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The ultimate expat relocation checklist

Are you living in Hong Kong and facing another relocation? Or perhaps you are moving to Hong Kong? As any expat will tell you, a move is about so much more than just making sure you have enough packing boxes. This comprehensive guide from relocation experts Asian Tigers gives you a timeline to follow so you won’t be caught out on moving day.

3 Months Before Relocation

If your employer is not providing you with a moving company, give yourself time to search for a reliable removalist and compare quotes before making your choice.

2 Months Before Relocation

  • Be sure to book your moving company as soon as you decide the moving date, especially during peak season.
  • Inform the relevant people and institutions of your departure date and your new address for redirecting correspondence, including banks, embassies, insurance companies, schools, solicitors, financial advisors, the tax department, post office, landlord, social clubs, electoral registrar, publications you subscribe to, doctors and dentists, and relatives and friends.

image of woman stressing about relocation

1 Month Before Relocation

  • Ensure you’ve engaged a removalist and booked a moving date.
  • Arrange the following, if required: backing up your personal computer; deciding on items to be shipped by air and by sea; disposing of unwanted items; giving away or selling plants and used furniture and appliances; preparing an insurance valuation list; selling your car; visiting your dentist and doctor to obtain records.
  • Verify all documentation required for your destination country including residence permits, visas and flight tickets.
  • Other documents to prepare include an international driver’s license, personal accident and medical insurance, school records and traveller’s checks or other access to your finances.

2 Weeks Before Relocation

Arrange the discontinuation of regular services such as electricity, gas, water, newspaper/magazine subscriptions, telephone, internet, cable TV, groceries and dry cleaning.

Asian Tigers

1 Week Before Relocation

  • Confirm arrangements with the relocation company. If they’re providing packers, make sure you know where all your documents are and prepare copies. Documents to verify include passports, visa/residence permits, identity cards, flight documents, hotel bookings, birth and marriage certificates, school records, medical and dental records, insurance policies, bank records and international driving licenses.
  • Make sure you’ve prepared medicine and jewellery/valuables for packing.

On Packing Day

  • Before packing begins, discuss with your mover which items may be going by sea or air and identify fragile items. Separate high-value and important items such as jewellery, cash and travel documents to carry by hand to your destination.
  • After packing, check all rooms, closets and outdoor areas with your mover to make sure everything is packed. Make sure all paperwork is completed, and the mover gives you a signed copy of your inventory list, moving vessel information and contact information at destination.

moving house Asian tigers

On Delivery Day

  • Upon arrival at your destination, contact your movers at the destination to notify them of your arrival and set up shipment delivery dates.
  • Complete any import customs forms, if required.
  • Upon delivery of your things to your new home, ensure you have a copy of the Bill of Landing and check off each carton delivered on the inventory.
  • Allow movers to unpack your cartons and remove debris, and ensure all boxes are empty so that no small household items are overlooked before they leave. If anything is damaged or missing, list the items on the inventory and Bill of Landing and contact your moving consultant to file a claim as soon as possible.

If you need help with a move, contact Asian Tigers at 2528 1384 or visit asiantigers-mobility.com for more info.

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This article first appeared in the April/May 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.

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