Guide to Moving Abroad
Are you planning to move abroad? If so, there are a few things you have to take care of before taking the final step. Moving to another country is a very big decision. It has its own challenges. You must go through massive lifestyle changes in order to settle into a new place.
But just because it is hard, doesn’t mean it is impossible. What you can do is prepare yourself ahead of time to tackle the challenges successfully. There are a number of things you must consider and plan for before moving to a new country. For example, prepare a budget based on the cost of living abroad, familiarize yourself with their lifestyle and make yourself aware of the local laws and regulations.
Following are a few things you must take into consideration when planning to move abroad:
Sell Your Stuff
The first thing you do before moving abroad is to sell the extra stuff. Whether you are leaving due to an employment opportunity or for retirement reasons, there are so many things that you won’t be able to take with you. For example, sell the furniture that is not needed. It is wise to sell your car as well, because the cost of transporting it will probably be quite high. By doing this, you’ll be able to get an extra cash that can be used aboard.
Moreover, if you have the ownership of the house you are leaving, consider renting it out as it will serve as an additional mode of income.
Get a Doctor’s Appointment
Your health should always be a priority for you, especially if you are moving abroad. Get an appointment and tell your physician that you are moving to another country. A thorough checkup is necessary before you leave. You might also have to get vaccinated to avoid catching any disease or outbreak in that region.
It is wise to get a medical insurance if you are moving to a country where medical treatment is expensive. Also, it is important to get an authorization from your doctor for prescription drugs as it will allow you to get the medicines across the border.
There are many drugs available in the market with different formulation and brand names. Ask your physician which brand or formulation is safe to use and what you should avoid. Moreover, if you are moving with your family and have a newborn child, get him or her vaccinated. Bear in mind that vaccination schedule is not the same for every country. Therefore, keep that in mind when scheduling the next vaccination appointment for your child abroad.
The Travel Health Notices issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada provide a list of health risks a Canadian can face abroad, along with ways to minimize them. You must get a complete information about those risks and discuss them with your doctor.
Find a Temporary Residence
Whether you are moving for employment purposes or just to experience a new lifestyle, it is important to make living arrangements beforehand. Carry out thorough market research online to find affordable yet decent temporary living space. It can be a hotel or any short-term lodging service, such as Airbnb. You must make a living arrangement for three to five months beforehand to avoid any inconveniences. You must be fully informed about where you should or shouldn’t live once you are abroad.
Getting a temporary accommodation will enable you to search the market and find a suitable place for a permanent residence. If you have moved to pursue an employment opportunity, temporary living will serve as a cushion to do focused job search during that period without worrying about the accommodation. This is one of the most critical factors to consider when you plan to move to another country. Therefore, keep a percentage of your savings aside for temporary residence arrangements.
International Driving License
Getting an international driving license is a wise choice. It will enable you to save a lot of money on commuting from place to another. Although, you can always rent a car or use public transport, having your own vehicle saves you a lot of cost and time when you are traveling. So, get an international license as it will keep you at ease until you are fully settled in the new place.
Buy a Guide to Learning the Culture and Lifestyle
It is not easy to get accustomed to the culture and lifestyle of another country instantly. In fact, some people experience culture shock and find it hard to adjust to a new lifestyle. Therefore, be well-informed about it before you make a move. However, don’t get embarrassed if you find yourself breaking some of the cultural norms in the beginning. Instead, learn from your experience so as not to repeat it again.
Buy a guide and read online to get acquainted with the new culture. Learn about the lifestyle in that country as it will make the transition easier for you when you move there. There are so many guides available in the market that tells you about the lifestyle and culture of various countries. You can also join forums and communities on social media to get a better understanding.
Moreover, learn a few commonly used phrases if the native language of that country is not English. This will make it easier for you to communicate with the locals of that country.
Stay Up-to-date with Immigration and Visa Laws
Regardless of where you move, the laws of immigration and visa keep changing from time to time. You must ensure that you are aware of the revised regulations to avoid any inconveniences in the future. Just to be on the safe side, keep a set of personal documents with you at all times, including but not limited to the tax record, professional and academic certificates, marriage certificate, and a birth certificate.
It is quite likely that once you move to a new country, you may have to apply for permanent residency or national ID card. Therefore, stay well informed and keep a complete set of documentation to smoothly execute the paperwork that may be needed in the future. You may also have to get registered with the immigration department once you move abroad.
Make Reliable Shipping Arrangements
If you are planning to move some of the furniture or equipment, look for a reliable shipping service. You don’t want your stuff to get damaged during transit. You may have to spend some time in finding a good service, but it’s worth it. Read reviews on different forums and talk to people about it. A good, reliable service might be a little expensive as compared to other shipping companies that are offering cheap packages, but you will be sure that the items have been carefully delivered to the destination.
Always Maintain a Budget
It takes time to learn about the new customs, living standards and laws of a new place. Don’t rush into things and take one step at a time. It is hard to keep track of the expenses in the beginning, especially during the first few months. What you can do is maintain a budget based on the cost of living until you manage to keep a steady income.
Before moving to a new country, carry out research and find the cost of items that you use on a regular basis. It may include kids’ education, clothing, public transportation, dining out, recreation, personal care items, healthcare, groceries, appliances, furniture, alcohol, and other miscellaneous items.
Incorporate the cost of living in your budget on the basis of your savings and be very realistic about what kind of lifestyle you can afford. You can always make adjustments with time as you start earning more or get familiarized with the local living standards.
Last but not the least, it is very important to be well aware of safety measures and laws of that country. Search for the crime rate of the place where you are moving and get information about the common crimes that take place over there. Make sure your luggage is within the required limit to avoid any complication on arrival.
Learn the emergency phone numbers of different services, such as ambulances, fire emergency department, police station, and any other services available in that country.
If you are moving with a family, pets are a major part of your household. Make sure if you can import the pet abroad. You may have to go through quarantine guidelines and get your pet vaccinated before you are allowed to move it abroad. Also, keep a complete set of pet documentation with you.
Moving to a new country would require a lot of planning and research. However, despite being fully prepared, you will still come across countless surprises from time to time. Therefore, keep yourself prepared for uncertainties as well and incorporate them into your budget to tackle the unforeseen circumstances successfully. This will make it easier for you to adjust to the new environment without any undue pressure or stress.