The vast majority of people live their entire lives in the country they were born, and that’s wonderful. After all, there’s no place quite like home.
However, some families find themselves considering a move overseas. This is a huge undertaking, but one that can change your perspective and introduce a new dynamic to your life. The expatriate lifestyle might be the perfect fit for your family, but it tends to be a decision that raises a lot of questions.
If you have considered relocating abroad — even if it’s just for a short while — then you may find the below Q&A useful.
Where Do Expats Move To?
The most common country for Americans to emigrate to is Canada, which makes sense. The lifestyle is much the same, the language is the same, and you’re still within a reasonable distance of friends and family. The move itself will also be more affordable, especially if you’re willing to self-drive.
After Canada are the Philippines, Mexico, Israel, and Italy. However, if you don’t speak the local language, these can be a daunting proposition.
The only other Anglophone country in the top 10 is the United Kingdom. As with Canada, the culture is much the same, and there are plenty of home comforts available. The moving process is a little more expensive initially, but shipping belongings and then using the likes of Shiply’s man and van service to transport items to your new home can work well.
How Do Expats Cope?
This very much depends on personality. Some families move, only anticipating a short stay, but decide to stay for longer. Others dislike it, and move back at the first opportunity.
Is It Possible To Know If A Family Will Enjoy The Expat Life Before Moving?
Not for sure, but the best way of finding out if your family is really a good fit for the expat life is to go on an extended vacation to your intended country. Stay in self-catering accommodation, as this helps to give you as close an idea as possible to what an area is like to live in.
What About Immigration Rules?
This very much depends on where you are emigrating to; all countries have rules, but some are more stringent than others. Moving to Canada, for example, is relatively simple if you’re a US citizen. Moving to the UK is a little more difficult, but still possible if you have the paperwork in order.
Most countries will require you to have a job before they will grant entrance into the country for a sustained period. This, however, is simpler than ever due to globalization.
Can Our Family Pets Move With Us?
Yes, in most cases, especially if they have a pet passport. There are challenges to moving abroad with your pet, but these can usually be overcome with research. Check with the country in question for their entry requirements for pets.
Will I Still Be A US Citizen?
Yes, you will retain your US citizenship permanently, unless you choose to renounce it and become a citizen of the country you have moved to.
If you have any further questions, there are plenty of advice guides online that discuss what the expat life is like. If you’re tempted, read up, and see if this is a move that might work for you and your family.