How To Work Abroad: A 5-Step Guide
Whether it’s the lure of hot weather, the prospect of immersing yourself in a different culture, or the opportunity for career advancement, more people these days are choosing to work abroad. In fact, when Pentasia recently conducted a survey of gaming and tech professionals, over half of respondents (56%) said they would consider a move abroad, with a whopping 36% answering “Yes, absolutely”. Since gaming and tech are known for their international outlook and expat hubs (Malta, Dublin, Berlin etc), more companies are offering international transfers and relocation packages, meaning it’s a viable option for many. And cheap airfares and video calling makes keeping in touch with family and friends that bit easier too.
However, making your expat dream a reality isn’t always as straightforward as you might think. Fear not, at Pentasia we’ve got years of experience relocating candidates in the gaming and tech industries, notably to sunny hotspots like Malta, Gibraltar or Barcelona. So if you’ve decided to consider a move to greener (international) pastures, what do you need to consider before making the leap?
01 Where do I want to live?
Maybe you’ve been offered a transfer to a specific location, or perhaps you’re generally considering a move abroad. Either way, location is everything, and you’ll need to carefully consider your options. Can you speak the language (or are willing to learn)? What is the culture like, and will it suit you? Can you imagine yourself enjoying your time here? If you’re moving to a hot climate, will you enjoy the heat or loathe it? If you’ve got kids, is it a child-friendly place to live? These are all questions you need to ask yourself.
02 What job will I be doing?
Many countries will require you to have a job as part of the visa requirements, so it’s important to secure this first. When moving abroad remember that your job will be highly influential in determining your social life and day to day existence. As well as looking for colleagues you think you’ll get on with, consider company culture, commute time and of course the role itself.
03 Can I get a visa?
EU and EEA nationals do not require a work permit. Do your research – some countries have strict entry requirements, other are more flexible, and of course everything will depend on your nationality. Make sure you allow plenty of time to get a visa, as it can sometimes take months.
04 How can I make the move as smooth as possible?
Once you’ve sorted your visa, there are several other things to check off the list. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but if you’re lucky enough to be moving with a company, they may sort out a few of these for you (yay).
Bank account: keep one in your own country, but it’s also a good idea to open a local one, as well as one that enables cheap international transfers
Taxation: you’ll need to inform authorities you’re moving abroad, so you can ensure you don’t get taxed twice
Insurance: cancel any premiums you won’t need back home and make sure you’re covered
If you’ve got children, check schools in the area you’re moving to
Accommodation: unless your company is sorting this, its good idea to rent an Airbnb for a couple of weeks while you house-hunt, as sorting somewhere before you arrive can be risky.
Healthcare: check requirements in the country you’re moving to – you may need to get private medial insurance if it’s not offered by your company
If you have property at home, you may choose to rent it out for some extra income
Any pets travelling overseas will need vaccinations and special transportation arranged.
Driving license: do you need to apply for a local one
You’ll need an official address in your home country, even if it’s just the home of a trusted family member or friend. Redirect your post here.
The move itself: you’ll need a professional overseas moving company to transport your belongings.
05 And what shall I do now I’m here?
Congrats, you’ve secured a job and a visa and managed to move yourself, your pet and all your worldly belongings to another country. Now what? Enjoy it. Make an effort to socialise with colleagues and other expats, learn the language, join a few clubs and soak up the culture.
Interested in moving abroad? Check out Pentasia’s open opportunities and our guides to some of the top expat destinationss.