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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Arrange Finances


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  • Investigate whether countries you plan to visit en route have laws prohibiting the entry or withdrawal of even small sums of local or foreign currency.
  • Check with post to determine how quickly you can access local currency upon arrival.  Find out whether you can use your ATM card.  Will you be able to change U.S. currency at the embassy?  Do people at post use a local bank?  Will local banks accept U.S. dollar checks?   
  • Arrange for an advance on your   Foreign Transfer Allowance. Here is an online Foreign Transfer Allowance worksheet (PDF).
  • Request an Advance of Pay, as outlined in 4 FAH-3 H-536 ADVANCE OF PAY guidelines, if desired (up to three months' pay in advance). This must be paid back over 18 pay periods.
  • Cancel Internet and television services, health club memberships, newspaper delivery, and so on. Cancel or transfer utilities as needed.
  • Decide how to pay all bills that may arrive after your departure.  Automatic (direct-pay) or Internet payment options can be helpful, if available.
  • Record the monthly closing date for each credit card account. In the process of moving, and at your new post, monthly statements may arrive late. Check to see if there is a way to view your statements or make payments online.
  • If you are renting your property, make arrangements for the receipt of your renter's monthly rent payment and deposit into the appropriate bank account.
  • If you have Student Loans or college payments, arrange for online bill payments.  
  • Anticipate heavy initial expenses at post, such as membership in embassy associations or rental car costs. Arrange your personal finances to meet such needs. 

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