Country Guides November 10, 2021

How to Move to Another Country for the First Time

Julie Grace

Originally from The Golden City, Julie has explored the ins and outs of moving and has written all the tips down.

People decide to move each year, and the reasons are many. Just last year, more than ten million Americans moved abroad to find better homes, education, or job opportunities. If you’re one of them, then you should learn how to move to another country. Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from making your dreams come true, even though relocating for the first time can be quite tricky.

Not all people have a lifetime opportunity to move across the world and start a new chapter in their life in a completely different place. If you are the lucky one, then you should be fully prepared for the upcoming adventure. On the other hand, it’s a big change and when relocating alone and for the first time, you’re probably asking yourself is it hard to move to a different country. Yes, it will be a big challenge, but nothing you can’t handle. Especially when you do all the preparations in advance.

Begin With the Preparations – Make a Checklist of Tasks You Need to Do and Have Efficient Move Abroad

The key to every successful move is good preparation. That’s why you should make an abroad relocation checklist with all tasks needed. From deciding what to pack to figuring out how much does it cost to move to another country.

Also, there are some things you can’t go without when planning an overseas move – visa and other documents to travel. You might think these are the obvious steps if considering living in different countries. However, some of the most important tasks can slip your mind easily in the whole relocation chaos. That’s when you’ll realize having a checklist is the best way to stay organized and do everything on time.

Plan the Budget and Figure Out How Much Money You Can Spend

Once you make a list of things to do, the next one is to figure out how much money should you have before moving to another country. This is a step you need to think about at least three months before the move. The whole process can be costly, but hiring a professional international moving company will ease the whole process. So, as soon as you decide to move, start saving some money, because you’ll surely need it.

Let the Professionals Take Care of the International Moving Services

The easiest way of avoiding relocation stress is to have a helping hand from professionals. That means you won’t have to worry about protecting your belongings because reliable movers will offer you packing services. If you need a storage facility, don’t worry. You’ll have enough space where you can keep some of your belongings. Also, if you plan on overseas vehicle shipping, the professionals will take care of it. This will leave you more space for other stuff, like planning the trip.

Moving to Another Country? Free Estimate

How to Move to Another Country and Start Over – Research the Healthcare and Cost of Living

Living overseas isn’t the easiest thing to do in life. Especially if you’ve never done it before. You have to know that it’s an entirely different experience from visiting countries during the holiday season. It’s because you have to consider some factors you usually wouldn’t when only visiting.

Checking healthcare is definitely one of the vital factors when relocating abroad to a new home. So, before you make a final decision about your future location, ensure the healthcare is reliable and well organized. Countries like Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Australia, and most European countries have one of the best healthcare systems in the world.

The second factor is the cost of living. It will determine how you will live in your future destination. That’s why it will demand more thorough research. It’s best to compare your monthly income with the expenses because only then will you get a bigger picture of how you’ll live there. The good side of this story is that most places are more affordable than the US, except in some bigger cities like London.

A New Home Should Have Everything You Want

Choosing the place where you want to live in the next period of your life is a process that takes time and patience. You have to be sure the future location has everything you want and need. That way, adjusting to a new place will be easier and faster, too. However, you have to consider that one city may not have everything you want, but at least you can find one that will fulfill your wishes and wants the closest. Here are just some of the things to consider when choosing a future home:

  • Vast job market – having the possibility to choose what you’ll work is a big deal when it comes to choosing the future place.
  • Good education – if you’re planning to live abroad with your family, then you have to consider whether the place has good schools and education.
  • Housing – decide whether renting or buying is a better solution for you because you’ll still have to pay rent like you did back home in the US at the end of the month.
  • Transportation – know how the public transportation system works in the new city and will you commute to work. This can help you decide whether shipping a car overseas is the best option or not.
  • Proximity to travel – the possibility of getting a low-cost airline ticket and being able to travel to other places easily is another factor that could mean a lot to many people.
worker thinking about moving abroad
Think about all the factors that could affect your quality of life

Deal With Immigration Policy Before Moving to Another Country – Apply for Visa

Answering the question like how do you move to another country means you’ll need to deal with some paperwork, as well. No matter if you choose one of the friendliest places in the world, you still have to gather all documents needed to travel abroad. However, people who have an American passport can visit many countries without obtaining a visa. But, on the other hand, if you plan to stay more than 90 days, you’ll definitely have to apply for one. Keep in mind that all information can vary from place to place. The best way to inform yourself is to visit the website of the State Department.

