What do expats do about mail?

Joanna Heep

Joanna Heep

November 8, 2021

What do expats do about mail?

If you’re planning to move to another country, you have a lot of logistics to take care of before you set off on the adventure of a lifetime. Whether you’re moving away for a few months or forever, you may still want to keep a U.S. address. Why? 

  • You need reliable mail service. Depending on where you move to or travel to, you may not enjoy the standard of service that you’ve grown accustomed to from the U.S. postal service.

  • You may need a U.S. mailing address to keep some other U.S. services If you want to  keep your U.S. bank account, you’ll still need to maintain a U.S. address. 

How to manage your mail when you’re living in another country

So what do you do about your mail when you’re moving overseas? Some people rent a P.O. Box if they only plan to travel temporarily or for a short-term move. Others use the home address of family members or friends as their own, even for a long-term move.  

Virtual Mail Address

Postal mail privacy

However, when you trust an in-law or friend to receive your mail, you’re trusting them to either forward you your mail or open letters on your behalf. This jeopardizes your privacy and personal information. You may receive highly sensitive and personal letters in the mail, including IRS letters, bank statements, health insurance, or possibly legal documents. Keep that in mind when deciding if you want to open your family and friends to any mail you may receive.

Plus, while away, you’ll likely actually need something that arrives in the mail. Do you really want someone else opening all of your mail? In addition to this being against federal law, it forces you to rely on others for handling personal documents and packages. 

Mail service for expats, digital nomads, and frequent travelers 

Instead, you could get an all-in-one mail management solution that doesn’t entail trusting your in-laws or friends to handle your mail. A virtual mailbox with Earth Class Mail gives you the ability to receive your postal mail and important documents online, no matter where you are. If you receive packages or want hard copies of your mail, virtual mailboxes can forward them to wherever you choose.

Virtual mailboxes provide you with a real street address. Your mail gets processed and uploaded into your account, so you don’t have to check your physical mailbox, just your account. 

You can access your mail from anywhere on any device and then decide what to do with each piece of mail: have it securely shredded, share it as a PDF, forward it, or deposit a check. You’ll manage your home affairs (like tax forms) while overseas. Virtual mailboxes accept mail from all carriers, so no need to worry about that!  

Can you use a virtual address for U.S. banks?

As an expat, you might not have a home address in the United States, so what address do you use for your bank? If you already have a U.S. bank account, you can update the billing or mailing address to one of our virtual mailing addresses. 

If you don’t already have a U.S. bank account and are already living overseas, you can set up your bank account with a relative’s address, then update your mailing address to your virtual address later on. 

Virtual Mail Address2

Reduce mail before traveling

Before you begin your travels and sign up with a virtual mailbox provider, we recommend you take time to eliminate as much of your incoming mail as possible. Remove yourself from mailing lists, cancel magazine subscriptions, and set up your bills and bank statements to be online. 

How digital nomads and business owners use virtual mailboxes 

We live vicariously through a lot of our traveling customers, including Audra McMurray, owner and operator of Causitree. McMurray travels overseas to be on site at the nonprofits and international foundations she works with. While abroad, McMurray needed a solution to be away from her home and office but still seamlessly manage her business–such as sending invoices, receiving mail, and depositing checks–while away. We’re happy she chose Earth Class Mail to join her on her adventures! 

This service has been a lifesaver after starting my own business and working 100% remotely in the U.S. and abroad. From the customer service to the ease of use, it's a win-win for me.” - Audra McMurray 

Interested in a virtual mailbox?

With a virtual mailbox, not only do you no longer have to trust in-laws with your mail, your mail also goes digital! What does that mean to you? You’ll have 24/7 access to your mail and documents and save them forever with our cloud storage offerings. If you need the physical item, simply forward to yourself–wherever you are. 

Let’s get started! Explore our plans here or schedule a demo with one of our product experts.


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