Moving to a new country is an exciting and invigorating experience. With just a few steps and some big decisions, you’ll be changing your life entirely, and possibly for the better! However, as exciting and breathtaking as it all may feel, there are still some important and very serious elements that you’ll need to have in order before you can whisk yourself away on a brand-new adventure.
This is no need for alarm though – planning everything well in advance and triple-checking that everything is planned and organised will make the process entirely manageable and soon you’ll be able to focus on building your new life. Here are the seven most important things to account for when it’s time for your big move.
Some of the stress and anxiety that comes along with a big move can be tempered with good old insurance plans. The kinds of insurance you’ll want (for the move itself and once you arrive in your new home) will be personal and depend on your family and lifestyle. Some important ones are health and home insurance, shipping insurance for making sure all your belongings arrive safely, and even annual travel insurance for those who might not be settling down for too long. Good insurance policies will give you a safety net and protect you against major financial setbacks – an important consideration when relocating.
Being waist-deep in the relocation process and realising that your passport expired four years ago is an annoyance at best and a major setback at worst. Getting these documents sorted out, applied for or renewed as soon as you can (as soon as you decide on moving) will make everything else move along a lot more smoothly in your moving process. Some countries will require that your passport is valid for a few months after your final arrival date and you’ll need your passport in place for your visa applications too.
Applying for a visa can be a sticky business at times, and it can take a bit of time and effort too. The type of visa you’ll apply for will depend on your reason for moving abroad (for a job or your studies, for example), and you’ll need to supply relevant documents for each specific case. Check out the requirements of the government of your new country ahead of time to see what information they might require of you – you might need to provide evidence of funding to support yourself for a period of time, so you’ll want to know about that in advance so you can be prepared.
Changing countries will mean changing banks – a process we’re all aware is tedious. It’s recommended that you invest in an international credit card if possible, in order to avoid foreign transaction fees while you’re in between banks and countries, and try to get set up with a bank in your new home as soon as possible. Since it might take a while, you might want to do your research and gather the necessary documents before you even leave home, in order to make the process a little quicker and easier.
If you’re shipping your whole life over to another country, you should be aware of any potential customs taxes that you may be charged on your belongings. Do your research (a government website should be helpful) and find out the customs procedures on items like furniture and try to make a list of the items in transit and their approximate value – this will probably come in handy for your customs as well as for any shipping insurance you might use.
Leaving your long-term stay up to chance is not the best idea. Get informed about what it takes to get a residence permit in your new country before you make the leap, to avoid getting kicked out of your newfound home after a year or two or settling down ( as has happened to many others). There will be different and specific requirements depending on where you want to move to. Figure out your options for residency and get your plans in order before you leave, and you should be good to go.
If you’re ready to relocate but you’re not too sure about all these things mentioned – residency, finding a job, studying and visas – consider talking to an immigration agent. They will be able to help you through the process, figure out the best possible routes for you, give you budgeting estimations and generally help you to get where you want to end up. Although perhaps an expensive investment, if you’re serious about moving to the country of your dreams, this will certainly help you to do it and make the process a whole lot easier and more manageable.
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