Prepare for your move

Moving overseas is a major lifetime change and something that takes a lot of planning, organizing, patience and determination. But not to worry.
If you’re thinking of moving to another country, your planning starts right here.

Moving to the USA Guide
Whether you are a returning citizen or a resident of another country, this Guide outlines actions that you can take prior to leaving your host or home country to prepare for the challenge of moving to the U.S. including a description of the Customs Regulations.
Bureau of Consular Affairs provides passport and visa information, travel publications and consular information sheets.
Currency Converter automatically calculates currency.
ATM Locator for Visa, Visa Electron, Plus, MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus.
Expat Exchange is the first online community exclusively for expatriates – employees, spouses and children. Enables you to access a wealth of expat-related information and interact with others living overseas to share your unique international experiences.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control lists vaccinations required for travel to various geographical areas.
World Fact Book is a CIA publication placing very detailed facts about the world are at your finger tips. Also provides maps and other free international information.
World Trade Centers Association provides extensive trade information and country specific topics and links.
International Moving Guide

  • Understanding Your Move
  • Pre-Planning Your Move
  • Obtaining Required Documents
  • Arriving at Destination
  • Defining Moving Terms

Moving overseas can be both intimidating and exciting. There is the prospect of seeing new places, becoming acquainted with people from different cultures, and learning customs different from those of your origin country. Nevertheless, particularly for the person who has lived abroad before, there are understandable anxieties, especially about the safe handling of one’s household possessions.
The key to an uncomplicated international relocation is “pre-planning”-taking the guesswork out of moving by reducing it to a series of manageable, scheduled events. Nationwide Movers has prepared this comprehensive guide as your road map to the planning necessary from start to finish for a trouble-free overseas move. It lists the steps to be taken, the special documents you will need and where to obtain them, and suggestions for getting settled abroad.
You will find your local Nationwide Movers agent very helpful as you plan your move. He’s a specialist whose experience in overseas moving assures safe, dependable transportation of your valued possessions. At destination, Nationwide Movers overseas partner will assist in the efficient passage of your belongings through customs to final delivery in your new home.
Nationwide Movers, customer satisfaction is our main concern. We’ve proven this commitment during more than four decades of overseas operations. Thanks to careful attention to detail and a menu of services designed to help families face every aspect of an international relocation, Nationwide Movers has remained a pioneer and leader in the industry while assisting tens of thousands of families every year. Our worldwide partner network is equally dedicated to delivering the same superior service across the globe. We hope you will give us the opportunity to assist you when you move internationally.

  1. Understanding your Move

By land, sea or air. over four oceans and seven continents, Nationwide Movers can move you anywhere. Your Nationwide Movers Agent will guide you through every detail of your international relocation.

    1. Order for service and limitation of Liability

At the time your goods are loaded and again at delivery, you will sign an agreement known as an order for service. It will contain all charges for services performed, in addition to terms and conditions under which your goods are moved.
An order number in the top right hand corner of your order for service will identify your move. You will need that number when seeking information about your move.
On the order for service, you will choose the level of carrier liability for your goods in terms of dollars and cents per pound, per item/package. This choice will provide some compensation in the event items are lost or damaged, but does not eliminate the need for separate insurance. Even the highest level of carrier liability is not adequate protection by itself.
Also to protect yourself financially, take pictures of your furniture and valuables as proof of ownership in the event of loss or damage. In addition, photograph anything that might need to be disassembled for transit so the destination crew will know how to reassemble the items.

    1. Packing and Loading

When the packing team arrives at your home, your personal belongings will be placed in appropriate cartons or containers. To protect your goods from damage, items will be individually wrapped in paper pads as needed. Made of shock-absorbing fiber, the paper pads are used exclusively for international relocations.
Once your shipment has been prepared for loading, it will be placed inside one or more containers. The type of containers selected will depend on the mode of transportation, the size of your shipment and your destination. Your shipment can be loaded into one or more of the following:

      • Lift-vans
      • Steamship containers
      • Air containers

A lift-van is a wooden or plywood container with skids that is normally loaded by a forklift. Lined with water-resistant paper and caulked to prevent leakage, lift-vans might range in size from 185 to 210 cubic feet; the containers are supplied by steamship companies.
To transport small shipments by air, the most common containers used are tri-wall boxes. Constructed of triple-layer corrugated cardboard, the boxes range in size from five to 100 cubic feet. When sending a large shipment by air, goods normally are crated instead of boxed. The crates must comply with dimensional specifications to meet aircraft cargo requirements.

