International Relocation: Things No One Tells You About
Considering moving abroad to the country of your dreams from a city like Toronto, Ontario? Or has your employer offered you an international assignment that helps you climb the career ladder? Just thinking about it gets you excited. After all you’ve seen all those romantic movies and thrilling documentaries about people moving to a new country and having the time of their lives.
You can picture yourself sitting in a café in Paris. Shopping for fresh produce at a farmer’s market in Provence. Visiting the grand cathedrals of Spain. Surfing in Australia, and any other wonderful activity available to you in a new country.
However, when you’re considering an international relocation it’s important to head into the experience with your eyes wide open. There will be challenges to overcome, but nothing insurmountable, especially if you’ve done some advance research and have realistic expectations.
To help you navigate through your international relocation here are some important items to note before you set off on your new adventure:
If you’re planning on living in a new country, find out what kind of visas you’ll need to reside and work there. If your employer is transferring you, or you’ve been recruited by a new employer, then the company will likely assist you in this area.
A good place to start would be contacting the country’s embassy to get full details on requirements. Most countries have comprehensive websites that include immigration information, including downloadable forms. In some cases, you’ll be required to appear in person at a local embassy or other government office for a personal interview. Be prepared for this process to take up to six months, so get started early.
Once you have your immigration issues sorted out and your visa approved, you’ll need to start planning for your physical move. This is where a professional moving company can make the process much smoother. A company like Premiere Van Lines Toronto has its own International moving division that specializes in guiding you through customs and other documentation required to get your household possessions legally imported to your new country.
We also have resources like contracts with numerous shipping lines that ensure you’ve got competitive pricing for the sea transportation part of your move. Comprehensive insurance coverage is offered for all your valued possessions and Premiere International also has a network of affiliates in over 100 countries around the world to provide destination services.
Many people are surprised to find that housing choices outside of North America are often much smaller than they’re accustomed to. In some cities, apartments are more plentiful than private homes (unless of course, money is no object). These apartments are typically more compact than what can be found in Canada or the United States. Take this into consideration when deciding what furniture pieces to bring with you. If you need to store items back in Canada, Premiere Van Lines offers a clean, safe, temperature-controlled storage in one of our government approved warehouses on a short or long-term basis.
Banking and Finances
Setting up bank accounts and arranging for new credit cards can be a burdensome process in many countries. Most people are surprised to learn that credit reports from Canada are not valid for arranging financing in many countries. Even renting an apartment usually requires financial references. Prepare for this by arranging to have a letter prepared by your Canadian bank with specific details about your financial position. Check also with your new country’s embassy or immigration department to ensure you know what all the requirements are.
It’s true that “English” is often referred to as the most-used international language. However, don’t expect everyone in your new country to be fluent in your language. Be prepared to learn to speaking the native language of your country through self-learning systems like Rosetta Stone or Babel. If you have enough time before moving, you could take language classes at a local college or school. Once you’re settled in your new country, purchasing a digital translation device or translation app could also be useful.
International relocation gives exposure to a new culture, which can be very beneficial. Go in with an open mind and try not to compare everything to North America. It’s been said that North Americans “live to work”, while people in other countries “work to live”. Go to local events and festivals, soak up the culture and have fun with it.
For more information and assistance in planning your international relocation from Toronto, Ontario please call our Premiere Van Lines Toronto branch at 905-502-6683 or contact your local Premiere Van Lines office.