Documents Required

“Hassle-free crossings begin with proper documentation.”


A valid passport is necessary when leaving and entering the majority of countries.
You will need these documents to obtain a passport:

•A properly completed passport application
•Proof of United States citizenship or a passport issued in the United States
•Two identical passport-sized photographs
•The correct fee
•Proof of identity such as a driver’s license

You need to apply for a passport in person for the following situations: if you are applying for a passport for the first time, your most recent passport was issued more than 12 years ago or before your 18th birthday, or your passport was lost or stolen.

You may apply for a passport by mail if the following apply: you have a passport issued in your name within the past 12 years, you can submit a passport with an application or your previous passport was issued after your 18th birthday.

Other Documentation

You might need documents other than a passport to enter another country. The consulate for the country to which you are moving can tell you the documents that are required. Contact this person as soon as you know you will be moving abroad to get a list of the documents (i.e. medical certificates and/or immunization records) you’ll need as the processing may take some time. You may be required to have copies of birth certificates, marriage certificates or divorce decrees. Additional documents may be required after your arrival; therefore, the sooner you research the requirements and timing for the process the better. Keep in mind that documents can take months to acquire.

A Visa

You will need an up-to-date passport to obtain a visa. A visa is an endorsement made on a passport by the proper authorities stating that your passport has been examined and you have a formal approval to enter a country for a specified period of time. To obtain a visa, contact the embassy of the country to which you are relocating. If a letter of recommendation is required to obtain a visa, suggested sources to request one are the manager of your bank, your employer, or other sources the Department of State may recommend. You also need to know the specifics that should be included in the letter, such as indications of a good credit history and to whom it should be addressed.

International Driving Permit

Before you move to another country, inquire about the laws regarding driving permits. Some countries recognize a license from the Unites States, some accept an international license and some require that you take a test and obtain a license in their country. To learn the guidelines for the country to which you are relocating ask you country’s consulate.