    1. Preparation of Appliances

Before the packers arrive at our home, make certain all of the appliances you plan to take have been cleaned and serviced. Be sure to check your owner’s manuals for cleaning instructions. To prevent mold and mildew, major appliances that use water or produce moisture – such as dishwashers or refrigerators – will need time to dry thoroughly before they are packed.
You must have all mechanical and electrical equipment serviced prior to your move. Most washers, dryers, air conditioners, refrigerators, stereos and grandfather clocks have components that must be secured by a trained technician. At your request, your Nationwide Movers agent will arrange for the necessary appliance and equipment servicing at an additional cost. Items not serviced will be noted on the inventory as “not serviced – loaded at owner’s risk”.

    1. Types of Transportation

Your shipment will be forwarded via one or more modes of transportation:

      • Motor freight carrier
      • Railroad
      • Steamship line
      • Airline

After your shipment has been packed and loaded, it will be transported by truck or rail to the port of exit. Depending on the type of transportation selected, the container(s) will be loaded into a vessel or into an aircraft.

    1. Transit Time for Goods

The type of transportation used, the distance to be covered and the time required to clear customs will affect the transit time of your shipment.
Nationwide Movers utilizes a computerized monitoring system to track shipments. As information is received during transit, the shipment’s progress is updated.
You can receive periodic updates about your shipment by calling your Nationwide Movers Agent. If you haven’t left your home country yet, the origin agent can help you. When you arrive at your new location, contact your destination agent. We also offer the opportunity for some shipments to be tracked on the World Wide Web. Ask your agent if your shipment qualifies.

    1. Shipping Costs

To determine costs, a Nationwide Movers agent will survey your entire home. Be sure to show the agent everything to be moved, including any items in the garage, basement or attic. The estimate you receive will detail the charges for packing and transporting your household goods.
Some services, however, will not be calculated into the estimate. Those not normally included are:

      • Extra pickups or deliveries
      • Servicing of electrical appliances
      • Additional insurance in case any item is lost or damaged in transit.

No matter how your shipment is transported, you (or your employer, if you are being transferred) will receive only one invoice. Nationwide Movers can arrange your relocation from point of origin to point of destination with one order for service.

    1. Other Expenses Involved

Other relocation-related expenses to plan for might include:

      • Travel accommodations
      • Travel insurance
      • Customs duties and/or taxes on your household goods
      • Possible storage of your belongings at origin and/or destination
      • Shipping your car, plus customs duties
      • Automobile conversion to meet government standards
      • Document fees for passport, visa and permits
      • Inoculations and a physical examination
      • Pre-move trip to find housing
      • Temporary housing until a permanent residence is found or until your furnishings arrive
      • Cross-cultural training in advance of your move
      • Tuition costs if your children will be in a private school abroad or in a boarding school at home
    1. Payment for services

Unless prior arrangements have been made, payment for your shipment must be received before the goods are moved to the port of exit. As soon as your shipment is prepared, you will be notified of the actual charges. Payment can be made by cashier’s check, money order, cash or traveler’s checks. A personal check will not be accepted. Corporate transferees will need a purchase order or letter of authorization form their company.
Payments to the destination agent and customs officials often are required to be in the currency of your new country. Any additional charges not included in your transportation cost – such as for extra pickups or deliveries, or storage – must be paid to the destination agent prior to delivery.
Return to International Moving Guide

  1. Pre-Planning your Move

Careful pre-planning is vital when moving overseas. It can make the difference between a smooth transition and one laden with problems. It is important to know what to expect in advance and plan accordingly.

    1. Choosing a moving date

Keep in mind the following when deciding which date to start your move:

      • Try to plan your move for regular working days to avoid overtime charges incurred on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
      • Try to avoid moving on the first or last few days of a month, because these tend to be the busiest moving times.
      • Check your destination country’s holiday schedule to ensure your move date won’t result in unnecessary delays.
    1. Resources Available

