People are moving overseas to start over and experience life somewhere else. New culture, new language, new friends. All of us love new beginnings. It is in our nature to seek adventures, and moving to another country or even better continent offers that and much more. But, do you know how to prepare for moving abroad?
What needs to happen before moving abroad?
Lucky ones have a job that can be done from anywhere, but not many people have that privilege. We all know that having a job before moving abroad is a must, so let’s see how to find one.
- Find out if telecommuting is an option at your current firm.
- If you are working at a company that has international positions – ask for a transfer.
- Look for headhunters in the country that you are planning on calling the home in the future. Send them your CV and hope for the best.
- Go through job sites while you are waiting for a response.
- And, if nothing works out, try to find a freelance job that can be done on the internet.
- Whatever happens, prepare for moving abroad by trying your finest and hoping for the best.
2# Get a work visa or permit
The main reason for getting a job before moving to a foreign country is that many countries maintain a quota for each type of work permit, such as “highly skilled professional,” or “seasonal worker”. Once it is filled, there is nothing you can do during that calendar year to obtain a work permit. It is easier and much less risky to obtain a working visa before you enter a foreign country. If you don’t, there is a high chance that you will have to leave and then re-enter a country.
Good to know:
Work visas/permits are time limited. If you plan on staying for a while, you will have to renew it after some time. This period depends on the country’s laws, and you can search for more information on that specific country’s government website.
A work visa is always handed out for a specific job, and it’s issued by the respective ministry of foreign affairs. Some countries require the approval of the labor ministry, but that shouldn’t scare you, it is all normal.
3# International driver’s license
International driving permit (IDP) is recognized by over 150 countries. It is a special license for foreigners authorized by a UN treaty. IDP allows drivers to join international traffic without any additional tests or licenses. It provides photo ID and translation of your valid driver’s license (printed in ten languages) that comes in handy when you need to rent a car or even buy one.
4# Contact your bank
Contact your bank and find out if you have access to your accounts while you are in a foreign country. Make sure your credit cards are valid, and up to date before leaving. If your bank doesn’t offer services in your new country, you should probably open a new account at a bank that does. Make sure you don’t have any debts or mortgages before you leave and save yourself from headaches in the future.
5# Collect your medical records and get an insurance policy
Before leaving home, it is important to check if you are healthy. Now is the time to make appointments for a comprehensive medical check-up with your physician. Get your prescription medications for chronic illnesses, contact lenses, and necessary immunizations. Don’t wait for a medical crisis to happen.
Speaking of emergencies, you will need insurance out of the country, but not all policies may be transferable. Contact your insurance company before moving, and see if your health insurance plans will still be valid abroad. You should also ask for travel insurance.
6# Don’t leave unfinished businesses behind
Check your calendar. Make a list of things you need to take care of, and check it twice before you leave. It is always a good idea to buy a planner. This way, you will be able to write down everything that comes to your mind and prevent forgetting important stuff. If you don’t plan on coming back anytime soon, you definitely don’t want to forget anything. But even if you’re packing and moving last minutes, don’t worry, things can get managed.
7# Housing options
Before you start packing your bags, you need to research real estate market in a country of your choosing. Are you planning on buying or renting? What are the prices? Can you afford it? Take everything into a consideration, and then make a decision. Yes, it is nice to own a house, but do you really need it? How long are you planning on staying? Think about everything. And I mean – everything!
8# What will you do with the old house
Decide what will happen to your old house. Are you going to sell it or rent it? Or neither? If you plan on returning home after a few months abroad, you won’t have to move all of your belongings with you. But if you are moving for good, you’ll have to ship your possessions to your new home. In that case, we suggest you hire a moving company that can assist you. Pick a company that best suits your needs. Negotiate, ask for an estimate, do your research before you sign a contract or pay for anything. Make sure that your belongings are in the safe hands. You don’t want anything to get broken or lost in the transport.
9# Prepare for moving abroad by learning the new language
If you are moving to a non-English speaking country, not understanding the new language will be the biggest challenge you are going to face. Take some language classes in advance to make your adaptation period easier. Try to learn the basics. This is the best way to prepare for moving abroad and it will make you feel much more comfortable when you arrive.