There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 8.7 million Americans living abroad. While these numbers are estimates — the US census doesn’t count Americans living outside the country — it’s still clear that many have followed their dreams of living abroad.
Living abroad is an experience that many people dream of but are not sure exactly how to move to another country. From logistical issues, language barriers and visa applications, moving to another country is certainly a daunting proposition. But whether your dream is to move to France, China or Madagascar, you shouldn’t let a little paperwork get in the way!
Read on to learn about three different strategies that will help you move to another country.
How to Move to Another Country
Unless you’re independently and extremely wealthy, much of your ability to move abroad depends on your ability to support yourself while living in another country. Before you get your heart set on a specific country, be sure to research the visa rules to make sure that you can move there based on the passport that you hold.
1. Transfer to Another Office With Your Current Company
This is by far the best option. If you work for a multinational corporation, talk to your supervisor and human resources representative about working in a different country. In this situation, your company will help you with the paperwork for getting the proper work visa in the new country.
In some cases, large corporations offer lucrative “expat relocation packages” that cover some of your costs in the new country such as rent, tuition for your children and even a vehicle. Although these packages have become less common, having the stability of your job will make your transition much easier. Learn more about the costs of relocating anywhere in the world.
2. Find a Job in Another Country
Your ability to find a job in another country will largely depend on your skill set and professional experience. Many countries will only grant working visas to foreign talent if the company can prove that they couldn’t find a local with the same skill set.
If you are early in your career and determined to move abroad, you may want to consider jobs like teaching English or working as an au pair where the visa rules are less strict and foreigners are encouraged to apply.
3. Look For Remote Work Opportunities
If you spend any time on the internet, you’re likely familiar with the rise of the “gig economy” and “digital nomads”. These are people who leverage their digital skills in order to be able to work online and, most importantly, work from anywhere.
There is a range of jobs you can do without being tethered to one location from customer service and marketing to writing code and social media management. The advantage of this approach is that being able to work from anywhere means that you can move to several different countries. The disadvantage, however, is that it is difficult to stay in one country for longer than the length of a tourist visa.
The World Is Your Oyster
Now that you understand how to move to another country, it’s time to hit the metaphorical pavement. Be open to new opportunities and you may just find yourself living in your dream destination sooner rather than later.
If you’re not ready to make the leap to full-time expat but you’re still feeling the pull of wanderlust, check out our tips for travelers instead.