How To Move to Another Country

Woman checking the world map
The world is full of opportunities. And if you've been given the chance to move from your country to another one, don't pass up the experience. Moving to another country involves a lot of planning, but it will surely change your life for the better. Here's what you need to do in order to move to another country.

Step 1

Apply for a passport. To travel to any country apart from your own, the law now requires that you have a valid passport. Apply for this several months in advance so that you can be sure you have it before you move to another country.

Step 2

Apply for a visa. If you plan on working in the foreign country that you're moving to, you'll also need to apply for a work visa. Keep in mind that not everyone is approved for work visas in foreign countries, so it helps if you have a unique skill that is required in the foreign country. Otherwise, if you can get a company to sponsor you and help you to get your work visa, this will improve your chances of getting approved to work abroad. That being said, you should also look at your job prospects before you uproot yourself. Make sure you have a job to go to in the foreign country, or at least a way to support yourself while you are there.

Step 3

Look into residency requirements as an American citizen. Every country that you travel to will have somewhat different residency requirements of those new to the country. Make sure that you know what documents you need to have to enter the country, as well as how long you are permitted to stay in that country.

Step 4

Learn about the country. If you are moving to a new country where the language is different than your own, it's best to start learning the new language ahead of time. This will assist you in your first few weeks of getting settled. After that, the language should come naturally the more that you interact with the native people there.

Step 5

Arrange for health care. Often overlooked, health care is one of the most important arrangements you can make before you move to a new country. Ensure that you have a proper health care plan in place (either through your employer or on your own) so that in the event of an emergency, you can receive the proper medical attention.

Step 6

Finalize your funding. When you move to another country, you are going to need the funds to survive there. Before you go, determine how you will fund your move. American credit cards can be quite expensive when used abroad, so consider getting currency for the country you're heading to. Or, if possible, open a bank account in the new country and make a large transfer there from your American bank account. This should be large enough to help you get settled until the money from your foreign paychecks start going into that account.

Step 7

Determine where you will live. It might be wise to take a quick trip to the new country you plan on moving to in order to scope out possible areas in which you want to live. Or at least, talk to the locals there to find out the best (and worst) places to live. This will give you a better idea of where you'd like to settle once you move to that new country so that you won't be stuck in a hotel for months on end while you decide where you want to live. Consider schools, access to hospitals, proximity to downtown, and overall standard of living when selecting your housing in the new country you're moving to.  

Step 8

Start to close things up in the U.S. As your move date draws closer, start to shut things down in the U.S.. Pay off your bills, sell your belongings that you don't want to store, and close your accounts. Ensure that your family members have all of your forwarding information so that they are able to contact you in your new country.

Step 9

Book your flights. With everything in place, you can make your travel arrangements. If you are taking your pets with you to the new country, ensure that you have the proper documentation from your veterinarian before travelling.  Also make sure that your pet's cage is suitable for travel (check with your airline's policies) and arrange for a ticket for your pet. (Yes, you'll have to pay to bring your kitty along). Book all of your flights at least a month in advance of your expected travel date.

Step 10

Pack your belongings. The day before you leave, pack your suitcases! Make sure you don't go over the allotted limited for luggage weight for your airline carrier. And take all of the important forms and documents you'll need for moving abroad with you in your carryon. You don't want to misplace these if your luggage gets lost. Once you're packed and everything has been looked after in the U.S., you're ready to move to another country.


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