Nationwide Movers Relocation Services Department can provide a variety of services to assist you with your move. Nationwide Movers offers services that include everything from information about your destination and customs regulations, to cross-cultural training, housing assistance and settling-in services. Some of the services are fee-based. Call Relocation Services at 800-422-6145 for additional information.
Other resources for information include a consulate, embassy, customs office or chamber of commerce for your destination country/city. To obtain telephone numbers for these agencies, call directory assistance or ask a reference librarian.
Nearly all countries have a customs department responsible for collecting fees or duties on some imported and less commonly exported goods. You might have to go through customs twice – when exiting the origin country and again when entering the destination country. Since requirements can differ between countries, check in advance with customs offices for both countries regarding information on dutiable items.
As your shipment goes through customs, it is important that you be on hand to answer questions, to provide additional documentation if necessary and to pay any duties that are levied against your goods. Upon paying, keep the official receipt. Some duties may be refundable when you leave the country.
For those of you who live in the United States, the U.S. Customs Service offers publications on international moving. Call (202) 354-1000 for tape-recorded messages and to request publications or write: U.S. Customs Service, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C. 20229. Check the Customs Service’s Internet site: – – for online publications.

    1. Customs Regulations

Check with a consulate, embassy or customs office for your destination country if you have specific questions on items you want to take with you. If something is questionable, obtain written assurance from the consulate/embassy that the item can be admitted as part of your shipment.
The items listed in this section often are regulated by the customs offices of your origin and destination countries:

      • Household Goods
        Most countries permit duty-free entry of used household goods, but few allow free entry of items that are less than a year old. Before buying any items to take abroad, determine if it is worth paying duty on them. You might want to purchase the items after the move if they are available at destination. Although you can order items by mail while living abroad, you still are required to pay duty on them.

It is advisable not to have the following items packed in your household goods shipment: alcohol, tobacco, cameras and unexposed film. Many countries limit the amount of these items you can bring. Check with a consulate, embassy or customs office for your destination country prior to your departure to determine the quantities permitted. When feasible, carry these goods with you.
In addition, international laws prohibit the transportation of flammable items, such as matches, candles, paint, and cleaning and lighting fluids. Check with a consulate or embassy of your destination country on other items that are restricted, prohibited, or in need of licenses or permits.
Keep in mind that homes overseas might be considerably smaller than your current one. Therefore, it is not advisable to take all of your furniture and large appliances. Take only what you need and what will fit inside your new home.

      • Personal Accessories
        Personal items such as clothing, furs and jewelry usually are duty-free as long as they are for the owner’s use and not for resale. Check restrictions of your destination country before shipping your possessions. We suggest that jewelry and furs be shipped via airfreight or carried with you in your personal luggage to prevent theft.
      • Medication
        If you carry any prescription medications with you, follow these suggestions to avoid problems:

        • Carry your medicine in small quantities.
        • Keep medications in their appropriate prescription containers. If possible, these containers should list your doctor’s name, pharmacy and medication name on the label.
        • Obtain a letter from your doctor stating your condition, confirming the medication and telephone number for verification.
      • Pets
        Before you decide to move your pet to another country, two factors should be considered. First, will your pet be allowed in the destination country? If so, a health and/or rabies certificate might be required from your veterinarian. Be sure to ask a consulate or embassy of your destination country how long any certificate is considered valid and if your pet also will need an entry permit.

Cost is the second consideration. In most cases, you will be required to pay duty on your pet and pay for your per to be quarantined, Depending on your destination county, your pet could be quarantined from a few weeks to a full year.
If you do take your pet, be sure to do the following:

        • Get the pet’s medical records from your vet
        • Provide your pet with a travel identification tag – in addition to his/her permanent identification collar – so your pet can be returned to you if found. In clued your pet’s name; your name, destination address and telephone number; and an alternative contact person’s name and telephone number.
        • Schedule your trip to ensure your pet doesn’t arrive at destination on a weekend or holiday when customs facilities are closed. Otherwise, your pet might be without food, water and other care for a long period.
        • To help speed up the clearance process for your pet, write to the port entry veterinarian advising him of your pet’s arrival date, flight number and other required information.
      • Houseplants
        Bulbs, seeds and houseplants cannot be packed as part of your household goods shipment. Many countries prohibit the entry of plants and bulbs. If seeds are allowed, find out if a special permit is necessary, and carry the seeds with you.
      • Motor Vehicles
        Before shipping your car overseas, check for any fees and import regulations versus the cost of a comparable car at destination. Certain makes of automobiles might be prohibited. Models that are allowed might require an entry permit and modifications to meet emission or safety standards. If you decide to take your car, check the availability of parts, unleaded or premium gasoline, and right-hand versus left-hand driving.

