You’ve decided that it’s time to jump ship and try your luck living elsewhere – now what?
The checklist of things that you need to get done when you’re emigrating can seem endless, and expensive.
What really gets you, though, are those unforeseen expenses that seemingly appear out of nowhere, leaving you a little financially bruised.
Moneyweb put together a list of some of the things that you might not have taken in consideration when you started planning your move overseas.
Before relocating to a new country, you’re going to want to visit it and spend some time scouting around for a place to live, a neighbourhood that you like, or work and business opportunities. As you probably already know this means visas, travel and accommodation costs that need to be factored in.
Application and Visa Costs
Work visas and permanent residencies vary from country to country. Some destinations, like Australia and the UK, are working on making it easier for South Africans to come over, while others will require a lot more effort and money on your part.
Apart from paying for your visas and applications, you may also need to factor in biometrics, language tests, passport costs, medical examinations, police clearances, as well as an assessment of experience and qualifications.
Packing And Moving
Do you have pets? What about your furniture? Are you taking it with you, or starting from scratch overseas?
Emigration experts advise South Africans to be very selective when choosing what to take with them. When it comes to appliances, many don’t work in foreign countries where the voltage is different. Also, South African homes are much bigger than homes in other countries and many South Africans end up taking way too much furniture with them.
You need to do some research to figure out if shipping your stuff is cheaper than buying new stuff before committing to one or the other.
I know we’re supposed to stay positive and believe that everything works out, but we live in the real world, and if things don’t work out in your new country, you need an exit strategy.
If you choose to go the financial emigration route, there are a few things to take into consideration.
Financial emigration triggers a deemed disposal of your worldwide assets (excluding fixed property) for Capital Gains Tax. This means that you may be liable for CGT on assets which you only expect to dispose of at a future date.
If you return to South Africa within five years of financial emigration, your situation will be considered a ‘failed emigration and “all tax which would have been payable in South Africa will become payable retrospectively”.
You already know that you need to include flights in your budget, but what about the hidden costs? Once you get to the other side, you might need to sort out accommodation, local travel, storage and a host of other unforeseen factors. It’s best to keep some cash aside for any inevitability that might arise.
New Car And Drivers’ License
If you plan on buying a new car in your new country, don’t forget to take into account the cost of vehicle registration and licensing (in Australia it’s going to cost you a small fortune). You might also have to pay to have your licence converted.
General Cost Of Living
Keep in mind that in first-world cities, the cost of living can be extremely high. It’s best to do some research and avoid the urge to do a mental conversion every time you use your new currency.
Every country has its own rules regarding health insurance and immigrants.
You may be required to pay an upfront surcharge before entering the country to have access to the country’s healthcare system. Your visa may also require that you hold private healthcare insurance, and it is wise to investigate the costs of like-for-like cover in your new country, taking into account any pre-existing conditions that you or your family may have.
The cost will vary, so, once again – research is everything.
Before you move overseas, make sure that you’ve done your due diligence when it comes to schools and school fees.
Private education overseas costs a lot more than our local private schools. While you may qualify for ‘free’ education in your new country, the calibre of education might not be at the same standard. So, before assuming your child will be enjoying free education, make sure you are comparing apples with apples.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because a school is overseas, it’s automatically superior.
Realistically, once you’re settled somewhere like the UK or Canada, it’s a lot cheaper for you to fly back to South Africa than it is for your friends and family to come to you. With that in mind, you’ll want to keep some cash aside for return visits and unforeseen circumstances like funerals.
If you’re moving somewhere with a significantly different climate, you’ll want to make sure you have enough cash to stock up your wardrobe. To be frank, the winter clothes we make in South Africa won’t last five minutes in proper snow, and neither will you.
Add the above to your checklist and you should be fine.
As the Boy Scouts say – always be prepared.
Read the full list on Moneyweb.
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