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Guide to Becoming an Expat


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Whether making the move overseas for work or personal reasons - becoming an expat requires lots of planning and packing. Here is your go-to guide for becoming an expat.

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Guide to Becoming an Expat

  2. 2. BEFORE YOU BECOME AN EXPAT Are you considering moving to a new country? We’d like to help guide you along the way. Whether traveling abroad for work or personal reasons, being prepared is important. You want to make sure you have the right travel documentations and information.
  3. 3. YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BECOMING AN EXPAT This guide will walk you through:  Travel requirements  Networking opportunities  Best places to move  Moving tips & Additional tips
  4. 4. TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS – YOUR PASSPORT Every location is going to vary, but here are some general rules to remember: HAVE A VALID PASSPORT ON THE DATE OF ENTRY  Remember to check when your passport expires… and if you need a valid passport by a certain date prior to moving  Make sure you have an appropriate amount of blank pages to be allowed into the country TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS – YOUR PASSPORT Every location is going to vary, but here are some general rules to remember:  Have a valid passport on the date of entry  Remember to check when your passport expires, and if you need a valid passport by a certain date prior to moving.  Make sure you have an appropriate amount of blank pages to be allowed into the country.
  5. 5. TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS – YOUR VISA Each country is going to require a different Visa. Check with their Embassy to find out which one is necessary.  Student  Travel  Work  Self-Employed Don’t forget to check your children. Minors under 18 years of age will have different Visa requirements.
  6. 6. TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS – CHINA For China, you can apply for a ten-year multiple- entry Visa, which is great if you have to travel back and forth.  China also requires that you leave before the expiration date of your stay or file for an extension.  You must obtain both valid documents PRIOR to your trip. Airports will not have these available.
  7. 7. TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS – LAWS & CUSTOMS Every country has their appropriate laws and customs. Be sure to know the laws and customs of the country you are planning to live in.  Research any currency restrictions for when you move into the country and when you leave.  Check to see if you have to register with the police or government within a time frame of your arrival.
  8. 8. TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS – LAWS & CUSTOMS  Some countries will require you to fill out Immigration Forms at the airport. Account for this when planning your trip timeline.  Always have your local consulate or embassy’s information available.  For more information about your destination, the U.S. Government offers this helpful resource.
  9. 9. TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS – YOUR HEALTH Get all of the appropriate required medical attention you need prior to your move.  Some countries require vaccinations, while others don’t.  Check to see if your medical insurance plan covers you overseas.  Most overseas care providers only accept cash payments.  Make sure your prescription is legal in your new country of residence.
  10. 10. NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES What connections do you have abroad? Build an international network that is dynamic, active, and well-connected to help you find out about job opportunities and other experiences regarding living abroad.  American Chamber of Commerce  Shanghai Expat  Meetup  Expatriate Services
  11. 11. BEST PLACES TO MOVE This is obviously an individual decision, but here are a few of our recommendations and why.
  12. 12. SHANGHAI China offers great opportunities for employment and with a rapidly growing economy, it is ideal for young business people looking for international experience.
  13. 13. RIO DE JANEIRO Beautiful beaches and a booming economy in South America – line up your career or relocation package ahead of the big move due to a high level of competition
  14. 14. AMSTERDAM Live amongst the canals, and Van Gogh! It’s a cyclist’s dream city. You can apply for a one-year residency with a new business idea, and then extend your stay with a self-employed work permit.
  15. 15. BERLIN Thriving art culture, nightlife, affordable living, easy “self-employment” Visa for two years
  16. 16. THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES If you’re able to integrate into the culture, then the UAE offers up lots of high-paying job opportunities for young expats.
  17. 17. MEXICO CITY From welcoming people, delicious food and affordable living - you'll feel right at home in the capital city.
  18. 18. MOVING TIPS Just like moving to a new city, it’s always important to plan and prepare:  Pack light – figure out what is a necessity and pack it. Everything else…? Either sell it, donate it, or put it in storage (if you plan to return)  Pack one room at a time and keep the contents of the room in same box (this will save you time when unpacking)
  19. 19. MOVING TIPS  Calculate the cost to ship your household to your new home country. If your employer is covering the cost, check if there is a weight or size restriction Keep in mind that some household items may be hazardous to ship or travel with, so be careful not to pack those  Don’t forget about the different electricity voltage in other countries. You may need different electrical plugs for your appliances and electronics It may be smarter to buy new appliances than having to always use a converter
  20. 20. for an extended amount of time. This will help you decide whether or not you could live there indefinitely. Learn the language Try to make local friends (Network!) Start slow when trying new cuisine Visit smaller cities Be smart with your banking Reach out to other expats Be prepared for culture shock
  21. 21. LEARN MORE! Take time to settle in. Enjoy your new home! Sources: