GENERAL CHECKLIST FOR EXPATRIATE ASSIGNMENT

  A. Assignment and Employment Related
  B. Pre-Departure
  C. Housing
  D. Visa and Work Permit
  E. Medical
  F. Banking and Credit
  G. Shipment of Goods
  H. Upon Arrival and During Assignment
  I. Return to the U.S.

 

 
 
 
 
 

A. Assignment and Employment Related:

  1. Analyze offer/assignment letter and determine overall implications, including additional tax costs and other costs such as cost of living and housing differences.
  2. Analyze employer's international assignment policy, if any, to see if employer provides assistance in whole or in part on any additional costs of your assignment.

 

 

B. Pre-Departure:

  1. Arrange for cross-cultural orientation for you and your family. Many employers provide assistance and cross-cultural training.
  2. Arrange for mail to be forwarded and notify parties of change of address.
  3. Update the wills for you and your spouse, or have wills draw up if you have not previously done so.
  4. Review and adjust insurance policies.
  5. Provide a friend or relative a limited power of attorney, and notify them of the location of important papers such as insurance policies.
  6. Notify children's school of departure and obtain copies of all school records - these may be requested by host country schools.
  7. Obtain international driver's license if recognized in host country.
  8. Take notarized copies of important documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificate, degrees and/or professional certificates.
  9. Take all important documents (i.e. passport, visa, health certificates, birth certificate, marriage certificate) in carry-on luggage - do not pack in checked luggage.

 

 

C. Housing:

  1. Decide to sell or rent your principal residence.
  2. Give advance notice to landlord of lease-breaking.
  3. Cancel all regular services, such as newspaper delivery, and utility services, and provide forwarding address for final bills.
  4. Contact your host country employer for information on available housing, or discuss host country housing with your relocation company coordinator as many relocation companies can provide host country housing referral assistance.
  5. Arrange for temporary living quarters during relocation and upon arrival.

 

 

D. Visa and Work Permit:

  1. Determine and obtain documents you will need to establish residence and to work in the foreign country, which may include the following (again, some of these should be notarized copies):
    1. Passport
    2. Visa
    3. Reentry permit
    4. Physical examination / health certificates
    5. Birth certificate
    6. Marriage certificate
    7. Letter of credit
    8. Personal references
    9. Statement from employer on nature of employment
    10. Diplomas
    11. Resume
  2. Make sure you and your family have current passports that are valid for at least six months beyond your visa expiration.
  3. Obtain a supply of at least six passport size photos.

 

 

E. Medical:

  1. Determine and obtain current immunizations required for host country (information may be obtained from the Center for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov), and also arrange for all physical examinations for yourself and your family, including dental and optical.
  2. Determine impact of assignment on current medical coverage - HMO's are not available overseas - therefore, you may be required to change your current medical coverage with your employer or obtain supplemental insurance for adequate medical coverage.
  3. Obtain from your physician copies of pertinent family medical records to take with you on assignment.
  4. Determine and discuss your employer's procedures in the case of an emergency.
  5. Obtain extra copies of prescriptions in generic terms and take adequate supplies of all prescriptions.
  6. Take extra pairs of glasses, contacts, and contact lens supplies - contact lens supplies, such as saline solution, disinfecting solution, and enzymatic solution may be difficult to obtain in certain foreign countries.
  7. Note that some countries require all foreign arrivals to undergo an in-country medical examination before receiving a residency visa.

 

 


F. Banking and Credit:

  1. Confirm that your bank has the capabilities to wire transfer funds internationally (hopefully at reasonable rates).
  2. Discuss banking procedures with your bank and request monthly statements be sent first class to your new address.
  3. Confirm arrangements for direct deposit with your employer and your bank.
  4. If banking overseas, determine if bank has the ability to maintain, or wire to, US dollar accounts.
  5. Consider establishing online bill paying with creditors or initiating a service through banks, such as Chase Manhattan, to handle your monthly bill paying (fees do generally apply for this service).
  6. Either close any safe deposit boxes held in the U.S. or leave a key with someone who is authorized to open it if necessary.

 

 


G. Shipment of Goods:

  1. Contact a relocation company with international experience to initiate arrangements for shipping or storing of household goods. Ideally, this should be done eight weeks before your scheduled departure date.
  2. Determine whether to ship your furniture to the host country or to store it in the U.S. and rent furniture in the host location.
  3. Prepare inventories of all household goods to be shipped and all household goods to be stored.
  4. Review your inventory lists with the relocation company for items that may require special insurance.
  5. Make arrangements for shipping of pets - determine in advance the health certificates required in the host country for animals and find out whether or not the host country requires quarantine of pets (some countries, such as the United Kingdom, have a quarantine period of up to six months - you will need to decide if this is something your pets can handle, or if they would be better left with a trusted friend or relative in the U.S. while you are on assignment).
  6. Have valuables such as jewelry, art, etc., appraised and register them with customs so there will be no problem upon reentry.
  7. Take a copy of all detailed inventories with you in your carry-on luggage and leave a copy at home with a designated representative.
  8. Discuss and make arrangements for storage, disposal or shipping of any automobiles (note that shipping automobiles overseas and obtaining registration in the host country can be problematic and very expensive).

 

 


H. Upon Arrival and During Assignment:

  1. Arrange for a local bank account.
  2. Schedule language training, if applicable.
  3. Arrange for children's schooling or childcare, if applicable.
  4. Arrange for car lease if automobiles not shipped.
  5. Register at the host country immigration and/or police station, if required.
  6. Carry at all times residency permit or identification card.
  7. Register at the Embassy of your nationality.
  8. Keep a list of company contacts in case of ongoing questions regarding relocation, expenses and payroll.
  9. Arrange for a meeting with a host country tax advisor as soon as possible after arrival to be sure you understand your filing and tax payment obligations in your host country during the assignment.

 

 

I. Return to the U.S.:

  1. Give advance notice to host country landlord of lease-breaking.
  2. Contact car leasing company, if applicable, to discuss termination of lease.
  3. Verify with host country landlord whether or not you should cancel utility services.
  4. If you have rented out your principal residence, inform tenants and real estate management company, if applicable, of your return and, if necessary inform tenants of the timeframe for vacating the premises.
  5. Ensure that personal documents for you and your family (i.e., passports) are valid for reentry to the U.S.
  6. Follow similar procedures as detailed above for the shipment of your household goods back to the U.S.
  7. Arrange for temporary lodging during your travel back to the U.S. and upon arrival.