The increasing mobility of people in the global workforce has spurred the growth of many peripheral industries. These include immigration experts, migration services companies, freight and shipping, consulting and money transfer options, among others. Many people are interested in relocating to foreign countries, to take lucrative positions, broaden their horizons, or simply to enjoy a better quality of life. Whatever your rationale for moving abroad, there are many important costs to consider.
Contrary to popular opinion, the biggest expenses are not the costs of the airplane ticket though those can be quite costly nowadays – it’s everything else that must be considered. For example, the immigration fees alone can be costly for a big family seeking to relocate abroad. That says nothing of the stress involved in the process. This includes legal fees, immigration fees, biometrics fees, work authorization, payment for official travel documents, and more.
Factors to Consider when Relocating Overseas
Many of us don’t think that the costs of relocating abroad are substantial, but they are. Besides for your airfare, there are import taxes to consider, packaging materials for your personal belongings, the costs of the moving company, shipping costs for your personal items, and the education costs abroad. An international move can cost many thousands of dollars – substantially more than it would cost to relocate from one part of a country to another.
The daily living expenses are perhaps the biggest sticker shock that immigrants face in a new country. Travel, communication, groceries, education, rentals, mortgages, car insurance, health insurance and other factors are often neglected when moving abroad – but they can certainly break the bank.
These elements contribute to what is known as lifestyle living expenses. Then of course, your lifestyle will be impacted directly by taxation. People who are dual citizens may be subject to double taxation, and this is certainly a big cost factor that you will want to take into consideration. Sometimes, people will move from a country with a strong currency like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, or the United Kingdom to an affordable country like Thailand, Vietnam or Laos. But if it’s the other way around, you must be prepared for the ill effects of currency exchange rates. When the bills start adding up, you may be required to transfer money from your home country to supplement your income abroad. Remember that transferring money globally can be expensive so you want to be sure that you’re getting the best possible exchange rate at all times. Most people think that banks are the only viable option, while they really are the most expensive option available to you.
Healthcare and Education Fees Are Big Ticket Items to Consider
Healthcare is one of the most important concerns for a family. From cradle to grave, healthcare is essential. Unfortunately, not all countries are created equal where healthcare is involved. Countries like the United Kingdom, Israel, Sweden and others offer heavily subsidized government health care programs. The costs of healthcare are dramatically lower in these countries.
Unfortunately, in countries like the United States healthcare is extremely expensive. This is a cost item that needs to be carefully considered as part of a broader personal immigration budget. As new immigrants in the United States for example, each member of the family will be required to undergo a full medical test at their own expense. These tests are expensive, and are not subsidized by the government. Be advised that any existing health care benefits you have in your home country will likely not be applicable in a foreign country, unless you’re remaining in the European Union. For most families, healthcare is nonnegotiable. Therefore, accommodation must be made for it in your relocation budget.
For people intent on moving abroad, an education may be the only way to break into the workforce. This takes on many forms such as a reeducation, retraining, advanced degrees and even children’s education. The costs of education vary greatly from one country to another, and they are one of the most important relocation-related costs to consider when moving abroad. In the United States, tertiary education can become extremely expensive depending on where you attend college. It is common for college graduates to rack up tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt by the time they enter the workforce. Young families need to be especially mindful of these education costs when relocating abroad.