Expat Guide – All You Need To Know About Moving Out of Hong Kong
Are you planning on moving out of Hong Kong soon? Maybe it is because your company has a new assignment in another country for you or you have completed your working stint and you now want to return home to your friends and family.
Whichever the situation may be, relocating out of Hong Kong is just like any other country, stressful! There are many tasks to complete and missing any task even if it is a small one can make your relocation even more stressful.
To help make your relocation journey smoother, we have put together a guide on moving out of Hong Kong.
Figure Out Your Budget
This is very crucial as your move will be highly dependent on your budget. You will need to plan your budget well which can help to ease your stress considerably. Things to include in your budget are:
- Hiring professional international movers in Hong Kong to help relocate your items
- Engaging cleaning and disposal services before you return your accommodation
- Additional items such as boxes, bubble wrap and masking tape for packing (if you decide to pack yourself instead of engaging a full service moving company)
Important Administrative Considerations
Before you move out of Hong Kong, you will need to ensure that you have settled all administrative considerations to avoid delaying your plans such as:
- Passport: Most countries require a minimum passport validity of 6 months. If you need to renew your passport, do so early to avoid any issues.
- Visa: Make sure you have valid visas for your destination country. If you do not, then do begin the application process early to ensure there are no delays to your relocation timeline.
- Bank accounts: Clear any outstanding balances and payments (i.e. credit card). Further you will want to let your bank know that you will be closing your bank account and will be transferring the amount to another bank account. It is highly recommended to settle everything bank related before you leave Hong Kong. It will be much harder to settle any issues once you have moved.
- Tax status: Foreigners who are leaving Hong Kong are required to get a tax clearance. You will need to file a form at least 1 month before your departure date. Make sure that you sort your taxes with your employers as well.
- Withdrawing pension funds: Expats who have been working in Hong Kong for more than 13 months would have been signed up for Hong Kong’s Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) – a compulsory retirement saving scheme. If you are leaving Hong Kong permanently, then you should request for an early withdrawal of the funds. For expats working in Hong Kong for less than 13 months, you will not have been signed up for the fund and so do not have to worry about this.
- Terminate your services and subscriptions: Cancel any subscriptions you have with cable tv, internet and mobile service providers. Also, inform all the relevant utility companies that you will no longer be using their services.
- Hong Kong’s mail redirection service: Do not be surprised if you receive mail at your old address despite informing every company about your relocation. To ensure that in such a situation, any important mail gets redirected to your new address, make use of Hong Kong’s mail redirection service.
If you have been renting an apartment in Hong Kong, you will likely have to terminate your rental lease in order to move out. You can start by going through your leasing contract and check the notice period for ending the lease which is usually 1 to 3 months.
After checking the contract, you will need to inform your landlord by written notice, including details, such as:
- When are you leaving?
- How are you getting your security deposit back?
- Do you need to hire a professional end-of-lease cleaning service?
- Is your landlord coming to inspect the place?
Family and pets
If you are relocating out of Hong Kong with your family, then you will need to inform your child’s school beforehand about your plans so that disruption to your child’s education is kept to the minimum. Do clear any outstanding fees or payments due.
Relocating with pets is not easy, there is a list of things to consider. You will need to check the destination country’s policies and procedures (e.g. vaccines, transportation, legal documents) to bring pets into their countries and prepare your pets for the move as well. Do start preparing at least 3 – 6 months in advance.
It is highly recommended to begin packing early, as it can take quite a while. Decide on which items you wish to take with you, and sell the items that you will be leaving behind. Do set aside some money to purchase additional boxes and bubble wrap.
Alternatively, you can consider purchasing used boxes online or getting the free ones from the local grocery store, in order to save money.
Also, ensure that you set aside hand-carry items. These include important documents, toiletries and medication, and even some clothes.
To ease your stress, you may consider hiring an overseas relocation service provider in Hong Kong to help with your move. This will save you a lot of time and energy. However, remember to pick one that is reliable and trustworthy as there are many professional international movers in Hong Kong.
After all, you do not want to see any of your belongings getting damaged along the way!
At the same time, make sure that you source and liaise with your international relocation specialist in Hong Kong early. This is because the entire relocation process takes time. Due to COVID-19 regulations, there may even be slight delays.
Relocating is tough. Plan early and set aside a sufficient budget. Look at all the relevant Hong Kong government websites to find out what are the procedures to cancel any visa, utilities, etc.
Lastly, engage the services of a professional international relocation company in Hong Kong such as Moovaz to help you move.
Get a price estimate for your move out of Hong Kong in advance today!
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