For those moving home domestically in the UK, it can be one of the most stressful and potentially expensive times of their life. There’s a host of tasks to complete on what seems like a never-ending to-do list.
But if you’re moving thousands of miles away to countries like Australia or New Zealand, common emigration destinations for Brits, the stresses and costs of moving naturally multiply.
If you’re thinking of making the move, follow our tips for planning ahead and cut down on costs.
First of all, you’ll obviously need to establish your visa options to assess if you can legally move to Australia or New Zealand. There are a number of leading visa companies in the UK who you can speak with to evaluate your options. If you do decide to pay an agent for assistance it’s worth comparing quotes to ensure you are getting a competitive deal. Also, it is highly recommended to only use an agent registered with the local authorities in Australia, New Zealand or whichever country you’re choosing to move to.
Once you have the green light on the points required for your visa, be aware that you might want to hang fire before booking your flights or starting your property search straight away as visa application processes can involve a lengthy wait.
The biggest financial cost of becoming an expat is of course the cost of buying or renting property. The cost of property varies massively from country to country and you should take this into account when choosing where to relocate.
If you haven’t got your heart 100% set on Australia or New Zealand, check out the FairFX Property Abroad Cost Calculator to get your bearings on the property prices in over 30 popular expat destinations.
Don’t forget that if you’re selling a house in the UK it’s likely that you’ll have to pay tax on your capital gains, and the same can be said for any rental income if you decide to let out your home. Check the government website to understand the tax implications in more detail.
Shipping your belongings
It’s likely that you’ll have furniture, and maybe even pets, that are making the move with you. It’s sensible to plan ahead with these to avoid costs rising out of hand, and it’s worth considering which belongings really have to go with you as they’ll be plenty of furniture stores to choose from once you touch down.
Speak to removal companies at least 6 to 8 months before making the move. It’s also prudent to get quotes from a few providers to ensure you are getting a good deal. And to avoid loss or damage of your belongings, make sure the removal company you decide to use is BAR registered.
When moving abroad you will of course need to send money from your UK account to your new home, whether that’s to pay for your property, pay a local representative, or just for day-to-day spending once you’ve arrived.
Don’t just default to your bank for these transfers as they have some of the highest transaction fees and poorest rates for international money transfers. Shop around for a provider and compare the fees being charged as well as the rate you’re getting.
At FairFX, not only can we give you a great exchange rate, we can also reduce your exposure to currency market fluctuations.
Opening a bank account
Opening an account with a local bank is usually possible ahead of your move to a new country, and this is certainly the case in Australia and New Zealand.
Some of the big banks you may want to look at before heading around the world are National Australia Bank (NAB), Commonwealth Bank, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and Westpac.
By opening your bank account before you emigrate you’ll be able to plan ahead with your foreign currency transfers and lock in a better rate. If you don’t manage to get an account set up before you head off or want to make sure you have some local currency when you land, consider ordering a FairFX Everywhere Card before you leave.
Moving abroad can be a stressful and costly experience but with the right planning and expert help you can ensure your move is enjoyable and costs are kept down. If you are moving to Australia, New Zealand or anywhere else in the world, find out how FairFX’s International Transfers service can help you.