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Full-Service Moving Companies Make International Moves Easier

by: Rob Sabo
01 Dec 2010

Moving anywhere can be stressful. But moving internationally, whether it be for work or for personal reasons, can make an interstate move back in the U.S. seem like a vacation trip. However, choosing a full-service international moving company to help you get your legal affairs in order before you move can reduce moving stress and eliminate many of the challenges associated with relocating abroad.

International Legal Requirements

There is a lengthy list of legal requirements and considerations associated with an international move, including:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Work permit
  • Certificates of registration for personal goods
  • Driving permit
  • Property investment

Your passport identifies you as a U.S. citizen and is a request to foreign governments to let you travel in their countries. It also gives you access to U.S. consular services in foreign countries. Fees for a first-time passport application currently are $45 or $60 plus the cost of overnight delivery for expedited service. Routine passport service typically takes four to six weeks or two to three weeks with expedited service.

Foreign governments typically require a visa for you to live in their country. A visa is an endorsement or stamp placed on your passport. The State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs provides comprehensive foreign travel information, as well as safety and travel warnings, on its country specific travel information page. If you are planning on living abroad for an indefinite period, most countries request you seek resident status.

Work permits are separate from a visa and are required for employment abroad. Check for legal requirements with the country in which you plan to live.

While some countries honor your current driver's licence, others require an international driving permit, or IDP. International movers can help you obtain an IDP, which allows you to drive while securing a local driver's license for the country you are in.

If you are considering buying a house in a different country, inquire about that country's customs and legal requirements regarding real estate purchases. And you must file a certificate of registration for personal goods like cell phone or music players or risk paying taxes on those items when returning to the U.S.

Since legal documents vary by country, consulting with international moving companies for relocation help and legal requirements can help you get your affairs in order long before you leave the country.

Country Specific Information • • Bureau of Consular AffairsInternational Driving Permit • • AAAPassports • http://travel.state.gov • Bureau of Consular AffairsAmericans Traveling Abroad • http://travel.state.gov • Bureau of Consular AffairsTip: Register Items Before You Leave the United States • http://www.cbp.gov • Department of Homeland Security

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