Moving to Europe or another country is a major expense for which you’ll need to budget. A move like this can be for many reasons, and if it is a relocation for work, your employer will likely cover some of the costs. 

However, these employer-funded moving budgets have limits, and you’re not in a position for your move to be subsidized by your work, it’s worth taking note of the total cost of such a move to ensure that you have set aside enough cash to handle the entire process. 

Every moving company will offer different service packages, so customers should also factor that into their budget, as well as customs duties and charges. In the end, it’s estimated that the average cost of international moves start at approximately $10,000. The cost will vary depending on the distance of the move, number of people in your household, and other key factors outlined below.

couple sitting together with woman holding pen and paper

International Moving Costs to Consider

Moving overseas or to any new country requires extensive research. And with Orbit as your international moving expert, we will make sure your move goes smoothly and remind you of the many important details that come with moving abroad. 

Legal and Documentation Fees 

Work visa fees and applications, transfer of driver’s licences to local authorities, and taxation will take up a significant amount of your time and money. Hiring an expert to help you navigate will be particularly important for those who don’t speak the language or know the local laws. 

It’s estimated that permanent resident assistance from a lawyer can cost approximately $250 to $1,000 USD for their help in filling out immigration paperwork. For ongoing permanent residence assistance, the cost can range from $1000 to $7000 USD. These fees will vary on the complexity of your case, i.e., the number of billable hours and the years of experience of your lawyer. 


Look into the cost and limitations of medical care for people in your new country. Many places have different tiers of healthcare coverage that depend on whether you’re a permanent resident or on a temporary work visa. 

Be sure to research and obtain ample medical insurance should you end up ill or injured. It’s better to be insured than paying hefty fees out of pocket. Note that health insurance for a single person in the US can cost as much as $300-$400 USD each month.

person filling out paperwork at table with second person

The services of most international moving companies will include moving insurance costs. But some of them include the costs in their quoted price. It’s best to have a policy that covers your belongings when moving overseas,so be sure to review what the insurance policy covers. 


Packing items yourself may not be a good idea when moving abroad. Doing the labour to save money means that you won’t be able to opt for risk insurance coverage. Your items will also be subjected to a customs exam since it was not a professional company who handled the items. 

However, some countries do not allow individuals to pack their own items to begin with, so you may not even have the choice. Find out more from your moving company to choose the necessary services you need.

Price of Shipment 

The price for moving your belongings will depend on:

  • The number of items moved
  • The distance of the move, 
  • How they’re being moved (truck, ship, or air) 

NOTE: Those who have specialty items they need relocated, such as musical instruments, art, pets, or vehicles, can expect to pay more than standard. Many expats recommend thinking twice before shipping furniture and making sure that you’ll have enough room for it in your new home. On the other end of the argument, remember that you’ll likely need to buy replacement items for furniture, electronics, appliances, and clothes that you leave behind. 

silhouettes of people at airport

Airfare Travel 

If you can’t get to your new country by road, odds are you’ll need to pay for a flight for yourself and your entire family. Look into baggage allowances for your flight and maximize what you take with you on the flight as it means less to ship to your new home. 

Also, don’t forget to add the cost of tickets back home to your budget if you plan to return for the holidays or a visit within your first year abroad. 


When you first arrive in a foreign country, you may require temporary housing. Short-term rentals, such as Airbnb, often come at a premium and include added expenses for cleaning, security deposits, etc. 

When securing a rental or making the purchase of your long-term home, don’t forget that you’ll often be required to pay deposits, such as first and last month’s rent, real estate or broker fees, and may need to prove that you have a specific, minimum amount of money saved up in the bank. 

Caring for Items Left Back home 

Whether it’s long-term storage solutions or caretakers of your home, there will be some form of storage costs for any items left behind. Don’t forget to include them in your budget. 

Prepare for Unexpected Expenses 

That rainy day fund your grandmother always talked about is something worth having for your move. Many suggest having a solid six to nine months of living expenses set aside prior to your move just in case the unexpected happens.

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Work with Experienced International Movers

Moving is complicated. Moving abroad takes it to a whole new level. But the experts at Orbit can help you determine your international moving costs, essential moving services you need, which transportation method is best, and more! We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world, and our customer service representatives answer every question.

Contact Orbit at 416-661-4228 for a comprehensive quote on your full-service move.