When shipping a car, nothing can be left in the interior or in the trunk, except normal accessories – such as a jack and a spare tire. Customs also may permit transporting the vehicle’s hubcaps, extra air filters and/or engine parts in the trunk. Be sure to check with customs officials in advance.

      • Firearms
        Handguns and other weapons are prohibited in many countries. Firearms that are allowed will require permits. Do not include any weapon in your household goods shipment without written assurance from a consulate or embassy of your destination country that it will be admitted. Remember that all ammunition is prohibited in shipments due to the risk of explosion.
      • Money
        Restrictions can be placed on the amount of currency you can take in or out of a country. This includes cash (native and foreign), money orders, traveler’s checks and any other negotiable securities. Depending on the amount of money you can take across borders, you might need to complete a special customs report.
      • Antiques
        Your precious collectibles might be duty-free if they are at least 100 years old. To verify this, you will need proof of antiquity from an appraiser. It is wise to have antiques and collections appraised, and to forward a copy of each appraisal to your UniGroup Worldwide UTS agent.
      • Food
        Many families like to take a supply of their favorite foods with them overseas. However, your destination country might restrict or prohibit the entry of certain foods. Typically, processed foods such as canned goods are acceptable, whereas items such as flour, cornmeal and beans are not. Check with a consulate, embassy or customs office for your destination country before packing food to take along with you.
    1. Items To Take

Regardless of how your household goods are transported, there are many items you might want to take with you – such as clothing, bedding, medications, valuables, work materials or anything else you will need immediately. If your shipment is moving by sea, you might want to send the items you will need right away by air. Other items you might want to take include the following:

      • Electric Adapter
        Some countries in the Western Hemisphere have an electric power of 110 volt, 60-hertz (cycles per second) alternating current (AC). However, the majority of countries run on 220-440 volt, 50 hertz AC. Depending on your destination, you might need converters, transformers, voltage regulators or adapter plugs.

Converters is used to change the electrical frequency (50 or 60 hertz) an item receives. Appliances and equipment that rely on internal timing mechanisms – such as clocks, mixers and stereos – should be converted if necessary. Depending on the appliance, it might be less expensive to purchase a new one at destination. Remember that converters work only with the same type of current- an appliance manufactured to run on AC will not work on direct current (DC).
If your destination country uses a different voltage, you will want to take several transformers with you. Electrical equipment designed for 110 volt needs a step-down transformer to operate on 220 volt.
Where the frequency of current is unstable, you can prolong the life span of your appliances by plugging them then into voltage regulators.
In addition to transformers and regulators, you also might need adapter plugs. Appliances with flat-blade plugs are common in the United States, whereas European countries often use plugs with two or three round prongs.
As well as differences in electricity, television broadcasting varies from country to country. Receivers manufactured for the U.S. market most likely will be incompatible with foreign signals. Check with a consulate or embassy of your destination country to see if this pertains to that country. If so, you might prefer to rent or purchase a television while abroad.

      • School Records
        Take copies of your children’s transcripts with you. If you move during the school term, ask for the grades your children have earned in classes at the time of withdrawal. If your children are in junior high, middle or high school, try to obtain a curriculum guide or course description of classes your children are taking.

You can receive addresses of schools abroad by requesting Nationwide Movers Relocation Services destination information or by requesting the Directory of Overseas Schools, which is updated annually and cross-indexed by country, city, residential status and name. For a copy of the directory, write to: International School Services, P.O. Box 5910, Princeton, NJ 08540.
Your local library also might have a copy of the directory and/or other reference materials with addresses of schools overseas.
Many U.S. schools require children to have had a physical during the past year. You also might need to provide the dates your children received immunizations.

      • Medical Information
        Prescriptions for eyewear, dental records (both from physicians and hospitals) should be taken with you. If medications are listed by brand name, have your physician include the generic name.
      • Hard-to-Find Items
        Some clothing to which you and your family are accustomed might be hard to find, expensive or nonexistent overseas. Jeans often are expensive and hard to locate in other countries, so consider taking extra pairs. It also might be difficult to find shoes of good quality and proper fit, especially for children and for adults who wear large sizes.

In addition, basic hand tools, sheets, pillowcases, blankets and bedspreads can be hard to find or expensive abroad, so plan to take some along. If you plan to take your vacuum cleaner (provided it will work abroad), be sure to bring a supply of vacuum cleaner bags.

