Moving to a another country can be difficult enough without having to worry about forwarding mail. Packing, travel plans, and obtaining the proper visa are all more than enough to overload an already busy agenda. However, the United States Postal Service (USPS) does not forward mail internationally. Fortunately, with the help of some useful online companies, changing addresses from the United States to most other countries is greatly simplified.
International Mail Forwarding Network
International Mail Forwarding Network (IMFN) is a company that provides a U.S. mailing address that customers can forward their mail to. Then, the mail is forwarded to the foreign address selected by the customer. The service includes a monthly fee (starting at $35 as of October 2009) and international postage costs, but many would not consider it a huge amount to pay to automatically receive their mail. This type of service is also helpful when U.S. residents wish to send an expatriate mail or packages but don't want to pay international shipping fees, all the shipper needs to pay are domestic fees.
US Global Mail
US Global Mail (USGM) works in a very similar fashion to IMFN, but with a few additional features. Instead of automatically forwarding all mail to a foreign address, USGM allows a user to select which mail is forwarded and which items should simply be thrown away (i.e., junk mail). For an additional fee, USGM allows users to view their mail over the Internet. FedEx, UPS and USPS shipping methods are all available. As of October 2009, USGM's service fees were $10 a month or $100 a year plus international shipping rates, as well as other fees for optional additional services such as repackaging.
Let Everyone Know
If the above options don't seem appealing, it is possible to simply notify people and businesses who send you mail of your new international address. Note that doing so can be a long process, and not everyone will want to pay higher fees to send you mail overseas.
There are a number of tasks that need to be completed before attempting an international move. You will need to notify any companies that you currently have loans or credit cards with that you'll be out of the country. Also, check with your bank to see if they have branches in the country you're moving to. If they do, you can probably stick with your current bank overseas. Otherwise, you may need to ask about your bank about recommendations for banks in the country you're moving to.
If you are a U.S. resident moving overseas, be sure to notify the IRS of your move for tax purposes, as well as other state identification agencies (such as driver license issuing organizations) as well. Be sure your passport is in order and call the U.S. embassy in the country you're moving to to be sure you have done everything you need to move there.
International moves can be difficult, but changing your address does not have to be.
- Post Office Address Rules
- How to Set Up an International Mail Forwarding Service
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