Planning to move abroad is drastically different to visiting a destination as a tourist – it’s a big decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The preparation involved with moving abroad can often be stressful, so we’ve compiled a short guide to help simplify all of the vital considerations that you’ll need to make before finalising your decision.
Visa and Residency
If you’re in the early stage of moving abroad, the first most important aspects that you’ll need to consider is your Visa or residency permit. Visas allow people into the country, for example tourists or those wishing to work, whereas residency permits are for when you plan to live in the country long term (not to be confused with citizenship).
Your home country will have certain agreements with the country you are planning to move to in terms of the types of permits you will need to live, work, or study there. Make sure you thoroughly understand the intricacies and legalities of the process, for example what you will need and require to pass. If you are an immigrant who is planning to live and work in the US, you’ll need to ensure that you have a green card issued through USCIS processing before you move.
Understandably, you’ll need to have employment lined up in your chosen country in order to support yourself and your loved ones if necessary. Unless you are financially stable with savings or passive income, or you are married/in a civil partnership with someone from the country you are moving to, you will be required to provide proof of employment when applying for residency. This will usually be in the form of a work contract or other evidence that you earn income as a freelancer.
To avoid any financial issues while living abroad, ensure to be realistic in line with your budget, and take care to understand any accommodation contracts and check reviews online if necessary. If possible, view your accommodation in person or at least through a video tour, and never send funds to anyone before signing your contract.
If you are an EU resident or an EU citizen, then you will most likely have an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which is issued by your home country. This entitles you to emergency health care in any of the other EU member countries, meaning you won’t be left in a vulnerable position if you need medical attention. Each country has its own unique regulations regarding entitlement to health care, so be sure to research this in depth.
Transporting your Belongings
Make a practical plan of what you are planning to take and decide how you will be transporting your important belongings. People moving abroad most commonly use the likes of sea freight as a cost-efficient way to transport their goods, while some prefer to use air freight. In terms of your new home, it’s worthwhile to outweigh the financial pros and cons of transporting furniture and household items or choosing to rent them in the new country.