The prevailing pandemic has caused a lot of employees to ask if they can “work from home” in another country because they want to spend time with their families or abroad. If you can balance work and fun, you’ll have an easier time transitioning into a new environment.

While working remotely is possible in most cases, all potential expats should consider the legal, cultural, and industrial ramifications of moving briefly or permanently elsewhere.

How to Successfully Move Your Life Abroad

Although becoming an expat is an exciting experience, you need to be prepared for the change amidst the anticipation. If you’re planning to move abroad, follow our step-by-step guide.

Freelancing vs. Employment

Relocating as an employee or freelancer is equally as difficult for different reasons. When you’re employed, you can negotiate your moving package, compensation, and your level of assistance.

Freelancers are less likely to receive any help with moving, but they benefit from flexibility. An employer will likely limit your relocation options due to the costs, but freelancers can move wherever they want whenever they want as long as where they land has an Internet connection.

Understand Your Tax and Legal Implications

Depending on your type of work, you may need to apply for a visa, open a bank account and apply for credit. US citizens also have to pay US income tax regardless of where they live.

To avoid this tax burden, you have to officially renounce US citizenship. Renouncing your citizenship may be worth it if you want to remain in your new country.

Once you apply for another citizenship, banking and applying for a loan becomes more manageable, and you won’t need to renew your visa every year.

Research the Country’s Company Culture

Different countries have different norms, especially when it comes to company culture. What may be considered a great work-life balance in your country may not be acceptable in others.

Remember that company culture will vary, so it’s possible to find employers that treat their employees well and others that don’t. The optimal company culture will include long-term employees, transparency, clear values, celebrated wins, and an absence of office politics.

Explore the County’s Working Conditions

US citizens pay a high price for health care and have some of the worst working conditions in the western world. You’ll likely experience better working conditions once you move.

Still, it’s crucial to conduct research on your employer and the country by asking:

• What is considered “optimal working conditions” in your new country?

• How do they view time off, sick days, mandatory leave?

• On average, are people expected to work more than 40 hours a week?

• How does the government mandate work regulations?

• Does your new country have universal health care?

You don’t have to settle for poor working conditions. Find a company that treats you well.

Calculate Your Cost of Living and Expected Salary

Most European countries are expensive to live in, but if you already call the United States home (the 10th most expensive country), you’ll be able to live comfortably across the globe.

When considering the cost of living, don’t forget to weigh the pros and cons of its tax system. Although living in Norway is expensive, you’ll benefit from low crime, high wages, a superior health care system, among other things. Make sure you make enough to cover your necessities.

Be Familiar With The Language and Pop Culture

Fitting in is vital in a new country. If you take too long to settle in, you may miss out on networking opportunities and friendships, so be familiar with your new country’s language.

The best way to learn a new language is by indulging in pop culture. What do locals listen to, watch, or do in their free time? What kind of slang do they use? Who are their local celebrities?

When you research your new country’s culture, it shows that you’re making an effort to adjust to your new environment. Plus, pop culture knowledge can help you connect with your co-workers.

Find Out How to Make Friends and Connections

It can sometimes be difficult for foreigners to make friends in a new country. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but you may start to feel lonely if you made the trip without a companion.

To start making friends, seek out fellow expats in your community who can show you around. Find people who have similar hobbies as you and enjoy going to the same places. You can also find local expat websites, groups, or organizations focused on arranging friendly meet-ups.

Moving Abroad Takes Careful Preparation

“Working from home” in another country gives you the opportunity to see new places and explore different cultures, but that doesn’t mean the experience isn’t scary. We recommend preparing your living situation and tax information in advance to make the move less terrifying.

But, all that hard work may be worth it if you’re outgoing, open-minded, and love to travel.

If you’re really contemplating international work, be sure to do plenty of research on the company and country, but don’t forget to speak to other expats who’ve made the same move.