Small Business International Money Transfers

Small businesses are especially susceptible to cash flow problems. Sometimes, the delay of just a couple of days can hinder daily business operations. Expanding to work with overseas partners and consumers is hard enough without the money transfer process throwing a curve ball into the mix. The natural fluctuation of currency values against each other adds an element of uncertainty that affects vital cash flow.

There are a number of decisions that must be made when working overseas that can have a big effect on the bottom line. It’s not only about the value of a currency now; one must anticipate what supplies will cost three months after the order is placed based on the expected future exchange rate. If the value of the payment currency rises and a small business hasn’t properly planned for it, they may be left with a bill they don’t have the cash flow to pay. Similar considerations must be made for incoming payments to ensure your business is getting the domestic value it needs for products sold overseas.

While international business operations may have been the territory of large corporations in the past, the internet has made it a core activity in even small mom and pop organizations. The rapid pace of globalization has changed the way business is done and even the tiniest edge can help you outshine your competitors

Let a dedicated and knowledgeable currency specialist help guide you through the mine field that is international business by finding just the right solutions for your small business.

Use an international money transfer firm to:

  1. Manage risk with the proper use of forward currency contracts and currency options to stabilize cash flow.
  2. Initiate international payments with a streamlined process that is less time consuming and less costly.
  3. Receive international payments in a foreign currency and automatically exchange them into a domestic currency before depositing them into your account of choice.


Importer and Exporter International Money Transfers

Any importer or exporter knows the value of getting cheap international money transfers. When regularly doing business with companies based overseas, the logistics of payment can be time consuming and costly. Just the difference of one or two percent can mean thousands of dollars saved in a large international money transfer. Getting the best rate is vital to maximizing profits. Our recommended money transfer firms understand this. They will work with you to find the transfer method that offers the best exchange rates with the lowest fees.

With the right money transfer firm, you can streamline the payment process, improve cash flow, and lower the risk of currency fluctuations. Talk with a currency specialist at one our editor’s choice global remittance firms to learn about the different methods available to hedge against any sudden drops in currency value.


What the Right Money Transfer Firm Can Do For Your

Simplify Outgoing Payments – Money transfer firms offer a number of ways to improve the efficiency of your outgoing payment process. They can help you integrate your international payments into existing accounting methods to improve and streamline record keeping. Another technique is to schedule regular overseas payments to suppliers so there is never a chance of sending a late payment.


Make It Easy to Get Paid – Don’t give your customers one more reason not to pay you on time. Make it easy for them. Work with a money transfer firm to set up a foreign currency draft service that can receive foreign funds and convert them into your domestic currency. You can also process electronic fund transfers through an FX firm at a fraction of the price you would pay to a bank. Speeding up payment processing time lets you improve cash flow by freeing up capital when you need it.


Manage Risk – From currency forward contracts to currency options and well-planned market timing, there are a number of methods to reduce the risk of losing money during the transfer process. Mitigate your exposure and hedge against any loss by working with an informed currency specialist who is knowledgeable about current market trends.


Improve Money Management – Keep track of all your ingoing and outgoing payments in one place, no matter the currency type. Paying bills in Yuan and receiving payments in Euro? No problem, our editor’s choice money transfer firms provide easy-to-understand records so you can see all of your transfers at once.


Get the Money Transfer Solution That’s Right for You

Every company has slightly different needs from their money transfer provider. Here are just a few of the custom solutions that the right FX firm can set up for you.

  • Receive and convert payments from multiple currencies
  • Simplify numerous recurring purchase payments
  • Pay suppliers in their currency of choice
  • Speed up the money transfer process
  • Prepare for an expected drop in currency value
  • Streamline international staff payroll


International Money Transfers for Real Estate Purposes

Purchasing property overseas, whether for commercial or residential purposes, brings a lot of opportunities to save, but also an obstacle course of fees to navigate. Working with an international money transfer firm can help ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Real estate purchases are high dollar transactions that most often run into the hundreds of thousands. Getting a better exchange rate by just a couple of percent on such a large amount can really add up. Saving 2% on a $250,000 property purchase equals $5,000. These savings can be passed on to clients offering them a better value and ensuring they choose your company rather than a competitor.

