What Are the Most Important Documents Needed to Travel Abroad

Posted Moving Abroad / August 24, 2018
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

Whether you are moving overseas or you just really want to visit a foreign country, there are certain documents needed to travel abroad. Without those, you should not even consider the possibility of relocating. Uprooting your life and relocating overseas means you will have to navigate a lot of paperwork – your primary concern won’t be only the packing and unpacking process. However, that does not have to be a nerve-wracking experience, and with the paperwork checklist we have provided, you won’t have any issues arranging everything on time and figuring out the easiest way to move abroad.

How Long Does It Take to Arrange the Documents Needed to Travel Abroad

Relocating within the States differs to a large extent from overseas moving – documents, time-management, the overall organization, and the stress that inevitably follows, are much more considerable when relocating abroad. To arrange everything on time, you should think about the paperwork at least a few months before the move is supposed to start. For example, you might not be able to enter a foreign country if your passport is due to expire in a couple of months. If you are leaving the States in July, start organizing everything as early as March or even before.

There are just too many things involved, and if you are moving with your family, you will have to ensure that your children have the legal right to enter the county of your choice – this will most likely include getting a visa. If you have a busy life, balancing between work, taking care of the kids, and arranging everything for the trip might be overwhelming unless you work ahead of schedule and have the papers sorted out on time.

Moving or Travelling for Holiday – You Will Need a Passport, Insurance, and Visa

Whatever your traveling aspirations are, you will need to obtain a passport, insurance, and possibly a visa. However, different types of visas and insurance will be needed in case you are traveling to a country you want to settle down permanently.

The passport is the single most important document you will need when traveling overseas. If you and the members of your family already have one, there is nothing to worry about. However, if you still have not taken out your passport, be ready to wait up to a few months to have it with you. Start the application process right away, and you won’t have to worry. You will apply to the US Department of State, and you have to provide evidence of US citizenship, an ID card, and a recent photo.

Make sure you obtain the required international insurance for the duration of your stay overseas. This will alleviate the level of stress and keep you safe in case of any unforeseen mishaps. The members of your family also need to have one.

It is likely that you will need a visa to enter the country. If you are still not sure, check the resources for Americans traveling abroad and get familiar with the specific visa requirements for the country of your choice.

Guaranteed prices for International Moving. No hidden fees or surprises! GET A QUOTE

Check the Official Websites of the Country You Are Travelling To and Learn Everything You Can

To know for sure what kind of papers you require to enter the country legally, you should check the information posted on the official websites or reach out to the embassy of that specific country. Make a few calls and double-check if you have understood every piece of information properly. If someone among your closest friends has already been in the country you are planning to go to – talk to them. However, don’t rely too much on their experience and information. Regulations change quite often, and it’s best to check the latest updates.

Additional Travel and Moving-Related Tips

Going on a holiday is all about enjoyment and fun, the same should apply to a relocation. Don’t turn this into one overwhelming and time-consuming process, which will make you regret your decision. Planning is essential to have a stress-free trip, and a travel checklist will keep you focused. Use Microsoft Excel or a piece of paper and note down what you are supposed to have to reach the destination of your choice. Not everything down, even the less important papers.

And if you are relocating, making a moving checklist is a mandatory step in the preparation process.

Tickets, Connected Flights, and Hotel Reservations

To avoid unpleasant surprises, make sure you always have the most important paperwork at hand. Double-check the plane tickets, connected flights, hotel reservations, and last but not least – your credit card. If you are traveling to Europe, maybe it would be good to take an international travel card in euros, which will minimize any conversion rates. Reach out to the reception of the hotel you have booked to confirm the stay. In case this is an overseas relocation, make sure the new apartment is ready before you arrive.

Going on a Vacation or Moving Overseas with Kids – What Do They Need to Come with You?

If you are traveling with kids, don’t forget to bring their passports as well. If your partner is not accompanying you on the trip, make sure you have the legal consent that you can travel with a minor. You will most likely require some proof of your relation. Take your child’s birth certificate with you and make a copy in case you lose the original.

Plan Your Trip on Time – Packing Clothing Articles Is as Important as Arranging Documents

Don’t forget that, unless you get professional packing services, this task will probably take a lot of your time, so paperwork won’t be your only concern. But even if you forget a few items, it won’t matter, you can buy some new clothes wherever you go. That won’t be the case if you forget to take your passport or other important papers. Take care of those first, and then deal with clothes and decorations.
If you are leaving your home unattended, you should probably have someone regularly check it unless you plan to sell the house. Another smart idea would be to get insurance for the valuable possessions you are taking with you and to put the ones you are leaving behind in storage.

Planning to Move – Tips to Orchestrate a Long-Term Stay

If you are thinking about relocating for good to another country, you will have to undergo a much more complicated and demanding paperwork check than for a simple holiday trip. Double-check the paperwork needed to relocate overseas and plan the international relocation one year in advance.

Go Through Everything Once Again for a Carefree Travel

Even if you think you have finally arranged everything, go through the checklist you have once again. Do the same for your kids. Taking a few more minutes to make sure everything is in order can save you from a lot of stress later on.

Get a Quote

    Download Moving Abroad Checklist
    Get a Free Estimate 855-443-4200