      • Special Infant Needs
        In some countries, prepared baby food is expensive, hard to find or different from that available in your home country. Similarly, disposable diapers and baby formula might be unavailable or of a different quality. As such, you might want to take a blender with you to use in making baby food, and your own supply of diapers and baby formula.
      • Old Telephone Books
        To save on long-distance information charges, take your local telephone books so you can contact friends and businesses easily.
    1. People and Places to Notify

You will need to alert many people of your upcoming relocation. Suggestions for people and places to contact follow:

      • Power of Attorney
        Before moving, you might want to execute a power of attorney, which will designate a person to act on your behalf. If you do, provide this person with a key to your safe deposit box. Be sure to leave behind an up-to-date will, insurance policies, appointment of your children’s legal guardian (should the need arise), and copies of the legal documents you are taking with you. These documents might include birth and marriage certificates, divorce decrees, bank drafts, letters of credit, tax documents and Social Security Records.

Your personal attorney or your company’s (if you are being transferred) might be able to refer you to a lawyer in your destination city. Be sure to ask for references.

      • Insurance Agent
        Find out if your automobile and homeowner’s insurance polices will be valid at destination. If not, you might need to take out a new policy. To help obtain coverage in a foreign country, request a recommendation letter from your current insurance agent. The letter should state you have a good driving record and the specific dates you had coverage with that company.
      • Travel Agent
        Unless your employer is handling your travel arrangements, you might find that using a travel agent can save you time and trouble. A travel agent does not charge you for service. Instead, the agent receives a commission from the airline/ocean carrier you’ll be using.

Have a travel agent make reservations far in advance and let airline personnel know if you will be traveling with an infant, small child or pet. Check to see if your pet can travel with you as accompanying baggage rather than in the cargo area.

      • Post Office
        Inform your post office that you will be moving, as well as when to start holding or forwarding your mail. Also, obtain from the post office change-of-address cards to notify publications and businesses of your move. Keep in mind that some magazines, books and records sent through the mail might be prohibited in foreign countries.
      • Government Tax Department
        If you are expecting a tax refund, notify the appropriate revenue department that your address is changing.

If you are a U.S. citizen relocating outside the continental United States, keep a record of all moving-related costs. Some expenses might be tax-deductible if they are itemized on the appropriate Internal Revenue System (IRS) form. U.S. citizens can ask the nearest IRS office to send all of the government publications and forms needed for living as a resident of another country.
If you are a resident of a country other than the United States, check with the country’s appropriate governmental department for tax information.

      • Finance Companies
        Discuss your move with any bank or finance company with whom you are doing business – such as the holder of your car title. A lender’s permission often is required when moving unpaid items out of the country.

Also before moving, open a bank account at a worldwide financial institution. By using a bank with offices at your origin and destination, check -cashing privileges may be more readily obtained. Another advantage of an international bank is the accessibility of emergency funds should the need arise.
When you trade currency, the amount you receive will be based on the exchange rate for that day. The exchange rate fluctuates as the value of a nation’s currency rises or falls compared with another country’s monetary system.

      • Housing Resources
        If possible, visit your destination country in advance to make housing arrangements. Before going, request information on your city or country from its local chamber of commerce. Time permitting; subscribe to a newspaper in your destination city or country.

Contact your local telephone company to inquire if you can purchase a telephone directory for your destination city. (Allow about one month for delivery.) Take with you recommendations for real-estate agents in your new city. To obtain recommendations, check with your employer and any local real-estate agents who have offices overseas. Or, contact agents at destination through the phone book you requested. Real-estate agents might specialize according to the type of property they handle, such as home or apartment. Search for an agent who best meets your needs.
Should you want to buy a home, ask whether foreigners can own property legally. Some countries have restrictions. If you rent, know the cost of any commission fees. Find out if the rent includes utilities, and determine who is responsible for repairs. In some countries, you must pay the rent for the entire length of the lease prior to occupancy. Have a lawyer review any documents before you sign them.
Inform your current physician and dentist that you will be moving, and ask for recommendations they might have for counterparts in your destination country. If they can’t provide suggestions, ask a consulate or embassy of your destination country, or the following organization: The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT), 417 Center St., Lewiston, NY 14092; (716) 754-4883.

  1. Obtaining Required Documents

When crossing international borders, you will need several documents to avoid potential complications. Submit your applications far in advance. If possible, allow three to four months before your departure date.
A.  To Leave a Country

    • Passport
      This travel document attests to the bearer’s identity and nationality. Passports are needed when leaving and entering most countries.

