Expatriate Checklist

To make sure nothing is forgotten before your move abroad, we have prepared an expatriate checklist to help you get organised. To prepare your move abroad with a minimum of fuss tick off each item to make sure you’re ready for the big day!

You and Your Family

  • Learn about your destination country: Read the specialist guides and expat blogs for information on living there.
  • Get a medical check-up for each family member (doctor, optician, dentist etc.) Keep your x-rays and take prescriptions for any drugs you’ll need in your destination country.
  • Vaccinations: Check what vaccinations are required or recommended on the website Conseils aux voyageurs.  Bear in mind that some vaccinations may involve more than one injection.
  • Insurance: remember to take out international insurance to cover medical expenses, repatriation assistance, personal liability etc.
  • Schooling for your children: let their school know they are leaving and look into educational opportunities abroad.
  • Learn the language by taking classes or using a “teach yourself” method.

Administrative procedures

  • Check that all family members’ passports are valid.
  • Apply for a visa if you need one for your destination country.
  • Book your tickets (plane, train, boat) in advance.
  • Cancel your subscriptions: telephone, internet, gym etc.
  • Cancel your contracts: car insurance, home insurance, top-up healthcare, water, gas and electricity etc.
  • Let the authorities know you are leaving: pension fund, child benefits, tax office etc.
  • Pension: check with the CFE about making pension contributions.
  • Mail: have your mail forwarded by a specialist agency or by the Post Office.
  • Apply for an international driving licence at your local prefecture.

Your documents

Make photocopies of important documents, your family record book, copies of birth certificates, diplomas etc. You can also scan these documents and email them to yourself allowing you to access them anywhere in the world.
Get ID photos taken.
Get your important documents translated.
Remember to take: international vaccination cards, blood group cards, health records, prescriptions and x-rays.
Apply for a European Health Insurance Card from your National Health Service if you are staying in Europe.

Your property

  • House / Flat: give notice to your landlord or put your home up for sale or rent.
  • Car: make arrangements for your car in France and look into hiring or buying a car when you arrive.
  • Make an appointment with your bank: ask about money transfers, opening an account abroad etc.
  • International Movers: get several quotes before choosing your international mover. You can also put some of your belongings in storage.
  • Prepare your luggage and send the rest via a specialist logistics firm (DHL, FedEx etc.).

Other

  • Sell the items you don’t want to keep: place small ads and use online auction sites.
  • Prepare a medical kit containing useful and “comfort” drugs (especially if you are going to a country with less developed medical facilities).
  • Pets: ask what vaccinations and formalities are required before departure (import permits, quarantine etc.) and about how they will travel.
  • Take food items (where possible) which you won’t be able to buy in your new country.
  • Give your new address to friends and family.
  • Create a blog to share your new expat life!
Date of publication May 3 2012

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