Seven Tips for Future Expats – Preparing Yourself To Move Abroad
It often takes months or even years of planning and patience to get an opportunity to move abroad and experience an amazing expat life. Nerves will start to creep in as you start sharing the news about your transition with a friend or two on Facebook. All the excitement will keep building up as the departure date draws closer.
Here are the seven tips below that should help you in getting well set for a wonderful life abroad:
1. Save Lot of Money
Moving abroad would mean you will need sufficient money to meet various expenses including flight tickets, accommodation, food, international shipments, visa application, etc. You will require substantial savings to settle in a foreign destination before you start earning through a job or business. So, it is imperative that you have adequate funds in your bank account. Ideally, your savings should help you live comfortably for at least 6 months. Don’t forget to do research on the exchange rates in a particular destination. You should prepare a monthly budget plan that includes miscellaneous or unanticipated expenses for the initial months after your relocation.
2. Make Sure Your Passport is Ready or Renewed
A valid passport is a must when you apply for a visa. Many countries have laws that state that your passport should be valid for at least six months after your last trip. If your passport expires while you are still abroad, you should get it renewed at your native country’s embassy or a consulate near you. You should also make sure you have the proper visas and paperwork required. If you are going on an expat assignment for your employer, the HR manager should provide this for you.
3. Apply for Visa on Time
Do the necessary research to know the documentation required while applying for a visa. The documents may vary depending on the type of visa you are looking for. For instance, when you apply for a student’s visa for the United Kingdom, you will have to provide an offer letter from the university where you would study as proof that you have adequate finance to support yourself during your stay in that country.
4. Purchase International Health Insurance
You will definitely need healthcare facilities in a foreign country at some point of time – we hope you never need to, but there is a very good chance you will. Emergency and even out-patient medical care can be very expensive, especially in some countries such as the UAE, China, and the USA. Find out if your present healthcare plan would cover you when you are staying abroad – but assume it won’t. Purchasing a global health insurance plan would be the best bet if you are unsure about the medical facilities in your host country. Some countries even require that you have medical insurance before your visa is approved, such as France. One of the best plans is the Cigna plan offered by Expat Financial.
5. Do Your Research
Thorough research is required before you decide to make the big move. Get adequate information about the place you are heading to including that pertaining to culture, accommodations, hospitals, shopping complexes, shipping, transportation, and safety issues. This will help you in preparing for the transition to your new abode.
6. Contact Your Bank and Phone Network Providers
You should continue using your current bank account in order to maintain a good credit score and pay monthly bills and pre-existing loans. Getting an international credit card will help you save on foreign transaction fees. You can do the necessary paperwork to set up a savings account in your host country. Before you leave your native land, you should let your bank know about your travel plans so that your credit card or bank account is safe from being hacked or misused.
International cell phone plans can be very expensive; so, contact a local carrier and buy a SIM as soon as you reach your chosen destination. You can keep the old SIM in a safe place and use it during a return trip to your native place.
7. Create Copies of Important Documents
Make copies of important documents like passport, driving license, birth certificate, etc. and keep them in a file before you move abroad. You don’t know when you would need them.
Get Set & Go Abroad
Moving to a foreign country can be full of thrills; however, you simply can’t afford to relax as you will have numerous things to do to ensure that your trip and overseas stay are comfortable. Getting mentally prepared to stay in a completely new place can be overwhelming, but these are the times when you need to make some important decisions. Taking the right steps before moving overseas can help you and your family once you become an expat.