How Far in Advance Should You Plan an International Move

Having a palace to call home where you are always welcome is the ultimate goal of a happy life. Building your own life somewhere where you enjoy being and where it feels just right allows anyone to prosper and be content with their choices. However, not all of us have this. More often than not, people are forced by a wide variety of reasons to live in a house, an apartment, or even a territory they do not fully enjoy. This is why chasing a better life has so much to do with one’s physical surroundings. Unless the environment and the circumstances it provides are not optimal, happiness and prosperity cannot be either.

Starting Anew


The only thing left to do in such a situation is to move away and start things anew. And the most drastic of moves do not include changing your address in your home town, nor switching one town in favor of another. It is actually moving to a whole different country that is the biggest change one can make. Of course, it matters greatly what is the cause behind an international move. Sometimes it is a favorable situation like a new job or having enough money saved to enjoy a retirement in your dream country. However, more often than not, people move out of necessity. In both cases it is a decision that uproots the lives of everyone included, meaning that planning has to be done on time and in the right way. If you have found yourself in this situation and it all seems too overwhelming, worry not. We have just the right thing for you in this article. Keep reading to learn how far in advance you should start planning before an international move.

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No Clear Rule

Right off the bat, we have to mention that there is not one and the same plan everyone moving internationally can apply. First of all, it matters greatly why you are moving and whether or not it is urgent or not. Then there is the question of which two countries are involved. Is it a neighboring country, somewhere a few countries over, or a transoceanic trip to the other end of the globe? Just between these three situations the planning could range between a few months and over a year. Finally, it depends if you already have things figured out in terms of living conditions and employment in your destination country. Most people move only when they are certain that their new life is somewhat secure. More importantly, it is not even possible to travel or stay for an indefinite amount of time if you lack a residence or employment. There are still things that are universal for international moves though, and we talk about them in the following sections.

Moving Your Belongings

By far the biggest thing to figure out logistically is how to transport all of your belongings to the new country. You and your family will arrive there much faster, but how can you resume your life in a brand new location without any of your clothes, tools, and valuables? International moving is done through various moves. It can be done by sea, by air, or by land. Since you are moving for good, you need all or at least most of the things you care about. If it is an overseas trip, the land transport is out of question. This means you need to schedule it months in advance. Even a simple summer trip by plane implies buying the ticket a few months before, let alone transporting everything you own. Make sure you do it as soon as possible, basically from the moment you realize that the move is inevitable. Learn more about international movers and how they operate by checking out SDCInternationalShipping.

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Taking Care of Documentation

Documentation may cause an even bigger headache than the transportation of belongings. Planning out everything and having enough wiggle room for emergencies means getting started as early as 8 to 12 months before moving. The processing times for work permits, visas, and other crucial documents are the biggest reason why. Showing up to embassies or having your travel documentation issues if easy and quick compared to waiting indefinitely. Some countries take up to a year to approve visas while big moves that include many family members and employment could still take months just to get processed. What you can do to shorten this as much as possible is to ensure all of your official documents are valid. This means that the passports, ID cards, birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and medical insurance cards of every person moving are all up to date. Not only that, but the passport also needs to remain valid for the first six months after you arrive.

Learning the Language


This does not happen that often as some other problems that delay the move, but knowing the language can make things much quicker and seamless. If none of the people moving speaks the language, the move cannot and should not happen soon. Before you leave your old home behind and enter the plane, you need to at least familiarize yourself with the basics of the language. You will eventually apply for citizenship which will include speaking the language at a certain level, so why not make it easier and start learning it while you are still planning things? Starting a course around a year before the move makes most sense so be sure to get some classes up and running around 12 months before you plan to move internationally.

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Securing a Job and Initial Spending Money


Financial security is the last thing we mention here but certainly not the least. Finding a job that will be waiting for you once you move, provided that you are not moving because of a new job, is key. You do not want to get there first and then look for a job. Months can pass with you not being able to work for various reasons. This is where the savings come in too as you need a considerable sum to get things off the ground in your new country. Spending money implies everyday expenses like food, hygiene, and activities. Until you have enough for a comfortable first few months, you should not think about circling the date on your calendar.