Checklist for expats before moving to a new country

Published On January 2, 2018 | By Morten Storgaard

Moving to a foreign country can be intimidating and confusing. Maybe you have chosen to start a new life and career in another country, or maybe your company has sent you abroad to work there for a period.

Whatever the reason is, being an expat can be challenging, so here is a checklist for expats before moving to a new country!

1) Study the laws of the country

Whether you are moving to the neighboring country or to the opposite side of the world, there will most likely be some differences in the legislation.

For example, it is illegal to drink alcohol in the streets in some countries or to smoke outside special smoking areas. These are laws that you could very easily break without even realizing, and therefore, it is worth checking up on the legislation of the country in question beforehand.

2) Get the right permits

In most countries, you have to apply for a permit to work and live there. This means that before you get all the approvals you will be working there illegally. In some countries, you can get a working permit before you move there while in others, you have to apply once you get there. The waiting time can be painful and dragging but there is nothing to do. Before you get the right permit, you cannot legally work or live in another country.

3) Find yourself a place to stay

Moving to a new country means that you will need a permanent place to live. This can be a bit of a jungle since the rules of housing vary quite a lot from country to country. What is most important is that you avoid fraud since that could end up costing you a serious amount of money!

In some countries – like Denmark – you can find companies that specialize in helping expats with housing.

For example, Charlies Roof is a company that can help you with everything from viewings to furnishing even before you move! Furthermore, they can help you applying for the work or residence permit.

4) Learn about the country’s culture and customs

Before you move to a foreign country, it is a good idea to learn some of the basic differences between your home country and the new country.

You will most likely have a natural interest in learning about the new country’s culture, and it is definitely smart to know a bit about how the country works on an everyday basis. What is popular in the new country?

How does their democracy or monarchy work? What is the national dish? These and many more are the type of things that are nice to know before starting a life in a new country.

5) Teach yourself how to say hello

… And maybe a bit more than that :)

You do not necessarily need to be fluent in the other language, but knowing basic things like “hello”, “thank you”, and “where is the bathroom?” is always helpful!

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