While we have known some people who move abroad on a whim, we strongly recommend a checklist of things to do before moving to another country. After all, being prepared for significant lifestyle changes minimises stress and gives confidence to deal with setbacks or problems, which will arise regardless. Moreover, when moving abroad, taking care of the small things enables expats to look after the bigger picture overall. This article discusses them in-depth and gives helpful international tips for moving abroad. Topics include health insurance, bank cards, place to rent or buy, regional laws of your new country and more, so let us look at what to know.
List of Things to Do Before Moving Country
1: Visa Applications When Moving Abroad
An important part of the moving abroad experience is visas. Additionally, while some countries only have one type of visa for expats wishing to live there, other countries have different tier systems depending on whether foreigners work, travel, have a job, study, or retire. Before planning anything when moving abroad, make sure you fulfil destination requirements by checking official website documents.
Countries with strict working policy for foreigners usually require proof that you can financially support yourself if not entering the workplace. Check whether you can apply now, or would it be easier to apply when arriving? For example, many people moving to Turkey enter on three-month travel visas first, then apply as soon as they arrive. Keep copies of all required supporting documents. Digital nomads in Turkey and general nomads should check the countries' laws regarding remote working. For example, remote workers need to register a company in Turkey first. Countries in Europe adhere to EU guidelines.
2: Know the Cost of Living Abroad
This especially crucial step involves sitting down with pen and paper. Calculate monthly and yearly income and savings accounts and include them against average cost of livings for where you will move and/or work. Consider using online sites like Numbeo. Additionally, join available Facebook expats and travel groups to talk to other expats already living there and how much they recommend for a new budget. Also, save money for emergency spending in your new country. Finally, add ad hoc expenses like apartment or villa maintenance, healthcare insurance, travel, visa card renewals, and flights back home to see friends and family.
3: Set a Date for Moving
Set your new dream in motion once you know you are good for visas and have financial means to move abroad. First, pick a date with ample time to wrap up affairs. Also, inform friends and family. At this point, check your passport validity for travel. Some countries require foreigners to have at least 6 to 12 months left when applying for visas. Do not leave booking your plane ticket to the last minute because this is when flight purchase prices typically go up. The opportunity and guide to living in a new country begin from this point.
4: Housing Checklist
If you have not already got somewhere to live, now is the time to start finding. Some foreigners buy property if moving overseas permanently. Others rent a home first to see what the first 12 months living abroad will be like. Then, contact local home agents who operate in rental and sales. If you can't make an initial journey to find housing, book a hotel for when you arrive until you do. After moving into an address, you need to set up and pay extra monthly bills like internet, so be prepared.
5: Local Research and Advice
Maybe you already know the area, town, or city to move to. Many people do, having regularly holidayed there. Regardless, research and think about as much as possible. Non-drivers should investigate local transport links, and vice versa for those who will drive. Check market days and where local doctor and dental surgeries are. Are there any charities to support either financially or by donating your time? Do expats groups set up local support channels to help foreigners meet other expats? Imagine yourself already living there. What do you want to know about your new country?
6: Pack Life Belongings Away
When moving house abroad, find out if it is cheaper to pack and ship belongings internationally, put them in storage or buy new when you get there. Take personal items, but for household items, after navigating tax, shipping, and customs laws, it turns out cheaper and less stressful to buy new. For items you do not want to take but keep, can any family members or friends store them? At this point, declutter, and for items you do not want to keep or take, sell them online for more money when you arrive in your new chosen country.
7: Health, Medical and Life Insurance Options
Before leaving, have a comprehensive health check and obligatory vaccinations to enter the country if needed. Then inform your health care providers like doctors and dentists of your change of address. Also, arrange health care coverage when you move. Many expats buy new health policies but always check the small print terms and conditions to find precisely what policies covers. In Turkey, the government runs an SGK health system which is easy for expats to buy into.
Also, take care of new medication. Do you need to get ample supplies, or can you get suitable tablets in your chosen country? When leaving, always pack medication in hand luggage and not suitcases. Remember, the same prescription drug is often sold with different names in some countries. When you arrive, register with a local doctor, and source a new dentist to go to in times of emergency.
8: Plan for Taking Vehicles Abroad
Some expats take their vehicles to destinations with them. But always check local laws regarding driving foreign cars, your license, registering them, and how long they can stay in the country because this is difficult in most cases. Often, registration processes turn costly and a big headache. If you want to drive, it may be worth buying a new car in your chosen country. Do not forget to factor in insurance and yearly MOT, services, repairs, and petrol costs into monthly and annual budgets.
9: Essential Financial Management Plan
It is essential to Inform banks that you are leaving your home country so that they can change your account details. This will prevent them from flagging any transactions as fraud cases for security. Also, inquire about charges for withdrawing cash from ATMs abroad and using credit cards. Since banks charge expensive transfer fees and offer low exchange rates, set up an account with a foreign exchange company. Wise is a good option since their exchange rates between currencies are exceptionally good compared to banks, and they have a good customer help service. Then, when you arrive, you need to open a local bank account for bill payments and to receive money.
10: Absentee Voting from Abroad
You may be leaving your home country, but expats still want to be able to vote. After paying taxes for years and adhering to law-abiding citizens, it is your right to be on the list. So, investigate your home country's laws for absentee voting services and where it can be done.
11: Using Electronics and Mobile Phones Abroad
Do the items you are taking with you need plug adapters? Also, check local laws. For example, in some countries, taxes must be paid on electronic items. Then definitely consider your mobile phone. Many countries require expats to register and pay for their foreign mobiles and sim cards, but it is cheaper to buy a new number and phone when you arrive. Additionally, different charges will occur to receive calls and texts from abroad to keep your existing number.
12: Plan for Taking Pets Abroad
If this does not apply, then skip to the following checklist items. But if you have pets, understand that sorting their permanent move is essential because many countries' rules and regulations take months to complete. You need to consult official government websites for help about laws of bringing pets in. One crucial factor to check is dog breeds since some are classed as dangerous. Get microchips, vaccinations, and a pet passport. Are there mandatory quarantine periods, how long will the trip take, any companies you can use to deal with paperwork, alongside fees and expenses?
13: Possible Loose Ends
Make sure you sit down and check loose ends before moving to your new home. For example, look at forwarding mail, cancel any subscriptions, and inform your landlord with ample time if you rent. Additionally, to move abroad permanently, find out local tax laws and international inheritance laws. Finally, start learning a few words every day, or join a course, to learn the language of the country you are moving to. Are there any social, cultural and food laws to know about?
Also About Moving Abroad
Best European Country to Live: When deciding where is the best country to live in Europe, you need to consider several factors. Everyone's lifestyle needs and wants differ and what might be an excellent country for a working expat is not ideal for one who is moving abroad to retire. To look at places to live and work, we delved into how expats flourish when moving abroad, asking numerous expats from around the world about several lifestyle factors, including international work, health, planning, living costs, local help, travel, schooling needs, ease of settling in and more.
We want to introduce ourselves to round up the information plan about things to do before moving country. With 20+ years of service in Turkish real estate, we are experienced, friendly, and independent overseas real estate consultants. For us buying a property in Turkey and moving abroad is not about buying bricks and mortar but is an investment and lifestyle.
Client-focused, knowledgeable, and thorough, we are influential international investment consultants for property in Turkey. So call us today to know more about a visit to learn more about investing in Turkey, or browse our blog for more international articles and help about expats living overseas.
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