Moving Overseas: The 11 Most Important Things You Need to Prepare

There are many things to organise when moving overseas, but we have narrowed it down to 11 to make your life easier. Take a look at what you need to prepare before moving overseas:

1. Notify Providers You’re Moving Overseas

It’s important to let your service providers know that you will no longer need their services and that you won’t be at that address anymore. Providers you should remember to notify and or cancel before you leave are:

  • Banks
  • Utilities (internet, gas, water, electricity, foxtel)
  • Mobile company
  • Your local council
  • Car registration
  • Insurance (home, car)
  • Superannuation fund provider
  • Real estate agent (if renting/selling your home)
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • myGov (update your contact details)
  • The Electoral Commission
  • Australia Post (re-direct post)
  • Your lawyer
  • Your accountant or financial advisor
  • Cancel subscriptions (newspapers or magazines)

Tip: Let these service providers know when you’re planning to leave the country as soon as you know yourself. Leaving it for too long may leave you having to pay for subscriptions that you no longer need.

2. Important Documents

When applying for jobs or registering in your new country, you may need certain documents. It’s wise to make copies in case you happen to misplace the document. Here is what we recommend you take with you:

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage/single certificates (for partner visas)
  • Citizenship
  • Divorce/custody agreements
  • Educational qualifications

Tip: There may be specific documents you need depending on which country you’re moving to, so remember to double check before moving overseas.

Moving Overseas

3. Calculate Your Moving Costs

Moving overseas is expensive, but it’s achievable if you plan out your costs. This first comes with understanding how much your move will cost and how much you will need to save. Take a look at our international moving costs page for a break down on what type of costs you can expect.

Tip: If you’re moving overseas for work, your new job may offer to subsidise some of the costs of your move, so double check what costs you should expect to be covered.

4. Organise an International Removalist

An international removals company can really help you if you’re planning on moving your furniture overseas with you. Always make sure to check out reviews of their services online and request quotes from more than one removalist, which will help you pick the right moving company for you.

Tip: Most international removalists will use a container to ship your belongings overseas. For more information on this, take a look at our container shipping costs page.

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5. Passport and Visas

Making sure that your passport is valid and getting the right visa is a priority! If you’re planning on moving permanently, ensure that your passport is valid for the next few years. Take a look at the Australia Passport Office for more advice and information that you will need if your passport needs to be renewed.

Find out what the rules and regulations are for your visa application to avoid delays. You can check these on the government website of the country you’re planning on moving to.

Tip: If you’re moving with work, check whether they will sponsor your visa for you. Also, if you’re moving with your family overseas, don’t forget to check if their passports are valid!

6. Notify Medicare

You will still be entitled to Medicare for up to five years after moving overseas. After this time, you will no longer eligible and will need to re-enrol if you decide to return to Australia.

Medicare has reciprocal health agreements with eleven countries, so if you’re moving to one of these countries you may be entitled to necessary healthcare. These countries are:

  1. New Zealand
  2. The UK
  3. Ireland
  4. Malta
  5. Belgium
  6. Finland
  7. The Netherlands
  8. Norway
  9. Sweden
  10. Slovenia
  11. Italy

Tip: Take a look at the pages of Medicare on the Government website for more information.

Moving overseas

7. Taxation Overseas

If you’re remaining an Australian resident for tax purposes, then you will need to lodge an Australian tax return and declare all your foreign income, including any exempt income. You can do this on your myGov account.

If you choose to no longer be a resident for tax paying purposes, you will only be taxed by the Australian government on your Australian income (with some exceptions).

Tip: Make sure you turn off the myGov security code feature before you lose access to your Australian mobile number.

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8. International Money Transfer

Using an international money transfer company can save you a lot of money on bank transaction fees. If you want to transfer your wages to a new bank account abroad or pay for a mortgage or rent in another country, then check out the Australian companies below:

  1. TorFx
  2. TransferWise
  3. OFX
  4. SendFX

Tip: Every international money transfer company is different; some offer zero transfer fees whereas others have a much quicker transfer time. Double check what additional services they offer to see what you could benefit from.

9. Repaying Student Loan

To pay off your Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) or Trade Support Lead (TSL) debts once you’ve moved overseas, you need to submit an overseas travel notification on myGov and submit what your worldwide income is.

Once you have done this, the Australian Taxation Office will let you know how much you must pay and when or how much you get back. It’s best to get this done before leaving Australia, but the ATO ask that you notify them within seven days of leaving Australia.

Tip: Use this study and training loan calculator to see how much you will need to pay back.

Moving Overseas

10. Voting Overseas

If you intend to return to Australia within six years, then you can register as an overseas elector. However, if you’re planning to move indefinitely, then you won’t be able to vote whilst abroad. If you’re already enrolled, then you can apply to be an overseas elector up to three months before you move or within three years of moving overseas. If you’re unsure how long you’ll be moving abroad for, we recommend you still register as an overseas elector.

In most countries, you will also be able to vote in local elections, so make sure you’re clued up on how you can do this so that you can get your voice heard.

Tip: Whether you are moving overseas for a few months, six years or indefinitely, we recommend familiarising yourself with the Australian Electoral Commision website.

11. Obtain an International Driving Permit

Your Australian drivers license won’t be valid if you’re planning on driving after moving overseas. You have to apply for an international driving permit (IDP) and carry this alongside your Australian license. An IDP is proof that you have a valid driver’s licence in your home country and must be carried with your valid Australian driver’s licence.

You can apply for an IDP within your home state in Australia, check out Smart Traveller for the correct information for each state. Alternatively, if you are already living overseas or intend on leaving Australia permanently, we recommend checking out the local requirements for obtaining a valid licence in your new country.

Tip: Even if you aren’t planning on driving whilst you’re abroad, it’s best to obtain one if you do have a driver’s license as you never know when it may come in handy.

What Next?

We hope that you now have a better idea what you need to do when moving overseas. Take a look at some of our other pages for more information:

  • Top 10 International Removalists: Check out our list of the top 10 Australian companies for international removal services.
  • Furniture Volume Calculator: If you’re planning on moving your belongings overseas with you, you can save time when requesting quotes by already knowing the volume of your move.

Have a successful move abroad!