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February 13, 2018

Preparing for an international move

  • International Moves
An international move is a massive undertaking.

Going to a new country is the ultimate long-distance move, a choice that can't be made lightly. Whether you're going overseas for a temporary corporate relocation, pursuing a more permanent position in the Great White North or moving to the Southern Hemisphere for retirement, establishing yourself in a new country is a complicated endeavor.

What do you need to know to successfully prepare for an international move? Let's review some of the most important needs.

Large cargo ship stacked with containers.An international move may mean shipping your belongings across the ocean.

Documents: Passports, visas and more

Depending on the country you plan to move to, if it's a temporary or permanent relocation and if your employer is helping you coordinate, needs can be very different from one situation to the next. Most people making a permanent move will have citizenship on their radar, but that's not an important consideration for temporary stays. Applying for a work visa may be little more than a formality, or it could take many months or years to complete the process and secure this vital authorization to further your career in your new country.

Regardless of the specifics, the most important thing you can do to position yourself for success is to make a plan, determine important dates and deadlines and stick to them. If you're making the move alone, make sure to clearly understand:

  • Contact information for the U.S. embassy of the country you want to move to. They can assist you as you start the process, The Spruce noted.
  • Which government department or ministry issues work permits, visas and similar documents.
  • The standards of and requirements for a successful application - some countries are stricter than others.
  • How to properly submit a request.
  • The most efficient way to check on the progress of your application.
  • Any possible avenues for expediting the process.

You should take a similar approach for securing your passport if you don't already have one, although this is made simpler by being a purely domestic affair. Visit the U.S. Department of State website for more information.

Finding the best among many international moving companies

If you're moving anything beyond a few suitcases worth of clothes and small belongings overseas, you need to find a top performer in the category of international moving companies. Look for a partner that has experience in moving others across international borders and understands the complicated situations that often arise during such a major trip.

Atlas® World Group International is proud to offer a variety of international moving services, helping all sorts of moves from private individual ones to corporate, military and government relocations. We have plenty of specialized, easily accessible information for you to use throughout the moving process, too.

Storage and managing your possessions

If you're moving to a new country permanently, you'll want to consider selling, donating and giving away items you own that will make your move more costly and complicated. For temporary international moves, the situation is more involved. You'll likely have some mix of family heirlooms, tools, electronics, vehicles, art, appliances and other valuable belongings that you want to continue owning even if you can't access them when overseas or have to keep them in a separate storage facility. What's the solution?

Consider our range of international and domestic transport and storage options as you start to make decisions about your international move. Whether you want to keep special belongings safe in the U.S. or bring them with you, we have a strong network of national and international partners to help you store your belongings exactly as you want to.