Relocation (personal)

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Painting of a family moving in the 19th Century

Relocation, also known as moving, or moving house, is the process of one or more individuals leaving one dwelling and settling in another. A move can be to a nearby location within the same neighborhood, a much farther location in a different city, or sometimes a different country. It usually includes packing up all belongings, transferring to the new home, and unpacking, as well as administrative or bureaucratic tasks, such as changing registration data, change of insurance, services, etc.

Psychological effect[edit]

On the Holmes and Rahe stress scale for adults, "change of residence" is considered a stressful activity, assigned 20 points (with death of spouse being ranked the highest at 100),[1] although other changes on the scale (e.g. "change in living conditions", "change in social activities") often occur as a result of relocating, making the overall stress level potentially higher.

Various studies have found that moving house is often particularly stressful for children and is sometimes associated with long-term problems.[2][3][4][5]

According to Dr. Mitesh Patel, the top five pressure points for international assignees were challenges of a new job, inability to take part in activities available at home, loss of a support network, language and other cultural difficulties, and worker's spouse being unable to find work.[6]


An expatriate is an individual temporarily or permanently relocating to a country other than their native country. The individual relocating would be considered an Immigrant in their new country.

Often big corporations will relocate their employees for short-term to long-term assignments abroad. Quite often, such relocation is supported by a relocation service, which assists internationally assigned personnel in finding and/or moving into a new house, organizing a school for children, conducting local culture training and in general terms, supporting integration into the new location and/or culture.

Individual members of skilled professions may also independently find work in other countries to which they are not native. In these cases, the support systems mentioned above may have to be found by themselves.


There may be a legal requirement for individuals to notify authorities of a change of address if they maintain a driver's license or vehicle registration,[7] voter registration, are on parole, or are eligible for conscription (as with the Selective Service System). Some loans contractually require the borrower to notify the lender of address changes.

In the United States, moving companies must provide the customers with a booklet "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move". That is created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).[8]

Some lower-population jurisdictions subsidize relocations, some targeting people who can work from anywhere, in order to enhance the local workforce and tax base.[9] Immigration restrictions can also influence where a person relocates to and whether or not it is feasible.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Holmes-Rahe Scale
  2. ^ Sheppard, Caroline H.; William Steele (2003). "Moving Can Become Traumatic". Trauma and Loss: Research and Interventions. Nat'l Inst for Trauma and Loss in Children. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  3. ^ Pettit, Becky (2004). "Moving and Children's Social Connections: the critical importance of context" (PDF). Sociological Forum. 19 (2): 285–311. doi:10.1023/B:SOFO.0000031983.93817.ff.
  4. ^ Oesterreich, Lesia (April 2004). "Understanding children: moving to a new home" (PDF). Iowa State University. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
  5. ^ Roman, Beverly D. "Relocating Our Smallest Movers". Families in Global Transition. Families in Global Transition.
  6. ^ Patel, Mitesh (2017). "Expatriate mental health: Breaking the silence and ending the stigma" (PDF). Aetna International. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Tell DVLA you've changed address".
  8. ^ "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move". FMCSA.
  9. ^ "You Want To Move? Some Cities Will Pay You $10,000 To Relocate". 20 Dec 2020.

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