Before making the decision to move abroad, there are a multitude of things that you will need to consider. From the kind of property you are looking for, to your budget and navigating your way through life in your new country of residence.

A great deal of planning is required to make the transition as smooth as possible, and we’ve some collated some tips to help you get off to a great start.


You will need a valid passport before you can live overseas and how long your passport will last depends upon which country it is issued by. If you are planning on working once you have moved abroad, you will need to confirm whether you need a visa in order to do so. For example, immigration authorities in Canada will not accept applications from people who haven’t previously arranged their employment. Similarly, the US often deny visas to individuals who don’t have a job they will be starting.

Before job hunting, there are other things you need to take into consideration such as; what the average wage is (and cost of living) and whether your educational or professional qualifications will be recognised abroad. Most countries have different types of visas that you may be eligible for and some employers will fund your work visas. Visiting the website of the immigration department for the country you intend to move to is a great place to start.

Renting out your home in the UK

Many people that emigrate choose to keep their existing home and rent it out whilst they’re abroad. You might want to use a letting agency to help you find tenants and offer you property management services during your absence. If you choose not to use an agency, you could nominate a close friend or relative to inspect the property regularly and to be the main point of contact for your tenants.

You may also consider selling your property. Again this may be mean a requirement to transfer money if you decide to take the money with you to buy overseas or sell it whilst in your new country of residence. Zoopla’s step-by-step guide to selling a home offers informative guidelines that you can follow when going through the process of selling your home.


If you plan on bringing your pets along with you, they will have to be issued with a pet passport. In order to obtain this, they will first need to be microchipped. In addition to this, your pet will also need vaccinations, after which you will need to ask your vet for a fit-to-fly certificate as close as possible to your departure date. Companies such as Air Pets and Pet Relocation Services specialise in pet relocation and can offer you expert guidance.

Health Insurance

Health insurance can be expensive, particularly in North America. Unlike the UK, most healthcare systems are not free at the point of delivery. If you are moving abroad you will no longer be entitled to medical treatment from the NHS, as it is a residence-based healthcare system. Before moving to your new country of residence, it’s important to check what health care services are available to you in that country. Budgeting for any additional healthcare costs you may face, such as regular health insurance payments, is a vital part of moving abroad.

UK based health insurance agency Expatriate Healthcare provide medical insurance for people living and working abroad.

Driving Arrangements

If you are intending to drive in your new country of residence, it’s vital that you familiarise yourself with the local driving laws and regulations. In the instance that you plan to move to a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, a driving license from Great Britain or Northern Ireland is valid.

If you are moving outside of Europe, you will need to request an International Driving Permit which can be obtained from the Post Office.

This documentation is recognised globally and will allow the holder to drive a car or other motor vehicle when accompanied with a valid UK driving licence, however some countries may also require you to apply for a local driving license in addition to this.

In the planning stages of your move, it’s highly likely that you will need to make at least one large international transfer. When making these transactions you will be exposed to the volatility of the financial markets. At RationalFX, we help our customers make swift, secure international currency payments. Whether you are relocating to settle down with your partner, family or you’re starting your dream job overseas, you can save yourself thousands with our highly competitive exchange rates and low transfer fees.

Should you open an international payments account with us, you will be appointed a dedicated account manager, who will offer you specialist guidance on the financial markets and support you in the best decisions for your move.

For more information on how to make international payments with RationalFX please click here, or email us.