Last updated on August 18th, 2023 at 08:17 pm
Is your family moving abroad? Life in a new country can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it also comes with its own unique set of challenges.
From finding a place to live to getting the kids settled into a new school, there’s so much to think about when making such a big move.
To make sure you’re as prepared as possible for life in another country, here are six essential tips to keep in mind if your family is moving abroad.
Is Your Family Moving Abroad? Tips for a Smoother Transition
Research the local laws and customs
If you’ve vacationed abroad, you know that customs, traditions, and laws vary from place to place. Even within the United States, you can experience a bit of culture shock traveling from one part of the country to another.
That’s why, when moving to a new country, you’ll want to research the local customs and laws. This will help ensure that everyone in your family understands what is expected of them both socially and legally before arriving in your new home country.
If you’re moving your business as well, you’ll want to research the country’s tax laws, so you know what will be expected of you financially. Maybe you’ll need to look for office space for rent or open an account with a local bank.
If you’ll be employing others to work for you, be sure to learn about your new country’s labor laws. For example, if you’re considering Canada as your new home, familiarize yourself with the LMIA application requirements in Canada (Exigences relatives à la demande d’EIMT au Canada), which will ensure a smoother transition and compliance with Canadian labor laws.
Always do your research in advance, so you’ll know what to do and where to go for help if needed.
Find the right home for your family
Finding a place to live is obviously one of the most important tasks on the to-do list if your family is moving abroad.
You’ll need to find an affordable place that suits everyone’s needs, from size and location to amenities. If possible, visit potential properties in person before making any commitments to ensure you find the right home for your family.
If you’re renting a property, research the local rental laws and find out what kind of tenancy agreement is required. Most countries have specific rules governing rental contracts, so it’s important to be aware of these before signing anything.
Register with the appropriate authorities
Paperwork comes with any move. In this case, you’ll need to register for residency in your new country and make sure all of your paperwork is in order before relocating.
It’s also important to register with your local embassy as soon as possible, so you can easily get help if needed while overseas.
If you are bringing pets with you, make sure you comply with the country’s quarantine regulations. Sometimes, vaccinations and documentation need to be taken care of in advance, so make sure you plan ahead. You can usually find these requirements online.
Organize your finances
Before moving abroad, it’s important to evaluate your financial situation, and make any necessary adjustments.
Make sure all bank accounts are set up correctly and ensure there is enough money in each account to cover living expenses and any emergencies. The ability to access your personal savings and investments is always a good idea for any unexpected costs that might come up during your move.
It’s also wise to open a local bank account in your destination country, which will make accessing funds simpler when you arrive.
Make sure you understand the tax laws where you are moving so that you can plan accordingly for income taxes owed to the government of both countries.
Don’t forget about health care and insurance. You’ll need to plan for any potential medical needs or expenses that may arise while overseas; health insurance should always be part of your relocation planning.
Prepare the kids
When your family is moving abroad, it’s important to prepare your children, so they know what to expect. Explain to them why you are moving, how it will affect their school and social lives, and what it will be like to live in a different country.
Make sure they understand how the new culture might be different, and offer positive reassurance that the move is an exciting opportunity for them. Provide as much information as possible so that they don’t feel overwhelmed by the changes to come.
As for their new schools, make sure you research the education system in your destination country, and look for suitable options in advance.
Prepare for language barriers
If you’re heading to a place where the language is different, this can be daunting!
Make sure everyone in the family brushes up on their language skills well before the move. Take classes if needed, or consider downloading apps like Babbel to hone your language skills.
Children do seem to pick up languages more easily than adults, but the earlier you can get started, the better!
While in many parts of the world, you can get by on English, if you want to hold a job, do business, and build friendships, you’ll need to learn the language.
If your family is moving abroad, you have many exciting adventures to look forward to, but it’s important to plan ahead, and make sure everyone is prepared for the move.
From researching banking, work, and education options to brushing up on language skills and local customs, there is a lot on your plate. But, with these tips in mind and a little determination, you’ll have no problem making a successful transition!