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Checklist for moving to Bahrain

When you’re planning a move to a new country, there’s always a lot to think about. Bahrain is no exception, so we’ve put together a checklist of all the things you need to do before you leave.

1. Check your passport is valid

Before you travel to Bahrain, you should ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months. Renewing your passport can take some time, so checking this early can help avoid possible delays to your journey. 

2. Apply for work permits and visas

You’ll need to obtain a Bahrain residency visa and/or work permit. If you’ve already secured employment, your employer may be able to sponsor your visa application and handle the paperwork involved. It’s always best to check what they’ll cover and to allow yourself plenty of time to gather any documents you may need to support your application. 

3. Find out if you need any vaccinations or health checks

You may be asked to undergo a health assessment when you first move to Bahrain. These include checking for any communicable diseases or conditions you might carry or be at risk of contracting. It’s worth speaking with a healthcare professional before you move to see if any vaccinations are required and to discuss any medication you may need. 

4. Set a budget for your moving costs

Moving to a new location can come with a number of expenses that you should prepare for. Aside from your flights and initial accommodation, you should also think about any furniture or household items you may wish to bring with you. Will you need to pay extra baggage fees with the airline? Once you arrive in Bahrain, will you need to enlist the services of a moving company to help you to transport everything?

Make a list of everything you might need to pay for in your first weeks after arrival, and make sure you have enough money set aside to ensure you don’t fall short.

5. Start building up your savings

Once you’ve outlined your budget, set yourself some savings goals to build up a moving fund. This can help you to ensure that all your costs will be covered once you arrive – including any unexpected expenses.

Make sure your goals are realistic and achievable. If you are struggling to reach your target, look for any areas where you may be able to cut back on your current spending, or revisit your moving budget and explore whether you have any opportunities to bring down your planned costs a little. 

6. Review your taxes

Depending on how taxation works in your home country, you may need to let the government know that you will be moving overseas. It can be a good idea to do this early, just in case there are any tax payments due that you haven’t accounted for.

7. Research local schools

If you’re moving to Bahrain with school-age children, take some time to research their education options. In particular, it will be useful to find out in advance if there are any waiting lists you need to join, and what school fees you should expect to pay. 

8. Set up your banking

Before you can open a bank account in Bahrain you will need to acquire a residency visa. You may also be asked to provide additional documentation, such as your passport, a proof of address and a letter of employment.

Take the time to get your documents together at the earliest opportunity. You may also want to look at your international banking and money transfer options to help you to access cash while your Bahrain account is being set up.

Explore more: Setting up your finances in Bahrain

9. Gather other key documentation

In addition to the documents you’ll need to set up your bank account, there are some other things you might want to arrange before you arrive. For example, if you plan to drive in Bahrain, you will need to have a valid international driver’s licence. If you are renting property, you might need to get hold of some references. It’s much easier to gather all of this before you travel, so do a little research to anticipate what you might need before you leave. 

10. Consider travel insurance for your move

A comprehensive travel insurance policy can cover you for any accidents or emergencies that might occur during your move. You may need to take out a policy with a company that specifically offers expat insurance.

It’s a good idea to take out your travel insurance option when you book your flights to cover you if anything were to happen. 

What next?

Alongside the excitement of packing and arranging your move, make sure to tie up any loose ends in your home country. This can include paying final bills or redirecting your post.