So you have decided to move internationally and now are confronted with trying to figure out where to find out the requirements or visas that may be needed. This blog is going to dive into the best resources you can search the internet for to answer that question.
Any time you are looking to travel no matter whether that is for a vacation or a longer term stay there are different requirements that may need to be completed in order to visit that country. The most common requirement is a travel visa. A travel visa is a conditional authorization granted by a territory to a foreigner, allowing them to enter, remain within, or to leave that territory. Some countries have bilateral agreements that allow you to visit without having to get a visa. A visa can be electronic or a physical sticker or stamp applied to the blank pages of your passport. A visa can be granted, revoked, or denied. There are different types of visas including (but not limited to) transit, short stay or visitor, long stay and immigrant. Each has it’s own set of conditions.
Other conditions to be conscious of include the number of blank pages available on your passport. Some countries requires that you have a certain number of blank pages available in your passport. The main reason for this is the entry and exit from one country to the next and your passport needs space for them to apply the entry and exit stamps.
You also need to consider will you need a work permit if you are planning to get a job in that new country. When going to a new country understand that you are seen as the visitor or the “outsider” if you will and while your skillsets may be great you are adding to the pool of people looking for work. There are work visas that you should research the availability and process on. And of course in this blog we focus on how to create your own income without have to look for a job.
The first I recommend for Americans looking to move internationally is travel.state.gov . This is our government website and their mission is to protect the lives and interests of U.S. citizens overseas. There is a wealth of information that can be found here but they are probably most well known for updates on the safety and security of a destination. You will want to also check out the international travel page which will help reinforce things to consider before moving. In addition there is the STEP program which stands for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. The goal of this program is to allow U.S. citizens and nationals to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Once enrolled you will receive updates about the safety and security of the destination you are traveling to. You will also be giving your emergency contact information so that if something happens while you are in a foreign country the consulate has a way to reach out to you directly. And lastly let’s say friends or family needed to get in touch with you and cannot if they contact the consulate they will have a line of communication and the information necessary to contact you.
And that brings us to the most valuable information you need in order to learn the requirements needed to move to another country. The embassy’s primary purpose is to assist U.S. citizens and nationals who travel or live in a host country. They are a resource for getting to the bottom of what you will need to reside in another country. The easiest route can be found here using the url https://www.usembassy.gov/ the embassy website will have a URL similar to the following cr.usembassy.gov. The CR is short for Costa Rica and will change for different countries. For example the url for Belize is bz.usembassy.gov.
I recommend starting with a government website because it’s similar to getting information from the source. There are tons of travel blogs but this information can change on a dime and you want the most up to date information. Also in an age where where fake news can spread like wildfire you want to start with information that has been vetted and confirmed. My next recommendation will be to create a checklist of the requirements. This will work sort of like a parking lot where you can create check boxes applied to each requirement and learn all you need to about what is required to become a resident. Take it one step at a time. The truth is in these times of pandemics and lockdowns travel requirements are changing rapidly.
Another recommendation is to give the embassy a call and start to form a relationship with the officials that are there. These ambassadors will be a resource in any country but especially so in countries where access to information or the internet may be limited. It is at these times where you may find that this type of connection can get you vetted recommendations on finding places to stay and/or buying a home for instance.
After you have done your research please comment below on anything you learned that was surprising about the requirements to become a resident. I’d love to hear from you.
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