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Checklist for moving outside of Canada

If you’re moving outside of Canada, there’s a lot to think about.

Making a checklist of all the things you need to do can help put your mind at ease and make sure you don’t forget something important.

Follow our steps to get started.

Check your passport

If your passport is going to expire before you travel, you’ll need to renew it. If it’s due to expire shortly after you arrive, renewing it before you move can save you having to manage it from outside of Canada.

Apply for visas or work permits

Different countries and territories will have their own requirements and timings, so make sure you submit all the relevant applications well before you’re due to move, or start working.

Set a budget for settling in

Alongside flights and initial accommodation costs, there may be other things you need to save for. These could be anything from new furnishings and clothes, to a bond or deposit for a new place to live, depending on whether you’re renting or buying.

If you’ll be looking for work once you arrive in your new country or territory, set aside enough money to cover you while you find employment.

Start saving money

Once you have your budget in place, set yourself an achievable goal to build up savings ahead of the move.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to save enough in the time you have, look at whether there’s any areas you can cut back your current spending, or your planned costs once you’ve moved.

Organise your shipping and storage

If you’ll be leaving things behind, look at your options for storage and the costs involved.

If you’re taking things like furniture with you, think about shipping. Get a number of quotes to make sure you’re getting the best price and read the fine print of an agreement, before signing.

Look at taking out travel insurance

A one-way travel insurance policy can cover you and your belongings for any travel delays, a missed departure, and airline failure.

Check if there’s anything you need to do about your taxes

You may need to let your tax office know you’ll be moving away from Canada. They’ll be able to tell you if there’s any steps you need to take to get your taxes in order.

It can be a good idea to do this early on, in case there’s any tax payments you need to make but haven’t accounted for.

Get your banking in order

Think about how you’ll access your money in your new country or territory. You may be able to apply for a chequing account online or open an international chequing account before you leave.

With HSBC, you can open an international chequing account in 37 different countries or regions. You must meet all our qualifying criteria and document submission requirements.  Eligibility criteria also applies.

Allow yourself a bit of time to get your finances in order for when you move.

Complete a health check

Some countries or territories may require you to have vaccinations and health checks before you arrive.

It’s also important to make sure you can access any medication you need in your new location. If you can, pack extra in your carry-on bag, in case your checked baggage is delayed on arrival. If you’re unsure about anything, speak to your doctor about your options.

Get your key documents together

Get a record of any documentation you may need, like school reports and rental references, so you’re not trying to coordinate these from outside of Canada.

There are some things you’ll want to arrange before you arrive in your new country or territory. For example, accommodation, an international driving license, and education if you have children of school age.

Pay your bills

Contact your suppliers for everything from gas and electric, to your TV and internet provider to let them know about changing circumstances, and pay any final bills.

Redirect your post

Setting up a redirect for your post to go to your new house, or a trusted family member, can help make sure it doesn’t get lost.

Check over all your documents

In the final days before the move, put all the relevant documentation together in a file and check you have everything you need.

Explore more

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