Written by Dr. Russ Gadzhiev
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey
“A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.” – Brian Tracy
“Four steps to achievement: Plan purposefully. Prepare prayerfully. Proceed positively. Pursue persistently.” – William A. Ward
Moving to a new country is a big thing. The experience of moving overseas with a view to creating a new life there for you and your family is an exciting thing and a wonderful adventure. However, challenges are inevitable too. So, in order to make your move as soon as possible, you need to do a lot of planning. It is very important to do as much research as possible about the country where you are going to move. And plan ahead – to make sure you move is as smooth as possible.
So in this short and engaging article, we are going to discuss the most crucial things that you need to consider before moving overseas. Let us get started.
1. So if you are planning to move overseas for a period longer than three months you will probably need a visa. Different countries have different visa requirements. It is possible that the country where you are going to move to will not require you to have a visa at all. Countries like the US, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand will most certainly require you to have a visa.
So even before you start making any travel plans, find the official website of the country you are interested in and explore different visa types. Understand all the requirements. Some people are deciding to opt for a tourist visa and then once they are in their new country they just decide to stay there for good. This is not a good idea and there are many, many disadvantages to such an approach. Not only do you risk being deported and never being allowed to return. Even if you do manage to stay unnoticed by the police – it will still be difficult for you to find a job or access medical services. So doing it the right way – meeting all visa requirements is the best way to move to a new country.
If the rules and requirements seem to be confusing, you can also turn to professionals. Registered migration agents will be able to help you understand sometimes intricate and confusing visa requirements, assisting you with the right choice of visa.
2. Think about your budget. Once you have sorted out your visa, it is time to think about how much money you will invest in your moving project. So having savings is essential. Besides, when you are applying for a visa, your host country will ask for proof of sufficient funds. Apart from that day-to-day life overseas may be more expensive than in your native country. Apart from that, even though you are an amazing specialist it may still take you some time to find a job. Different cultures have different approaches to job hunting, so it is crucial that you have to save enough for you to survive at least three or four months without a job.
If you are not sure how much money you need to save, there are some useful websites that offer reliable and up-to-date information on everyday spending. Websites such as expatistan.com provide you with up-to-date information on housing prices, rent, food, and entertainment and give you a better idea of how much money you are likely to need in your host country. So, make use of these resources.
3. Health insurance. This is as important as money because the two are closely related. Healthcare is different in different countries. Some countries have universal healthcare, which means, that at least theoretically, access to healthcare in these countries is free of charge. Some countries have healthcare systems where many patients’ expenses are not covered by insurance and patients have to pay.
So again research the most suitable type of health insurance for you. Consider your age and pre-existing medical conditions, whether you are a smoker or not. Whether you are moving with your family or if you have dependents is also an issue to consider. Likewise, you need to remember that dentistry is often outside health insurance coverage. So, if you have problems with your teeth, it is always a good idea to do a total check-up of your oral health to make sure that your money does not go away on expensive dental treatment. In countries like the US and Australia even some citizens cannot afford to pay for their dental treatment so be mindful of that.
As far as the issues of health are concerned, the COVID pandemic has changed the situation with health requirements that different countries have. Some countries may require a certain number of COVID vaccinations before allowing people to enter. And for the sake of your own safety, it is always a good idea to get a COVID vaccine or a booster. Consult your local health provider to find out whether you need any other vaccinations to make your move overseas as safe as possible. After all, medical emergencies overseas can be incredibly, incredibly expensive and they can ruin your budget very quickly. Better yet, do a complete medical check-up with your general practitioner to make sure you are healthy and will have no health problems overseas.
4. Do research on whether you will have work rights in your host country. It is important to understand that having a visa does not automatically gives you the right to work. For example, if you are on a tourist visa, you are not allowed to work and if the authorities discover that you are actually employed, you will be deported and likely banned from entering the country for a long time.
Again moving overseas with the right paperwork suitable for your needs will be the best solution for you. So again, find a qualified and registered migration agent, who will assist you with the issue of work rights. Working overseas also entails doing the paperwork for paying taxes – so again turning to professionals would be a good idea in this case.
5. Learn the language! Some people underestimate the importance of learning the language of their host country or at least picking up some of the words that will help them get by. Apart from visa requirements and material things, there will psychological challenges to moving overseas. One of them is loneliness and culture shock. To overcome these two unpleasant states, you will need to connect with the local community as soon as possible. And one of the best ways to do so is to make friends with local people.
So if you still have time before actually moving overseas, hire a tutor and learn some new words, phrases, and even grammar. If you can’t find anyone in your town, you can hire a tutor online – in this day and age, there is no shortage of education websites that offer tutoring services.
If you already have some knowledge of the grammar of the language of your host country, commit yourself to improve your language skills by reading several pages of a book or watching a TV show in that language. In the long run, language will be one of your greatest assets which will help you find a job, make friends, and contribute to your overall happiness.
It is true that those people who don’t speak the language of their host country may feel alienated and even depressed because of their inability to connect with others.
Moving overseas is a big thing so you need to approach this decision of yours with all seriousness even if you have visited the country many times and feel familiar. You need to think about the material things as well as your mental health. Be prepared. Of course even though sometimes people do careful planning, some things still may go awry.
Resist the temptation of breaking the rules of the country you are going to go to live in – it will certainly backfire in one way or another. Prepare your paperwork correctly and enlist professionals to help you with it.
Russ Gadzhiev obtained his PhD in history and politics from University of Melbourne. He also holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Moscow State University of International Relations, a top-ranking diplomatic school. Russ is a strong education professional with a history of working in the higher education sector of Australia and effectively communicates with learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. He is enthusiastic about teaching and mentoring, writing, curriculum development, research, information management and public speaking. He is fluent in Russian, English, Spanish and Portuguese. He has lived in Russia, Australia, Spain and Brazil and he possesses first-hand knowledge about the issues that people face when moving to other countries and adjusting to a new culture.