Money Smart Athlete Blog

What does an athlete need to plan for prior to moving to a new country for work?

Nov 20, 2019 | Economic Environment

By Constantinos Massonos, Contributor

Few people can comprehend or experience the commitment an athlete’s lifestyle requires and the huge sacrifices athletes and their families have to make to reach a professional level and be able to enjoy the perks that come with that. Unfortunately, stability is not one of them.  A call can come at any moment, and in a matter of hours, athletes have to pack up their stuff and join a new team, in a different city, across the country or even in a different continent.

Almost every professional athlete within major sports will need to move at least once during their career. Joining a new team can bring a lot of pressure on athletes and on top of that, they have to move their entire lives, their family and belongings, in a matter of days.

In order to make the transition as smooth as possible, you need to stay organized and make a list of everything you and your family will need to get done before your trip and create a timeline. This will help ensure you have everything completed by the date it needs to be done.

  • You can start preparing by researching the country you will be moving to, in order to establish which documents are required for you to enter it. If the host country requires you to apply for a visa, things get more complicated because you will need to have at least a valid passport, immunizations and international health insurance.
  • After you gather all the documents required for travel, make electronic and hard copies and keep them somewhere safe. In addition to your passport, some other basic documents include your driver’s license, a birth certificate, and immunization records. You might need them when you least expect it, and it will make your life much less stressful if you can easily access them.
  • When it comes to your current home, your choices will depend on how permanent your move will be and whether you own or rent a house. If you own a house and don’t plan to be away for long then you just need to arrange for someone to take care of the house and garden for the time you are away. If your move is more permanent, you might consider selling or renting out your property. As for your belongings, you can choose to ship them to your new residence, keep them in storage or even sell them. Don’t forget to cancel any services like electric, internet and cable TV to avoid returning to your home country and having to pay huge utility bills.
  • If you plan to drive, you need to consider the pros and cons of buying a new car, renting or even shipping your car to your new home state or country. Depending on the country you are moving to, you will need to get an International Driving License (or Permit) beforehand.
  • If you have children, you need to take care of your children’s education by finding a great school that will meet their needs and education goals. This will also affect the search for a new residence as this will have to be at a close distance to the school.
  • Your tax obligations don’t end by paying taxes to the country you will be employed in, so you need to consult with your financial or tax advisor before your departure. They can recommend a local advisor at your new country of residence and together they can advise about the tax laws of both your country of citizenship and your country of residence when employed and earning money abroad.
  • Make sure your credit card can be used internationally and inform your bank and credit card company of your move abroad, as it will take some time until you set up savings or checking accounts at your new state or country.

These are only a few basic issues an athlete will have to deal with when relocating. Of course, sports teams and relocation specialists can step in and help resolve many of the headaches involved with a move.

For more information or advice on the cross-border moving of athletes, you can send us an e-mail at [email protected].