Expat Guide – All You Need To Know About Moving Out of Singapore during Covid-19
Are you moving out of Singapore? Perhaps you’ve completed your job secondment here and now, it’s time to return home. Perhaps, you’ve just gotten the news that you’ve been posted to another country. No matter the reason, one cannot deny how stressful relocation is. Therefore, it is necessary for you to have a plan in place before you board that departure flight.
To simplify things, we’ve gathered the necessary steps to make moving out of Singapore a breeze for you.
If you’re moving with a short time frame due to covid-19, don’t miss our 30-day relocation checklist!
Plan your Budget
The most important thing you must do is to plan your budget. Make sure you allocate enough money to hire professional international movers to help you with your relocation journey. Often, when people move, they also spend on additional services like cleaning and disposal. You will also need to include additional expenses on boxes, bubble wraps and masking tapes. Thus, allocating enough budget to the different expenses will greatly reduce your stress.
You must also ensure the validity of your passport before leaving Singapore. Most countries require a minimum validity period of six months on your passport before you can travel there. Should your passport be expiring, be sure to get it renewed as soon as you can.
In addition, you should begin the visa application process for your destination country. This can take several months, and thus, you should start early. If your visa for Singapore was based on your school or job, do check when the last date of school and employment is, as well as how long you can stay in Singapore beyond that date. Should you hold an Employment Pass (EP), take note that your EP will be converted to a Short-Term Visit Pass (STVP) once it is cancelled. If you need more than 30 days to leave Singapore, consider applying for an extension to your STVP (More information at ICA).
Furthermore, your employer needs to seek tax clearance from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) at least 1 month before you leave your job. Your employer will withhold the required tax amount from your salary, in order to settle tax liability. If your salary does not meet the liability requirements, you will have to pay the remaining amount, or not be able to leave Singapore.
Most tenancy agreements in Singapore require you to provide your landlord with at least 2 months’ termination notice. Be sure to inform your landlord even before that, so that your landlord can start finding a new tenant.
Family & Pets Arrangements
It is also important that you make arrangements for your child’s education, whether in Singapore or in the destination country. You must inform the school in Singapore of your intention of moving out of Singapore, in order for them to make the necessary preparations. Also, you should start sourcing for a suitable school in the destination country for your child (Read our article on finding a suitable international school), in order to minimise the time that they spend out of school. At the same time, ensure that you obtain the medical and financial records from your doctors and banks.
You may also be relocating with your pets. Do take note that this will require the appropriate certification and immunisation records, in order for your pet to enter the destination country.
Moreover, it is also advisable to begin packing early, as packing can take a long time. Decide on the items you wish to take with you, and sell the items that you wish to leave 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 local grocery stores, NTUC, Cold Storage or Sheng Shiong, in order to save some money.
Also, ensure that you set aside hand-carry items. These include important documents, toiletries and medication, and even some clothes.
Hire a Professional Mover
To alleviate your stress, you may also want to hire an international relocation service provider to help with your move. This will save you time and energy. However, while there are many professional movers in Singapore, do ensure that you pick one that is reliable and trustworthy (We’ve gathered for you a list of relocation and moving services in Singapore). After all, you won’t want to see any of your belongings getting unceremoniously damaged along the way!
At the same time, make sure that you source and liaise with your relocation service provider early. This is because the entire relocation process takes time. Due to COVID-19 regulations, there may even be slight delays.
Finalise the Last Bits
Once you’ve settled the above, it’s now time to finalise the last bits before moving out of Singapore. Make sure you terminate your utilities and other service contracts (like phone, internet or cable contracts). Also, close your Singapore bank accounts and cancel your credit cards, if you no longer have any intention of using them.
Finally, arrange for a joint inspection with your landlord and have any repairs or cleaning done prior to the inspection.
Indeed, moving is definitely not a simple task, so planning early, can help you greatly. Should you be sourcing for a professional mover to help transport your belongings, check out Moovaz! We offer international relocation services tailored to suit your needs.
Want to get the latest global mobility news concerning the pandemic? Check out our COVID-19 Global Mobility updates.