How to Expatriate

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There are a lot of hurdles that you need to clear before you expatriate. Save a lot of money, and get your visa and destination country-related paperwork completed. Study the place you’re going to, learn how people in that country do things, and learn as much as you can about speaking their language and culture. The more you learn about these things, the smoother your transfer will be.

  • Save a lot of money if you want to expatriate to another country. Many countries want to make sure that you won’t be a burden on their social system. Check for available banks in the country you want to move to, open an account and start sending money to it. Understand that a monthly stipend, whether that’s your salary or retirement, can help satisfy the money requirement. Check with the country you’re moving to for minimum monthly, or yearly, amounts.

  • Review immigration laws for the country that you’re moving to. Select from an option of visas, usually one-year visas that you’d be able to renew annually. Obtain a work visa if you desire to work in the country you expatriate to. Also review tax laws, for both destination and home country, as you’ll still be responsible for paying taxes.

  • Go on vacation to spend some time in the country that you plan to expatriate to. Do detailed research on the laws, customs, culture, language and way of life. Use this as a chance to decide whether you truly want to live there. If possible, use this time to secure a place to live and work. This would be a good time to open a bank account if your presence is needed to open one. Make as many friends in the other country as you can. Go beyond learning the basics in the language; learn as much as possible to speak it.

  • Close your affairs in your home country prior to moving to another country. Pay off all your debts, complete your courses of study and finish your car payments. Close out your kid’s school records, and have copies, in case you plan on enrolling them in the other country’s schools. Get in touch with a few relatives, and designate one of their addresses as your home country point of contact.

  • Expatriate to another country when you’ve completed your business in your home country. Move to the country in time to enjoy it before you get down to the business you intend to do there. Mingle with the local population, go with the flow and continue to learn about that country.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you’re in the military, take advantage of post, or base, resources for overseas moves. The command, or unit, that you’re transferring to should designate a sponsor to help coordinate your move. If you’re a military spouse, there are military base resources you can take advantage of; the military is proficient in moving people overseas.
  • Some countries have a tax-free grace period for foreigners living in their country. Check with the country that you’re moving to for specifics. Also, some countries still require their citizens to file taxes while living overseas. Generally, you’ll get a tax credit for taxes you pay to your host country. Check with your home and host country’s tax agency, or ministry, for specific and updated tax rules.
  • Many countries bar people with serious criminal convictions from entry. If you’ve just been convicted of a crime, check the destination country’s rules. You may not be able to expatriate there.
  • Many countries have extradition treaties with your home country. Don’t go overseas if you expect the law to come after you.
  • Not every country has an “English Law” based criminal system. If you’re accused of a crime that could land you in jail, cause you to lose money or get you executed, you may not have the advantage of a jury trial. Under international law, you have a right to contact your country’s embassy, or consulate, if faced with criminal proceedings.
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