Relocating to a new country is never an easy task. The first thing you need to adjust yourself to is being termed as “expat” or “expatriate” by the local community of the country you move to. Being an expat is more than just a country change, it’s a change to your whole lifestyle. Every year, millions of Americans relocate to a new country in search of new adventures, improved quality of life, love, education, etc. Mexico tops the charts when it comes to entertaining most American expats, while Canada comes next. To make things easier for U.S. expats, especially for those moving from Arizona, let’s talk about 5 most crucial tips you must know about being an American expatriate.
You Still Need to Pay U.S Taxes
The most important thing every Arizonian expat must know is that he is liable to pay U.S. taxes regardless of the country he is moving to. The United States has a citizenship-based taxation system that requires every expat to pay taxes on his worldwide income. So, if you are an American citizen or a holder of a green card, you have to file a tax return. If you fail to do so, it may be considered as a criminal act by the IRS, and you might be exempted from certain American citizen privileges. There are a lot of trained and professional accountants like expat tax prep services who have experience dealing with taxes and similar issues.
Another thing you need to lookout for is the healthcare system of the country you are moving to. If you are going to stay in a foreign country for a long time, you need to spend some time reviewing the country’s healthcare system. The first thing you need to keep in mind is that you might not be qualified for the new country’s healthcare system until you become a resident. So, the best option for you, in the meanwhile, is to get insurance.
Getting a Job
The laws regarding acquiring a job differ from country to country. Where some countries allow you to work even if you arrive on a tourist visa, others might need you to obtain a work permit before looking for a legal job. After you have obtained your work permit, you will need to renew it on a regular basis. Moreover, a work permit is also helpful in becoming a permanent residence. If you have the right skills, you should not face many difficulties in getting a job, as specialized skills are valued in each and every country. You can use several online tools like LinkedIn to look for opportunities, or even do a bit of freelancing in the start to settle in.
Adjusting in a New Culture
A lot of people moving to a new country often face a culture shock. Before moving to a new country, it is a good practice to read some books about its history and culture to gain some knowledge about local customs, and to begin learning their language. It will help you settle in easier and get an insight into how things work there. Where it is normal to wear shorts in Arizona, if you are moving to an Arab country, you must reconsider your clothing style.
Making New Friends
When you move to a new country, you have to give up many things. One of those is the company of your lifelong friends. While it is not difficult to meet new people abroad, finding someone you connect with can be difficult because of cultural differences. However, for your ease of mind, local residents of most countries find foreigners very fascinating. If you want to avoid living in your own bubble, pay frequent visits to restaurants, local bars, nightclubs, or churches. You can also take part in local festivals and meet new people there.