Make sure your passport has at least six months validity from your planned return-home date (yes, return date, not your departure date). Carry extra passport photos just in case your passport is lost or stolen and you need to replace it while you’re away.
You should find out well in advance what rules and regulations apply to obtain a residency permit, work permit or working visa by contacting the foreign mission (embassy, high commission or consulate) of the country where you want to work. Some countries require your prospective employer to sponsor you before your work permit or visa can be issued. Be aware that a tourist visa may not allow you to undertake any form of work, including voluntary or unpaid activities. Remember to also check the visa requirements of countries you might be transiting on your way to your final destination.
If you intend to stay overseas for an extended period, it’s recommended that you take your personal records with you, including certificates relating to:
– Birth, Name Change and Marriage
– Divorce and Custody Arrangements
– Police Checks
– Educational Qualifications
If you already have a job lined up, you need to check with your new employer whether you’re covered by their insurance and what, exactly, you are covered for. If your new employer covers you for medical, make sure you understand exactly what is covered. If you’re not covered, you may need to look into long-term travel insurance. Do not wait until you are ill to sort out healthcare, or you could end up with a costly and avoidable bill.
Do You Homework
Research your destination. Visit forums and expat community resources to help get a feel for the area. Also, familiarize yourself with local regulations and customs. If you are relocating for work, insist on a pre-visit and check out all the different areas before you commit to a house. It’s worth seeking out a good relocation agent.
Don’t Rush Into Buying Abroad
Take time to visit the area to see where you would like to live. Don’t be rushed into decisions and ensure you are familiar with local real estate protocol. Do not feel pressured to use your property developers or real estate agent’s legal contacts either. Seek 3rd party advice if you feel it is necessary.
Before you leave home make sure you have enough money saved to get set-up in your new country. If you have a job lined up, your employer may help with some of your relocation expenses. Be really clear about what they will cover and when, sometimes they don’t pay for expenses upfront so you may be out-of-pocket in the beginning. Don’t forget to take into account exchange rates and potential financial implications of moving overseas.
If you’re staying in a country for an extended period of time, you may want to set up a bank account in that country. Your bank in your home country may be able to help with recommending banks overseas or give you some advice on what personal documentation you may need to provide to set up a bank account in another country. Consider contacting a bank in your new country in advance for similar advice. Also be sure you research the taxes that will be applicable to you in your new home.
It can be worthwhile getting an international drivers permit from NRMA. An international drivers license allows you to drive overseas without further tests or application, provided your domestic license is still valid. You will also need it in most countries if you intend to rent a car and it can form part of your personal identification evidence and save you flashing your passport all around town.
When you go overseas there are requirements you must meet in order to remain on the electoral roll, and in some cases to avoid a fine. Just because you aren’t home doesn’t mean you don’t have to vote and you in some countries you will fined if you fail to vote. If you do vote while living overseas, retain evidence you lodged your vote as required and on time.
Notify the Appropriate Parties You Are Leaving
Notify any government agencies, service providers, family, friends etc. that you are leaving. Forward your mail as well. Canada post has a great service where they notify anyone that sends you mail for you.
Integrate into your new local community. Learn the language. Eat and drink like the locals. Take in the culture and do not isolate yourself.