How to Move Abroad: Practical advice for Americans

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Moving abroad can be a great experience .You can find joy in switching places, meeting new people, and starting anew job with new coworkers and opportunities. But, it can be emotionally and financially draining. A few small details can be the deal-maker or deal-breaker when it comes to moving. In the following article, we’ll share some advice on how to move abroad and become a future expat. 

Save Beforehand as Much as You Can 

Moving abroad, especially overseas requires a lot of money, so you need to have that covered before even considering leaving. The more you save, the safer you’ll feel. We’re not talking about the money you’ll be spending on mortgage, bills, and transport. We’re talking about the living expenses you’ll have in the beginning, and also emergency funds. For example, health costs can vary from country to country, but you should always have some money set aside for emergencies like that. 

As an American, you’re familiar with the tax system and how much money you spend on taxes. Now, the best thing to do when deciding to move abroad is to renounce your US citizenship. With this, you’ll save the money you spend on taxes. There is a cost to renounce US citizenship, however, you’ll be saving a lot more money later that you can use to invest in your new life instead of paying the US taxes. Be careful though, most of the US banks require you to be a US citizen to have a US bank account. The moment you can’t provide proof of citizenship, they have every right to close your bank account. You may risk losing all of the money with it. But with all the international banking solutions available, you’ll find a better alternative.

To sum it all up, you need to have enough money set aside to live comfortably at least five to six months after moving. That way, you’ll be able to find a job if you haven’t already, without feeling rushed or tight with money. 

Familiarize Yourself With the Laws 

Different countries have different law systems, so you need to be familiar with them. The first thing on the list is settling your visa and other important documents. You can easily find online pages that will explain to you the whole process of getting a visa, and every single document that you need to have with you. For example, if you’re applying for a student visa, you need to have a copy of the document provided by the university. The same goes if you’re applying for a working visa. That single piece of paper will give you the allowance to live and act like the locals, without fearing fines and illegal stay in the country. 

You also need to have copies of your birth certificate, security number… if you want to, for some extra precaution, you can leave a copy of all the documents with someone you trust in the US. That way, you’ll have them ready if they need them back there, but at the same time, you’ll have the originals with you.  

Change the address for your mail

Once you move, the mail will continue coming to your old address if you don’t get that sorted out. If you still don’t have a definite address, or you’re moving overseas, the best solution possible would be to re-route your mail to a family or friend’s address. That way, the new homeowners won’t bother returning or throwing out mail, and you’ll still have all the important things delivered to somebody you trust.

Rerouting your mail works pretty simple, and most of the time, you can easily do it online, without bothering to take a trip to the post office. Sort that out as soon as possible because small details are easily overlooked.

Find a place to live beforehand

Finding your new home can be rather tricky, so start looking for accommodation before you even apply for a visa. There are online pages that feature many houses and apartments for rent or sale. If you have enough savings, you can simply purchase your new home. But, if you don’t plan to stick for long, renting is your best option.

Always look at the reviews and testimonies. Once you find the dream home, contact the owner and strike a deal. Things are extremely easy when everything is digital. If you’re working remotely or rely on the internet, make sure you are relocating to a place with a decent internet connection. There are still places in the world that do not have a stable internet and internet interruptions are common. Make sure you are informed on this topic before you decide to relocate!


To all the future and current expats out there, the biggest tips are mentioned above. Make sure to have your financial coverage for at least half a year. Have enough savings in your emergency fund, and get your visa sorted out. The rest is only details, but they can make a huge change if you sort them out on time. Dive into the new journey and be open-minded and optimistic!

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