How Much Does it Cost to Move Overseas?

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Cost to Move Overseas

Moving abroad likely has you thinking about one thing – the cost. There are many expenses involved in an international move, especially if you’ll be taking the bulk of your household goods with you. For a long-term relocation overseas, you can expect to pay for documents like your passport, visa and other required paperwork. You’ll also face differences in currency values, and exchange rates will affect how far your dollar will go. Finally, the fees for the actual transport of your belongings (and perhaps even your vehicle), represent a significant expense when moving to a far-flung country.

Passports

If you don’t already have a valid passport, you’ll need one in order to move. Check with the United States Department of State U.S. Passports website for more information.

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Prices will vary, but you should likely budget a few hundred dollars for the cost, especially if you’re applying for a new passport (1). If you already have one, but it’s nearing the expiration date – it doesn’t hurt to renew it. Also, if you’re in a bit of a time crunch, you can pay extra to have the process completed more quickly (2). Without expedition, a renewal should not cost as much as a first passport purchase (3).

Visas

Compared to passports, visas are a different story entirely. Not only do they tend to be more expensive (some can run as much as $1,000), they involve a significant number of forms and other paperwork (4). There are different kinds of visas, and these usually fall into the four rough categories of Tourist, Immigration, Student and Work (5).

Different Categories

Based on your situation, you’ll have to decide which category best suits your needs and apply for the appropriate visa – though you’ll likely be seeking either a Work or Immigration visa if you’re planning a long-term move. You should also bear in mind that there are sub-categories for these four primary types of visas, with the United States having 185 different types in all, just as an example (6).

Determine the Cost

The best method for determining the cost of the visa for the particular country to which you’ll be moving, is to visit their embassy website. This site provides an excellent resource for finding your destination’s embassy website. It can also help you to locate their physical embassy here in the U.S. – which you can call or visit for more direct information.

Legal Fees

While it is certainly possible to handle all the forms and documents on your own – as many of them can be found and submitted online – immigration law is exceptionally complex. This is especially true if you’re planning to become a dual citizen in your destination country. An immigration lawyer has the necessary expertise, to navigate the ins and outs on your behalf (7).

Of course, good lawyers come with a premium price tag. While their fees may vary, you can expect to pay upwards of $2,000 for their complete immigration services. Or, for less thorough services – for example, if you just want someone to handle one aspect of the forms or look over your checklist – you’ll typically pay around $100 to $300 per hour (9).


A-1 Auto Transport, Inc. can help you move your household goods nationwide. Call 888-509-3213 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote on interstate moving services.


Exchange Rates

Exchange rates pit one currency against another, and you’ll either come out ahead or behind. You can easily check the exchange rate for the United States dollar versus your destination – to see if the dollar is stronger or weaker in your new home. Unfortunately, if it is weaker, that means the buying power of your cash on hand will be reduced – resulting in a higher cost to accomplish your move (10). It’s best to know whether this is the case ahead of time, so you can plan accordingly.

Banking Fees

You should also be prepared to pay a fee to transfer your funds from a U.S. bank to an international one. As with anything related to banks, you’ll get hit with that fee every time you choose to make a transfer (11). In order to keep fees at a minimum, transfer all the money you wish to take overseas in one lump sum if possible (12). You should expect that to cost a single flat fee of up to $50, as well as a percentage of the total sum being transferred (usually in the 2-5% range) (13). These fees can quickly add up when moving larger amounts of money, but this is a necessary expense.

Plane Tickets

If you’re not moving for work and your company isn’t footing the bill to physically move you from Point A to Point B, you’ll have to pay for your own transportation. If you’re in a hurry and don’t purchase your plane ticket well ahead of time, you’ll almost certainly pay more for your flight. If you have time to shop for the best deal, you can typically save money by buying tickets on a Sunday and about four and a half months in advance (14).

Housing

You’ll want to start looking ahead of time for a new home in your adopted country. This isn’t just judicious planning, as in some cases, you’ll need proof of residency in your destination country, before you can bring your household goods through customs (15). With that in mind, housing is definitely a cost you’ll have to consider before your move, since you’ll begin paying for it as soon as you sign the lease or purchase contract (16).

Import/Customs Duties

When you ship your household items and vehicle to another country, you may have to pay an import/customs fee to do so. Most countries in the EU, as well as many others around the globe, do allow for import duty exemption – provided you meet certain conditions. Other times, exemption isn’t possible for your shipment or a few very expensive, valuable pieces may require duty to be paid (18).

The laws are quite different from country to country, so check the specific customs website of the country to which you are moving. If you do some digging, you should be able to find information on how they handle import duties – to get an idea of how much you’ll pay to bring your goods into the country. Determining this information can sometimes prove challenging, so you may want to call their customs service and speak to them directly instead.

Transporting Your Goods

Shipping your household goods overseas will likely constitute your most significant investment, particularly if you’re also shipping your vehicle internationally. Fortunately, A1 Auto Transport offers stellar transportation at competitive rates – unlike some outfits which provide low fees only by slashing the quality of their service.

We’re fully insured, bonded and licensed to give you peace of mind. We also have the equipment, infrastructure and experience to do the job right. Our available services include everything from moving your entire household and vehicle to the far side of the globe, to moves from state to state within the U.S. We even handle more exotic needs, like shipping your RV, boat, full-sized yacht or motorcycle to whatever destination you desire.

We offer door to door service, full-service moving and vehicle transportation. Whether you need our assistance planning, packing, transporting specialized items like oversized furniture or high-value items – our team can assist you. We handle moves for any reason, whether you need to relocate due to a transfer in your military posting, a new job, retiring to a warmer climate or even moving to attend college – we can handle your situation without problem.

A1’s available choices for the type of transport you prefer is also extensive, and we offer all commercial options possible. These include Roll-On, Roll-Off transport for your vehicle over the water and container shipping of your household goods overseas. We can also move your belongings over land, using a host of options to transport your goods via truck. Specialized transport options are also available, for larger vehicles or vessels like your RV or boat.

We can help you pack your items and we load your goods with care and attention. We transport your goods as if they were our own, while allowing you to keep tabs on your shipment (using satellite tracking) as it progresses toward its final destination. Then we’ll help you unload and even unpack – anywhere in the world. It’s a long process, but transporting your valuable goods doesn’t have to be a stressful undertaking for you.

Work With the Best

Hiring an experienced international shipping company like A-1 Auto Transport, completely eliminates most of the burden that such a significant move places upon your shoulders. When you work with A-1 you’re in capable hands. Our decades of experience have allowed us to create a customer-focused process – providing you with the support that you need from beginning to end.

We pride ourselves on offering the most efficient, affordable and effective service possible – and we are at your disposal every step of the way. If you have any questions at any point during the moving process, our courteous and knowledgeable staff are always ready to help. The proof of our exceptional service is in our dozens of satisfied, happy customer testimonials.

You can contact us now at 1-800-452-2880 to speak with a friendly representative. Or, if you prefer, you can get a free, no-obligation quote instantly at your convenience instead.

Joe Webster

Written by Joe Webster

Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC) where he graduated with with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, Inc., including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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