Aerial view of Costa Rica's Basilica of Cartago

According to the World Migration Report, roughly four percent of the global population relocates to another country yearly. An international move involves careful budgeting and financial planning to tie up loose ends in your old country and expenses to get you started in your new home, with a new bank account. Transferring money internationally to and from various bank accounts and doing so while keeping track of the exchange rates to meet these financial obligations is essential to your journey as you get settled.

ACH Transfers

Automatic Clearing House transfers (ACH) are bank-to-bank transfers involving international money transfer between banks, credit unions, or other financial institutions and processed through a clearing house as an intermediary to process your money exchange. These will often take a couple of days to process and are often associated with transfer fees, and of course, exchange rate. You will need accounts in both countries before sending money internationally using this money transfer service. Remember to keep your account and routing numbers handy, so you can easily send and receive such funds when planning your move to a foreign country.  

Celestial blue waterfall in volcan tenorio national park costa rica

Account-to-account Transfers Within the Same Global Bank

How to transfer money when moving to another country, for example, if you were to move to Dubai from Canada? Before you make things too complicated, get started with your bank account at your home bank and find out whether they have locations or sister branches in your new country that may make your transfers nearly instantaneous with only nominal charges and exchange rates. Most often, these transfers can be completed online or over the phone, allowing for quick transfer no matter what the time zone. It would also be wise to look at a world bank and compare your bank transfer exchange rate for international money transfers.

palm tree on the beach in samara nicoya costa rica central america, tropical beaches

Wire Transfers

Whether you’re paying for an international moving company, a house sitter, or putting a deposit on your new rental, wire transfers are a quick and easy way to send large sums of cash. Talk to your bank in advance to find out what transfer limits are in place for your accounts and how to get adjustments as they may vary depending from one financial institution to the other. Many banks have daily limits of around $2000 to $3000, and some have monthly limits of $50,000 available to wire transfer to external accounts, there could also be more money available for international wire transfers, depending on the bank account. These limits are in place for security reasons. Other accounts limit the number of transactions you can make within a specified period. It’s best to sort these out in advance to avoid being caught without the money you need when it’s time to transfer money overseas.  

Walk-in and Online Money Transfer Centers

Cash is another way to send money, it can be sent abroad through physical locations walk-in money transfer centers like Western Union or Money Gram, where physical cash is deposited in one place, converted to the receiver’s currency, and picked up at a corresponding walk-in money transfer center. This would allow to send funds and converting one currency into a foreign currency at the same time, maybe save money by avoiding to pay for exchange rate markup or multiple transfer fees. To send money internationally, online sites like PayPal act similarly to Western Union when sending and receiving money, but online. Still, they only support currency conversions to 25 currencies, whereas Western Union supports international transfers to over 200 countries, including middle income countries, in 130 currencies. PayPal balance and account transfers for an international transfer can be as quick as minutes or in three to five business days, while money transfer centers like Western Union can have transfers processed as quickly as minutes, or up to a few days; sometimes seven working days. 

palm tree on the beach in samara nicoya costa rica central america, tropical beaches

Prepaid Debit Cards

Some financial institutions will allow you to access your checking account funds through a prepaid debit card for your convenience, as a payment method if you plan on moving to Australia for example. When the sender loads the card with cash, the receiver can withdraw the funds using the physical card. It should be noted that there is often an activation or monthly fee for a prepaid card, that will be reflected in your bank account.  

Prepaid Debit Card

Bookkeeping Notes

It is often prudent to keep accurate records of such transfers as a part of your budgeting process. It is also helpful to keep bank accounts open in both countries, so you can meet your financial obligations from your home and new country, whether paying bills or taxes with money abroad.  

Orbit International Moving Logistics Ltd.: Your International Moving Expert

We have over a decade of experience moving customers around the world. Some of our customers like us so much, they’ve used us more than once. Why did they come back to Orbit? Our customer service is what sets us apart – customer service representatives answer every question, no matter how small, and our moving crew shows up on time with all the materials they need to get the job done correctly the first time.

To learn more about Orbit, call us at 416-661-4228.

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