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How hard is it to...
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Old 05 Mar 2010, 21:09   #1 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default How hard is it to...

move to another country? I've been thinking a bit about it recently, and was just curious. So far my thoughts have been:

Car
Apartment
Job
Bank account
Visa

Now... you may not need a car if you can find a place and a job within biking distance of eachother, so I'm not extremely worried about that thought, especially since I'm pretty sure you would need a new driver's license anyway.

An apartment you would need money for, in fact... you would still need money for a lot of things. Food, essentials, whatever.

And... a job. How hard is it for a foreigner to get a job? Just as hard as it is for a normal person in this economy? Or is it harder?

Now... as far as banking accounts... most american bank accounts (or at least checking accounts) give you a card that counts as a debit card from either visa or mastercard. For example, mine is a visa, but it's tied directly into my checking account. Checking online, visa is accepted pretty much worldwide.

And onto a visa. How hard is it to get one? How hard is it to get dual citizenship?

I'm just wondering if any of you have experience with this and have any advice or thoughts on the matter.
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Old 05 Mar 2010, 21:13   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How hard is it to...

I know at least in Canada, most international drivers licenses can be transferred over to the Canadian equivalent.

As for applying for a job. Most don't ask you where you are from when you go in for an interview anyways. So it shouldn't be any harder then normal.
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Old 05 Mar 2010, 22:44   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How hard is it to...

It can't be too hard, my dad has done it. Then he lost his American passport.

Or you could come to the UK. :


As for a job, when I got mine, I had to fill in an Equal opportunities thing in, and another form, where I had to put my nationality, but I don't see why it would be harder.


Hope it works for ya
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Old 05 Mar 2010, 23:45   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How hard is it to...

It's not even close to how easy you may think it is.

My wife is Canadian. We got married in June of 2009 and she probably won't make it down here to the US until the end of 2010, assuming they don't throw hurdles at us to jump over.

There's an dyi ton of forms to go through, and its all pretty vague. I had a hard time finding what we were supposed to do exactly, and the help line wasn't much better. People more or less read straight from the website and didn't answer any of my problems.

Different forms exist for differing types of how you want to get it. "Standard" immigration takes the longest, where you have no relative to support you and you're just trying to get in. I'm not kidding when I say they take their time on each packet. How we're ding it we had to submit a form just to establish a connection of relation. After waiting 6 months for that form to go through, we have to file another one to petition for her to come to the US. That one still hasn't been cleared yet, but then they send the cleared form to the Department of Homeland Security and it waits until a visa becomes available. That's another 5 to 6 month wait just for the visa. Only when a visa become available can you or your relative enter the US with intent to live here. Once you enter, you have no privileges of a citizen. You can't work until you file another form that can take up to 6 months. Once you are in the US, you can file for permanent residency, and this form can take up to a year. Once that is filed, the clock starts ticking on when you can apply to become a citizen through naturalization.

Did I mention each one of these forms can cost between $350 to $1100?
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Old 06 Mar 2010, 00:57   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How hard is it to...

Take a lot of money with you and expect at least a couple of months before getting a job (this can vary depending on what industries you're applying in and for what roles. If you just want to be a bar tender, expect anywhere from a week to a month, depending on where you want to move to). Expect at least a year before you're finally settled in properly, remember: you'll need to furnish a new place to your taste as well. Also remember that getting a place can be a bit difficult unless you have a job. Unless you can find a place that wants to fly a little under the radar, in which case it'll most likely be a shit-hole.

Cars can be got around, IMO especially in places such as the UK where everything is comparatively close together. But usually, as long as you're in a relatively large city, there will be public transport options.

Bank accounts can also be a dog to get, at least without employment. Although its possible to withdraw form almost any machine across the world, at least as long as your card has the mastercard, visa or maestro logo on it, its not nice to know you'll probably be hit with some nice hefty fees every time you do so, so withdraw in large sums.

Visas are extremely variable. Working visas are often short-lived and have other restrictions attached. Acquiring citizenship is difficult in most western countries, and often takes years, longer than the average visa lasts.
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Old 06 Mar 2010, 04:13   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How hard is it to...

I have recently, as in within the last 5 weeks, done just that. I have upped digs and moved to a completely foreign country (Japan) with no guarantee of a job when I moved.

The first thing to sort out is to ensure that you will have somewhere to stay. I was lucky in that my girlfriend was out here already and was willing and able to put me up until I got my own place. If you don't have a friend out there then you will have to find your own place; depending on the country and whether or not you speak a common language with them, this can range from being exceptionally easy to very hard. Research would be a very good thing; see if you can find hostels or cheap accommodation on the internet well in advance.

