Moving Timeline and Checklist

Sometimes when moving to a foreign country it is easier and cheaper to simply sell personal belongings before coming and then buy new ones upon arrival. Consider that Costa Rica is a humid tropical climate and perhaps one's previous furniture is not made to withstand tropical conditions. Appliances to be very similar in price and brands to the US. Successfully making an international move can be a nightmare. So cut out some of the stress and find quality items at reasonable prices it is best to do just that.

Timeline with Checklist

Making an international move is quite an endevo,r so it is important to try and do it with a lot of anticipation and careful planning. Start a few months before the move to have the most success. It is important to read, check out maps, and reserach as much as you can about Costa Rica to avoid Costa Rican culture shock.

Four to Six Months before Moving

  • Take a trip to Costa Rica, that is in part for research and in part a vacation to get to know the country and potentially where one would like to be living.
  • Set a potential moving date that can realistically be met.
  • Make a cronogram of all the things that need to be done and by when. Then check off items as they are completed.
  • Set up a reliable email account with hotmail, gmail or any other. AOL is not reccommended since it tends to block any emails from Costa Rica.
  • Put the home on the market. If it sells fast just make sure to agree with the new owners on a moving date that corresponds with the international move.
  • Return any borrowed items that are not yours and take time to declutter. If there are donation items at this time, take them out of the home.

Three to Four Months before Moving

  • Start collecting all the documentation needed for immigration for you and your family. Many of these documents will need have to be legalized such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, criminal records etc. Check the immigration section for more details.They usually only have 3 months of validity so close to the end of the 3 months before moving.
  • Updated the will and testament. Tie up any lose ends with a lawyer.
  • Make a list of people who need to be notified about the move. Begin cancelling services such as newspapers.
  • Try and consolidate banking at home.Try and operate out of only one account.
  • Sign up for online bill pay and online statements. It is good to practice for a few months using the service to ensure there are no major glitches before the big move.
  • Renew a driver's license before leaving to obtain a license in Costa Rica later.
  • Investigate where one will be living in Costa Rica either temporarily or permanently. It is reccommended that one rent's for at least six months before buying.
  • Take a trip down to pinpoint where one will be living exactly.

Two to Three Months before Moving

  • Begin selecting items to keep. Pack up the ones that are not for day to day use.
  • Have a garage sale for the items that are no longer wanted or needed, make donations to local charities. If donating items make sure to get a tax receipt and give it to a tax person before moving.
  • Try very hard to ship and take as little as possible.
  • Take your final trips to the local doctors and dentist for check ups.
  • Update your vaccinations. and collect a copy of medical records to take with.
  • Make note of all perscriptions. However, in Costa Rica it is easy to obtain almost any perscriptions over the counter here with just the name and usually for a fraction of the price.
  • Solicit an international insurance policy.
  • Start rounding upreciepts and guarantee cards for major items.
  • Research what services and places are near the new home such as parks, gyms, book stores, schools, churches, grocery stores etc. These can be great places to meet people and make new friends as Costa Ricans are generally very welcoming and friendly.

One to Two Months before Moving

  • Redefine exact moving date.
  • Cancel any magazine or newspaper services remaining.
  • Select a place where to live either permanently or temporarily in Costa Rica, make sure to reserve with a contract and some money down.
  • Have all of immigration documents in order and in hand.
  • Contact banks and credit card companies to let them know about the international move and to set up any security measures to avoid glitches. Make sure they have the account set up for online statements and bill pay.
  • Contact an international mover if you will be needing one. A very popular one in Costa Rica is ABC Movers who offer a door-to-door service.
  • If moving with children it is a good idea to get a copy of their school records.
  • If moving with pets start getting all your animals documents and vaccinations in order as well, please see our moving with pets section.

One Month before Moving

  • Set up mail forwarding service at a local post office,  preferably to a Miami PO Box as mail in Costa Rica is refered to as "snail mail" and it could take weeks to receive mail from a home country.
  • Begin cancelling all utilities and other services such as cable and telephone.
  • Catch up on all bills before leaving.
  • Cancel cell phone service  and leave it functioning up until the last minutes in case of emergencies.

Two Weeks before Moving

  • If looking to open bank accounts in Costa Rica, bring letters of reference from a current bank. The letter will need to be addressed to the banks where one is looking to open accounts. Get a copy of how to wire money between accounts.
  • Empty the safety deposit box and close any additional accounts.
  • Do an overhaul of the old house,  to make sure all personal belongings are making the move.
  • Clean the house.
  • Make sure everything on the moving checklist is complete.
  • Finish final packing and check on final travel arrangements.
  • Ready to MOVE!
Document Actions

Powered by Propertyshelf

Legal Information