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Friday, February 18, 2022

Moving Abroad? Here's A Few Thoughts

It is one thing moving to a different city, or suburb - even across the state or to a whole new state, but make no mistake - it is an entirely different experience when moving abroad. An increasing number of Americans are moving to Canada and while the immigration process is fairly straightforward, there are still considerations for American citizens when moving abroad that you need to know about.

Sure, you’ll need a company like Allied Van Lines to help you if you are moving to Canada for that matter, but this post is about all the things you need to know as an American that will affect your move abroad.

Image Source: Pixabay CC0 License


Do you still file a tax return as an emigrant US citizen? We’re afraid to say it, but the answer is: yes.

Here’s what the IRS says:

Do I still need to file a U.S. tax return? Yes, if you are a U.S. citizen or a resident alien living outside the United States, your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you live. However, you may qualify for certain foreign earned income exclusions and/or foreign income tax credits.

So, you don’t quite get to escape the reach of Uncle Sam, and that’s why many Americans are choosing to renounce their American citizenship in favor of citizenship from a range of countries that offer citizenship by investment schemes. You can find out more, here.


Many emigrés leave this very important issue for far too late - if you’re moving to another country, plan in advance for a visit to that country to sort out your new bank account. You will need this to prove identity in many EU member states and also to show prospective landlords that “you’re good for it”. In many cases, you can’t get a bank account without a tax number and in some countries, you can’t get a tax number without a bank account - see how that works?


Hold up. Before you start frantically packing your bags, you need to check out the entry requirements for your destination. Trust us; you don't want to be turned away at the border.

And entry requirements differ wildly, depending on where your final destination is. But your passport is important no matter where you're going. Make sure it has at least six months left before heading out. Also, check whether a visa, residency permit, and any vaccinations or medical exams are needed for entry procedures. Oh, and as we mentioned before, banking is a big deal. So don't forget to prove that you have enough money to support yourself while you're there.

The best way to avoid any last-minute stress is to do your research well in advance. Check out the entry requirements for your destination country at least six months before you're planning to move. This gives you enough time to gather documents, set appointments, and manage any additional requirements that might come your way. There are more resources here to point you in the right direction.


Whether you’re moving to Canada or the Amazon Forest, you won’t be able to navigate all of this alone, so our top tip is this: contract the services of a specialist immigration agency that specializes in the country you’re moving to. Sure, your employer may help with your work visa paperwork and such, but you’re still likely going to need advice on securing legal paperwork, a place to live, and simple things like - cable television, cell phone contracts, the regular day-to-day things that we take for granted in America.

There are many ways to make moving day a breeze, but moving abroad comes with its own special “isms” and while this list is hardly exhaustive, we hope we’ve given you some food for thought because it’s not to be taken lightly. There is a treasure trove of resources on line that can help you with all the “stuff” and while some of them don’t come cheaply, if you can afford to use them, you’ll be so glad that you did.

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