If you find yourself considering a move overseas, there is an overwhelming amount of things you need to consider. Luckily, there are a variety of experienced and knowledgeable people at the IAS, and the team at the reputable immigration service in New York are in your corner. Easy to contact via their website, their one goal is to simply help you and your family with your exciting new adventure, and making sure you can do so with as minimal stress as possible. Here are some handy tips on a few things you need to consider before moving overseas.
Know the rules about the country
Depending on where you are travelling from, it is important to know what the country requires from you. Do you require a visa? Do you have to have employment prior to flying in? Can you stay permanently with no issues? Can you get a sponsorship from a family member who is a citizen of that country? For instance, if your husband is a Canadian citizen he can apply for a spousal sponsorship in Canada for the purpose of a family reunion.
Work and education
It is important to consider what you will be doing with your time once you have relocated. Is there a demand for people in your line of work? Or are you leaving behind a job in the hopes that you will get one when you arrive? The unknown can create a lot of extra stress, so make sure that you are able to earn an income. If you are relocating for a job, it is beyond important that you’re contract is signed, and you are ready to hit the ground running. Make sure you do your research for schools for the kids, and whether or not you will be zoned for your school of choice. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions, the school’s administrator will be able to steer you in the right direction.
How it will impact the family
Possibly the most important thing to consider is how this move is going to affect your family. Moving house can be daunting enough as it is, but going to another country completely is a different ball game. Everyone is leaving behind everything they know- their friends, family, careers and schools. The little shop on the corner that you always stop in to get a snack, and the familiarity of your surroundings will no longer be there. Young children and teenagers may struggle more with adapting, so make sure you keep them in the loop as much as possible. If you have any pets, do your research and decide whether or not you are going to take them with you.
The wait for your belongings
Due to the nature of moving such a large amount of big items, all of your belongings are going to take a while to actually get to your new country. The crates on the ship can take several months to arrive, so you need to be patient before being reunited with all of your belongings. However, you will need to be able to live comfortably for a while, rather than feeling like a hoarder in your own home. So make sure you have access to some essentials, such as beds, lounge furniture, and kitchen appliances. There are a lot of places that can rent these out, so do some research and make sure you have a place to rest your head once you arrive!
Do you speak the language?
As amazing as a holiday may be in a foreign country, the language barrier will be much more of an issue if you plan on relocating there permanently. Remember that you and your family will have to navigate the language a lot more intensely, for education, work purposes, and meeting new people. If you do not speak the native tongue it’s important to consider how much of an impact this will have on you and your family. If you’re willing to learn the language, that’s fantastic! Start practising before you make the move and you’ll be a natural in no time.
Opening a bank account
Opening a bank account is a very important job that you want to do a soon as possible! It can be time-consuming, involves a lot of paperwork, and may not be in your language. Some countries require you to register your address with the government before you can even consider opening an account. Make sure you do your research and see exactly what is required from you prior to moving. Some countries may even let you open an account online, so you could potentially do this prior to shifting. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the exchange rate as well, and budget yourself accordingly, as you may find that you’re not quite as wealthy as you originally thought.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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