Moving to a new country is a big deal. Not only do you have to pack everything that you own into boxes, but you also need to say goodbye to life as you knew it in the area that you’ve called home for (potentially) a long time. Your friends, your neighborhood, and even your language are all going to change in some way. Although this is a huge step to take, it also brings with it a totally new adventure. Maybe you’re moving because you have a new job, or because you want to make your long distance relationship, well, short distance?Whatever your reason for packing up your stuff and heading to a new country, there are some things that you need to consider. Here are 10 of them.
#1: Your family members
OK, so this is an obvious one, but you need to think about your family members and how you feel about living so far away from them. You’re not going to be able to pop over to your Mom’s house for a heart-to-heart, and you’ll be further away if an emergency occurs. However, things like Facetime do exist, so if you need to get in touch with people instantly then it is still possible. Weigh up the positives and negatives here.
#2: Your kids
Of course, leading on from this, you need to think about your children too. Will they be happy with where you’re choosing to go, and are there sufficient options for them there? Are the schools in the area highly rated, and have you considered things such as the language difference and how this may affect their social lives? Before you sign any documents, have this conversation with your kids.
#3: Work implications
Wherever you’re thinking of heading, are there sufficient jobs there for the entire family? Sure, there may be a role that’s waiting for you now, but what would happen if you decided to leave, or if you chose to look for a job in a different sector? All things need to be considered here, as you don’t want to end up in financial difficulty (or potentially face deportation) because of the implications of a career change.
#4: House prices
Moving out to the country of your dreams is obviously going to be amazing. However, you’re going to be living in a place with an entirely different economy, and buying or renting a property can be a completely different experience. Can you even buy a property in the country that you’re moving to, and will it retain its value? Will it cost you a lot to get the property that you want and need? Costs can be a lot higher elsewhere, so really consider this.
#5: Visa options
One of the first things that you need to sort out is visas, and this can be the tough part. Of course, there is an extensive system here and you may need to jump through a lot of hoops before you get the answers that you’re looking for. Start this process as early as you possibly can, and make sure that you know the right visa to look for. For example, the Portugal Golden Visa Fund allows you to work and live in the country if you’re an investor, so look into your options.
#6: Healthcare for non-nationals
When you move to a new country, it’s important to look into the healthcare system. Is it insurance based, or do they have a national health service that you can use after being a resident of the country for a certain period of time? If you do need to pay into it, look at the costs for non-nationals and assess how much this will put you out as a family each year. It is an essential, so it’s important to be clued up here.
#7: Necessary vaccinations
Whilst on the subject of healthcare, vaccinations are another key consideration when moving abroad. You may be exposed to different illnesses and diseases that weren’t an issue in the previous country that you lived in, so it’s important to be sure that you’re up-to-date on any available vaccinations or medications. Again, you don’t want to make the mistake of forgetting about this one!
#8: Moving costs
Moving home in your own country can be stressful enough, but moving everything to an entirely different place can be a) time consuming, and b) extremely expensive. Of course, it’s a good idea to sell as much stuff as you can and buy new items of furniture over there, but think about the necessary moving costs for the belongings that you absolutely have to take with you. Is it cheaper (and more convenient) by flight, driving, or on a ship or ferry?
#9: Your long-term plan
Although we’ve said this a lot of times now, emigrating is, well, a big deal. Due to the fact that it’s such a massive commitment to make, you need to think about what your long-term plans are, and where you see yourself in the next ten years or so. Think about putting some of your belongings in storage if you’re not 100% sure about making the big move just yet, as this could save you a lot of time and money in the future.
#10: What you want
OK, so you can worry about your family members and the friends that you’re leaving behind, and that guy or girl that you saw at the gym a few times and totally fancy. Thinking about other people is integral to the choice that you make, but ultimately, this is about you and what you want. If you’re going to be living an average (/miserable) life in your home country because you don’t want to upset others, then what’s the point? Do what makes you happy!
If you’re thinking about emigrating, then consider these 10 things in depth. When you’ve done so, get out there and live your best life! Have fun, wherever your emigration dreams take you. We’re totally not jealous at all…