9 Steps to Prepare You for an International Move To Or From Chicago
If you live or do business in Chicago and are planning on moving internationally sometime in the near future, now is the time to begin preparations. International moving can cause a significant amount of stress. With shipping, customs and having to coordinate between two different locations, it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed. Fear not, for when you hire a Chicago international moving company, you don’t have to worry about government regulations and whether or not your belongings will make the trip.
Three Men And A Truck, is the international movers Chicago residents trust and rely on for seamless relocations abroad. Our international moving services will manage every aspect of your move so can focus on more important tasks.
Starting your moving process early will help make the entire process more manageable. To help you begin, here are ten steps for a future expat like yourself to take before this new journey.
Save as much money as possible.
An international move from Chicago can be rather pricey. Consider first how much it costs to just simply move across your own country. Now imagine how much more it’s going to be to move to the other side of the world. You’ll need to factor in plane tickets, hiring an international moving company, your visa application, housing and any emergencies that could arise.
When moving overseas, use the age-old advice of having six-months worth of savings. Also, before you move, do plenty of research on the cost of living in your new country and develop some sort of monthly budget plan. Having an additional little buffer can’t hurt for paying any unanticipated costs during the first few months.
Consider health care.
Factoring in and planning ahead for health care is an essential step to moving abroad. Begin by finding out if your current provider will continue to cover you after you’ve moved overseas. Collect all your medical records and get any necessary immunizations before your trip. Also, if you have any prescription medications, you’ll need to check if they’re permitted or easily accessible in your new country. Depending on the answer, you may have to pack an extra supply.
If you elect to become a resident, you may qualify for the country’s public health care system. Otherwise, you’ll typically have the option of choosing a private health care system. In this case, you’ll pay out of pocket for services and be reimbursed if you have private health insurance. Regardless, research the requirements of the country you’re heading to. Even if the country has a public health system, some require that residents fund their own health care.
Renew or apply for a passport.
Prior to filling out your visa application, you must have a valid passport. It’s best to do this early because it can be a lengthy process. Also, depending on the country, you may need to have a passport that has been valid for at least six months past your final travel date. However, you do not have to have a set return date. If your passport happens to expire while you’re still in the country, you can simply renew it at your local U.S. Embassy.
Apply for a visa.
Check your new country’s government website for information in regards to the pertinent documentation they require as well as the type of visa that you will need to apply for. For example, when applying for a student visa in the UK, students need to provide a copy of their offer letter from the university they will be attending and proof that they have enough money to support themselves during their program. Keep in mind that you may also have to set an appointment with the office of Homeland Security to submit for your biometric screening. This includes fingerprints, photographs etc.
Enroll with STEP.
Register online with the U.S. Embassy’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). It’s a free government service that provides up-to-date information about travel advisories and any of your new country’s safety conditions. It helps you make more informed travel plans and can even help the U.S. embassy contact you in the event of an emergency.
Speak with your bank and phone providers.
It’s recommended that you maintain your current bank account in order to keep your credit score. You can then just make direct payments for any reoccurring bills or unresolved loans. Speak with all of your bank and credit card companies, alerting them of your travel dates so they don’t suspect fraud. Also, consider applying for an international credit card in order to avoid any foreign transaction fees. It can be difficult to set up a new account in your new country before you arrive. However, do plenty of research on banks in your new home and find out all the necessary paperwork and requirements so you can be ahead of the game.
International cell phone plans are notoriously rather pricey. We suggest speaking with your carrier and having them unlock your smartphone before your trip. This allows you to purchase a SIM from a local carrier within your new country and replace the old.
Collect and make copies of any important documents.
Gather all the necessary documents well before your move and make copies of them so you always have backups. Some of the important documents you’ll need are:
- Birth certificate
- Driver’s license
- Immunization and other medical records
You will likely need these when you least expect it, so it’s best to have them all in one place.
Do plenty of research.
Make sure that you are completely familiar with your new country. This will help simplify your move and make the transition into your new life much smoother. Research everything from housing options, transportation to the culture. What part of the city do you want to live in and will you be renting or buying property? Are you planning on driving, purchasing a car, or relying on public transportation? If you will be driving, you’ll need to do further research on securing an International Driving Permit.
In regards to the culture, get acclimated and research the history, government, social norms and rules of etiquette before the big move. You want to avoid a massive culture shock and minimize any social false steps.
Hiring Chicago international movers
If you’ve never moved across the pond, hiring experienced international movers is a must. Moving overseas requires much more coordination and preparation than simply moving across the country. At Three Men And A Truck, we’ll take care of all of the special requirements you may not be aware of. All while providing you with reliable, affordable and timely service.
It’s no wonder that Three Men And A Truck are the trusted international movers Chicago residents turn to. We have years of experience with overseas moves and guarantee peace of mind when working with us. Our dedicated team of expert movers can assist you every step of the way. Not only packing and shipping services, we also provide assistance with planning, tracking and any storage needs.
If you’re planning a Chicago international move, look no further than Three Men And A Truck. Call us today for a FREE, no obligation quote!