To obtain a passport, you must have a photograph taken. Order at least two prints for the passports, but as many as a dozen. Passport-size photographs often are requested when applying for other documents.
Valid passports, especially those from the United States, are in high demand on the world black market. If yours becomes lost or stolen, report it in writing immediately to a passport office.

    • Certificates of Registration
      Any items in your possession that were made in another country should be registered with customs at origin. This includes goods such as stereos, appliances, cameras, jewelry and bicycles. If you take the foreign-made items back to their country of origin, you must have proof of previous possession. Otherwise, you could be charged duty for them. To register items, take them to the nearest customs office.

Foreign-made vehicles, including boats and airplanes, also will require registration. American vehicles don’t have to be registered when leaving the United States if you have proof of possession, such as:

      • A certificate of title on which you are named the owner
      • A state registration card for your automobile, truck, camper or motorcycle
      • A Federal Aviation Administration certificate for any aircraft
      • A motorboat identification certificate or a yacht license for a boat

Whether foreign- or domestic-made, firearms must be registered with customs to prove ownership. Make certain the firearms will be allowed at destination before taking the time to register them. If you return to your country of origin, you will need these registrations to avoid confiscation of your firearms.

    • Export Declaration Form
      This document declares your household goods and motor vehicles to be shipped out of the country. A Nationwide Movers agent will complete this form on your behalf before your shipment is packed. We advise not to pack any boxes yourself. That is because doing so can cause delays, as customs officials usually inspect boxes that are “packed by owner”.

B.  To Enter a Country

Check with a consulate or embassy of your destination country to confirm which documents you’ll need when immigrating. You cannot start too early to obtain the appropriate documents. Waiting for approval can take several months, if not longer. For some applications, you will need duplicates of your passport photos. Also, copies of any marriage certificates or divorce decrees can facilitate obtaining permits, so be sure to bring them along.

When entering the United States, the documents you will need depend on whether you are a returning resident or a non-resident. A U.S. citizen will need a passport. A U.S. resident alien should have a reentry permit or an alien registration receipt card issued by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. A non resident must have a valid passport and visa issued by U.S. consulate or embassy abroad. Non-residents also should check with a consulate or embassy to see if they need a labor and/or immunization certificate.

If you’re moving to a country other than the United States, you might need several documents in addition to your passport. Confirm with a consulate or embassy of your destination country which of the following documents you will need:

    • Visa
      Before obtaining a visa, you must have an up-to-date passport. A visa is an endorsement certifying that your passport has been examined and that permission has been granted to enter a country for a specified period of time.


    • Letter of Recommendation
      When required, this should be addressed to the consulate/embassy to whom you are applying for a visa. The letter should be from a bank, commercial or industrial firm, trade association, chamber of commerce or public official. The letter should include your occupation, title and any business references – plus state you are financially responsible. Also, any documents you have verifying a good credit history might be needed.


    • Residence Permit
      Depending on where you’re moving, you might need this permit before leaving your country or origin. In some cases, however, you might be allowed to apply for it at destination. In many foreign countries, new residents must report to the police or local registration bureau without delay.


    • Work Permit
      This is often a prerequisite to gaining employment in another country. Responsibility for obtaining this permit rests with the employer. Working without authorization might result in deportation. Additionally, further reentry might be affected if a country’s work-related polices are violated.


    • International Driving Permit
      If you will be driving your car in your new country, check to see how long you can drive on your current license and license plate. After your car is delivered, you might have only a few days to obtain these items in your new country.

Ask if your destination country recognizes an international driving permit or if you should apply for a license in your new country. To obtain an international permit in the United States, you will need an application, two passports-size photos and your valid U.S. driver’s license. Your U.S. license must be at least one year old and cannot expire while you’re living abroad.
If you have a driver’s license from another country, contact the automobile club in your home country to see if an international driving permit is available. If you are in the United States and would like a permit application, contact your local American Automobile Association (AAA) branch or: American Automobile Association, 1000 AAA Drive (Mail Stop 100), Heathrow, FL 32746; (407) 444-8408 or (407) 444-8364.
Some countries might not recognize the permit for driving. However, because it is written in nine languages, it could be helpful identification should you need to communicate with the local officials.
Note: Do not let your current driver’s license expire if possible. If you do, you might have to undergo the complete testing process upon your return.

