Our travel plans may be restricted at the moment but there’s no doubt that many people will emerge from lockdown dreaming of getting away. While most will book a well-deserved holiday, some will be ready to bite the bullet and make a move overseas. If you’ve been thinking about moving abroad for a long time or you’ve decided that you’re going to explore new opportunities in the wake of the pandemic, here are some essential factors to consider before relocating.
If you are considering relocating overseas, it’s beneficial to think about how a change of lifestyle will impact you. Many people move for work, but a better quality of life is also an influential factor when it comes to making decisions. The lure of outdoor living, being by the sea, working fewer hours and spending more time exercising and trying out different hobbies and activities is likely to appeal to those considering countries like the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. Being in the city and the thrills and spills of fast-paced urban living might be calling you to destinations like New York, Paris, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Tokyo or Beijing. Research locations before you make a decision and choose destinations based on your interests, what makes you happy and how you want to spend your time.
Legal requirements and visas
Whenever you travel, even if it’s just for a short break, it’s always wise to check the entry requirements and make sure that you don’t need a visa. If you plan to stay in a different country indefinitely or for a long period, it’s highly likely that you’ll need to apply for a visa. Visas usually cover you for a set period and then you can decide whether to return home or to prolong your stay and consider applying for permanent residency. In the UK, people who want to stay are granted indefinite leave to remain in the country. Research the requirements for the country you plan to move to and don’t hesitate to seek advice if you’re confused about what you need to do. You can contact immigration experts and authorities and it’s also a great idea to join expat groups on social media to get tips.
One of the most crucial boxes to tick before you make any move is ensuring that your plans are financially viable. When you decide to up sticks and jet off overseas, you’ll need to make sure you can cover the cost of not only the travel, the transport cost of your belongings and accommodation, but you’ll also need to figure out how you’re going to earn an income while you’re there.
Perhaps you’re relocating with work, moving your company overseas, or maybe you’ve already found a job. You might decide to start looking for a job when you get to your destination or perhaps you’re looking to retire overseas, you may even be filling your time in the interim period by taking a TEFL course and begin teaching English online for example. However you are achieving this goal, make sure your finances are in good shape and that everything is accounted for, including properties you may be renting out in your current destination.
The final word
Has a year of lockdowns triggered a change of mindset and the desire to seize the day, or have you been offered an incredible opportunity to relocate overseas with work? Before you decide what to do, think carefully about your financial situation, your living arrangements and a change of lifestyle. Research the destination, get advice from expats and locals and make sure you’re up to speed with entry requirements and visas.