How to plan a residency abroad

Like the idea of living abroad but don’t know where to start in making it happen? Here’s how to start planning.

For many people, moving abroad permanently is a dream come true. Whether you have started working remotely and want to explore a different part of the world or just fancy retiring somewhere warm and full of sunshine, there are plenty of reasons to become a resident of another country. 

But moving abroad on a permanent basis isn’t quite as simple as packing a bag, jumping on a plane, and working it out when you get there! There are a few things you need to plan before starting your adventure, from legal requirements to basic logistics.

It can sometimes seem overwhelming, particularly if you aren’t fluent in the language of your new home, but it doesn’t have to be! Deciding where to live abroad comes with different requirements than planning your next holiday or finding out the best places to take a cruise, but the basics are often the same.

Take a look at the tips below, and you’ll find planning your residency abroad to be a breeze.

Research visa requirements

If you are moving abroad permanently, you will almost certainly need to apply for a visa of some sort. Every country’s visa requirements are different, so you will need to do some careful research. Some countries offer temporary residence visas designed for remote workers and retirees, while others are more complicated.

If you want to keep working, you will need to find out if you need a work permit, and you will need to know everything that is required before you head off on your adventure!

Discover your medical insurance needs

It is imperative to know what your insurance will cover abroad and what it won’t. Medicare won’t cover you abroad, so you will need to buy another health insurance plan. This will likely need to be more comprehensive (and unfortunately more expensive!) than a standard travel insurance plan.

It is, of course, essential to check out the public health situation in the country you are moving to and what level of care you might be entitled to based on your residency status. There are plenty of countries around the world that offer treatment that is free at the point of use, so knowing what you can get is a great idea!

Budget well

A huge part of planning a residency abroad is ensuring that you have enough to live on! For the most part, getting a working visa can be a tricky business, so you will probably be living off savings, a pension, or working remotely as a freelancer.

As such, good budget management is vital. Make sure you know what the cost of living is and roughly how much you expect to spend on rent, food, entertainment, and so on. It is also worth always putting aside a little extra in case of emergencies, as when you are somewhere unfamiliar, it can be harder to manage unexpected issues!

Know how to find a home

Finding somewhere to live abroad can be a tricky business at first, but once you get the hang of where the locals source their rentals, it gets easy quickly. It is a great idea to start with a month in a short-term let or homestay, to let you get a feel for the place and work out which areas you like the look of. Then you can move forward with a more permanent solution.

To help you with your search, connecting with local brokers is often a great idea. These professionals can provide local knowledge and expertise, as well as assist with any language barriers you might encounter. Furthermore, they can help you to navigate the housing market and find Rotterdam apartments for rent, for example, if that’s the location you have chosen.

Learn the language

And with that in mind, the final tip is to learn the language of your new home! It will make everything simpler, help you fit in more naturally, and help you make new friends far quicker so you can genuinely enjoy your new home country.

Photo by Martijn Vonk