5 Things You Should Do Before You Move Abroad

Do Your Paperwork (and Check It Twice)
Figure out any tax complexities before the big move -- you may wind up paying in two countries.
Figure out any tax complexities before the big move -- you may wind up paying in two countries.
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Oh, the red tape surrounding an international move -- and the unbelievable inconvenience of arriving at your far-off destination only to find out you're missing a document required for you to live there.

Moving to another country is not quite the simple, hop-on-a-plane-after-a-bad-breakup thing we see in the movies. You will be filling out official visa and passport forms for your current country of residence and your intended one, making copies of every important document you have ever signed and every policy and legal document (will, power of attorney, etc.) you have in your name, jumping through the hoops of global money transfers, submitting new tax information to the authorities, obtaining necessary health clearances, and, if you are bringing along family members or pets, arranging for them to have the proper documentation (and quarantine arrangements, for non-humans) to accompany you.

If any necessary forms are incomplete, you will find yourself in a pickle of international red tape, overseas phone calls, and, in the best-case scenario, visits to your country's embassy so someone in the know can help you figure out your options. In short, don't get on that plane without confirming, more than once, that you have everything you need, signed, completed and backed up in case of loss.

For help knowing exactly what your individual documentation needs are, have a look at the U.S. State Department's travel resources and living abroad tips.

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