Moving abroad is a monumental adventure and a money-can't-buy experience. With that said, having factored in all the services that are required to get you and your belongings abroad, ironically, there is a cost of moving overseas.
International moving costs are centred around many variables. From storage options and shipping methods, the price of flights or transportation options, visas, insurance and so on, there are too many interchangeable factors to have an average cost of moving abroad.
While QMM can provide you with an accurate quote for moving your belongings across Canada, cross-border to the USA or any international location, we're going to remind you of the additional costs associated with an overall abroad relocation. Hopefully, this will allow you to prepare your finances in advance and not be hit by any financial shocks when you should be enjoying the moving process.
Getting your Visas
One of the main fees to move abroad is the cost of getting your visa. Every country will have a specified list of visa requirements that you must satisfy before you are permitted to enter the country. But, to undergo such checks and to obtain a physical entry visa, there is usually a small price to pay. How strict the entry requirements are and the cost of the visa varies largely from country to country.
If you are moving to the USA from Canada on a TN Visa the application will cost you $460, and the MRV fee is $160.
If you are moving to Australia from Canada, you can expect to pay $3608, and those looking to move to the UK on a General Worker Visa will pay between $773 and $2061, depending on the length of your visa.
Shipping your Personal and Household Belongings
Another of the biggest costs of moving abroad is shipping your belongings overseas. The cost of international removals depends largely on the distance of the journey and of course, how big your load is!
If you are moving to the USA from Canada with a small road-freight load of belongings, your removals quote will be significantly cheaper than moving from Canada to the UK, Europe or Australia with a shipping container full of furniture. For an international move from Canada, you should set aside a few thousand dollars. Every customer has a unique circumstance and price, therefore the only accurate way to estimate a price is to get free international movers quote from QMM.
When finalising a service, it is also important to check if unpacking on arrival is included in the price that you have been quoted. Some international moving companies may try to charge you extra for this service, and with heavier items such as appliances of bulky furniture, it can be highly beneficial and save you a lot of time.
When choosing a team of international movers, one of your criteria should be to see if maritime insurance or coverage is included in the quote they provide, just to make your life easier. Due to the nature of an international move, and the fact your belongings may have to traverse the seas, you will need to obtain insurance if this is not provided by your moving company.
Insurance will give you peace of mind that on the very unlikely chance an incident occurs, you will have the financial compensation to help replace or repair your belongings. Insurance can also help ease the turmoil caused by cancelled services, but you should always double-check what your insurance does and does not cover.
If you are purchasing insurance separately, a typical policy can start from $150, but escalate much higher for large loads or when transporting items of high financial value, rare items or a vehicle.
If you struggle to coordinate your shipping dates and your move-in dates, you might have sorted a storage solution in Canada before shipping, or upon arrival in your end destination. If you feel like coordination might be an issue, you should factor this into your overall moving costs to be on the safe side.
Luckily, storage isn’t too expensive. You can expect to pay approximately CA$180 per month in Canada, but this will vary greatly from country-to-country so we advise doing some research before you ship belongings and finding a storage lock-up that you can trust and afford.
Customs Duty and Taxes
Another cost to look into before you move is customs duty and taxes for your belongings entering the country. Although the fee might be small, it is a cost that you cannot ignore. Many countries will allow you to move household items duty-free, including the United States, but if you are moving to the UK from Canada or Australia, the rules might be more complex, so you need to study the rules correctly!
If you are obliged to pay a customs charge or duty fee, the cost is usually based on the value of the items, or if the item is a rarity or antique, for example. On the off chance, you are shipping items that require customs, failure to comply with this can result in the denied entry of your items, as well as additional fines and charges.
Purchasing a Property or Housing Costs
When moving cross-country in Canada, the biggest expense of your move is probably buying a home; the same goes for an international move from Canada. The costs associated with purchasing property vary greatly from country-to-country, with the biggest variation being the selling price of a property. The money that will secure a beach-side villa in Thailand or a four-bedroom mansion in Los Angeles, will just about cover a two-bedroom warehouse apartment in London.
Other costs to investigate when buying a house abroad are property taxes, council tax, agency fees, land fees, deposit percentages and stamp duty. This is not exhaustive, every country has its way of doing things and the best way to be sure is to speak to a property expert working within the country you are aiming to buy a property in.
On average, be prepared to pay 20% of the property price up front by the time you add up all of the extra fees and deposits, some countries will be far less, and some significantly more. The rules for expatriates buying a home abroad and citizens are often different.
Booking Your Flights
So now you’ve organised and paid to send your household goods overseas, you should start thinking about how yourself and your family will travel and weigh up the costs of this.
If you are moving cross-border to the US from Canada, you might choose to drive the journey if it is short enough. If not, start looking into flights and how much they are expected to cost per person. If you book far enough in advance, domestic flights from Canada to the USA can be fairly cheap and you will only need to reserve a few hundred dollars per person for a one-way flight.
If you are moving to the UK from Toronto and booking four-weeks in advance, you can find flights from CAD 600. This cost was based on a January flight and may vary throughout peak times of the year, such as summer.
Booking a January flight four weeks in advance from Toronto to Sydney will cost from $1590 per person for a one-way flight. An equivalent flight to Paris costs approximately $560 and to Dubai, you will be spending anywhere from $877.