There are other documents you should take care of when moving overseas to another home:

  • Birth certificates,
  • School and medical records,
  • Social security and tax records.

Can I Permanently Move to Another Country – Obtain Permanent Residence

Permanent residency means you should have a residency visa which allows you to stay in a different place for as long as you want. However, without a clean criminal record, confirmation of financial independence, and temporary visas for at least one year, you shouldn’t think of it.

Visa close up
Think about the permanent residency and what you have to obtain

Search for a Job You Can Do in the New Place

If you’re relocating because of the job, then you have one worry less. But many people relocate for other reasons, which means they should find a job in a place that isn’t their homeland. The fact is that you’ll have to pay monthly expenses no matter if you have or not the paycheck. That’s why you should start with your job search before the moving day. It will be stressful, but the more organized you are, the smoother the whole process will be. So, make a list of things you can do or are good at and begin the job hunt.

Explore the Local Job Market and the Most Popular Positions

One of the greatest ways to have positive results when job hunting is to explore the job market.  Also, don’t miss to check the most popular positions in that area. That way you’ll find a job easier because you’ll know exactly which job matches your skills. Also, you’ll know what to expect in the next period of your life and help you create a bigger picture of how to live overseas.

In the video below, you can find additional useful tips on finding a job before the move, like a pro.

Know How Paying Taxes Works When Relocating Abroad

When you find one of the best places to be in, you should think about how you’ll pay the taxes. Many of us don’t even consider this step when thinking about the perfect future place we’ll spend some time in. As an American citizen, you’ll have to deal with your tax return and file it. However, many lands have tax treaties with the US which means you can avoid double taxation.

Tax documents on black table
Filing a tax return should be on your checklist no matter where you move

Learn Some of the Most Used Words and Phrases of the Foreign Language

One of the most challenging parts of relocating overseas for every expat is probably the language. Breaking the language barrier isn’t something you can do in just a couple of days after the move. It takes effort and patience. However, if you decide to be in Toronto, Canada, this obstacle wouldn’t be there, right? But if you’re relocating to Hungary, as one of the greatest places to retire in Europe, then you’ll have to take some language courses and learn at least some basic phrases and most used Hungarian words.

learning languages
Communicating daily in a foreign language will require some studying

What Is the Easiest Country to Move to for Americans?

Finding one of the greatest places to stay internationally isn’t the easiest thing you had to do, right? However, once you decide to change your address and move overseas, you should consider some countries American citizens can easily move to. While a visa may not be needed for some places, most of them will require a certain amount of money in your bank account. So, here are some countries you should have in mind as they will make your move easier than other ones:

  • Portugal,
  • Mexico,
  • Spain,
  • Canada,
  • Malta,
  • Australia,
  • Ecuador,
  • South Korea.
flag badges
Check the place where it’s easiest for US citizens to move to

Embrace the Change and Hit the Road

Being in a place that isn’t your homeland is challenging. However, if you find the city to be in Europe, know that your entire lifestyle will completely change. You’ll have to learn some local customs and traditions that will ease the culture shock. Also, as you’ll be an American who lives in Europe, you better find expat communities that will be a great support in the first period after the move.

On the other hand, all this shouldn’t discourage you from taking the leap and relocating overseas. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity you should take. And once you learn how to move to another place, you’ll make relocating to a new home a piece of cake.

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