Moving Overseas Checklist

Cover Image for Moving Overseas Checklist

Moving overseas can be an exciting and life-changing decision. Whether you're relocating for work, study, or simply seeking a new adventure, the process of shipping your belongings from Singapore to your new destination can seem daunting.

We understand the complexities involved in the process. We've got you covered with this checklist that covers everything you need to know.

Before we delve into the details, here's a checklist to give you a snapshot of what to expect and what to prepare:

Your Quick-Start Overseas Relocation Checklist

1. Research Your New Destination:

☐ Check the climate and pack accordingly

☐ Research the cost of living to determine your budget

☐ Learn the language or basic phrases of the country

☐ Research transportation options in your new destination

2. Visa and Residency Requirements:

☐ Research visa requirements and apply for it as soon as possible

☐ Understand the residency requirements and complete necessary steps

☐ Gather all necessary documentation for visa application and residency requirements

3. Navigating Customs Regulations:

☐ Understand import restrictions and prohibited items

☐ Research the specific regulations of the country

☐ Making sense of custom duties and taxes

4. Pack Smart:

☐ Sort, sell or donate unwanted items

☐ Create a packing list and inventory of belongings

☐ Use high-quality boxes and packing materials

☐ Label boxes clearly with colour-coding

5. Choose the Right International Shipping Company:

☐ Look for a company with a good reputation in the industry

☐ Compare costs and services offered

☐ Ensure the company offers insurance for your belongings

☐ Choose a company that offers a range of services e.g. pick up and packing

☐ Look for a company that offers tracking services for your shipment

Let's dive into each of these steps in greater detail to help you embrace this new chapter with confidence.

1. Research Your New Destination

Before you leap into the unknown, it's crucial to arm yourself with valuable insights about your future home.

  • Climate: Find out what the weather is like in your new destination and what kind of clothing you should pack.
  • Cost of Living: Research the cost of living in your new destination to determine how much money you'll need to get by.
  • Language: Learning the local language, even just key phrases, can make your transition much easier.
  • Transportation: Explore different ways to get around your new locale, including public transit, taxis, or renting a vehicle.

2. Obtain the necessary documentation

visa sample

Image Source: wikipedia

Let's admit it - paperwork can be tedious. Yet, it's the backbone of a successful move. Here's how you can sail through this phase:

  • Visa Requirements: Apply for the necessary visa well in advance. The visa process and requirements can vary significantly depending on your destination.
  • Residency Requirements: Identify and fulfil the criteria for legal residence in your new location. This may include registering with local authorities, obtaining a tax ID number, or enrolling in a local health insurance program.
  • Other Documentation: Ensure you have all essential documents, such as your passport and birth certificate, handy.

To find up-to-date information on visa and residency requirements for the most common relocation destinations for Singaporeans, visit the following government websites:

  1. United States: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website
  2. United Kingdom: UK Government's website
  3. Australia: Australian Government's Department of Home Affairs website
  4. New Zealand: New Zealand Government's Immigration website
  5. Canada: Government of Canada's website

3. Navigate Customs Effortlessly: Tips and Tricks for a Smooth Experience

Understanding customs regulations can streamline your relocation process significantly. Here, we share practical advice to help you navigate customs effortlessly and avoid any unexpected hiccups.

a. Top Tips to Avoid Customs Issues:

To minimise problems with customs, follow these practical tips that will make your move as stress-free as possible:

  1. Research import restrictions early in the process to avoid surprises. Understand the specific rules of your destination country to avoid packing restricted items. Here are some resources to help you:
    1. U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    2. GOV.UK
    3. Australian Border Force
    4. New Zealand Custom Service
    5. Canada Border Services Agency
  2. Keep copies of purchase receipts and other relevant documents for easy reference. This will make it easier to provide accurate valuations of your belongings, and it can also help resolve any disputes or inquiries from customs officials.
  3. Accurately declare the value of your items to avoid penalties or delays. Under-declaring the value of your belongings may result in fines, while over-declaring may lead to unnecessary taxes and fees.
  4. Stay organised with a well-documented inventory to streamline the customs clearance process. A detailed list of your belongings, including descriptions, quantities, and values, can help expedite the clearance process and ensure that nothing is overlooked.

b. Making Sense of Custom Duties and Taxes:

Custom duties and taxes vary by destination and depend on the value and type of items being imported. Utilise JustShip’s Instant Quote and consider these costs within your relocation budget. Simply select the 'Pre-pay taxes' option, and you will instantly know if your shipment will be subject to taxation.

JustShip pre-paid taxes feature

By understanding customs regulations and taking a proactive approach to navigating them, you can make your international move smoother and more enjoyable.

4. Pack Smart

packing boxes for relocation

Packing for an overseas move can be a daunting task, but with the right preparation and planning, it can be a breeze.

To ensure that your belongings arrive safely at your new destination, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Declutter: Use this as an opportunity to purge items that no longer serve a purpose in your life. Sell, donate or discard what you won't need in your new home.
  • Create a Packing List and Inventory: This helps you keep track of your possessions and eases the process of unpacking.
  • Pack Like a Pro: Use high-quality boxes and packing materials to safeguard your belongings during transit. Wrap fragile items with bubble wrap or packing paper for extra protection.
fragile packing
  • Label Clearly and Color-Code: A descriptive label on each box and a colour-coding system can make unpacking in your new home a snap.
colour coding boxes for relocation

Image source:

5. Choose the Right International Shipping Company

The right international shipping company can make your transition effortless. Keep the following points in mind when choosing:

  • Reputation: Choose a company that has a stellar reputation, backed by positive reviews and accreditations.
  • Cost: Compare prices among different companies, but never compromise on the quality of service.
  • Insurance: Ensure your chosen company offers insurance to protect your belongings during transit.
  • Services: Opt for a company that provides a comprehensive suite of services, from pick-up to packing.
  • Tracking: Real-time tracking services are a must for peace of mind during the shipping process.

Additional Resources for a Smooth Transition

If you're looking to dig deeper, the Singapore Global Network also has a rich resource pool on a broad array of topics such as healthcare, schooling options, and housing. Reading through personal stories and experiences from fellow Singaporeans who have made similar moves can also provide valuable insights and reassure you that you're not alone in this journey.

Leveraging the Singapore Global Network's insights and combining them with the actionable steps outlined in this blog, you'll be well-equipped to handle the challenges of an overseas move.

Singapore Global Network website

Image source:

Why Choose JustShip for Your International Move

Here at JustShip, we simplified countless relocations with our comprehensive suite of services, including pick-up, packing, insurance, and delivery duty paid (DDP).

We specialize in shipping all sorts of items for overseas moves, from household goods, electronics, PCs, clothes, shoes, books, luggage to bedding sets and gaming setups.

We understand that moving overseas can be tough, so we're here to make it as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible, guiding you through the process with confidence and ease.

JustShip relocation services

Contact us today to learn more about our relocation services or sign up to create a shipment with us now!

June 7, 2023

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