Real Estate

Tips for moving to another country

MAKE SURE – Moving can be extremely stressful, make sure it’s the right move for you before you leave. If possible, visit the country before making a decision, do not trust the impressions of other people. Ask yourself if the new culture will really follow you (and your family).

BE PREPARED – … for everything to go wrong. Don’t assume that you will be able to find the perfect job or home right away. If possible, make sure you have enough money to get through the first few months at a minimum (preferably more). And to do that you will need …

BUDGET – As unglamorous as it may sound, a good budget could be what makes the difference between a successful relocation and a disaster. Before you go, find out how much everything is going to cost during those crucial first months when you’re trying to find your feet in a foreign land.

DON’T BE DELAYED – Start preparing as soon as possible, just getting all the necessary paperwork in order can be time consuming. Make a checklist of everything you need to do!

CHECK YOUR BENEFITS – If your business has started moving, you may be eligible for relocation benefits. Be sure to ask if they haven’t told you yet!

HEALTH – Make sure the country you are moving to has adequate healthcare facilities and infrastructure to support you (and your family), especially if you have a medical condition that requires treatment or medication.

YOUR HOME – Think about what you want to do with your current home (for example, sell it, rent it, leave it empty) and what type of accommodation will be most suitable in your new country. If you don’t know anyone in the new country who can help you find accommodation, consider the services of a relocation agent.

EMPLOYMENT – Will you be looking for work in your new country? If so, consider starting your job search before you go (use the internet!). Will you be able to use your existing qualifications or will a retraining period be required? If you move to a place where they don’t speak the same language as you, then you should …

LEARN THE LANGUAGE – Few skills will have as positive an impact on your relocation experience as being able to speak, or at least understand, the local language. Getting familiar with the local lingo before you go is a great idea!

STATIONERY – No matter how insignificant that old document in the back of the bottom drawer may seem now, take it with you, most likely at some point you will have to show it to someone. Moving to another country can be a bureaucratic nightmare at best, but if you come prepared with the necessary documentation, you have the best chance of a stress-free relocation. Things to think about include birth certificates, marriage certificates, educational certificates, medical certificates (including those for your pets!), Etc.

FRIENDS AND FAMILY: Don’t forget to inform everyone of your new address and when you’re leaving (unless you don’t want to be found, of course 😉 Seriously though, saying goodbye to your friends and family can be the thing. The hardest part of leaving is being prepared for an emotional roller coaster as departure day approaches.

YOUR BELONGINGS: Will you take everything with you or will you leave some items in storage (or even get rid of them entirely)? How will you move your belongings? Can you transport them yourself or do you need the services of a moving company? Put aside the things you need to take with you in person so that they are not accidentally packed (passports, tickets, etc.)

INSURANCE – Once you’ve decided what to take with you, insure it. If you have not yet taken out adequate insurance (health / life / travel, etc.) for you and your family too … DO IT!

BANKING – You may need to open a new bank account in your new country; look for information on the one that suits you best. Do you need to close your current bank account? At a minimum, you will need to inform your current bank that you are moving.

CREDIT CARDS – Credit card companies should be aware that you are moving. Also, will the credit cards you carry be widely accepted?

DRIVING – Depending on where you are going and how long you will be there, you may need to apply for a new driver’s license or even take a driving test. Will you take your car with you or buy / rent / lease one when you arrive in your destination country?

PUBLIC SERVICES, etc. – Gas, electricity, cable companies, etc. They must be informed of their departure and of the contracts terminated when appropriate. Arrange for final meter readings and bill payment.

POST REDIRECTION: Having your mail redirected after you leave can prevent you from missing something important.

ELECTRICAL DEVICES AND MOBILE PHONES: Check if your TV, VCR, hair dryer, alarm clock, etc. they will work in the new country. You may need to purchase a new network subscription for a mobile phone (or buy a new one with a subscription); be careful about roaming charges with your current phone if you use it.

EMAIL – If moving means you can’t keep your current email address, consider a free web-based email account that you can access from anywhere.

And finally, a couple of important tips for when you arrive in your new country …

MAKE FRIENDS – Whether locals or expats, nothing will help you more than being able to count on the help of your friends when you need it. Don’t think that socializing is a waste of time, it’s what makes a new country feel like home.

DON’T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF – Moving to a new country is difficult. Even when everything goes according to plan, it is still difficult. There will be times when you will be physically and emotionally drained, but try not to let things get on you. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help or support, there are many people who have been there before.

Good luck!

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