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As South Africa’s leading financial migration experts, we deal with expats on a daily basis and through our interactions have developed a wealth of knowledge about the entire immigration process and how to make a success of it. Here are a few tips:

Tips to keep in mind when immigrating

Pack lightly

Even if you are only immigrating for three years, you don’t need to take three years of clothes and things with you. Shops do exist on the other side, so only pack your favourite essentials – two weeks of clothes are a good starting basis and work from there. We’ve heard so many expats complain about the amount of stuff they took with them – that just went straight into storage and were never seen again, so try not to make the same mistake.

Do your research

Yes, we have just told you to pack lightly – but it’s important to find out what your new country doesn’t have and stock up on these things. This could be something important like your medication all the way through to your favourite food. Make sure you have a good supply of these things you can’t do without – and have enough medication to cover off the first few weeks while you’re getting settled and still have to find a doctor.

Put the mega-networking on hold

Don’t succumb to the pressure to immerse yourself immediately in your local culture and all the networking groups and clubs on offer. As a new arrival you have a lot to deal with – from finding a new home, new schools to even learning a new language. So take things slowly – there will be lots of time to socialise later.

Make friends with the locals

Once you’ve given yourself time to settle in, reach out and make an effort to get to know the locals. After all, you haven’t moved abroad to hang out with your fellow expats. The sooner you have some local friends, the sooner you’ll start to feel more at home.

Don’t take things too personally

You’re going to encounter many cultural differences that might alarm you or frustrate you. Employees might be more distant than you’re used to. Shops might close a lot earlier or be closed on Sunday. Perhaps the Internet shopping is not like it was back home. Either way, make peace with things. The sooner you decide not to ‘sweat the small stuff., the sooner you can enjoy the ‘big’ stuff – like getting to know your new country.

Phone local

If you’re immigrating, don’t bother taking your local cell phone with you. Give it to a happy relative and buy a local one abroad. Then sign up with a reasonable plan. Any ‘great overseas plan’ your existing provider might offer will never compete with using a local plan abroad.

Give yourself a break

Learning a new language and how to navigate a new country’s accommodation, financial, transport, educational and medical systems is not easy! Even if you think you’re prepared, there will be a lot of things you still have to do once you’re on the ground. Give yourself at least six months to settle in and during this time be kind to yourself and your family. Moving home (let alone countries) rates highly on the list of stressful things – so count to ten and do something fun!

If you thinking of immigrating and need any advice about your financial emigration, contact us today and we’ll help you on the path to financial freedom in your new home.
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