Moving out of Singapore? It’s going to be such an adventure, but of course, it’s going to be challenging as well. Make your transition easier with these tips on what you need to keep in mind, whether it’s for yourself, your family or your pets.
1. Do up a checklist to help you clear your financial obligations
Relocating takes a lot of work, and this includes financial and legal issues to manage. Nobody likes it, but if you go through it early and systematically, you’ll have a much easier time – especially when you address these obligations when you are still in Singapore. Here’s a list of some things you need to wrap up before you leave:
Singapore Tax Clearance
Clear your tax liabilities, because you will not be able to leave Singapore until your taxes are cleared! Take note that if you are a foreigner or Permanent Resident leaving Singapore, your employer is legally required to seek tax clearance from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) on your behalf at least one month before you leave the company.
Cancel GIRO Payments
Terminate your authorised GIRO payments before you close your bank accounts.
Let your personal insurance agent know about your relocation.
Cancel Credit Cards
Notify your credit card companies about your move. If you won’t be using your Singapore credit cards, cancel them so that you won’t be charged annual fees – the charges could snowball into rather significant amounts.
Update or Cancel Bills and Subscriptions
Cancel your utilities and services (e.g. phone, internet, cable, newspaper subscriptions) contracts – you don’t want to be racking up the bills when you’re not using anything, and are miles away from Singapore! Check a few months in advance what it takes to cancel your electricity account. If you are using one of these electricity providers from the open electricity market, check each provider’s security deposits, lock-in periods and early termination charges, and administrative fees.
Utility providers in Singapore:
- Best Electricity Supply
- Diamond Electric
- ES Power by Environmental Solutions (Asia)
- Geneco by Seraya Energy
- Keppel Electric
- Ohm Energy
- PacificLight Energy
- Sembcorp Power
- Senoko Energy Supply
- Sunseap Energy
- Tuas Power Supply
- Union Power
If you are a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident, settle your account. Or if you are leaving permanently, use the CPF Withdrawal Calculator to check your Special Account and Ordinary Account, and how much you have set aside your Full Retirement Sum in your Retirement Account.
2. Settle your children’s needs early.
By doing so, you won’t be in a mad rush to finish everything before the start of the term. You would already have informed your school about your children’s relocation, but there’s more to do than that! The school will likely know what to do, but you should also do your part to ensure that everything is in order. For one, you will need to obtain certificates and other official documents from the school so that you can apply for schools in your new country of residence. Do it as early as you can so that you can better ensure that your children get spots in the school of your choice. Meanwhile, take a look at some tips on how you can make the transition easier for your children.
3. Make arrangements for your pets.
Of course, your pets are just as important as any family member. You’ll also have to arrange their transportation – there’s just as much paperwork for your beloved animal friends as there are for yourself and your family! To make their relocation – and in turn, your move – as smooth as possible, you need to get the necessary paperwork and other plans done. For example:
Talk to a vet
This vet should ideally be experienced in preparing animals for overseas travel. You should discuss factors such as your pet’s age and general health so that you will be aware of potential challenges when moving and how to address them.
Get your paperwork in order
To ensure that your pets are granted entry into your new country of residence, you will need to get ready certification and immunisation records. Check the laws of the new country and make a checklist of what you need to do for your pets (i.e. vaccinations, blood tests, parasite treatments, airline transport rules, etc) as soon as you can so that you can schedule everything to get done on time.
The most uncomfortable time for both pets and the owner is the amount of time needed in quarantine. For example, moving pets between Australia to Singapore requires that you prepare with the vet months leading to the departure date. Your pet needs to fly into Melbourne first and then needs to be quarantined for at least 10 days at the national quarantine facility; even with all the necessary vaccinations done. If possible, try to seek opinions and reviews from other pet owners who are moving between countries, to understand the conditions which their pets went through and the cleanliness of the holding space. Ensure that you have your pet’s favorite feed and toys with them in their cage, as they will be living in that space for some time.
You can also consider engaging the services of a pet relocation company to ease your to-do list. Meanwhile, find out how you can make your pets feel more comfortable with your move here.
4. Pack early to avoid panic.
One of the most tedious parts of moving is having to pack all the belongings you have accumulated over the years. The key here is to plan what you want to keep and what you are willing to leave behind early – we all know by now that last-minute and hasty decisions often lead to regrets and frustrations. You can start by packing non-essential items even a few months before your move. Label the top and sides of every box with its contents and destination – do it every time you finish packing a box so you’ll stay organized. Necessities, i.e. things that you anticipate you will need right away when you settle into your own home, should be packed last and boxes containing them should be marked clearly with “unpack first”.
Also, some of the items are fragile, some are awkwardly shaped, others are simply too heavy or large – in general, it is a hassle to pack them all, especially when you have so much on your mind. But you can hire professionals to take care of this aspect so that you can do more and worry less. At CYC Movers, for example, our experts are always here to take care of all your moving-related needs. Call us to find out what we can do for you!
5. Set aside local currency of both countries to bridge for unexpected circumstances.
As with every big occasion, moving often comes with unexpected fees, which you should factor into your budget. For example, some items may cost more to clear customs, your pet may need to extend its quarantine period, some necessary items may be damaged or lost along the way, and so on. Such surprises may spring on you when you least expect, and being ready for them can help alleviate your stress.
Need more information on preparing for your move? Check out our guide on moving to another country. Or, speak to us to find out how we can help!