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Essential Relocation Checklist for Expats Moving to Singapore

Moving to Singapore, like moving anywhere else in the world, can be a stressful ordeal. We have developed some tips for you that can be used for your relocation to Singapore or elsewhere in the world also.


Making sure that you are fully covered before moving to Singapore is very important. Make sure that you’re either covered by your employer, or make sure that you get Global Health Insurance yourself. Getting emergency treatment in Singapore can be prohibitively expensive so make sure you choose an insurance provider like Cigna Insurance that has a reputation for paying most claims.

Arrange your accommodation far in advance

Be it long term rental or short term accommodation, you are best having some sort of an arrangement before you arrive in Singapore. It is possible to arrange a short-term apartment prior to moving to Singapore with companies like Move and Stay, which is cheaper than staying in most hotels. Visit our guide for more.

expats moving to singapore

By preparing in advance, one can make moving to Singapore much easier.

Choosing the right mover

Finding the right mover can make or break your first experiences of living in Singapore. Firstly, make sure you go for quality here as things can go very wrong with under-resourced, under-insured moving companies. There have been instances where 40ft containers have disappeared. The top moving companies, like Santa Fe, have offices worldwide and have multiple safeguards to avoid disasters like the above. Read more in our guide to choosing a moving company.

Tell your bank you’re moving to Singapore

Sounds like an obvious thing to do, but because of the headaches this can cause if you don’t do it the writer decided that it was worth mentioning. Simply call your bank and they’ll usually ask where you will be in the next six months and note it. Quite often you’ll need to top this up every six months. The writer of this article forgot to do this before moving to Singapore and had to wait six hours for the bank at home to open before he could have his card unblocked and finally buy dinner! Learn how to open a bank account in Singapore.

Health check

Before moving to Singapore, getting a full health check is a good precaution as it will be one less thing to worry about once you arrive. Having final treatments and checks done by doctors and dentists that you know and trust will save time and give you peace of mind- one less thing to worry about. Having said that, healthcare in Singapore is among the best in the world.

Have important mail forwarded

Again, this is quite obvious but will save time later, after moving. Any important mail should be forwarded to someone that you trust to open it, or it should be cancelled. Trying to co-ordinate this after relocating will be tricky.

Make sure your passport is valid

Singapore and all neighbouring countries require passports to be valid for six months. Always make sure you have at least half a passport of pages left before relocating to Singapore- many of the countries in the region gobble up an entire page for the visa.

Finding an International School in Singapore

Make sure that you plan in advance of moving to Singapore as much as you can, as waiting lists are only growing for international schools in Singapore. Learn more about international schools in Singapore.

Moving your Pets to Singapore Many expats moving to Singapore make the mistake of not organising this efficiently. Observe the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore’s website long in advance of your moving date. Your pet will probably require an import permit and will need to adhere to quarantine requirements. There are also specific limits on the number of pets that one can keep in given properties so be sure to check for the latest at the aforementioned website. You may also want to weight up whether you send your pet in advance of your move to Singapore or not. Finally, make sure that you check with your airline as to which pets are accepted. This can vary significantly.

Join our LinkedIn group for more advice, and also to connect with other expats relocating to Singapore.

3 Responses to Essential Relocation Checklist for Expats Moving to Singapore

  1. rajaram March 4, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    Nice and informative.
    Good to know all particulars.

  2. yaz March 19, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    nice article.

  3. john April 2, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    what is the procedure to start a business in Singapore?

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