Moving to an entirely new country comes with mixed feelings. You’re thrilled about the idea of meeting with new people and learning a new culture. But at the same time, you’re scared of the unknown. What if things don’t go as planned? What if you don’t settle quickly? You’ve consulted professionals like Garant In, but you still have your fears. Don’t fret, you’re not alone.
If you’ve ever dreamt of relocating to a new country as an expat, then you must be fully prepared. More than just getting a visa, there are certain tips and tricks to help you have a beautiful experience in your new location. With this guide, you will be steps ahead and well-informed about transitioning to your new country.
Why Do Expats Move Abroad?
The number of people moving from one country to another in search of new adventures is outrageous. These people are called expatriates, or simply expats. According to findings, about 281 million individuals (135 million female, and 146 million male) have relocated to a new country. This makes one wonder why they move. However, research has shown that many expats relocate for one or more of the reasons below:
- To find a new job
- To live with spouses
- Work transfer
- To challenge themselves
- To start a better life
- To continue schooling
Challenges of Life as an Expat
While relocating to a new country might be adventurous, you don’t expect to get off the plane and feel at home immediately. Expats from different countries encounter different challenges depending on how much they know about their new country. Understandably, roadblocks are the last thing you hope for, however, knowing these common challenges ahead of your immigration will help you overcome them faster. The following are common challenges you may encounter as an expat:
If you’re moving to a country where the native tongue isn’t English, you may find it hard to blend quickly with the people there. To overcome this challenge, you should learn the basic language in your new country before you move. For instance, if you’re moving to France, it’s essential to learn French. This way, you’ll be quick to start up conversations with your new people.
Leaving your friends and family at home to an entirely new people can be heartbreaking. Many people feel homesick within their first few weeks of relocating. Although there’s the internet and social media to help, they can’t fill the place of physical presence. Therefore, you may feel disconnected for some time. However, you’ll get used to it with time.
Making New Friends
Although making new friends is easier for some people, it can be hard work, especially if you’re an introvert. Making new friends in a new country can be harder if you work from home or you’re not a sports person. You may feel left out and neglected most times. Generally, you may have a boring stay in your new location. To overcome this challenge, you must be intentional about going out and meeting new people.
Paperwork and Bureaucracy
As an expat, you must be ready to jump through different huddles before your visa arrives. Even when you get in, there are loads of paperwork you need to fill out. For example, getting your new passport, financial ID, driver’s license, and your residence permit requires different paperwork. However, with adequate preparations, you won’t be caught unaware.
Tips and Tricks For Expats
No matter your reasons for relocating abroad, you may be faced with different challenges. While these challenges are unique to each expat, there are general tips and tricks to help you overcome them and enjoy your stay in your new space. They include:
When moving to a new country, surprises are part of the experience. However, the earlier you get started, the easier and faster it will be to sort out any issues. To be on the safer side, ensure you start preparing for your journey at least six months before you move. Start researching your new destination and have a good understanding of their laws and culture. This way, you know what to expect when you get there.
Consult an Immigration Professional
Moving to most countries requires specific documentation and you may need help with those. Therefore, it’s essential to consult a professional who will ensure you have all the required documents to relocate lawfully. They will also ensure you understand immigration laws, meet deadlines, and understand immunization requirements and other rules and regulations guiding importing household items. They will also ensure you get the right type of visa. For example, you may need a talent visa if you’re going as a researcher or an investor.
Sort Out Accommodation
Although sorting out housing issues from a different location can be tasking, some experts are familiar with the real estate market and understand the local laws. Whether you want to buy a home or you just need temporary accommodation, you can trust realtors and relocation consultants to handle the search for you. This saves you both time and stress.
Research Tax Laws
Tax laws are among the most important things to consider before moving. This is especially important if you plan to work in your new country. The tax laws for different countries vary, therefore you need to do your research and consult experts to find out your tax status. For instance, taxes in France require you to pay an income tax rate of 20% on your French-sourced income.
Research International Moving Companies
You may need a license to move your household items to a new country. While many international moving companies can help, you need to do your research and ensure they meet your specific needs and budget. One of the things to look out for is that the company is bonded and licensed. The company should also be willing to help you with proper customs forms.
Irrespective of where you’re moving to, or why you’re moving, the above tips and tricks will guide you and ensure you have a hassle-free process and a thrilling experience in your new country. Once you have your residence permit—often after a lengthy stay in the country, you will also have the right to citizenship, even as an expat.