Moving abroad can be stressful, unsettling and worrisome; particularly for those who have never done so before. With an ever-smaller world and freedom of movement like never before however, more and more people are choosing to up sticks and head for the continent, the US or even half way around the world!

As there is so much to think about when moving abroad (particularly if your employer isn’t there to lend a helping hand) we’ve put together this helpful checklist to make sure you don’t forget to sort anything crucial before the move.

Your Home

The first thing to decide is whether or not you plan on selling or keeping your home. If the former is true, there are a whole host of processes and procedures to follow in order to ensure the move goes swiftly to plan. If at all possible, aim to sell your home before you move abroad as it is a tiresome and protracted process that can take months longer than initially expected.

Moving Abroad: A Checklist

If you plan on keeping your home, as perhaps you are only travelling abroad for a finite period of time, it is worth considering letting it out in order to bring in extra cash or cover the mortgage. You will need work out how to find tenants, collect rent and deal with any queries from your tenants from abroad. More often than not, a letting agency is the ideal solution to this. Ensure you remember to inform your mortgage providers and the tax man of your intentions. Do not forget to take out expat landlord insurance!

Your Belongings

The next thing to consider is how on earth are you going to transport all of your belongings around the world? The best piece of advice is to leave behind or sell whatever you can. The less you have to transport, the lower the cost of the move; it is as simple as that.

In reality, there will be an inventory of items that travel with you and how you transport them is up to you. There are a number of reputable companies dedicated to helping you move abroad. Visit for one example. Companies often specialise in moves to certain parts of the world, or focus on certain times of move. To ensure you get the best value for money, choose a company with local knowledge of the country you are moving to and ensure they are geared up to take the belongings of you and whoever else is moving with you.

Tax and Finances

Request a P85 from HM Revenues and Customs in order to notify them that you are moving abroad. This will exempt you from a number of taxes and ensure you do not overpay tax to the British government. Unfortunately, this is the simple part; there are a number of other things to consider.

If you are still in receipt of earnings either via interest or other income you are likely to have to fill out an expat tax return once every tax year. This will oblige you to pay tax on your UK earnings, regardless of whether you live within or outside of the EU. Any future sales of properties you own in the UK are likely to be liable to capital gains tax.

Other things to remember are your bank accounts. Often it is sensible to keep a UK bank account open, although it may be more appropriate to open an expat account that allows you to store money in multiple currencies. It is sensible to open an account local to your new residence. Moreover, if you hold money in a UK ISA you may be ineligible to pay in any more whilst you are away.


Do not forget to notify the relevant utility companies in the UK of your move. In addition, contact the relevant utility companies in your new country of residence to ensure that when you arrive you have electricity and running water.


Finally, if you plan to sell your vehicles in the UK co-ordinate the timings carefully with your move. If not, it usually makes sense to declare them off the road with the DVLA for the duration of your visit, to avoid having to pay unnecessary road tax.

Plan in advance and where possible have transport waiting for you when you arrive in your new destination. Ensure you have all relevant licenses and insurance sorted well before your move.