If you’re moving abroad soon, you’re probably experiencing a wide assortment of emotions. This is an exciting time. You have a big adventure ahead of you.
It can also be a bit intimidating or even scary, too. There are a lot of unknowns when you relocate to a new place. Relocating to a different country comes with its own set of considerations.
To help you feel less nervous and stressed, here’s a list of what you will need when moving out of the country.
Apply for a Visa
Applying for your visa is a necessary step. It is also often the longest part of the moving abroad process. So, you’ll want to start early.
The application will ask a lot of detailed questions such as why you are moving, how you will pay for your stay, and where you will live.
Be prepared to spend a great deal of time on this unavoidable paperwork. Every country has a different process, or requirement to be eligible for a visa so make sure to do ample research.
If you plan on staying long-term you may want to consult an immigration lawyer as well. They can also help you go through the complicated process of applying for citizenship if you wish.
You may be surprised at how involved the packing process can be when moving internationally. This is another step you’ll be wise to begin fairly early.
Depending on how long you plan to live in your new country, packing could be more or less extensive. For instance, if you won’t be gone long and intend to keep your current home, you’ll have a much easier time than if you need to sell, store or move all of your possessions.
Regardless of circumstances, a good rule of thumb is that you’ll need less than you think you do. Plan to pare down and pack only the essentials. This will make things go much more smoothly. You’ll be glad you were disciplined and discerning.
You’ll feel less unsure once you’ve secured housing abroad. This process can be lengthy and detailed. Get a jump on it right away if your employer hasn’t arranged things for you.
As with any housing decisions, you’ll first want to decide what kind of home you want and if you’ll buy or rent. Determine your budget, preferred distance from work, type of neighborhood, home amenities, and location features.
Ask around, check websites in your new area or ones especially for expats. Doing your research in advance will save your sanity.
If you are living on a college campus, or are being provided a place of residence by your employer then you may not have to stress about this part.
Take Care of Your Health Insurance
You will likely need to cancel your current health insurance policy and set up new coverage in your destination country. Take time to research the requirements of your new homeland and then start the necessary steps, as this could be a time-consuming process.
In the meantime, you should make appointments to take care of any last-minute medical and dental needs before you go. Be sure to have your doctor write you a prescription for any medications you take, as you’ll need them to get refills.
Make Plans for Your Car
If you own a vehicle, you’ll need to decide what to do with it. It is possible that you won’t need a car where you’re going. It might make sense to sell it and put the profits away for moving-related expenses or sightseeing costs.
This may especially be the case if you are moving to a country where streets are traditionally smaller and you own a large pickup truck. You could also store it or arrange for a friend to drive it while you’re gone.
If you’ll need your vehicle in your destination city, now is the time to start researching car shipping companies so you know the procedure and costs involved. You’ll also want to find out the protocol for retrieving your vehicle when you arrive and get settled.
If you plan on driving instead of taking public transportation you may also have to transfer your license. You may have to take a retest if the country you are moving to has drastically different signage and rules than your native country.
Sort Out Your Banking
You may be able to keep your bank account, but transferring your funds to a bank in your new home could be a better idea if your current institution charges overseas transaction fees.
Get in touch with your bank to ask such questions and to provide them with a forwarding address.
Letting them know where you’ll be will ensure your card isn’t flagged for suspicious transactions. In addition, applying for a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees is recommended.
You may also have to exchange your currency for the currency used within the country. For this, you will need to be aware of exchange fees and rates.
Is your dollar strong or weak in the country that you are staying in? This will affect your living situation when you get there.
One thing many people are surprised by when they travel to or move to another country is that countries can have different types of outlets. These outlets can also generate different voltages.
For this reason, it is important to have some cable adapters that will work for the country you are going to.
The voltages can also affect technology. For example, someone who has a cell phone from the United States may accidentally fry it when going to Germany if the model cannot support a voltage that is higher than traditional American outlets.
Make sure to research the standard voltage of the country you are going to so you will know if your devices will be able to withstand it.
Research Your Home City
Preparing to move to another country can be quite stressful with all preparations you need to make. However, it doesn’t mean you should neglect the fun aspects.
Moving to another country can be exciting as well. You will be exposed to another culture, may learn a new language, meet so many new people, and experience great entertainment.
Research your home city and see what kind of happenings do they offer. Are there any tourist attractions you will want to visit on your days off from work?
Are there great restaurants nearby you are dying to try out? Imagine all the fun activities you can do once you settle into your new place.
Research the Law
Countries can have very different laws. For example, in Germany, it is against the law to make loud noises after 10 pm every night or on Sundays.
You don’t want to make the mistake of mowing your lawn on a Sunday morning and having the cops show up on your doorstep with a fine. By researching, the laws of the country you are moving to you can avoid mistakes that would have legal consequences.
Hopefully, these tips have put your mind at ease and you’re now feeling more excited than nervous about your upcoming journey.
Take things one step at a time, do your research, and don’t be afraid to seek help with any questions you have. You’ll be just fine.