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Hong Kong -Expat Files

What is important to take along with you when you travel - do not put these in your shipment!

Here are all the documents you will need to have at the ready when leaving one country or entering another. The most important thing is to keep these documents current, so that there is no panic when you realize that you need them.




Education Files 

 It is important to have file with the whole family's academic records.  Keep your and your spouse's school and university records together with those of your children.  To help your children ease into school, it is a great idea to consider keeping an education-file for each child. It will make life easier as you move if you have a compilation of information and documents, such as report cards, to give to the new school.

A good record may simplify the procedure of a smooth placement in the new school, especially when changing from one curriculum to another.

Keep a list of contact numbers, names and addresses of the former schools (teaching staff, administration.

Letters of recommendation from the teacher(s): this letter should give an outline of the child in the school environment, covering not only the curriculum side of it, but also abilities, social behaviour, strength, weaknesses etc.

A description of curriculum (it may be necessary to translate it): the official version is a good starting point, but it is extremely useful having the teacher define the outline of the program (as it may differ slightly or greatly from the official one). Keeping a copy of the textbooks may come handy to substantiate the program followed.

Tests and work-samples: some curriculums have standardized assessments.  Keep a copy of these. 


Financial file   

 To ease the chore of filing your taxes, keep your records organized. This will ease your work or the fee if you have a professional prepare your tax return. Be sure to keep records concerning the purchase of your home and investments and any transactions related to these items until three years after the sale of these items. If you plan to apply for foreign social security benefits you may wish to keep your foreign tax returns as proof of your earnings history.

Excerpt from Personal Finance for Overseas Americans
Copyright © 2000 by Barbara Frew
Permission to reprint given by the publisher GIL Financial Press
Make a list of the services you need to establish
                        Auto Insurance
                        Credit Cards
                        Home Insurance
                        Life Insurance



Moving from place to place involves the safe-keeping of your personal and your family medical records. It is imperative to realize as soon as possible that only written reports matter when it comes to create continuity between doctors from different country. This is due to the fact there are different backgrounds and medical training involved.

Records to keep track of include (but are not limited to):
-  X-rays (make sure you ask for copies of the important exams prior to leaving a location);
-  vaccinations (the vaccine' type should be reported on the vaccinations booklet, and where possible
   with the lot number listed)
-  if there is a pre-existing condition or cronic illness make sure you have all the files with you as well
   as any current treatment or therapy (name of medications, active ingredients and dosage) or proposed
   action to be taken
- if you are travelling to countries where medical assistance and availability of medications is scarce, ask
   your doctor to give you medication for a certain length of time (check the expiry date).

Enquire about the possibility of having prescriptions made up from other locations and being mailed to you (in the event of difficulty acquiring specific medication).

Useful facts to record
- keep track of your 'wellness' or health check-ups and always have a copy of any check-ups in your 
  health file
- doctors (and pediatricians in particular) keep a log of each visit you make. Ask for a copy of those files.
- record any specific problem (allergies, intolerance, etc.) and if a condition is life threatening make sure 
  you have it detailed on a laminated card that you carry with you and where possible on a bracelet or 

Many services are being developed to tackle the health issues for mobile people and recently, central databases have been created to maintain medical records together with telemedicine services. This allows for the provision of  Doctors support, especially for people relocated to remote areas, to advise, recommend and assist where treatment may be necessary. 
As the evolution continues in this area, this sector will be reviewed.