    • Immunization/Medical Certificates
      Your destination country might require that you show, along with your passport, a validated International Certificate of Vaccination Health Card as proof of vaccination against certain diseases. This form is available at passport offices and most city, county and state health departments. Check with a consulate or embassy of your destination country to determine which immunizations are required in your new country. Have all required inoculations three or more months in advance, if possible, for full protection.

A medical certificate from an examining physician might be required. Some consulates and embassies designate the examining physician and provide medical examination forms.
The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travel (IAMAT) offers travel clinical record forms, also called medical passports, to use in detailing your medical history. For a form, which is helpful should you need medical attention overseas, write to the IAMAT at 417 Center St., Lewiston, NY 14092, or call (716) 754-4883.

Other Questions to Ask:
The following are miscellaneous questions you might want to ask a consulate or embassy of your destination country:

    • Are original documents required?
    • Do they need to be translated into the destination country’s main language?
    • Do any documents need to be legalized by a consulate or embassy before departure?
    • Are there restrictions on the quantity of goods I can bring?
    • Can I bring more than one shipment?
    • Are other taxes or fees involved besides duty?
    • Are model or serial numbers of electrical items and /or appliances required for customs clearance?
    • Are there special laws or regulations regarding women and children?
    • What is the availability of “special family need” items services (such as dietary needs, medical treatment and prescriptions)?

IV.  Arriving at Destination
When you reach your destination, you’ll naturally undergo a transition period while adapting to the new surroundings. The more you have preplanned and prepared for your move, the easier your adjustment will be.


  1. Following Up
    Amid the excitement of arriving at your new home, you will need to follow up on a few more details:
    • Contact your Nationwide Movers destination agent. Let the agent know where and when you can be reached.
    • It is advisable to register with the nearest consulate or embassy, even though you might not be required to do so.
    • Ask if there are any additional charges on your shipment, such as extra handling for storage. Be prepared to pay this when your household goods are delivered.
    • Be on hand to accept delivery when your household goods arrive.
    • Check the goods thoroughly. If there are any missing or damaged boxes, mark this in the inventory.
    • Immediately report any loss or damage in writing to the Nationwide Movers agent at destination.


  1. Settling In
    Life in a foreign land can be exhilarating or frustrating, depending on your expectations and preparations. Information and organization are essential when “starting over” in a new country. Because you need information, remember to use your resources – Nationwide Movers, a consulate or embassy of your destination country, customs offices in your home and destination countries, bookstores and your public library.

Acquaint yourself and your family with the lifestyle, currency and language of the destination before you go. This will put you at ease and give you greater self-confidence as you settle in to your new surroundings.
However, experiencing difficulty in adjusting to a new country is normal. If this happens to you or your family, do not view it as a weakness. The following suggestions might help:

    • Allow time off from work for activities that help you cope with the stresses of adjustment, such as sports, outings or just curling up with a good book.
    • Maintain ties with family members and friends in your home country, and build a support system in your new one.
    • Resist the urge to make snap judgments of your new country and its people (including applying stereotypes), and to make comparisons to home. Appreciate and be sensitive to cultural differences.
    • Above all, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations. View the experience as an adventure that will broaden your horizons.

V.  Defining Moving Terms
Work performed other than transportation at your request, such as appliance servicing, extra pickups and storage. Charges for these services are in addition to transportation costs.

A statement of loss or damage to household goods.

The agent in the delivery city or locale that provides destination services.

The relocation of household goods from residence to residence.

The fees imposed by a country’s sovereign laws on imports or exports.

An approximation of moving costs, size and bulk as determined by an agent’s physical survey of a shipment.

A detailed list of your household goods, describing each item and its condition at loading. The inventory is prepared for you as your goods are professionally packed, and is used as a customs document for clearance of your shipment. Upon delivery, you also can use the inventory to check for any possible loss or damage.

The maximum amount for which UniGroup Worldwide UTS is normally liable in connection with loss or damage of cargo while in transit or storage.

A wooden or plywood container used mainly on overseas removals. Built specifically to transport household goods.

The itemized receipt for your household goods and agreement for their transportation, including the terms and conditions under which the goods are moved. Your signature acknowledges the household goods have been “released to the carrier”.

Used to identify each shipment, the number appears in the upper right-hand corner of the order for service. You will need this number as a reference whenever you have a question about your shipment.

The agent who provides services at origin, such as packing and loading.

The temporary warehousing of your household goods. If you request storage, check with your agent to see what kind of transit and storage protection you have. Depending on how long your goods will be stored, you might need to apply for an extension of your protection policy.