Did you know that around 9 million Americans live abroad? Moving to another country can be an exciting journey, and you just might find your personal slice of paradise. It’s easy to see why so many people have packed up, bid the US adieu, and set off for an exotic destination.

But while Mexico, the UK, or Australia might seem like dreamy new homes, it’s not as simple as just buying a plane ticket and flying over. Here are 4 essential steps you need to take when moving to another country so you don’t hit any snags.

1. Check Visa Requirements

Many Americans mistakenly think that just because they have a strong passport, all countries will welcome them in. But we’re here to burst the bubble: most likely, you’ll need a visa to get in.

Check your destination country’s government website to see what the visa requirements are. They’ll vary depending on your situation; for instance, are you entering as a student or are you going for work?

You’ll need to gather documents to submit, so do this early. You might also have to submit biometrics to the US Department of Homeland Security. On that note, make sure your passport isn’t expired and renew it if it is.

2. Line up a Job

Even if you’ve got lots saved up, you’ll eventually run out of money. And this can happen sooner than you think, due to unforeseen obstacles like a difficult time finding housing.

If possible, line up a job before you move, especially if you need it for your visa. Or if you’re planning on freelance digital work, secure some clients so you can hit the ground running with work as soon as you land.

3. Don’t Cut Ties off Completely

It can be useful to keep your American bank account open, especially if you’ve got clients who pay in USD. You can also keep your savings in there until exchange rates are favorable, and then get some more local currency.

On that note, you should keep a local mailing address so you can still receive important mail, like from the government. If you can’t use your parents’ or friends’ addresses, then consider opening a PO Box.

4. Consider Buying vs Renting

If you’re set on staying in this new country, consider buying a house vs renting. In most places, there are no restrictions for expats, although banks may look at your finances a bit more closely. So plan on having plenty of documentation to show lenders.

But buying luxury property can help you build equity while staying in a gorgeous house!

Have Fun Moving to Another Country

Moving to another country is a thrilling new chapter in your life. You’ll have more to look forward to if you’re prepared, as there are fewer chances of setbacks during the moving process.

Make sure you keep all these moving tips in mind before you even book your tickets. You’ll be glad you did!

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