6 essential preparations before moving abroad

To organize your life in a new country is both exciting and stressful. You become an expatriate. You usually keep all your attention on the life that awaits you. You struggle to make arrangements for your future home or new vehicle for example. For a family, enrolling children in a new school is a crucial topic. Whether you choose to move to an attractive job offer, to be closer to family already settled there, or just a new adventure, there are many things to organize. Preparing for expatriation is often perceived as a new life. But it also means considering important elements in your current life. So six preparations are essential to settle your affairs before leaving:

1. Deciding what to do with your housing

In the case of a person renting an apartment or a house, there are constraints to terminating the lease before maturity. It is often easier to wait until the end of the lease to synchronize departure from the country. In the event of a professional assignment occurring during the rental period, you should make arrangements with the owner upon learning of the departure date. And having informed him well in advance, it is usually easier to find a compromise for early termination of the lease.

If you are a homeowner, you should consider either putting it on sale, or to rent it, or to keep it without a tenant. Multiple factors will incline you to one or the other options. Above all, remote management of a sale after departure, maintaining an empty property or following up with tenants from abroad, are those that represent the biggest challenges. It is essential to surround yourself with friends and family or rely on professional services such as a real estate agent or an agency to manage the leased property.

2. Store your personal belongings

A departure abroad for a short or a long time does not necessarily translate removal of all your possessions. Expatriates may decide to keep the furniture and personal items that they would recover once the period of life abroad is over. Family and friends can not always provide the necessary storage space. Renting a storage space then proves a necessity. The cost is not insignificant and the expatriate needs to balance the monetary and sentimental value of its assets over the monthly fee from the warehouse. The risk is to forget to pay a fee at some point and lose all contents in the storage facility. The distance sometimes makes it difficult to pay costs. If the stay abroad is a defined term, it is better then to pay the amount of the entire period which the person needs.

3. Make arrangements with administrations

Leaving a country of habitual residence, a person may lose their social protection. Depending on the country, the expatriate loses their rights to the public health system as soon as the stay abroad exceeds a certain duration. It is recommended to contact the authority to inform them beforehand. Knowing the conditions to regaining rights upon your return also allows taking of adequate measures calmly.

Compared with your fiscal situation, you must inquire whether or not there is an agreement to avoid double taxation between your country and the country of expatriation. If you receive income (salaries, rents etc.) in both countries, you must know how to comply with the two tax administrations. Depending on whether you are paid for by a local employer or your current employer in the country also has an impact. Whether the salary will be paid into your bank account at home or at a local bank must be taken into account. Consulting an accountant or tax consultant is highly recommended to make arrangements before departure.

4. Adjust private insurance

To terminate insurance before departure or keep it is an important issue. If the expatriate retains a property in his home country, homeowner’s insurance will be kept but needs to be adapted. It should reflect their new status, that of non resident. If a tenant but the lease is not yet due, even in their absence, the accommodation is under their responsibility. The expatriate will keep their home insurance until the end of the lease. If a temporary occupant lodges in their absence, they will still maintain insurance unless the person who sublets brings them proof of home insurance in their own name.

If the person leaving for expatriation sells their car before departure, it is logical to terminate auto insurance. But if they will bring the vehicle to the country of expatriation, it becomes more complex. Depending on the country of destination and the duration of stay, the insurer can not always offer insurance coverage. There is often a legal aspect which comes in. It is necessary that the insurance company be approved locally. Changing insurer to a local insurance company often proves the only solution. The expatriate could then lose their historic good insurance record and be required to pay a higher car insurance premium.

5. Choose an international moving company

The first step is to solicit bids only from companies certified with International Association of Movers (IAM) or the Fédération Internationale des Déménageurs (FIDI) in French. The age of a member is also an indicator of the sustainability and seriousness of a moving company.

Furthermore, according to the country of destination, some companies do not hire local employees and external resources. This affects the quality of service because these people are not necessarily properly trained nor respect the standards of the company. It is recommended to select a mover that has a staff team of local movers and is not subcontracting. It is the same material that will be employed by a company. Beware of companies that use vehicles not screen-printed to their brand or employ people who do not even dress with a company logo. These small details are not so innocuous when the time comes to rely on an expert of international mobility.

As with any service, reading reviews and ratings made by other customers is a must in the evaluation of a provider. Opinions are a very good indicator of the quality of a moving company in the international service.

6. Subscribe to medical insurance for expatriate

Last preparation, not the least of which, is the purchase of a medical emergency health insurance. For every long stay abroad you need to have adequate medical coverage. The public health system in the country offers only cover for a certain scope and of limited duration. Only an expatriate health insurance will properly protect you and your family during your episode of life in a new country.

As such, Escapade Travel Insurance offers travel insurance solutions for expatriation and properly covers the risks of everyday life and the risks inherent in the geopolitical situation of the country of expatriation. Click here for expatriation insurance.