Relocation Process

If you have a chance to use a relocation agency to support you in your move to Warsaw, you should definitely make the most out of it. A good relocation agent should be your personal advisor throughout the whole relocation process starting from the moment you have decided to move until you settle in well. We advise how to work with a relocation agent to make your move as smooth as possible.

Related Articles:

Housing market in Warsaw
Cost of living in Warsaw
Preparing for Relocation

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Initial contact

Before the relocation agency contacts you for an intial briefing, your HR department provides them with all required information about your family status: if you married, how many children you have, how old they are, if your spouse works etc. Only then, the agent gets in touch with you to conduct an interview. This briefing is one of the most essential part of the relocation process, so it's quite important you are well prepared and know what you need and want. Based on the information you give the agent, they prepare your look & see visit and most likely will send you some initial housing proposals.  

Be cultural sensitive. What is obvious for you, it’s not necessarily the same in Poland. Take for instance room counting. In UK real estate agents mention only bedrooms, in USA every room incl. kitchen and bathrooms, while in Poland rooms are counted as living areas excl. kitchen, bathrooms, storage, etc.

Look & See

Look & See visit is prepared fully by your relocation agent. The visit can be both exciting and challenging. On the one hand, you will see your new city, choose your new house and school for children, on the other the visit is packed with appointments, property visits, meeting new people… and all is new! You might be forced to take fast decisions, especially when it comes to real estate. As the market is rather volatile and the best apartments/houses are rented out pretty quickly. However, do speak up, if there is anything you are not satisfied with, talk to your relocation agent and be open about your expectations.

Choosing your new house

Your company policy and your contract, define your housing allowance. In some cases, you wouldn’t even know the exact amount you can spend on your rent. It’s in relocation agent’s responsibility to make sure your needs are met within the budget set by your employer.  

You can start with a “simple” decision to choose either a house or an apartment. Read more about property market in Warsaw to find out, what you can expect and what fits you best.

Be prepared for compromises. Your relocation agent might be able to find an exact house you described, but you might not be so lucky. Try to make up your mind in advance, what matters to you most and what are just nice-to-have features. Is the location more important to you or maybe the exact type of house you are looking for? Would you be satisfied with a apartment without a balcony? Do you need your bedroom to have en-suite bathroom or not? Do you need to have your own garage space? How important to you is an open plan kitchen? Would you consider renting a semi-furnished apartment?... etc.

While choosing your house location, take into consideration commuting time to your office/school/city center. Although it might seem your chosen location is close to your office, it is quite possible, that you would need twice the time to get there during rush hours. Talk to you agent to find out the details.

Choosing a school for your children

This decision has a lot of implications on the future of your children. There are also a lot of options: you might choose to sign up your child to a boarding school in your home country or bring your child to Warsaw and register either at your home country school, if available, or choose an international school.

There are many education opportunities for your kids in Warsaw. There are schools with international program - IB  (International Baccalaureate), Canadian, American, British schools, French high schools etc. Read more about education system on our website.

Moving

At this stage you would need to decide, which goods you would you like to ship to Warsaw. Would all furniture fit in your new house? Think about you electric appliances. Even within Europe there are different plug systems for instance. Talk to your relocation agent to make sure you would be able to connect your beloved lamp, your TV or hi-fi system. Ask about the costs of changing the plugs, if needed.

If, however, you choose to leave your furniture in your home country, you might store them in a self storage place or maybe store them at your friends or simply sell them. Talk to you agent, if they know about any other expats moving to your home country. They might need something you want to dispose of. Plan ahead to make the move smoother.

If you are a happy owner of a pet, ask your agent, what documents you would need in order to transport it. You might need to have a special vaccination certificate or any other papers allowing you for animal transportation.

Another important item is transportation of fine arts. If you are a proud owner of an art piece (paintings, sculptures, coins, stamps) registered in cultural heritage registry or of a art piece older than 55 years you might need to obtain a certificate as a written permission to ship it cross-border.  

Usually, your relocation agent contacts moving company and they take care of the whole organization incl. packing and supplying with special packages. Ask about the insurance and make sure your valuables are insured as well.

Settling in

Upon your arrival your agent should help you with a registration in the local public office, obtaining your PESEL number, changing your driving license, etc. All the immigration issues might take up to a couple of days. As your company most likely would need you in your new role straight away, it’s highly advised you talk to your employer and plan these days off.

Another important step in your smooth relocation is attending a cultural training and signing up for Polish lessons.

If your partner/spouse would like to take up a job in Warsaw, you should talk to your HR department trying to get all the required documents for work permit, if needed.

Before you say goodbye to your agent, get all the tips about shops, restaurants, hobby classes, gym, expat's community etc… and browse our website to get even more information.

All the best for your relocation!


Comments

great article! helps a lot with our first relocation.