It’s not just about the financial savings though. Working with an international money transfer firm also offers added convenience and efficiency. Instead of waiting three or four days for the money to clear bank accounts, it can be received and ready for use within 24 hours. Once your organization has an account with an FX company, all it takes is the click of a button and a money transfer can be initiated in less than a minute. No more wasting time at the bank.


Common Areas Where Property and Real Estate Companies Can Benefit

While every company has different needs, our experience has highlighted a number of areas where property companies can benefit such as:

  • Handling payroll and operating costs of overseas offices
  • The purchase or sale of an international property
  • Paying or receiving commissions from overseas agents
  • Paying maintenance costs for foreign properties
  • Insurance and tax payments on overseas properties


Commercial Real Estate

There is a certain amount of risk involved in any large international purchase because of exchange rate fluctuations. The lengthy time frame involved in real estate dealings though just adds one more level of risk. It could easily take one or two months for a closing, and in that time, if the purchase currency increases in value, it could have a significant impact on the final cost of the property. Working with an international money transfer firm offers a number of ways to hedge against risk by using currency forward contracts or currency options to protect your clients against sudden currency spikes.

If you are unfamiliar with the risk mitigation techniques available for large dollar international currency exchanges, speak with a currency specialist at a firm like Xoom or World First. They can explain the different risk reduction options and help steer you in the right direction. Savvy real estate companies can offer their clients the best value by mitigating the risk involved in currency exchanges and ensuring they get the best rate for their dollar.


Residential Real Estate

Though the dollar amount involved in residential real estate purchases aren’t as high, there is still significant value to be added by working with an international money transfer firm. Offering to handle all of the currency transfer and exchange needs for a client, makes the process seem less complicated. If you can get your client the best rate at the same time, it is a double bonus. You’ll be providing your client with full service tailored to their needs all at a lower cost than your competitors.

If handling an overseas property purchase where the money won’t be moving through the real estate company, the client can still be referred to to get exchange rate quotes. This will help them get a better understanding of the fees and costs that will be charged for their overseas property money transfer.

Working with a global remittance firm is all about transparency and savings. Anything that makes the transfer process cheaper, more efficient, and more transparent is valuable to clients and helps property companies gain a competitive edge. Become the full service real estate firm your clients deserve by creating a strategic partnership with the right international money transfer company.


Benefits of Using a Dedicated International Money Transfer Firm

In addition to the previously mentioned benefits of working with an FX firm, there are numerous other areas where they offer added convenience and efficiency such as:

  • 27/7 online account access
  • Real-time rate quotes
  • Forward contracts and currency options for risk mitigation
  • Segregated accounts for easy accounting and added security
  • Streamlined transfer processes such as regularly scheduled payments and integrating accounting
  • Advice and guidance from dedicated currency specialists


Use Send Money Cheaper’s Comparison Tool to find the right international money transfer company for your current needs and then talk with one of their currency specialists today to see how they can help.

International Money Transfers for Law Firms

Whether sending an inheritance to an overseas beneficiary or handling a large commercial business acquisition, choosing the right international money transfer service can equate to thousands of dollars saved. Stop using the big banks and consider the services of a global remittance firm to handle your money transfer needs for:

  • Facilitating a client’s purchase of overseas properties
  • Personal injury claim payouts
  • Sending an inheritance to an overseas beneficiary
  • Managing trust funds of client’s living overseas
  • International business mergers and acquisitions
  • Payments to consultants based overseas
  • Divorce settlements
  • Patent and intellectual property cases
  • International rent and payroll payments

As a law firm acting in your client’s best interests legally and financially, it is important to look at every option to save them money and ensure they are using the smartest processes for handling international transactions. Using a global remittance firm instead of a bank to send or receive money overseas is one of the easiest ways to save.


Why Banks are a Poor Choice for Sending Money Overseas

There are a number of aspects that should be considered during an international remittance from the speed at which the funds will be available to the fees and commissions charged for the service, but the exchange rate is generally where the most money is lost. Despite playing such a large role on the value of an international money transfer, it is often overlooked. Many law firms just consider the fees and commissions charged without regard to the exchange rate. They assume that most servicers will offer similar rates, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Banks are known for offering the worst exchange rate of any option, usually by 3% to 4%, plus they have the highest fees. Poor exchange rates are how banks make the largest chunk of their money from international transactions. You’ll often see banks offering the same exchange rate as you might find at an airport currency exchange booth, which are also known for giving the worst exchange values.

