Living abroad is an exciting prospect, and many college students aspire to achieve the dream right after completing their college education. But the process can be daunting because there is much you need to do to get legal residency in a foreign country. The process differs from country to country, so it makes sense to go ahead only after proper planning and preparation for the move. You will not want to fall prey to unscrupulous immigration agents just because you lack awareness and experience.
Starting early, even before you complete your college term will give you a head start with the initiative. It is wise to get your research on and gather all the facts you need to know, and you can go ahead with the process straight away when you complete your degree. Also, it will make the process fast, secure, and hassle-free and you will be more confident as well. Here is a list of steps you will typically need to follow, regardless of the country where you plan to move.
Learn more about local culture and language
When you research the country you plan to move to, do not confine it to the financials and logistics alone. Knowing all about the local culture is equally vital as you will not want to end up in a place where you cannot just blend. The internet is the best place to find the rules of etiquette and social norms. You can go the extra mile by indulging in books and movies to know what to expect in the new place. It is a good idea to take a language course when you are still in college because you may find a course option in the institution itself. Knowing the basics about culture, people, and language will make you comfortable with the new life ahead.
Get on with savings early
After researching the countries of your choice, you will get a fair idea about the cost of moving abroad. It is likely to be a considerable amount, with expenses like your visa application, air tickets, housing, international shipments, cost of living abroad, and unforeseen emergencies. You will need a massive amount of money for an investors’ visa and starting a business overseas. Saving up early is a good idea if you aspire to settle abroad after college. A minimum of six months worth of living expenses in the country keeps you on the safe side. You must have a minimal amount in hand even if you get a job or start a business there. Calculate the cost of living and have a monthly budget plan to get a fair idea.
Apply for a visa
The most obvious step to move abroad is applying for a visa. Find out about the long-stay options in the country of your choice. You may also want to learn more about citizenship alternatives if you have a permanent settlement in mind. Countries like Italy have attractive options for people who wish to settle here. For example, the new Golden Visa for Italy lets you start a business and settle here by investing in the country. It has a fast processing time and minimal formalities, so you can move to the country within months after completing college. Before applying for a visa, do check your passport and renew it if it is nearing expiration.
Plan for health care formalities
Healthcare will be a key concern if you want to move abroad because health issues can happen out of the blue. Although people fresh out of college will not probably have families in tow, healthcare expenses in a new country can still be hard to deal with. Find all about the system and healthcare funding in your destination country and how it will affect you according to your status. If you get citizenship, you need not worry much because most countries offer health coverage to their citizens. Check with your medical provider back home and access all medical records and documents you need as a part of the paperwork. If you use prescription medicines, find about the accessibility in the country and alternatives if they are not available there.
Have all documents in place
Moving abroad involves a great deal of paperwork during the visa or citizenship process, and even after the move to the new place. Paperwork can be hard to handle, so it is advisable to start early. Gather all the crucial ones like your birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, and immunization records. You may need extra papers and documents depending on the rules applicable in the country. Have the originals and copies at hand because you may need them time and again. Ensuring that these are easily accessible will reduce the stress to a considerable extent.
Connect with an immigration expert
Even as you follow this checklist, there is much more you need to get done when it comes to moving abroad. It isn’t a great idea to handle everything alone because you may miss out on key steps. It can have serious implications like losing your money or having your visa application rejected. The best thing you can do is find an immigration expert you can rely on for handling the A to Z of the process. You can seek recommendations or research online to find a service provider you can trust. They will have helpful guidance for you and also make sure that you do not go wrong with the formalities.
Moving abroad requires a good deal of research, planning, and preparation. It is all the more vital for people just out of college because you do not have enough experience to face the challenges it may hold. But it should not keep you from moving a step closer to the life you have dreamt about. Getting everything done on time and properly gives you the confidence that you are on the right track. Once you have everything sorted out, say goodbye to the old life here and start the new exciting journey that you have always wanted to.
Author Bio: A career counsellor and an expert life coach, Lexi Milton has recently joined Outreach Monks as the new head of content team. She has been featured in some of the leading publications like NYTimes and Oxford Reviews for her extended competence.