Departure To Do List (UK to Canada)

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Departure To Do List

  • Book flight to Canada
  • Get travel and health insurance (single package) for me/family (see [here])
  • Get shipping quotes / book shipping space for goods to follow
  • Put house on market (if moving with Permanent Residency - if moving on a TWP it may be advisable to rent it out instead until you get PR). If not selling house, obtain cost valuation of property at time of departure for Canadian capital gains purposes - check out detail elsewhere in Wiki under ‘Tax and House Sales’.
  • Inform landlord/agent of moving out date
  • Inform building society re mortgage
  • Get reference from letting agency
  • Get reference from building society re mortgage
  • Check will (you should have a separate will for each country you have assets in). Appoint Power of Attorney if required
  • Resign from job/inform work colleagues
  • Inform schools and ask for copy of curriculum (esp English and Maths). Take some of your child’s workbooks to Canada to show new school.
  • Inform bank and organise opening of account in Canada if possible
  • Check UK bank account is still valid for overseas residence. Before you leave UK get local bank telephone number and contact name so you do not have to go through a call centre once you have moved
  • Inform Council Tax office and check correct days paid for in the month of leaving/get rebate
  • Organise stuff for first car-boot sale
  • Cancel subscriptions to clubs/societies/Readers’ Digest etc
  • Resign from committees/organisations/clubs etc
  • Post ‘For Sale’ poster in works canteen/works noticeboard listing stuff for sale with prices
  • Sell caravan/boat/Wendy house/kennel
  • Sell car(s)
  • Get open references from employer(s)
  • Get open references from friends
  • Inform electricity company and make arrangements for account closure
  • Inform water board and make arrangements for account closure
  • Inform gas company and make arrangements for account closure
  • Inform telephone company and make arrangements for account closure
  • Inform internet provider and make arrangements for account closure
  • Get rebate form from TV Licensing for refund
  • Inform Sky TV and make arrangements for account closure
  • Inform mobile phone company and make arrangements for account closure
  • Arrange forwarding of post to relative with Post Office for 1 year or arrange for overseas redirection
  • Sign on with currency dealer if required
  • Organise stuff for second car boot sale
  • Inform Benefits Agency to get up to date statement of pension
  • Arrange Class 2 or 3 NI contributions
  • Inform FAVC pension plans and check validity of plans
  • Inform life insurance company and check validity of plans
  • Inform endowment company and check validity of plans
  • Inform occupational pension provider and check validity of payments
  • Sell ISAs
  • Sell PEPs / TESSA's
  • Sell Unit Trusts
  • Set up e-banking facilities
  • Renew all credit cards and bank cards for maximum validity dates
  • Inform Inland Revenue – get form P85 (you can also do this after you have moved)
  • Inform Child Benefit office/Tax credit office
  • Organise stuff for third car boot sale
  • Change of address cards and sign on for Hotmail/Yahoo addresses
  • Get eyes tested and obtain printed results to keep
  • Get teeth checked
  • Get repeat prescriptions to cover first three months in Canada.
  • Get dental records and latest x-rays from dentist
  • Get medical record print-out or summary from surgery
  • Get copies of Hospital inpatient/outpatient treatment (should come with your GP records)


  • Get reference letters from every kind of insurance company possible (house insurance, car insurance, etc.) and reference letters from utility companies (electricity, water, etc.). This may enable you to negotiate somewhat more reasonable insurance premiums when you get to Canada and/or enable you to open accounts with utility companies without having to pay hefty deposits. Car insurance letters need to state years of no claims and start and end date of the policy.
  • To make things go more smoothly when you apply for a mortgage in Canada, get a reference letter from your bank and obtain a credit report from Equifax, Experian, or Call Credit (Equifax is the credit bureau that Canadian lenders most readily recognize). Keep in mind that a Canadian lender will want a current credit report (one that has been issued within the last 30 days). This is a lot harder to get once you have moved from the UK
  • Back up all data files from your desktop computer & Laptop onto DVD discs, external hard drives, or Blu Ray discs eg Word, Excel etc
  • See vet about pets
  • Get International Driving Licence
  • Organise big IMM 1000 party
  • Hire skip for rubbish and stuff
  • Organise getting to airport on departure day
  • Book hotel/B&B/Hostel/Park Bench in Canada for first night
  • Produce file of all required documents in plastic covers
  • Photocopy birth certificate(s)
  • Photocopy passport(s)
  • Photocopy all academic certificates
  • Photocopy CV and resume(s)
  • Back up C: drive
  • Buy spending currency
  • Buy travelers cheques / cash / pre-loaded VISA card etc. for first fortnight
  • Organise house cleaning luncheon party
  • Cancel car insurance from set date and get refund
  • Cancel building and house contents insurance and get refund
  • Send NHS registration card(s) back to the Health Authority
  • Call utility companies with last minute meter readings
  • Send off for Drivers record from DVLA (see [here]). This is much easier to obtain if you are still living in the UK and have not yet converted your licence to a Canadian provincial licence.
  • Get NCB letters completed by Vehicle ins companies

TIP – Once moved you very often have to follow-up on things back in the UK (e.g., bank, insurance, utilities, etc.), so get yourself a notebook and write down all your account numbers along with telephone numbers that can be accessed from abroad that are NOT 08** numbers as these are very expensive to call from overseas - Saynoto0870 is good for finding these out.

  • Sky you need to give 28 days notice but can call about a week before the 28 days and give advance notice.
  • Buy travel adaptors (laptop and mobile chargers are 220/110 so you only need an adaptor but the phone charges very slowly)
  • Doctors records take a few days so don't leave for last minute
  • Type up template letters for utility companies with blank spots for meter readings, get envelopes stamped so you can take meter readings and post on way to airport
  • Get school records from kids school
  • Prepare file of paper copies of important documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, doctors records and immigration documents and carry on your person, rather than packing.
  • If you have a baby stock up on scented nappy sacks as the only place we have found that sells them is Walmart
  • Get dvd player unlocked if you are taking it (people sell discs/remotes on eBay)
  • Get mobiles unblocked (I have a Nokia 6680 and the market guys couldn't do it so Vodaphone got me the code for 20 pounds but ask early as it takes up to 28 days and they ended up having to email it to me)
  • If you plan to get a Pet Passport allow extra time. 1st Microchip, 2nd Rabies Injection, 3rd Blood tests FOUR weeks after injections, 4th Passport issued FOUR weeks later once blood results back
  • Trip to Costco, to stock up on things the family might miss!
  • Download ArriveCAN app and import required information in advance. Update with flight information when allowed.

British Government website


Planning Software

  • Free Mind is a brilliant and FREE mind mapping software program.
  • It's very flexible, and lends itself beautifully to projects that involve lots of tasks, sub-tasks, and sub-sub-tasks.


Arrival To Do List

If you want to start figuring out what you'll need to do when you get to Canada, please see Arrival To Do List-Canada.