You want to go on reconnaissance

Visiting Your Country Destination Before You Become an Expat

If you’d like to visit the country to gather information about local businesses or institutions, you should consider visiting your potential expat destination country in advance on a tourist visa. This will help you decide if you will be happy living and working there. Depending on your citizenship, many countries offer basic travel visa that are valid for 90 days from the date of entry, and allow for multiple re-entries, provided the re-entry occurs no less than a month before the expiry date on the visa. If you’re from a visa-exempt country, you won’t even need to apply for this (see Visas).

Note that the country you are visiting may want you to provide:

  • Your passport with two free pages available.
  • Provide two passport photographs.
  • Pay the visa fee, if applicable.
  • Provide proof of sufficient funds.
  • Evidence of a return…

Here are some quick tips for your recon mission to your potential expat destination:

  • Do your research
  • Register with your country’s embassy in that location. Or if you are an American, think about registering with the U.S. Embassy’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
  • Make sure you are covered for short trips for travel insurance and think about expat health plans if you will move abroad permanently
  • Check out local living conditions and especially schools and housing