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Moving abroad is an exciting, exhilarating and a life changing time of your life. It can be far too easy, in all the excitement, to forget some of the important admin factors involved. You know, those boring but serious little matters like visas, health care, finances and tax… because guess what? No matter what country you are scuttling off to, it’s still part of the world and rules still apply… Bummer right? Don’t worry, we have all the advice and guidance you could ever need ahead of your international removal. We’ve got you. Now, let’s do this!
Probably the biggest proverbial spanner in the works when it comes to your international move. Visas can be a right pain in the neck. They take blasted ages and the paperwork is so finicky, so if you require a visa to move to the country you’ve chosen then, be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to get it sorted. Unfortunately, it’s just one of those things… The visa application process is lengthy and complicated. The process will differ from country to country.
The first thing you will need to do is get in touch with the local consulate of the country you are moving to and it’s also a good idea to do some research on the country’s embassy and see what useful info you can find there on the visa requirements and the process.
If you are going abroad for work then you may need to be sponsored by the company or have a skill that is in high demand in your chosen country.
The cost of health care in some countries can be whopping and it can really blindside you if you don’t know what to expect. Often, having health insurance will be a stipulation of the visa. Once you move abroad permanently, you are no longer entitled to free healthcare on the NHS. You must notify your GP so you can be removed from the NHS register.
Be sure to budget for any additional health care costs and health insurance. You will need to register with the relevant authorities abroad. There’s some really useful information on the health care in various countries here.
If you are buying a house abroad, be sure to check the tax and legal fees. There can also be ongoing taxes which will vary depending on the country and region. It is wise to get well clued up on this before you consider buying property abroad.
Don’t think that when you move away, you are no longer required to pay Capital Gains Tax because that will soon come crashing down. There was a loophole that meant that British Expats could avoid Capital Gains Tax on the sale of their UK property, but that rule has changed in recent years. Be aware that you must be a non-resident for a minimum of 5 complete UK tax years before you are relieved of the Capital Gains Tax burden.
When you move abroad, you will need to tell the office that deals with your pension that you are going and you will need to contact the International Pension Centre. As long as you have paid enough UK National Insurance contributions to qualify for a pension, you can claim your state pension abroad. It can be paid into a bank account in the country that you live in.
Before you move abroad, it is advisable that you check with a solicitor that you will still be able to leave property and savings to family back in the UK. You will need to be well and truly clued up on the way that inheritance tax works in your new home country.
Research is so important when you are planning on making a foreign country your home. Be sure to make several trips to the area you will be moving to and gauge the quality of life there as well as the cost of living. Check out the general day to day living costs like food, petrol, energy and entertainment.
There are many countries you can move where English is predominantly spoken or where it is a common language among others. Places like the USA, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. In other countries, learning the local language will make a huge difference to your new life so be sure to get practising ahead of your big move.
Moving to a foreign country or retiring abroad is quite the adventure. Enjoy every moment of it and Good Luck from Compare My Move. Don’t forget to Compare the Cost of International Removals.