I think I have more stamps in my passport than most stamp collectors have in their collections.

John Rhys-Davies

Dear Traveler,

There are so many different ways to see the world as an expat! Perhaps you have heard of the “slow travel” trend to spend more than a few days in a new location. Many people also choose to be part-time expats with one foot in their home country and another in their host country. Some expats choose a new destination every year or so, sampling cultures and making friends along the way.

Whatever your travel style might be, having the right documents to enjoy your travel is a critical success factor for a successful experience. There’s nothing worse than showing up somewhere new and scrambling to get the right paperwork to leave the airport or enter the country.

I once visited a country in Africa that had changed their requirements for American tourists the week prior to my arrival. There was no communication about this. Instead, when I arrived at the airport, I showed my passport and was immediately placed in a separate building when I had to go through a “speed-dating” version of the visa application process. It was also like 2:00AM, so it felt quite surreal, but I ended up with an extra visa page in my passport when I left the airport!

I have found that there are definitely myths about travel, and one of the most persistent ones is that you only need is a passport to move abroad. The reality is quite different, because each country has its own immigration requirements. Most expats must obtain a visa or residency permit to stay longer than allowed as a tourist. Whether you want to work, study, or explore the country, you’ll need more than your passport!

Here’s what I think you should know:

  • You need much more than a passport to move abroad. You may also need to have up to one year of validity left on your passport as well!
  • Visas and residency are NOT one-size-fits-all. You have to determine what works for you when requesting to live in another country.
  • Every country has its own processes, requirements, and visa types. You will have taxes and fees as part of your application process and you may have to pay more when you arrive in your new home.
  • Plan early. I mean start planning up to a year to obtain your visa. It’s a project management task that you will have to be successful in navigating.

I hope those tips are helpful!

Keep exploring!

The Clever Expat

We can help with your visa planning!

We can help! Before hiring expensive lawyers to manage your visa process, you can join our LIVE course on preparing your visa paperwork! The goal is to equips you with the knowledge and strategies to confidently manage your visa application process, ensuring a smooth transition to your new expat life!

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