Here is a quick example of the money that can be saved using a dedicated money transfer firm as opposed to a large bank.


Transferring $10,000 USD into EUR

Wells Fargo currency exchange rate quote

  • $10,000 USD = €8,505 EUR

USForex currency exchange rate quote

  • $10,000 USD = €8,883 EUR

That’s a savings of €378 EUR on a single transaction, not even including the additional fees that Wells Fargo charges.

*Currency values fluctuate daily and the exact amounts displayed might differ*


Benefits of Using a Dedicated International Money Transfer Firm

In addition to the obvious financial benefits of working with an FX firm, there are numerous other areas where they offer added convenience and efficiency.

  • 27/7 online account access
  • Real-time rate quotes
  • Forward contracts and currency options for risk mitigation
  • Segregated accounts for easy accounting and added security
  • Streamlined transfer processes such as regularly scheduled payments and integrating accounting
  • Advice and guidance from dedicated currency specialists

If your law firm is involved in any kind of international finance transactions, consult with a dedicated currency specialist at one of our Editor’s Choices and check our Send Money Cheaper Comparison Tool before initiating your next overseas remittance to find out how much money your firm could be saving.


How to Use for Cheaper International Money Transfers

Send Money Cheaper was created with one goal in mind: to help you find the cheapest international money transfers. We’ve created our Comparison Tool so you can compare the fees and exchange rates of multiple money transfer companies simultaneously, without wasting time going from website to website.

You may not know this, but there is not one company that always offers the cheapest rates. The amount of money you are sending, the way you are paying, the speed in which you need it to be available to the recipient, plus the destination and origin countries all affect the cost and will dictate which company you should be using. That’s why it’s important to use the Comparison Tool before every new international money transfer, unless you are repeating the same transfer you have done in the past like a regular small money transfer.


The Send Money Cheaper Comparison Tool

Our site has been created with the user in mind, so we have made it quick and easy to use. All you have to do is go to the home page and input the origin of your money, the destination, and the transfer amount. In seconds you will see a quick comparison of your choice of money transfer firms, their fees, and their exchange rates.

To make things even easier, we have created an algorithm that automatically brings the offer we believe to be your best choice based on price, exchange rate, and speed, right to the top. After your search results appear, you’ll also see a list of features on the left side of the screen so you can check what matters to you. Choose from things like the payment method, transfer speed, receiving option, and more, to filter out results that won’t suit your needs.

Once you have decided on the best company for your international money transfer, just click the convenient link and you’ll be brought directly to the transfer firm’s website so you can initiate the transaction.


Wait. There’s More

We didn’t stop there though. Send Money Cheaper is much more than just a comparison tool. We are a resource for anybody interested in international money transfers or the foreign exchange market. Our blog regularly covers a range of topics that will help you save money on international money transfers.

Whether you are an overseas retiree who needs to transfer their pension, have a child going to school overseas who regularly needs small money transfers, or are just considering a long international holiday and want to know the most cost effective of getting and using your money abroad, we have articles that can help. We also do a weekly news update on the most current happenings in the international money transfer industry.


Your One Stop Money Transfer Website

Since we are an unbiased third party, we are your best bet for finding the most accurate information regarding any and all of your international money transfer needs. Our focus is the consumer and we are doing our best to bring a touch of transparency to the money transfer industry. Make your first and only stop for you next international money transfer and rest easy that you got the best deal possible.

How to Send Money with World First

Sending money overseas shouldn’t be a hassle and it shouldn’t be expensive either. At our goal is to provide you with the best options for you to get your money from point A to point B without losing a large chunk during the transaction.

Because World First is one of the fastest, cheapest, and most convenient ways of sending money abroad, we thought it would be good to write a guide for you going over the process of opening an account and sending money with them. Let’s start with a bit of useful info first to help you determine if World First is the right choice for your current international money transfer needs.

World First Services

World First has a minimum transfer amount of $250, so if you are looking to send a smaller amount, you’ll need to consider another company like Western Union. If you are making a transfer over $1,000, you can use their live person telephone transfer service, otherwise you’ll have to stick with their 24 hour online payment system. They charge zero fees for all personal transfers no matter the size, and business transfer fees range from $0 to $20.

