Moving Overseas: Basic Yet Important Docs to Take With You

June 5, 2019
Visa form close up, fountain pen and approved stamped on a document.

You’ve finally booked the international movers here in Sydney and said your farewells to your closest colleagues and friends. Now it’s time to finish the most critical yet generally arduous tasks involved when moving overseas.

Managing the logistics of a move, especially if it’s to another country, can literally make or break you. Imagine arriving at your new country only to find out that you placed your birth certificate, which you need to acquire a national ID card, a driver’s license and permit to legally rent a place, in a box that will only be delivered in two months.

You won’t be able to do anything except wait for the box to arrive and dig through everything just to find that all-important document. To make your move a lot less stressful, you have to be fully prepared for possible emergencies.

Keep all your legal and financial documents properly organised. Here are the papers you should definitely have in your carry-on bag.


This one is a no-brainer. You’ll need an official, government-issued passport to be able to travel or move overseas. This is the single most crucial piece of documents you’ll need. If you or any of your family members that will be moving with you don’t have one, apply as early as possible, as it may take months before you can get them.


Depending on the country, you’ll most certainly need an official travel document stamped on your passport which will allow you to remain in that country for a specific purpose and length of time. If you aren’t sure if you need to secure one, do some research.

Work Permit

Visas may allow you to enter a specific country legally, but it won’t be enough for you to be legally employed there. You’ll need to secure an official work permit and sign a contract with an employer to be able to work.

If the purpose of your move is to work, your employer should be able to assist you in securing the right legal documents.

Birth Certificate

As mentioned earlier, a birth certificate is usually a requirement to obtain a national ID, depending on the country. So, keep this document with you during the relocation. Also, make sure you have several copies for convenience.

If you don’t have one, ask your parents or get one from your country’s national statistics office.

Medical Records

pen and stethoscope on top pf patient information form

Your health is one thing you can never neglect when you move to another country. Whether it’s for an extended period of time or just a short stay, you need to have all your medical records with you in case of an emergency. This should also include all immunisation records.

You’ll never know when a specific illness may strike, especially if you’re in a new environment. Once you’ve settled into your new country, find a doctor immediately.

Finally, to make sure all your documents are safe, store all the physical copies in a binder and put it inside a Ziplock or any waterproof bag. It’s also recommended to store any soft copies on a USB stick or a cloud app for safety and easier access.

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