Your decision to move should be based on a positive driving force. This could be to further your career, to lead a healthier life, for education, or even to retire in comfort. Once you identity the motivating factor, you can streamline the experience. Revisiting the reason may also help if, at some point in the future, you feel down in the dumps and want to head back home.
Patience is Key
You will require patience, and loads of it. This will start from the time you submit your first application, because bureaucracy and red tape exist in just about every country. Depending on where you plan to move, you may also need to prepare for lines at banks, supermarkets, shopping centers, and bus stops.
How Are You with Paperwork?
You will need to deal with a fair amount of paperwork when moving to another country. If you’ve travelled extensively in the past, you might need to provide details of all the countries you’ve visited. Depending on where you live, you might need to notify your own country about the move, which would entail further paperwork.
Conflicting expat experiences are not uncommon, even when they come from the same place. As a result, do not look for definitive answers. Consider this – people who apply for resident visas have significantly varying experiences. The time the process takes, the fees people end up paying, and the information provided by immigration officials, they can all be different. In addition, if you hear about great experiences, it is important to keep your own expectations in check.
How good are you at handling cultural differences? Various countries prefer that their women dress conservatively. In some countries, you will be hard pressed to get yourself an alcoholic drink. Some countries place restrictions on the kind of meat you can eat. You might also need to check how locals feel about eye contact and handshakes.
Moving to a foreign country is expensive, and the costs add up significantly by the time you move into your new home. Then, what if things don’t go according to plan and you want to move back? This is why you should have some kind of a contingency plan in place, be it through savings, freelance work, or a place you can head to at anytime (which would typically be a parent’s home). If your employer is taking care of your moving related expenses, consider yourself lucky.
You might need to transfer funds to the new country of your residence. You might also need to send money to your home country in the future. In both cases, steering clear of banks and turning to specialist overseas money transfer companies may lead to noticeable savings in the form of lower fees and better exchange rates. Some of the popular names from this field include WorldRemit, TransferWise, OFX, and WorldFirst.
While living the life of an expat works well for some, some others prefer to head back to their home countries after facing disappointment. Given that people have different expectations, varied outcomes don’t come as a surprise. The best person to determine if you’re up to the task is you and it is important that you weigh the pros and cons ahead of time.
Jon’s work with iCompareFX has him researching the top overseas money transfer companies from different parts of the world. He goes the mystery shopping way to gather hard-to-find information. Outside of work, he enjoys most genres of music.
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