World First offers you the option of doing spot trades or purchasing a forward contract to reserve your rate for a later date. Using World First, you can transfer your money to a number of countries such as Australia, Canada, the UK, the USA, France, New Zealand, Spain, and more.

The Process

Your first step is to sign up for an account using their website. You’ll be presented with a form like you see below where you need to fill in information like your name, contact numbers, country of residence, etc.




The next form needs supporting details like your address, the currencies you require, reasons for the foreign exchange, where you’ll be sending money to, and an identity verification section.





The last step in the signup process is choosing a user name, password, and security questions.




Once your account is set up, you can initiate your first transfer using their website or by calling their customer support number. After your rate is agreed upon and the transfer is set up, you’ll receive a “fund in” date. In order for your transaction to go through, you need to have cleared funds sent to them by the set date. You can handle the payment in a few ways; either use your bank debit card, an online bank transfer, or an in-person bank transfer. If you are a UK resident, you can also choose to set up a direct debit.

If transferring USD, EUR, or BPD, your recipient can usually withdraw the money the same day or the next day at the latest. If transferring to other currencies, it can take anywhere from one to four days for the money to clear in the recipients’ account depending upon the destination and origin countries. Your money will be deposited into the specified recipient’s account under the name of World First, so be sure to let whoever you are sending money to know to be on the lookout for a deposit from them.

That’s about all it takes. The whole process can be completed in just a couple of minutes after you have an account set up, and 15 minutes if you need to set up the account and conduct the transfer at the same time. Not only will you have saved on international transfer fees using World First, but you’ll get a better exchange rate than your bank would have offered to.

Don’t Get Scammed by PayPal‘s Secret Hidden Fees

Paypal is an incredibly convenient tool for transferring money. Whether you are sending money to an employee located in another state, buying a product online, or just need to transfer money to somebody in another country, PayPal does it all. They have over 150 million active users and many of them are small business owners.

One of the reasons PayPal has so many users is because its fees seem very reasonable; at least on the surface anyways. When you compare the listed transaction fees with similar money transfer services, you may think you are getting a good deal, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. The problem isn’t in the listed fees, it’s the hidden fees they charge that really get you.

We’ll just set the record straight from the beginning as we aren’t trying to unfairly bash a company that provides such a useful service. If you are transferring money from one place to another for personal transactions and keeping the same currency during the entire process, then yes PayPal is free. The problem is when you are transferring money from one currency to another. This is where PayPal really gets you.


PayPal Offering the Latest Exchange Rate is a Myth

The biggest chunk of your money gets lost during international transfers to poor exchange rates and not hefty fees as many people think. This is doubly true if you are sending a large amount of money. Think about it. If you are sending $2,000 overseas, even banks (which are known for charging the highest transfer fees) often only charge you $30 – $40, but if you get a bad exchange rate that is 3% off market value, you’ll be losing an additional $60.

So how bad is PayPal’s currency exchange rate? Well here are some quick examples that highlight just how much you might be losing on your next international money transfer using PayPal. I’ll use $1000 as a nice round sample number. Below you can see the exchange rate PayPal offered along with the actual current market rate to compare the difference.

$1000 from USD to EURO

PayPal = €897.54

Market rate = €924.40


$1000 from USD to British Pound

PayPal = £655.76

Market Rate = £675.20


$1000 from USD to AUD

PayPal = AU$1,274.20

Market Rate = AU$1,308.77

As you can see, while they may claim they are offering the service free of charge anywhere they have their terms of service printed, they are actually making a large chunk of money off you by offering a very poor exchange rate. Often, even worse than what you’d get at a bank.


The Cost of Doing Business

Let’s say you’re willing to chalk this up as just the cost of doing business internationally. Ok. Fair enough, but since I know you’re a savvy business person, you’re obviously deducting all of your expenses from your income so you can save on taxes right? Well here’s another shocker for you, PayPal won’t provide you any type of receipt or documentation with proof of the money lost in the exchange so you can’t even claim it.

Well, let’s rephrase that. You do actually get a receipt of the transfer from PayPal, but it shows a fee of $0.00. So even if you tried to use their provided receipt to show the loss of money in the transfer, you wouldn’t be able to. There is no documentation provided that will allow you to deduct the transfer and exchange fees from your taxes at the end of the year.


