Guide to Moving Abroad

Deciding to move abroad is usually a difficult decision to make and the advantages have to exceed the number of the disadvantages when you will put things into scale. It is important to ensure that you have followed your heart, but don’t let your mind be forgotten: there have to be some logical and realistic reasons that will push you to move abroad, and if the choice of your future homeland is Cyprus, we ensure you that your mind will be in great cohesion with your heart

As a member of the EU, residency can be the beginning of the road to EU citizenship and finding the perfect property is going to be the starting point of the process. Aside from the citizenship issue, there will be a plethora of reasons why Cyprus should be your first choice. The opportunities that you and your children will come across are so many, that in combination with the lovely weather will make you adore this small island. The contrasts in the scenery create a magical picture, as the remoteness of some of the villages can be compared with the beauty of the countryside and the beautiful buildings in the cities. Opportunities are plentiful and job opportunities will always occur for those who will look for it.

If you have thought about it and you are planning the move, don’t be afraid to question any of the details you are given if you are unsure about anything. Don’t forget that you have to consider all members of the family when planning the move as you all have to be happy. There is nothing wrong with taking time to make sure that the decision you made is the right one.

If you don’t have friends in the area that you are moving to it will be a good idea to try and make contact with people before you go. Try going online and see if there are any residents groups set up in the area or even if there is an expat group you can join. Some countries will have plenty, especially if they have a lot of people moving in. However, even if there is no expat group from people of your nationality, just the fact that there are people going through what you went through will be a comfort. If there are people you feel that you know already then the transition from holiday maker to permanent resident will be seamless.

Language is going to be important and as long as you can speak English you will probably not experience any serious communication issues, except, of course, from the times that you will have to speak the native language of the country you have moved to. This could occur when you are dealing with officials and filling forms or just out of courtesy to nationals who do not speak your native language. It could be a great way to meet friends and you could be asked to give locals a little help learning your language. If it appears that the need is great enough, you could get involved in setting up a group and turn learning a new language into a business. Becoming a business owner in the country you have moved to will be a large step towards helping you and your family to integrate.

Considering the food and what you will be able to eat, it is vital to mention that some places will have international shops and menus, but at times you will have to eat what is available. Be prepared to try things that you may have never heard of. You can always have food sent to you from your country of origin but remember that imports may be regulated. It could be that you need to get permission for certain items, or they may be banned altogether.

You are about to be homesick at some stage and you may want to see a member of your family and friends. Skype is the answer to this, so make sure it is downloaded and set up before you go. Losing touch can be easy and you need to make sure that you can plan time to return home. It is easy to say that you would go home the following year or the year after, but before you know it, there will be children who are growing up you could have missed out on or even worse, people who have passed away without you getting to talk to them for the last time. It may not seem to be the same as visiting when you chat to people via Skype but in the absence of the ability to meet in person, it will be a comfort and something to look forward to.

On the reverse side to this is the fact that people will want to come and visit you all the time. If you are in a holiday resort such as Cyprus there will be many requests to come out and while you will not want to turn people down, you will accept your visitors. However, the first few months or even the first year will be taken up with settling in and sorting yourself out. Therefore, you should try to put people of for a short period of time until you feel that you are ready to have your home taken over and have the time to be a guide and a good host. The more you know about the laws and the area you are in, the better a host you will be when the visitors will arrive.

Once you feel that everything has been agreed and you know that you are definitely going to go, there are things that need to be sorted at home. Taxes are going to be a big part of your life, so start by notifying the relevant organization in your own country and make sure that they know you are leaving and will be able to sort out any tax you may owe or rebate that may be due. There are certain things that may not change, as you may have financial interests that are staying in your country of origin, such as stocks and shares or savings, and you may need to keep them informed as you may have to pay tax in the country you are moving to.

Although you will be certain that the reason of your moving out is that you want to succeed, there are times when it may be difficult to say for how long you will be living abroad and whether or not you or any members of the family will return. Until it seems certain that everyone is going to settle and be happy to stay, it may be a good idea not to sell the family home, but to make arrangements to rent it out. It may seem a lot of hassle to be dealing with when you are moving into your new home, and also having to deal with someone moving into your old one, but if things don’t work out, it will be easier to come home and have a place that you can move back. Again, the tax authority needs to know about this as it could be classed as taxable income. The mortgage advisor also needs to know as your mortgage may not be suitable if you are going to be renting the house out.

