First Steps

Depending on the economy of the country news of the arrival of a money loaded xpatriaete in need of 1000 things and services will travel faster than you like. Be it the receptionist, taxi driver or even your new bosses secretary: there is always a "cousin" of "good friend" who will just take care of everything you need and can be highly recommended. Be careful with those promises and listen to your inner voice of cautiousness.   The many trades like estate agents, car dealers, insurance agents do not always have the same job responsibilities you know from home.  If you need recommendation from us, please send us an enquiry.  We can assist you to select trusted and reliable services.  We link you to our reliable and trusted partners to find a maid, car rental, legal advice, incorporating a company or any other service you may require.  For homes to rent in Singapore see the Find a Home page.   The following steps come first:   ●  Create emergency network part 2 ●  Open your local bank account ●  Contact estate agents or your relocation company ●  Contact your friends/colleagues back home ●  Finalize applications for local club membership ●  Contact the selected schools ●  Contact your moving company ●  Get transport/Public transport term tickets ●  Contact a maid's agency ●  Purchase basic publications (maps, public transport guides. books on the city, expat magazines, subscribe to a newspaper)  

Contact The School

Whilst you may not send your children to their new school within the first week of arrival you need to contact admission as soon as possible. Confirm admission and ask for an appointment to come along with the children. Ideally the children can stay at school for a preview and meet their future classmates and teachers.   It is crucial for them to make friends soon. The most dreadful time is when you arrive during school holidays and everyone is on leave and your children do not know how to spent their time. You need to contact the school's parent association. See the school's web site for more information. Parents in charge are most helpful (as they all know what you are going through) and will try to link you up to parents in your future neighborhood or class and your children may visit them and play whilst you are on home search.   Contact the school's transport office for information on school bus routes and itineraries and find out about school uniforms and where to get them purchased or made.  

Open Up A Bank Account

When it comes to opening a bank account in Singapore, you should choose a full-service bank that has a general license including a foreign  currency license.  You need to investigate about the services they offer, how many ATM's they provide and if their cards are accepted worldwide.  Preferably your Home Country Bank has a representative office or can suggest a reputable and reliable corresponding bank as this is the fastest way for transferring money.   Another choice is to ask your company to introduce you to their bank which will facilitate and speed up the application procedure. Be not suprised if the procedure is more complicated and takes longer than at home even if you have made all necessary arrangements with your home bank in advance.   Along with your completed account application form you will need your passport and a letter of introduction from your employer and your home bank. Ideally you establish an overseas accout with a correspondent bank. A minimum startup deposit is required.   You should arrange for the the best option and currency on how your salary is paid. Your human resource or finance department should be asked if your company offers personal-banking access to commercial banks of the corporate accounts.   Some internatinal banks offer Internet services which expatriates can perform from their computer. Beware of the risks involved! You may need to make arrangements for this service before you leave home.   Credit cards are offered in the local currency and it is therefore advisable to keep a second credit card with the currency of your home country.   Fraud is possible and you need to be very careful. As many smaller shops do not have credit card facilities you need to carry around more cash and should get used to have small money at hand.   Furthermore you need a check book to pay the many other regular bills like gas, water, etc. and for bigger investments. Make yourself familiar with writing the check. There are different rules in different Asian countries!  

Join Clubs

One way to get to know new people is by joining the International Women's Associations as soon as possible. They offer numerous ways to help you settle in and you may initially attend their functions and seminars as a guest.   You will meet numerous new people who might know about vacant homes, cars to sell, maids being transferred and important other information when settling in. You can apply for membership with your office address to speed up your entry but usually you have to turn up in person with your passport.   Find out about the rules and conditions for joining. Be aware that foreign and national clubs do allow other nationalities to join so that you have a choice of alternatives. Visit their offices and get the many publications they offer for expatriates to help settling in. If they organize cultural seminars you (and your family) should join by all means.  

Contact Your Moving Company

Inform the local agent where you can be reached and confirm custom procedures and documents required. If your container is still at home, ask again about shipping and customs procedure time to determine when to ship the container.   Keep close contact during your home search and inform the movers immediately once you have secured your new home. They need to check the environment for unloading  procedures. Inform the movers if any items of your shipment need to be declared.  

Get a Car

Depending on your contract your company might have arranged a car (and driver) for you already and this will save you a lot of trouble. If you need to buy or lease a car by yourself you need to contact a reputable car dealer which is most important if you consider buying a second hand car.   He will advise you about the requirements including insurance and registration. Find out about traffic rules and local driving habits!   If you need to convert your international driving license it makes sense to contact a good agent to help you though the paperwork. In some countries you need to pass a driving test and the license must be extended yearly (e.g. Singapore).   If you are dependent on public transport to move around you may need to apply for special passes and tickets.       Back Next