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The Paperwork: Three Vital Things to Sort Out Before Becoming an Expat

For most people, becoming an ex-pat feels profoundly freeing, especially if it’s a move you take just as you retire. However, there are some hoops you need to jump through and some paperwork you need to get through before enjoying that unfettered lifestyle.

Here are the three most vital things you need to sort out before heading to pastures new.

The Passport and/or Visa

Expats who are looking for a second passport have the option of obtaining one through a citizenship-by-investment program. This process involves investing a substantial amount of money in a country’s economy, in exchange for citizenship, a passport, and some property. Several countries offer such programs, including St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, and Malta. Ex-pats who have a significant amount of wealth can opt in for this program and secure for themselves a new nationality and home in only a couple of months.

For people who don’t want to take the second passport route, there is always the option of a visa. However, it’s pretty incredible just how many people plan on becoming ex-pats without properly investigating the visa situation. British citizens have gotten used to visiting many countries without having to go through any kind of visa application process. Unfortunately, this is definitely something that you’re going to have to go through if you want to become an ex-pat, and it pays to start early since the process can take quite a long time, and it isn’t always possible to carry that process out when you’re already living in your chosen country. Entrepreneurs moving abroad in order to pursue business ideas without having to pay UK rental costs often find visa acquisition particularly hard.

The Finances

You probably already know that you’ll need money in order to live in your new location, but it’s common for ex-pats to fail to properly move all their accounts or arrange for money to be taken out overseas. This can be a surprisingly arduous process, and having to take things at a gallop can mean facing hefty fees that would have been easy to avoid by starting sooner. You might even lose your credit rating or find it hard to open a bank account in your new country. As soon as you learn of your move, start to do your research about which bank you would like to do your banking with and start the process. Some banks may allow you to carry your account across to another country if they operate in that country also, but if you’re moving to somewhere like Andorra, you’ll likely need a new account. MCA Assessors is often a popular choice.

The Healthcare Insurance

There’s nothing in life more important than your health, but it’s surprising just how many ex-pats are willing to put theirs at risk by forgoing health insurance. Yes, you’ll save a few pounds each week, but you’ll also risk being faced with excessive medical bills if anything ever goes wrong. Additionally, some countries may flat-out refuse to provide anything but emergency treatment if you do not have expat health insurance in place, even if you have officially become a resident.