Three Things To Consider If You’re Considering Becoming An Expat

Welcome to my wealth and insurance blog! I decided to kick of my first two posts focusing on Aussie expatriates. Starting with this post on things to consider for individuals considering living overseas, I’ll then move onto the insurance expats require, wealth protection and life time insurance. Not an expat? That’s okay, the next focus will be on professional indemnity insurance and income protection. For now…

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It’s a big decision to make. Moving abroad and living as an expat overseas. It can be anything from an exciting adventure, to a scary life change, however it’s always easier if you’re as prepared as possible for the changes that you’re set to face. Try to be very organized, and carry out as much research as you can about the country that you’ll be living in to ensure your experience is as smooth as it can be.

The Paperwork:

It may seem boring and slightly overwhelming to sift through the mounds of paperwork that seem to accompany Visas, Work Permits and processes such as Insurance. Remember however that these are the most important part of being an expat and you need to check that you’ve got everything in order.

Points to consider:
• The paperwork that you need may depend on a variety of things including the reason for your move and your nationality.
• Find out how much time you have to complete the application processes for documents such as visas. Often these can take longer than you think.
• Make copies of any documents so that you have them on record and try to also store on a cloud based system so you can access them easily.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, why not ask for professional help and seek out lawyers or experts who will know the system and be able to simplify anything that you’re unclear about?

Accommodation

Doing a little research on the location that you’re moving to will help you to figure out what sort of accommodation you can expect to find. You may realise that people tend to live in apartments rather than houses, or that you’ll need to budget or save in advance to get the type of accommodation you want.

A lot of people tend to purchase investment properties and then rent them out – these types of properties are usually perfect for an expat looking to find some good accommodation for their stay.

It’s best to have at least a short term accommodation option set up before you arrive in a country, however you’ll also want to make sure you have all your documents in order so that you can register with agencies upon arrival to look for longer term rentals or properties to buy.

Don’t forget to also wrap up your home in Australia too – make sure that you switch utility bills and close down accounts before you leave. It’s always best to start doing this as far in advance as possible especially if you’re renting a property and need to inform your landlord.

Changing Cultures

Depending on where you’re moving to, you may be about to embark on what feels like a whole new life. Try to learn as much as possible about the culture of your new home– everything from whether you need to dress in a certain way, to what type of transport people generally use to travel around.

Work wise, you’ll also need to find out whether the qualifications that you have in Australia will be valid overseas, and other details such as whether the structure of the working week or general office hours are the same as those that you’re used to.

It’s always best to try to integrate with the new culture as much as possible. Trying local restaurants, meeting people via interest groups or work networks and making friends in the area can help with the transition of moving to a new place. Amazon sells some fantastic titles and guides on living as an expat in many different countries, check out this link for popular books.