A move to another country is filled with possibilities and can be the adventure of a lifetime. However, it can also be complex and overwhelming to execute. Here is a guide on how to proceed in a way that will make your transition as smooth as possible.
Embark on a Fact-Finding Mission
Do some research on the country you wish to move to. Find out what the climate is like, the language that is commonly spoken, the crime rate, and whether foreigners are generally welcome there. It is good to learn about the culture and whether it will be easy to fit in.
A good source of information is from blogs posted by individuals who work and live in the country you intend to move to. If possible, plan a visit to check things out before you make the final move. While you are there, you can also look into accommodation options that are within your budget.
Check your Travel Documents
It is important to ensure that you are holding a valid passport. In addition, do check out the government website of your destination to find out the entry requirements for residents intending to work, live, or go to school there. Some countries will not issue visas to holders of passports with less than 6 months validity.
Look into Healthcare and Insurance Requirements
Your existing healthcare provider may not offer coverage for the period you are out of the country, therefore you may have to cancel your policy and obtain a different one. In addition, enquire about immunization requirements.
Put Together a Time Plan
This is an excellent way to ensure that you accomplish all that you need to in a timely manner, according to the order of priority. Items that can go on the time plan include:
- When to hand in notice at your place of work and arrange for handing over.
- Your pets may need vaccinations and documentation if you are taking them with you.
- Arrange for a tenant or buyer for your home.
- Sort out your possessions to determine what you will take with you, and what will go into storage.
- Sell your car
- Obtain an International Driving Permit if necessary
- Turn off the utilities
Find a Reliable Shipping Service
A large part of your moving costs will go towards the shipping company. In order to lower the costs, ocean freight is recommended over air freight, however, the shipping process will need to begin as early as possible. This is because sea freight is slow and it may take 2-3 months before your belongings arrive at the destination.
Do make it a point to obtain quotations from a number of suppliers before you commit to a shipping service.
Inform Your Bank
Your bankers and credit companies need to be advised of your intention to relocate. It is important to enquire about the level of transaction fees that will apply for cross-border banking. You may opt to open an international bank account for the movement of money. In addition, a local bank account will be useful for daily transactions.
Moving to another country is challenging, however, others have successfully made the move and are now enjoying rewarding and fulfilling lives at their new homes.