They Even Block Any Workaround

Just in case you had the same bright idea we did and want to try and open a currency account in your bank that operates in the same currency you get paid, they won’t let you. We tried it and PayPal informed us that unless it is an official currency of that country, they won’t send USD to it, so no sending USD to anywhere in Europe, Australia, etc. They will only send Euro to Europe, AUD to Australia, BPD to the UK, etc. You get the idea.


A Better Option

If you need to process regular international money transfers, use the Send Money Cheaper Comparison Tool to find the cheapest option for your needs. Next time you are planning an overseas money transfer between two currencies, use our comparison tool and check the results against the rate PayPal will give which can be found using their currency converter tool. (Hint: you’ll need to be logged into your PayPal account to access their convertor.) Doing this, you can see exactly how much you’ll save by not going with PayPal and using a dedicated currency transfer firm instead.

If you regularly do business overseas, check out How To Save Money When Doing Business Internationally for more useful tips.

You keep on doing your job making money and we’ll keep doing ours to help you keep more of it in your pocket.


How to Send Money Overseas with Xoom

Today we are going to give you a detailed guide on how to send money overseas using Xoom.

Xoom is an online money transfer firm based in San Francisco which provides remittance to more than 32 countries around the globe. You can see a complete list of the countries they service here. In 2013, Xoom’s 1 million+ active customers sent more than $5.5 billion to family and friends across the world, so they must be doing something right.

Xoom offers some of the cheapest and most flexible transfer services making them the ideal choice for a number of consumer and business transfer needs. Before we go into the guide, let’s start with some information about the services Xoom offers so you can decide if they are the right choice for your current money transfer needs.


Xoom Services

Xoom charges no fees for transfers over $1,000 and generally between $3 and $5 for smaller amounts. Payment can be made using your credit card, debit card, or directly from your bank account. Using the direct bank payment method, transfers take anywhere from 1 – 4 days and have lower fees while credit card and debit card payments tend to have slightly higher fees, but the money is received within one day.

The recipients don’t need to have an account with Xoom to pick up the money and you can choose to have them receive the money through direct bank deposit, cash pick up at a variety of locations, or even door-to-door delivery.

Immediately after signing up with Xoom, you can send up to $2,999 USD every 24 hour period with a cap of $6,000 each month. Don’t worry if you need to transfer more than that as you can raise your sending cap by supplying them with addition information for security purposes. Then you’ll be able to send up $25,000 in a 30 day period.

Xoom also has a bill pay services that allows you to pay utility bills in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua for a $2.99 fee. All you have to do is select the type of bill, the recipient company, and enter the account number and your bill will be paid instantly.


Sending Money with Xoom

The process for sending money with Xoom is relatively simple and straight forward. The first step is to sign up for a free account using their online form which you can see below. You’ll need to fill in information like your name, e-mail address and create a password.

guide to sending money with xoom

The next step is to choose the country your are sending money to, enter the dollar amount, and lock in an exchange rate.

guide to sending money with xoom - 2

After that, you will choose how you want to pay and add the recipient’s information. If you are specifying a bank deposit, you need their bank name, account number, home address, the currency type in their bank account, their full name as it appears in their account, and a valid phone number. If you are specifying a cash pick up, you will need all the same information minus the bank account stuff.

Next you enter your payment information and the final step is to confirm your transaction details. All in all it’s a pretty simple and straightforward process that should take about 10 minutes. After your initial signup and transfer, all of your account information is stored so you can re-use the same details if you are making regular money transfers to the same person which will save you time in the future.

As soon as Xoom receives your funds, they initiate the transfer immediately. This is why credit and debit card payments go through quicker than bank payments. When choosing the bank payment method, Xoom has to wait anywhere from 1 to 4 days for your bank to process the transfer.


Picking Up Money Sent Through Xoom

As mentioned previously, you can specify from a number of different ways for you recipient to get the money. Here is what they will need on their end to pick up the money.

Bank Deposit

  • Proper ID
  • Their bank account information

Cash Pick up

  • Xoom tracking number (provided to you by Xoom when you complete the transaction)
  • One of the following ID combinations
    • Two forms of primary ID
    • Three forms of secondary ID
    • Two forms of secondary ID and the secret word (you can specify the secret word during when filling out the transaction details)
    • One form of primary ID and the secret word

Home Delivery

  • Xoom tracking number
  • One primary ID


You’re Done

So that’s the entire process in a nut shell. It may sound complicated on paper, but it’s quite easy when using their online forms. You are prompted for all of the information you need. During the transaction, you will also be able to see your exact exchange rate and how much your recipient will receive in their home currency.

