enough money for the move.


Even if you are out of the country, you can still vote in the United Kingdom. There are some policies that will have an effect on foreign affairs and your access. You may be able to vote as an expat when living aboard.

These are some common things to remember when you are moving abroad. If you follow this checklist as a guideline it will make the moving process easier and you will be able to start moving without an issue.

About The Author
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Anthony King

I'm Anthony King, founder and CEO of Transport Executive. I've spent the last 5 years writing, taking care of my dogs, and enjoying life as it should be. I'm also a beer enthusiast by trade and a wine connoisseur. You can learn more about me and the company here.