A job would be the next priority. You have three main options with regard to this; you can do something you already have experience at doing (like your current job), you can do grunt work (retail, heavy lifting, etc.), or you can do something that you are qualified for but have never done. An example of the latter one would be moving to a non-English-speaking country and teaching English as a foreign language there, like I've done, as the only requirements are to be a native English speaker and to have a University degree of any grade and any major (this latter one is actually a pre-requisite for gaining a full working visa in Japan). With the internet the way it is today, you have no excuse for not having looked into this in advance. I've known of people to have gotten a job before they've even left their country, as well as others arranging interviews (I had a couple of interviews waiting for me when I got here). Be aware of the peak hiring times and try and arrange your trip to coincide; in my case, I found out that the Japanese school year begins in April, and as I was trying to get a job as an English teacher of some kind I realised that they would need to hire in the months immediately prior to April, which is why I came out here at the end of January.

You will need to take a load of savings with you. Since some jobs will require you to work a month in lieu and/or take things out of your first month's wages, you need to have enough to live on for several months (assuming you don't already have a job ready and waiting for you when you get there). For me, I've brought almost 3500 with me and need it to last about 4 months (but Japan has higher living expenses than a lot of other countries, so I feel justified in my paranoia of bringing so much). Again, research the cost of living expenses in the place you are going to go, be aware of the exchange rate between your currency and theirs, and try and see if you can find anecdotal evidence of others in a similar situation to yours.

Visas are tricky things, and are certainly worth researching on the internet in advance. It's my understanding that a lot of people illegally enter countries on holiday visas and yet work anyway; I personally wouldn't do that, but if you wanted to that would be your choice. Some countries are easier to get visas for and others are harder. Japan is an interesting one since you can apply for something called a Working Holiday Visa, allowing you to stay for up to a year and work as long as your work is incidental to your holiday (and once you've got a job your company can sponsor you for a full working visa).

Transport can be less of a priority, depending on where you move to. In England, for example, we have a comprehensive (if often maligned and unreliable) public transportation network, so having a car is not as necessary as in America. Sometimes you will not need your own transport such as if you live in a small town or village where everything is within walking distance or if your company provides transportation for you. An International Driving License is a must if you intend to drive abroad, though taking the local driving test well before it runs out is highly recommend (especially in some places such as Japan where the pass rate is very low because the test is so hard); again, research is essential.


If you have any further questions regarding Japan, I'll be sure to answer them. I have loads of American friends here too, so if I'm unable to answer your questions, due to any cultural differences, I can ask them on your behalf.


Edit: One more thing to be aware of, if you intend to continue doing it, is the local gaming scene. Some countries have a very active gaming scene whereas others don't. You will likely be unable to take any or all of your gaming things with you, especially your modelling tools and painting equipment, so you will have to consider the cost of starting your hobby up again if you do decide to move.
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Old 06 Mar 2010, 04:50   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How hard is it to...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masked Thespian
Japan is an interesting one since you can apply for something called a Working Holiday Visa, allowing you to stay for up to a year and work as long as your work is incidental to your holiday (and once you've got a job your company can sponsor you for a full working visa).
The UK offers something under the same name, but with slightly different requirements: you can stay up to two years, but may only work for half your stay. The reality of this is that its somewhat harder than that to actually enforce, but hey.
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Old 06 Mar 2010, 11:02   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How hard is it to...

Thank you guys for your help. I'm not even sure I want to do this, I was just thinking that I have the same prospects anywhere I go, which is to say... a decent sized bank account, but other than that, none. I like my friends and family here at home, but... I would like to work/study abroad.

I know I was vague on location, but that's because... I didn't have one in mind. My first thoughts were Britian, Spain, and australia. Though I fluently speak spanish, I would rather go to a country where my native tongue is spoken regularly, which cut it to Britian and Australia. Then I remembered hearing how expensive the UK is, and thought that australia seemed... interesting. Checking online, I found a 12 month work visa thing that seemed downright awesome here. I have all of the requirements other than current schooling or a real degree, though I could do a quick 2 year one at the local community college, and I would need health insurance. It is also stated that there is a shortage of civil engineers and those who work with them, such as associates. I could get that degree in 3 years...

I dunno, it just seems interesting to think about, and like something I would be extremely happy to do.
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Old 06 Mar 2010, 22:58   #9 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: How hard is it to...

Looks like all you need to be is enrolled, which makes it even easier.

As for that whole cost of living thing...IMO its not quite as straightforward as all that, but on the whole, basic necessities do tend to be cheaper in Australia (ie fresh food, power, rent can vary wildly though). But definitely come to Australia. Its great out here. We have...ummmmm...Well, I'm sure we've got many fine things to recommend us as a nation. More than the bloody British anyways :P
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"Well, a gathering is brie, mellow song stylings; shindig, dip, less mellow song stylings, perhaps a large amount of malt beverage; and hootenanny, well, it's chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny." Oz (Buffy, episode 2, season 3)

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Old 07 Mar 2010, 07:54   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How hard is it to...

I'm a linguistic chameleon and chicks dig australian accents, so a year there...

Also JD said the term 'limitless roads' which... honestly sounded like heaven to me.

I guess my only really big problem is finding a job. It's never impossible to find a place to live, as long as you can pay for it, so...


Of course studying abroad in australia also seems really cool, but the money thing seems like a problem.
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