If you are still unsure if Xoom is the best choice for your currency transfer needs, you can use the Send Money Cheaper Comparison Tool to find the right option for your particular transfer.

4 Common Mistakes When Spending and Sending Money Overseas

Two things stand out as the most important aspects to anybody spending or sending money overseas; getting the most bang for their buck without losing a lot in fees or exchange rates and, specifically for international money transfers, the speed at which their money is accessible to the recipient.

With these two things being the most vital aspects of a smart international money management policy, it surprising so many people still use their bank for their services as they tend to be the slowest, have the worst exchange rates, and have the highest fees.

Other than using a bank for their international money transfer needs and money exchanges, let’s look at some other common mistakes people make when spending and sending money abroad.


Making a Last Minute Transfer or Exchange

We completely understand that there are times when an emergency situation forces you to make a last minute money transfer without regard to fees, but if you have the luxury, planning ahead can help you save. Not doing any research on the best way to transfer or exchange money is basically guaranteeing you pay the most for the service.

Spend some time online finding out about the best places in your destination to exchange money or what company offers you the cheapest way to send your money. Avoid the tourist hotspots as they generally have the worst exchange rates and check with an independent online currency converter to get an idea of how much you should be getting for your money.


Ignoring Exchange Rates

Most people don’t realize that they often lose more of their money to a poor exchange rate in an international money transfer than to fees charged for the service, especially if the transaction involves a large amount of money. Consider the implications of getting 2% less for your money on a $5,000 money transfer. That would equal a $100 loss!

Don’t just assume your bank or that first currency exchange booth you see will give you a competitive rate. If you are setting up an international money transfer, look at the servicers available to you online. World First and XOOM have been known to give 3% or 4% more for your money than banks. You might find a similar difference in currency exchange booths at the airport versus one found in town somewhere.

You can use Send Money Cheaper’s comparison tool to find out which company offers you the best rate for your international money transfer.


Making Lots of Small Transfers or Exchanges

Whether you are transferring money overseas or withdrawing cash from an ATM abroad, lots of little transactions equal big fees. ATMs don’t take into account the amount of money being withdrawn, rather they charge a set fee from your home bank, and most often, the ATM’s bank. If you were to go to an international ATM five times and withdraw $200, you might wind up with as much $50 in fees, but if you went to the same ATM for two $500 withdrawals, you could end up with just $20 in fees.

When it comes to international money transfers, you may find that some foreign exchange companies charge no fees at all for transfers meeting a certain minimum amount. Many also offer a better exchange rate on larger transfers. If you were considering handling two $1000 transactions over a two month period, ask your servicer of choice what you would save by sending the whole $2000 at one time.


Relying on Credit Cards

At first glance, it may seem like a credit may be a good option for overseas purchases, but take a deeper look and you’ll notice some fees that aren’t readily apparent. While a credit card company may claim to only charge you a 3% transaction fee for your international purchase, they often don’t mention to you the poor exchnage rate they’ll give. Just like the banks, a credit card company will usually give an exchange rate 2% to 3% less than what you can find elsewhere. That means you’re actually paying 5% to 6% on top of the purchase price for your transaction. Quite a hefty amount. If you need to use a credit card on an overseas trip, look around for one that offers no foreign transaction fees like the Capital One Venture Rewards Card.


Following just a few of these simple tips can help you save big on international money transfers and overseas purchases while traveling.



Step-by-Step Guide to Moving Abroad and Sending Your Money Overseas

Moving to another country can be one of the most exciting and scariest adventures in your life. It is an endeavor filled with the unknown, which is what makes it so invigorating. Questions abound from the most cost effective way to send your personal items to the best way to transfer your money internationally.

Today, we’ve decided to put together a handy guide to help you answer some of these questions. Now you can focus on the more enjoyable aspects of the move like getting the best apartment and exploring your new hometown.


Step 1 – Research

The first step in any well-planned international move is doing your research. There is no shortcut here and the more research you do, the better prepared you’ll be when the big day comes. Moving to another country isn’t like relocating to another state or city in the US. There are a number of additional factors that will come into play like visas, international banking, shipping your items, and more.

