There are many reasons to move overseas. Whether you’re looking to explore employment opportunities, attend a stellar university, or reconnect with your roots, relocating to another country requires a bit of advanced planning. So if you’re ready to pack up the house and make arrangements, exploring the ins and outs of the process before you leave is essential. Here are 10 things to know when immigrating to another country outside of the U.S.
Set Up a Budget
Moving to a new state within the U.S. can be expensive, and there are even more budgetary considerations when your destination is overseas. So plan to prepare your finances well before your move date. Some people take years to set up their budget, and while some countries, such as Spain and Italy, may offer you a financial incentive to move there, you can still expect to pay out of pocket for costs such as:
- Housing deposits.
- Moving services.
- Immigration documents and attorney fees.
- International insurance.
Plan for the Unexpected
The financial experts at Bankrate recommend saving at least seven months of living expenses for emergencies. After half a year, you should know how much you’ll need to live each month in your new destination. However, the more money you have on hand beyond the minimum, the better you can manage unexpected expenses. For example, if you discover the public transportation system isn’t what you’d hoped, you may have to replace the car you left in the U.S.
Consider Where to Bank
Who would have imagined opening a bank account in another nation would be challenging? Unfortunately, some financial institutions won’t bank with foreigners due to fraud and tax evasion schemes. With various international banking regulations that may prevent you from banking overseas, your best option may be to go digital. Look for an online bank that will let you deal in several currencies, such as the dollar and the euro, and check their fees to avoid unnecessary charges.
Obtain a Passport
The next step is to get your passport. If you already have one, check the expiration date. If it’s due to expire in the next six months, renew it now because processing times can take up to 13 weeks plus mailing. Your children will also need a passport, so plan to complete a Statement of Consent form for each family member under 18. The State Department’s website is a terrific place to download and fill out the appropriate forms and provide proof of citizenship.
Schedule a Doctor’s Appointment
While this tip may sound odd, seeing your doctor for a well-check before applying for a visa is important. Some nations require proof of vaccinations and documentation that you’re in good health. Don’t take this step lightly, even if you feel fine. Not every country has access to a quality healthcare system, and unheard-of illnesses in the U.S. are commonplace elsewhere. You don’t want to get sick because you didn’t get the right vaccinations.
Look Into Health Care and Insurance
Health care is different in every country. It may be provided by private companies or part of a national system. Counting on a state-sponsored program may not be in your best interest, as you may not qualify as a foreigner. In addition, there could be residency requirements before you become eligible or certain costs you must pay out of pocket, so do your research and ensure you have health insurance before you’re in a situation where you need it. You’ll also want to get written prescriptions for any medications to bring to your new pharmacy.
Make Sure You Have Work
Getting a job in a foreign country may not be as easy as it sounds. Many places have high unemployment rates, such as South Africa, which reported 33.6% at the end of 2021. The chances of finding work here are lower than in Qatar, with its 0.3% unemployment rating. There are also countries with right-to-work laws. Even if you arrive on a foreign work visa, you may not be entitled to this status despite paying taxes. Immigrants are often required to get a permanent resident card or citizenship to apply for work.
Break the Language Barrier
It’s essential to learn your new country’s language before you immigrate. You don’t want to rely on a translator, even the one on your phone, for everything, from filling out a form at the doctor’s office to ordering lunch. If you don’t speak the language now, start taking lessons right away. It’s an essential part of adapting to your life overseas, and it’ll enhance your overall experience and allow you to immerse yourself in your new community quickly.
Apply for an International Visa
Unless you’re relocating to one of the 187 countries where Americans can visit with just a passport, you’ll need a visa, especially if you’re staying long-term. Start this process as soon as you nail down the country you plan to immigrate to, so you’ll have plenty of time to sort out the application process. Most officials will want supporting documents, so collect you:
- Letter of invitation.
- Proof of financial support.
- Reason for immigrating.
- Application fees.
Pack With a Purpose
No one wants to drag an overweight suitcase across the globe, so consider what you bring along carefully. Check out the climate abroad so you can pack for the seasons, and also research clothing expectations. Does your destination’s culture support laid-back clothes, or are modest ones more appropriate? Remember, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to purchase whatever you need once you immigrate, so pack with a purpose.
What Do You Need To Know When Immigrating to Another Country?
There are numerous laws and regulations that vary drastically by country. So no matter where you decide to settle, the best way to ensure you’re prepared and your move goes smoothly is with the help of an experienced immigration attorney. Customs officials worldwide require potential immigrants to follow specific, very detailed procedures. If the paperwork is incomplete or contains errors, it could delay the process significantly. Thankfully, our expert staff can help you avoid these pitfalls.
Thanks to our blog, you now know 10 things that will help you through the often intimidating immigration process. You can’t plan for everything, though. So when you need expert immigration advice, contact De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration Lawyers for a free consultation.