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Our complete guide to understanding the importance of international health insurance

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Becoming an Expat: How to Do It Right?


The success of becoming an expat depends on a set of instructions that should be carefully followed.

The steps to take vary according to the conditions and the destination of the stay, but to ignore some of them or not to anticipate them is to run into difficulties.

Getting a good expatriate health insurance is one of the most important ones.

Things to Consider When Becoming an Expat

Finding Accommodation, a Crucial Step in the Expatriation Process

One of the fundamental steps on the process of becoming an expat is to find a place to live before arriving in the country.

When thinking about how to become an expatriate, make sure to have at least a temporary home. You should not arrive without an address to communicate to the authorities, nor a place to settle down, especially when you are leaving with your family.

Financial or in-kind assistance can be provided by your employer to facilitate this search.

Preparing for the move (renting furniture storage, selling objects or shipping them to the country of expatriation) must also be anticipated.

How to Become an Expatriate With Your Children and Spouse

People often move abroad as a family, which is why anticipating the question of children’s schooling is a wise advice for a successful expatriation.

Whatever the age of the children, it is important to make sure that an establishment is able to welcome them and provide them with an education that will be recognized in your country.

English or international schools are the best choice, but they are not available everywhere and waiting lists can be long.

You should also not neglect the job search for your spouse, because becoming an expat should benefit the whole family.

If the opportunities in your country do not correspond to your profile, or if your search is unsuccessful, you may consider training, which can be beneficial even after your return.

Administrative Procedures for Becoming an Expat

Notify Your Change of Address and Cancel Your Contracts

Among the things to consider when becoming an expat, there are some mandatory administrative procedures. Insurance, telephone subscriptions and other energy contracts that are no longer necessary after expatriation must be cancelled or modified if necessary.

You should also contact your bank advisor to inform him/her of the move and take advantage of the opportunity to obtain some advice for the expatriation.

Administrations such as the Department of Work or the Social Security of your country must also be informed of the change of situation.

How to Become an Expatriate and Be in Good Standing With the Tax Authorities

The tax authorities must also be informed about your decision of becoming an expat. You should be concerned about your future status as a foreign tax resident, which depends on your country of expatriation and your personal situation.

This status will determine the payment of taxes during the stay abroad.

A tip for expatriates: local taxes on real estate owned in your country must be taken into account in the budget, as they will be due, even for non tax residents.

Gathering Your Important Documents: A Tip for Not to Be Neglected When Becoming an Expat

Another thing to consider when becoming an expat: obtaining the residence permits (visa, work permit) and identity papers required for the trip. These steps must be anticipated because they can take time.

It is also important to list all the administrative documents to be brought with you (diplomas, family record book, medical documents, etc.).

A tip for expatriation that should always be followed or else you will be in big trouble is to bring several digital or paper copies of these documents. They will be very useful in case of theft or loss.

Expatriate Health Insurance: Tips to Stay Stress-Free

Know Your Rights

The health insurance for the expatriates and their families depends on their status: only seconded workers are still covered by Social Security during their stay abroad.

The others are covered by the local health insurance system, which is often not sufficient to cover all the family’s health expenses and which can only be used in the country of residence.

Repatriation or treatment received in your country will therefore be charged to the patient.

Choosing Your Expatriate Health Insurance Before Leaving

An important piece of advice for expatriates is to take out an international insurance before becoming an expat, in order to have time to make a choice and above all to be well covered upon arrival in the country of residence.

The most common solution for this cases is to get an expatriate health insurance on the Internet.

Using an online comparison tool allows you to make your choice easily by obtaining quotes and detailed coverage. It is also possible to voluntarily contribute to the pensions system for your retirement in order not to lose the periods worked abroad.

Of course, the expatriation procedure will not be the same for everyone, and additional steps may be required if, for example, you are leaving with your pets or if you need an international driving license.

But these main steps must be respected, as they show you the main things to consider when becoming an expat. The key words in this matter are anticipation and organization.

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This is also interesting:

What countries should I move to? The best countries to move to are not the same for everyone! Finding the ideal destination depends first of all on what is expected on a personal level.

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