Although there are millions of people who dream of moving to the US, there are very many who dream of moving out. The idea of living in another country is very attractive to many Americans. There is the adventure of it and also a different culture may be better suited to their personality and values.

Whatever the reason for wanting to move abroad, the people that want to leave need to know about the costs. It is not cheap to move even within your own country so a move internationally gets even more expensive. There are the costs of the move itself as well as many ongoing costs while you are living abroad to understand.

In this article, we will go over what to expect as far as costs go when making an international move.


There is a fixed cost for travel insurance for when you are making the move, and then an ongoing cost for health insurance that you will be paying until you gain permanent residency in your target country.

Travel insurance is a good idea because there are a lot of factors and events that can disrupt your travel plans. Weather can ground flights and then you miss a connecting flight. Or, you may already have landed in your target country and end up in an accident or a natural disaster.

When these things happen, you will get back some of the losses that you incur. Since travel is so complicated these days and things change quickly, it is a very good idea to be insured.

When you have arrived and are settling into your new home, you will need to be covered for health insurance. Many countries have public options for health care, but you have to be a citizen or permanent resident of the country before you can be part of it. In some countries, you may never even have that as an option.

Getting an insurance policy like Cigna Global Medical will cover you for doctor visits, hospitalizations, and other healthcare needs. Without private health insurance, you may not even be granted the visa to stay in the country long enough to make the transition. A prerequisite that many countries have is that you are covered with health insurance.


The biggest expense you face when moving abroad is likely going to be the shipping of all of your stuff. Many people pack the contents of their house into a container and send it there. This is to avoid having to buy all new furniture and pay a lot for things they already have. It’s also nice to have familiar things to ease the transition to your new country. However, this is a very expensive way to go about things.

It’s hard to say how much it is going to cost to ship a container to someplace like Europe, for example. There are a lot of factors that go into how much it will cost based on things like how far you are from a port when you are sending it off and how far you will be once it arrives in the new country.

You should plan on a figure somewhere around $3,000 or so to give you a general idea of what to expect. In addition to the cost of the container, you will also need to add on some costs for things like insurance, broker’s fees, and the customs duties once it arrives.


There is also a cost to gaining your visa to be able to make the move. It won’t be the most expensive of your expenses but it does need to be in the calculations. Try to keep in mind that even countries that don’t require a visa to enter for tourism will require one if you are there to work or to seek a job.

You’ll need to contact the local consulate and find out exactly what is needed to get a visa and what the costs are since every country has different requirements. In some cases, you will need to have a lawyer sort this out for you and file the paperwork since it can be quite complicated when you’re emigrating.

There is also usually a requirement that you have a certain amount of money in the bank to show that you can sustain yourself and your family until you start getting a paycheck.


Although these are only a small number of the expenses you will surely face, it should provide you with an idea of the costs involved with an international move. Make sure to ask around in online forums dedicated to moving to the country you have in mind to see what others experienced that made the move before you.

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