2 Months Before Moving
Making travel arrangements to Singapore
18. Make Travel Arrangements
To save money on your travel arrangements:
- Invest time in researching the best deals, as fares change frequently
- Book flights as early as possible
- Avoid school holidays and peak travel periods.
19. Book Temporary Accommodation and a Rental Car
If you plan on searching for your home once you arrive in Singapore, book temporary accommodation for when you first arrive. Depending on where you plan to live, you may also want to book a rental car.
Where possible, book temporary accommodation that is within walking distance to your work or public transport. This way, all members of your family will have access to transportation.
20. If Children are Accompanying You, Make Schooling Arrangements
At your child’s current school in America:
- Give notice regarding your departure dates
- Request copies of your child’s school reports or university transcripts and ensure they are readily available—it’s a good idea to take copies on the plane with you
- If you plan on having your child return to the school, confirm and meet any necessary return requirements.
For your child’s education in Singapore, you’ll need to:
- Understand how the Singapore education system operates
- Investigate the type of school you wish your children to attend
- Shortlist specific schools
- Arrange tours of shortlisted schools for when you first arrive in Singapore.
To assist you in finding the most appropriate school for your children, visit:
For further information, visit What is the Education and Schooling System Like in Singapore? in our Ultimate How to Move to Singapore from America Guide.
21. Confirm Vehicle Transportation
The importation of vehicles into Singapore is discouraged. It is extremely expensive to import vehicles and even more expensive to register a car in Singapore; there is a surcharge of SGD$10,000 payable on top of the cost of a Certificate of Entitlement (COE). A COE gives you the right to register a vehicle for 10 years. COEs are purchased through a competitive bidding process, with the cost in 2017 reaching SGD$50,000. As such, it is recommended that you carefully consider whether importing a vehicle into Singapore is necessary.
To avoid unnecessary headaches and expenses, speak to a UniGroup Worldwide international moving expert for all your vehicle transportation requirements.
For further information, visit How to Import Vehicles into Singapore in our Ultimate How to Move to Singapore from America Guide and our Singapore Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
22. Confirm Pet Transportation
Confirming Pet Transportation To Singapore
You can take most pets to Singapore, so long as they are free from infectious diseases that are transmittable to humans and are not deemed harmful to the environment. The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore regulates the importation of pets into Singapore.
Airlines may have separate and additional requirements for the transportation of pets. Be sure to check with your airline to determine what requirements they may have.
To ensure a stress-free relocation to Singapore for your pet, speak to a UniGroup Worldwide international moving professional about all your pet transportation requirements.
For more information visit How to Import Pets into Singapore in our Ultimate How to Move to Singapore from America Guide and our Singapore Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
Ensure all your pet’s vaccinations and health-checks are up-to-date and obtain a copy of your pet’s medical records or a signed letter from your veterinarian.
23. Confirm Weapons Importation Requirements
Weapons and firearms are subject to complicated customs clearance procedures and are very difficult to import. As such, they can delay customs clearances and result in additional charges. It is worth considering whether you need to import weapons into Singapore at all.
The Police Licensing and Regulatory Department controls the movement of firearms, explosives and weapons in Singapore. To import a restricted item, you will need to apply for a license to possess arms.
For more information visit How to Import Weapons into Singapore in our Ultimate How to Move to Singapore from America Guide and our Singapore Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
24. Confirm Alcohol Importation Requirements
You may import wines and other alcoholic beverages into Singapore as part of your household goods shipment. However, Singapore Customs does impose a number of requirements that must be met.
For more information, visit How to Import Alcohol into Singapore in our Ultimate How to Move to Singapore from America Guide and our Singapore Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
25. Confirm Plant Importation Requirements
There are restrictions in place for the importation of plants in Singapore. As such, it is best to check with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore on the entry status of your types of plants, keeping in mind that these regulations are subject to frequent change.
For more information, visit How to Import Plants into Singapore in our Ultimate How to Move to Singapore from America Guide and our Singapore Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
26. Investigate Employment Options
If you’ve already secured a new role (or are moving to Singapore for a specific employment opportunity), now is the time to investigate employment options for your partner (if needed). Or, if you haven’t secured a role, to investigate employment options for yourself.
For more information, visit How to Find Employment in Singapore and What is Working in Singapore Like? in our Ultimate How to Move to Singapore from America Guide.
27. Investigate Local Customs and Cultural Differences
If you’re an Singaporean subject moving to Singapore, you should investigate local customs and common cultural differences to help you assimilate more easily into Singaporean culture on arrival.
For more information on some of the common cultural differences visit our Ultimate How to Move to Singapore from America Guide:
28. Declutter Your Home
A cluttered house will make moving to Singapore unnecessarily stressful; packing will take longer and the cost of your move and storage will be more expensive (as fees are based on the volume of items). If you’re not selling or renting out your home (in which case you will have already completed this step), now is the time to declutter your home, determining which items you will:
- Keep and ship to Singapore
- Keep and place in secure long-term storage in America
- Sell or donate to charity
- Throw away.
29. Start Packing
How can I move to Singapore with minimal stress? Engage experienced, professional international packers, like the team at UniGroup Worldwide. Not only will it reduce, if not eliminate, the most stressful part of moving, it will help ensure your belongings are packed safely for their long journey to Singapore.
If you’re not using a professional packing service, make sure you start packing as early as possible:
- Create an inventory of all items to be packed, paying careful attention to precious, special and fragile items
- Invest in superior quality protective wrapping and packing materials:
- Professionally designed and constructed double-corrugated moving boxes
- Packing material, like bubble wrap and packing paper (like ‘butcher’s paper’, not newspaper)
- Incidentals like tape, markers and zip-lock bags.
- Reinforce boxes by securely taping the top, bottom and sides
- Start by packing items rarely used (like books and CDs, and things stored in garages, basements or your roof space)
- Always pack individual boxes properly:
- Keep each box to a maximum of 20kg (45lb) to make moving the box easy and to avoid boxes breaking under excess weight
- Evenly distribute weight, with heavy items placed at the bottom of boxes and lighter items at the top
- Pack to the top of the box and fill empty space with bedding, clothing, bubble wrap or paper to prevent movement, breakages, and boxes collapsing.
- Clearly label every moving box, including the contents of the box (not just the room in which it belongs). For example: ‘Kitchen: Plates and Mugs’; not just ‘Kitchen’.
30. Complete Your Customs Declaration Forms as You Pack
Complete your customs declaration forms as you pack. This will help ensure the forms are completed as accurately as possible. The information you’ll need includes:
- A list of the items in your shipment
- The value of each item
- Whether each item was purchased within the last year.
Depending on the particular items you are shipping, you may also need to complete the following Singapore Customs form (it is recommended that you confirm this requirement with your UniGroup international moving expert): Moving to Singapore Customs Form A-055 Application for GST Relief for Hand-Carried Used Household Articles and Personal Effects and Personal Pets.
For more information, visit our Singapore Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
31. Organize Your Finances
- Find out whether your current bank has branches in Singapore and if it can handle your future needs
- If you’re moving overseas for work, but you’re employed by the same company, confirm whether your salary needs to be paid into your existing bank account or into your new Singaporean account
- If you plan on using your existing debit and credit cards in Singapore, confirm whether they will work and what the fees are likely to be
- Organize some Singapore dollars so that you have local currency on hand when you first arrive
- Consider opening a new local bank account near your new home
- Make sure you have copies of bank statements and other documentation that proves you have a good credit rating. This will make applying for new credit cards and loans easier
- Ensure all your tax returns are up-to-date.
For more information, visit What is a Credit Rating? in our Ultimate How to Move to Singapore from America Guide.