Taking the family pet with you is obvious, but when leaving one country and entering another, there are a number of steps to follow. You will want to make sure that you have a way of carrying it to your new country and also that you have the solution for any future problematic situations that may occur. You may also be asked to ensure that the animal has been vaccinated against certain illness. Failure to do this is bound to delay the ability of the pet to join you in your new home.

It will be a good idea to make sure that you have the address of a vet near to where you are going to be living. Once the quarantine period has been completed, you will need someone to take care of the needs of your pet. They could succumb to the illness of the country or have the affects that come with being moved and forced to travel.

Now that you have sorted out the medical needs of the pets it is going to be time to sort out your own. As all countries have different ways of providing medical care, it could be necessary to take out insurance or cover. If you are a short term resident there will be different eligibility than if you are planning to stay for good. If you are moving to a country in the EU, you should be looked after in the same way that locals are, but that could also mean that there are many things that you have to deal with in a private capacity. Many people who move to European countries such as Cyprus will consider that the European health card is going to be enough to cover for their health issues as it is for short term stays. However. when it comes to longer term ones, you need to make your own arrangements. As a matter of courtesy, you should inform the medical groups you are registered with at home that you will be leaving. It will allow them to replace you on their list and often there will be a queue in the area, so it will stop un-needed suffering for those you cannot get themselves registered.

You will need to take into account the education system of the country you are going to as well as other important state run institutions such as health care establishments. You may not have the same options that you had at your homeland, so it will be worth considering if you need to have an emergency fund to allow you to travel for treatment or provide alternative arrangements for the education of your children. With European countries such as Cyprus, there are high levels of care and education in place already so this should be one less thing that needs to be worried about.

If you plan to drive when you move, it will be an idea to sort out what you need to do to be allowed the privilege. If the stay is more than a visit, new residents will need to be aware that the Highway Code in one place will not be the same as in another. There could be the need to apply for a new license, or even take lessons and take another test. It will also mean that you have to work with insurance companies as there will still be the need to make sure you are fully covered.

When beginning a new life in a new country, you don’t want to spend the first few weeks strapped for cash, and unable to honour transactions that need to be dealt with. You will need a bank account in your country of residence, and even if you are lucky enough to be able to stay with your current bank as they are also based in the country you are moving to, there needs to be changes of address and changes of circumstances. If you are keeping interests in your own country you need to be aware that there could still be money that needs to come out or go into the bank so it could be an idea to keep the old one open until the new one is fully up and running.

It is worth looking into the possibility of having an expat account as this will allow you to have funds being held in other currencies.

If you are one of the people who are planning to move abroad because you have now retired, you will have to arrange to receive the pension that you have been saving all of your life. There will be various steps that need to be taken when it comes to pensions as the arrangements will be different depending on the age of the person and whether the moving is permanent or not.

All forms of savings will have conditions attached and this will include the savings accounts that you hold. For example, certain savings accounts are not suitable for people who are not living in the country where the account is held, so it may be necessary to end it and transfer the funds into another account. There is bound to be a way to invest wherever you are moving from and going to, but you will have to accept that it may not be in the same way you were used to invest.

It may seem to be a simple thing but remember to let people know that you are leaving. You will want people to be able to contact you in your new home and there will be people who have to be in touch with you. There is a way to let the post office - or the postal service in whatever country you are in - know that you are moving. It will be possible to have mail redirected for a certain period of time. The same applies to the local council as there may be outstanding bills that need to be sorted and if they are not, a small bill can quickly become a large one. When dealing with the authority, think about everything including membership of organizations and if they need be canceled. You don’t want to be paying for gym membership in one country if you are no longer living there.

You could still be able to vote in the country that you are leaving from, and if you are keeping an interest in the country you are planning to leave, this will be more important. As taxation will affect your assets you will want to vote for the party that will be looking after your interests.

Be prepared for the times when you will miss the former life that you had and there is the need to remind yourself of what you have gained and not of what you have lost. You will not always feel this way and it is worth keeping reminders of the good life you have there and the reasons that you decided to leave the country in which you were born.

The final sorts of actions that need to be considered are ones that may not be the sort of thing that you want to think about. At some time, you will die and plans will have to be made for your funeral and the dispersion of your assets. There is also the risk of losing the person you are living with and will need to go to the process of sorting out their affairs. It is vital that you understand the system there and follow the rules of the country you are in rather than the one you left. However that is hopefully a long way in the future so the thing to do now is to enjoy the process and the life you are going to live