Moving abroad can be a daunting task; more so when you are moving to a different country located on the other side of the planet. From arranging your visa to getting your mail redirected, the list of tasks to complete can soon build up, along with your stress levels. However, with a little pre-planning and organization, the process of moving can be relatively stress free.
Here is the list of some of the key things you’ll need to think about during the moving process:
Many countries, including Australia and New Zealand, require you to obtain a visa before emigrating. If this is the case, then the Visa should definitely be one of the first things you should organize. Visas can take time to arrange, and without one, you will not be able to move. Depending on your circumstances and the timeframe in which you have to move, it might be a good idea to employ the services of a company which specialize in arranging visas for people looking to emigrate.
Many people will already have a job lined up for them in their new country. However, for those that don’t, it is vital that you thoroughly research the job market before you move. Find out what the typical salary for people in your field is, and get in contact with local recruiters prior to your move to try to line up some interviews when you arrive. A lot of companies are happy to offer interviews via phone or Skype, and this is a great way of getting a feel for the working culture in the new country. If you don’t have anything lined up before you move, make sure that you have sufficient funds to survive for at least a couple of months, so that if the job hunting process takes longer than anticipated you don’t have to worry about money.
Plan in advance where you will be staying in the first few weeks after you emigrate. Most people do not have permanent accommodation lined up when they move, and spend the initial weeks in rented or serviced apartments whilst they look for something long-term. Again, the Internet is great for researching house prices, locations, nearby hospitals and shopping malls, etc. There will always be estate agents who are more than willing to give you some advice. Try to have some viewings arranged when you first arrive, so that you are not wasting too much time and money in short-term accommodation.
If you are planning to take your furniture with you, then it is a good idea to get this organized well in advance of the move, as shipping can be quite a lengthy process. Moving abroad can be a great time to de-clutter, so think about whether you really need to take everything with you, and whether there is stuff you could sell, give to other family members, or place into storage. Once you have an idea of what is essential to take with you, thoroughly research shipping companies to get an idea of time and cost. If you are moving as far away as Australia or Europe, it might actually be cheaper to sell all of your furniture and buy new ones once you are in your new home.
It is very important that you inform all the relative authorities about your move and provide them with your new address. This could include everyone from the tax office, your bank, your utility companies and current employers. Make sure that you understand exactly what is required from you when terminating any contracts, and ensure that all final bills are paid before you move. A great idea is to ensure that all of your mails are redirected to your new address so that anything that you do accidentally miss in the planning process can be dealt with efficiently.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but should be a good starting point to get you thinking about your move. There are plenty of resources available on the Internet and expert forums where you can talk to people who have already emigrated. Just remember when things do get stressful, you aren’t the first person to have moved abroad. There are plenty of people out there to help you out, and at the end of it all you will be rewarded with the start of a new life in a fantastic country.
Paul is an avid traveler from the UK working with The Emigration Group