While it may seem like fun to look for a beautiful condo or check out the best restaurants online, that isn’t the smartest use of your time. Instead, look into things like the requirements for opening a bank foreign account (they are different in every country), the most cost effective way of moving your personal items, how to obtain a driver’s license, requirements for getting an apartment lease, etc. They may not seem like the most glamorous things, but how quickly and easily you settle into your new life overseas depend on how thoroughly you have researched these processes.


Step 2 – Sorting Your Visa

Getting a visa is vital to your ability to stay in any country and while some may have very lax regulations, most do not. Read up on everything you can find about what requirements you need to meet to get a visa. The best source is usually the specific countries Department of Immigration website, but you can also check out the U.S. Department of State’s website or Visa HQ. They both have a pretty exhaustive list that cover just about every country.

If a company is sponsoring your visa application, they will handle most of the process for you, but if not, you’re on your own. As each country has its own method, there are no hard and fast rules, but it’s always best to start your application process sooner rather than later. There is nothing worse than getting everything set to move only to find out your visa has been denied or you have to wait another month.


Step 3 – Packing and Shipping

Packing everything you own is often one of the most stressful parts about moving to a new country. You have two options, you can either do it all yourself or hire a moving company to handle everything.

If you decide to use a moving company, spend some time getting quotes from a number of different sources. You’ll also want to check into the moving companies you are considering to make sure they get good reviews. If you are moving just few things, a quote can often be arranged over the phone, but if you are planning on moving a whole house, most companies will send somebody out to do a home survey. A good moving company will also provide you with a Customs Guide for your destination to inform you of all the regulations.

If you aren’t moving any large furniture, oftentimes paying for extra baggage on your airlines is cheaper and easier than sending your stuff overseas with a shipping company. An extra piece of luggage usually costs between $100 and $200, plus it will arrive at the same time as you.


Step 4 – Booking Your Ticket and Finding an Apartment

After you’ve got your visa and your personal goods in order, it’s time to book you flight ticket. While it is nice to do this long in advance to get the cheapest flight deal possible, it’s better to wait until the other things are set. Otherwise, if something doesn’t fall into place as expected, you may have to forfeit your ticket.

There are a number of sites you can use to find a great deal on international flights. We recommend SkyScanner and CheapoAir.

This is a great time to find an apartment too. Once you know the exact date of your flight, you can begin to look for an apartment, condo, or house that suits your needs. Start your search online and then contact some realtors if needed. While it seems like a great idea to get your new residence reserved and under contract before you arrive, you never know what unexpected surprise it might have in store for you. It’s best to wait until you are in country before picking out your new home. You can always spend a week or two in a hotel. It’s better to spend a little more on a hotel than be stuck in a place you don’t like for a year.


Step 5 – Sorting Your Finances

Getting finances in order is something often overlooked by many people moving internationally, but you’ll want to be on top of this. It’s a terrible feeling to be stuck in another country and unable get your money when you need it. Luckily there are a couple of things you can do to ensure you have access to your funds.

Make sure you set up your home country bank account for internet banking. This way you can set up a wire transfer after you move overseas. This is more of a last resort though, as there are better ways to move money overseas. Open up an account at a dedicated foreign exchange company like Forex, World First, or Xoom. They offer the cheapest and fastest options for sending money internationally, plus they give better exchange rates than the banks.

Check into the requirements for opening a foreign bank account in your new country, often you’ll need a visa and proof of address, but some countries may even require special permission from a government agency. Once you have opened you new foreign bank account, you can use one of the previously mentioned foreign exchange services to transfer your money as often as you need. Check out a Guide to Sending Money Overseas, How to Transfer Money as an Expat, or the Four Best Ways to Send Money Overseas for in-depth explanations of your best options.

In addition to getting everything set up so that you can handle your international money transfers with just the click of a couple of buttons, you should also bring enough money in cash to tide you over for about a month in your new country. This way you won’t be left twisting in the wind if something goes wrong.


Step 6 – Congratulate Yourself on a Job Well Done

You’ve researched what you need, sorted your visa, packed your things, booked your ticket, and got your finances in order. Now just sit back, relax and wait for the big day. Your greatest adventure is looming on the horizon.



Next Page »