Many want to move to another country for several reasons: reuniting with their families, getting a better education, or pursuing a better career, among others. One global survey found that 37 percent of respondents would want to migrate abroad for their careers.
But for many, their dream to expatriate was crushed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Several countries closed their borders and tightened their security. Some people with finalized plans had to postpone, while others just starting to prepare for expatriation had to cancel their plans.
Still, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to expatriate amidst a pandemic. When you decide to do that, you’ll need to take certain steps to successfully and safely move to a different country.
Check the Border Situation
Before anything else, check the travel restrictions in your destination country. You will need to confirm that they are accepting expatriates. Some nations may accept them under certain measures. But others still have their borders closed to everyone but citizens and residents. For example, New Zealand strictly controls border entry. Certain nations have a specific list of countries from whom travelers will not be accepted.
If your chosen country does accept expatriates, you need to stay updated on immigration and border management news. Changes may occur every day. You need to be aware of them to make necessary adjustments in your planning and preparation.
Confirm Entry Requirements
Make a list of the things you need to do and submit to enter your chosen country. For instance, you’ll have to secure a visa first. And to do so, you need to obtain important documents, such as proof of financial means, proof of accommodation, medical records, and so on.
If you’ve already found a job before moving, you need to ask your employer for documents to prove your employment, such as your employment contract.
Check Local Health Guidelines
When you enter a foreign country, you’ll have to adhere to their health guidelines. Since situations differ in each country, the regulations may also vary. So you need to familiarize yourself with health restrictions and requirements to avoid getting in trouble and keep yourself safe.
Check the quarantine measures enforced on international travelers upon arrival. Also, you need to know where to ask for help in case you experience COVID symptoms. Keep a list of emergency contact numbers, just in case.
Wrap Things Up Before Leaving
Expatriation means you’ll be leaving your current home for a long time, if not permanently. So you’ll also have many things to take care of before leaving.
You have legal obligations to settle. For example, you may need to file a tax return before leaving your home country and file another one after your migration. You also need to decide how your properties will be handled. Who will continue your mortgage payments if they’re not yet fully paid? Talking to a legal expert will be helpful.
Prepare Living Arrangements
You also need to iron out your living arrangements upon arrival. If you don’t have family or friends to stay with, you can look for cheap lodging to stay temporarily. You also need to become familiar with the local transportation system. Or check how you can get a local driver’s license.
Also, if you’re moving to a country where English is not the main language, you will need to learn the local language. Doing so will help you navigate around and connect with locals more easily.
Prioritize Your Health
Since the world is still in the middle of a pandemic, you need to prioritize preparations concerning your health.
Probably the most important thing to do is get vaccinated. This will not just give you more protection against COVID-19. It will also give you a higher chance of successfully migrating abroad as some nations are more accommodating to fully vaccinated individuals. There is no mandate that airplane passengers should be vaccinated. But airlines might ask for proof of immunization in the coming months as the population of vaccinated individuals increases.
You also need to take care of your health insurance. Some companies offer insurance plans that cover international travel, which you can use until you find a local healthcare provider. In this case, you can ask travel agencies for help.
Moving to a different country is a huge feat, even more so if you’re doing it in the middle of a pandemic. It’s going to be difficult. But if you take the necessary steps, you will succeed in expatriating safely.