Many people travel to a new country and find themselves falling in the love the people, the cuisine and the culture to the point where they want to make a long-term move. But for some, simply moving for an extended amount of time isn’t enough—they want to completely root themselves in this country as a full-fledged citizen.
While your dreams of becoming an expatriate may seem glamorous and full of adventure, the first little bit may be a lot more work than you anticipated. So to help make this transition a little easier, here are three tips for transitioning from a traveler in a country to a citizen of that country.
Handling Your Visa
When you’re just traveling around a country for a limited time, all you need is a tourist visa in most countries. But once you decide to stay there for good, you’re going to need to do more research about immigration laws and what’s now required of you to legally move to this country and become a citizen. Elizabeth Smith, a contributor to USA Today, recommends asking your employer for help on this front if you already have a job lined up in your new country. You may also find that things go quicker for you if you move with a tourist visa and then find a more permanent option with your visa once you’re already in your new country.
Ensuring Your Safety
Although you may think that living in a new country will be all about having new experiences full of wonder and life, there are still elements of danger that you need to be aware of in any country you’re moving to. Norm Schriever, a contributor to the Huffington Post, recommends not moving to a country that is currently going through political upheaval or that has fundamentalist religious groups because these countries tend to be a lot more dangerous. Also, you may want to get a dog once you move to your new country, especially if you’re planning to take this move alone. A dog can be a good companion for you as well as help keep you safe when you’re unfamiliar with an area.
Transferring Your Money
After packing all your belongings and getting the paperwork squared away for your move, figuring out your financial situation can often be forgotten until the last minute. However, transferring your money to your new country can be a difficult and costly affair. Sarah Sayed, a contributor to WorldFirst.com, suggests talking to your bank about transferring your money to a new bank in your new home country rather than trying to exchange it all for cash at the airport or other exchange station. This will be a much safer option and will help you to not lose money with the exchange rate.
If you’re well prepared for all that it required, moving to a new country can be a great experience that you’ll be grateful for for the rest of your life. Use the tips mentioned above to make this transition as easy as possible.