If you have a plan to move to a new country, you’re probably worried about everything that you need to do before leaving home and become an expat. Moving abroad involves several practicalities that need to be taken care of to embrace the brand new resident status that you are aiming for. Having only arrived, it can be quite overwhelming to take care of all the stuff that is necessary – particularly if you don’t know anything about the new place yet. So, below are some things that you need to know before moving overseas.
Every country has a different system of renting accommodation and sometimes it requires signing up for waiting lists, and it can take forever to find an apartment. however, every problem has an alternative solution so don’t lose faith if this step takes longer than you expected. Remember to stick to specialized websites which verify landlords and avoids as much as possible Facebook ads where a lot of the rental ads are sadly just scams.
Not only will you need to change a lump sum into your new local currency, but you may also need to transfer money regularly between the two countries, perhaps for education fees or a pension. Foreign currency brokers charge lower fees and offer better exchange rates than using your country’s bank.
The first thing you have to do when moving to another country is to ensure that you can legally be there. This step involves contacting the immigration office and ask if you need to apply for a visa and most importantly, what type of visa. There are many differences between the types of visa that you can obtain depending on the country and your reason for moving. For instance, a tourist visa will enable you to reside for a short period of time without the opportunity to access a doctor except you have a traveling insurance, while a student or a work visa enables you to stay for a longer period of time and includes a specific number of facilities that you can access, like housing and doctors. Then again, there are situations when you won’t need a visa, a good example being EU citizens who keep their residency within the European Union.
Social security number
Once you have the legal right to settle down in your new country, you must get a social security number. registering for a social security number is usually how you let the system of that country know “Hello, I am here.” Furthermore, in some states, the social security number gives you access to all kinds of facilities like doctors or libraries. Depending on the country, getting a social security number normally requires a visit to immigration office where you have to fill in some papers and hand in id-photos of yourself, but people working there should be able to guide you through the steps.
Once you have a legal status in your new country and a place to live, whether it’s temporary or not, the next step is to get yourself a doctor. keep in mind that moving away from home may affect your health, it may be the different weather, a different diet or simply stress induced by homesickness, so don’t delay signing up for a doctor. Again, depending on the country’s healthcare system, social security numbers may include the benefit of having a doctor. If not, check your alternatives with the immigration office. They should give you information on whether you need a new insurance or just an upgrade to the one you currently have.
Even though English is a global language to work your way around with, for some of the countries you may have to learn the local language. If you are not familiar with that, then sign up for language classes. Although in the beginning, the chances of locals understanding what you’re saying are low, being together with people that are in the same situation as you will make it easier to practice. And you might make new friends too! Even before leaving your home country, you can already start practicing with the help of language apps. Another great tool for practicing the language is to read local newspapers or magazines. They are nothing fancy but it’s a useful manner to find out what’s going on around town, see what the horoscope has prepared for you or play a game if you are bored. If you don’t want to pay for this at first then you can always pick freebies up at big supermarkets or around the train stations.
Going out helps with getting familiar with the new atmosphere – which at the beginning can be difficult than it looks. Also, universities are good spots to know about events around the country. Even if you are not a student, paying a visit to the local student watering holes may be a good idea to know people.