Are you ready for a family move overseas?
June 4, 2018
Moving abroad with your family is a big step. Doubts and insecurities might come up. We tell you all the secrets to organize the perfect family relocation abroad!
All expats will say the same: planning and preparing a move overseas can be demanding and time-consuming, although the final result is almost always worth it.
Shipping your belongings, getting visas… The number of things one needs to do can seem never-ending, and there isn’t a universal list of items to tick: each family has its own specific needs and circumstances.
But don’t get discouraged by this! Relocating to another country is a unique experience. Here some tips to prepare it!
1. First, research!
Your family is going to move to a new, and highly probably, unknown place. That means you will have to discover a lot about it, not only when you arrive, but also before, because you need to plan plenty of things.
Important topics to know about:
- Emergency service: Do you have a GP near? How far is the closest hospital?
- Children facilities:
o Where can you find playgrounds? Which are the closest schools? Are there nurseries or kids groups in the area?
o How can you enroll your children in your preferred schools? Are there any particular requirements?
- Stores and other services:
o Do you know where you can find a supermarket or convenience store? Which are the opening hours? Is there a pharmacy in your preferred area? Or a fitness center? Have you found any football clubs or other sports clubs so your children can continue their favorite hobbies?
Use online expat forums and communities, Facebook groups … where you'll get honest advice from other expat families. It’s also a great way of making friends before you move.
2. Second, accommodation: Rent before buy
When you aren’t familiar with a certain location, it’s better to avoid big investments right from the scratch. Renting an accommodation will give you knowledge of the neighborhood and will help you finding if it works for your family. If you rush into buying a property, you could be unhappily stuck with a decision you made without knowing all the facts.
3. Third, check the legal stuff!
Moving abroad means arranging for visas, work permits, and residence permits. These documents, are essential to open a bank account, register your children for school, access to healthcare system etc. As these requirements vary from country to country, it’s important to get accurate information for your specific destination country.
Notice that these documents might take some time to complete. Thus, Be sure to understand what you'll need to provide, and how long the processing will take. If you need help with the documents requirements ask your immigration expert.
4. And last, think about your pets!
Start the paperwork and any vaccinations required for your pet in your new country with enough time before you move. If you need to place your pet into quarantine, make sure you know all the options, and try to share experiences with people who've brought their pets into the same country. If you're moving abroad you might want to consider a professional pet transport company to smooth the path for your pets.