The How-to’s of Moving to Another Country

Have you ever thought about moving countries? This is probably the number 1 question I get asked by people who have seen what I’ve done over the last 2 years with my life. There are so many factors involved for being able to leave your own country and pick up in another one! So I’ve put together this little guide on what your options are if you’re seriously thinking of ditching the good ole US of A as I have and starting over somewhere new.

**This guide is specifically for citizens of the USA. If you are from another country and would like to know your options, please email me or leave a comment and I will gladly send you what is available for citizens of your own country!**

Step 1: Get your passport!

Working Holiday Visas

For those of you that don’t know what a working holiday visa is, this visa allows young people to go live and work in a few various countries that have partnerships with the US. This is the visa I used for my first year when moving to New Zealand and it was honestly the easiest thing in the world to get. I applied on the immigration website and within 48 hours I was asked to come on over anytime within the next year! This visa gives you the opportunity to work in any field of your choice for an entire year. Then even potentially find a job that would sponsor you to stay longer because who doesn’t want to live in the most beautiful country forever? Here are links and more information for each country that offer Working Holiday Visas:

New Zealand

  • Eligibility: 18-30 years old and must be a citizen of the USA
  • Cost: FREE if you apply directly with immigration, if you go through an agency there may be high additional fees.
  • Processing Time: Generally within a few days, sometimes longer if they have an influx of applications.
  • Visa Validity: 12 months (You can come and go during this time from NZ)
  • Onward Travel: You must have proof of an onward ticket or of extra funds to cover an onward ticket upon arrival.
  • Insurance: You must maintain medical insurance while in NZ
  • Funds: You must have at least NZD$4,200 (Approx. USD$2.900) to live on while in NZ and may need to show proof of these funds on arrival.
  • Extras: You can’t bring someone else on this visa with you like your child or husband/wife. There may be additional fees if you need a health check or police report to complete your application.

For more information or to apply, visit the New Zealand Immigration Office by clicking this link

Australia

  • Eligibility: 18 – 30 years old and must be a citizen of the USA
  • Cost: AUD$440 (Approx. USD$335) to apply, if you go through an agency there may be high additional fees.
  • Processing Time: 75% processed in 16 days, 90% processed in 32 days
  • Visa Validity: 12 months (You can come and go during this time from OZ)
  • Work: You may only work for an employer for 6 months during your time here. (So 2 employers at least per year, can be more if you want to try other jobs!)
  • Onward Travel: You must have proof of an onward ticket or of extra funds to cover an onward ticket upon arrival.
  • Insurance: You must maintain medical insurance while in OZ
  • Funds: You must have at least AUD$5000 (Approx. USD $3,800) to live on while in OZ and may need to show proof of these funds on arrival.
  • Record: You must have a clean criminal history
  • Extras: You can’t bring someone else on this visa with you like your child or husband/wife. There may be additional fees if you need a health check or police report to complete your application.

For more information or to apply, visit the Australian Immigration Office by clicking this link

The Opera House in Sydney, Australia

Ireland

  • Eligibility: 18 and over and currently a full-time student at university level or recently graduated within the last 12 months with an Associates, Bachelors, Masters or Doctorates degree.
  • Cost: Approx USD$360 to apply
  • Visa Validity: You must arrive in Ireland within 6 months of being approved and your visa is valid for 12 months from the day of arrival in Ireland.
  • Documents: Need to submit your CV and proof of schooling along with your application to your most relevant Embassy in your area.
  • Onward: You must provide proof of an onward travel ticket
  • Insurance: You must have maintain medical insurance while in Ireland
  • Funds: Proof of USD$4000 to be submitted with your application

For more information or to apply, visit the Irish Immigration Office by clicking this link

South Korea

  • Eligibility: 18 – 30 years old and currently a full-time student at university level or recently graduated within the last 12 months with an Associates, Bachelors, Masters or Doctorates degree.
  • Cost: USD$45 to apply
  • Visa Validity: You must arrive in South Korea within 12 months of being approved and your visa is valid for up to 18 months from the day of your arrival in South Korea.
  • Extra: Only 5000 successful applications accepted per year

For more information or to apply, visit the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in NY by clicking this link

Singapore

  • Eligibility: 18-25 years old and currently enrolled in a top 200 university or graduated within the last year
  • Cost: USD$150 to apply
  • Processing Time: Approx. 3 weeks to process an application
  • Visa Validity: Your visa is valid for 6 months upon entry into Singapore
  • Extra: Only 2000 successful applications accepted per year. Can not bring any extra people on the visa with you such as children or husband/wife

For more information or to apply, visit the Ministry of Manpower Singapore by clicking this link

International Exchange Programs

This type of visa is what I’m on now during my second year here in New Zealand and honestly I’d never even heard of it until a few months ago. These types of visas are very similar to Working Holiday Visas but they are through companies that work with the government to get you the visa. They all vary in cost, duration and some are for specific work. Mine cost nearly USD$600 and I had to go home for 3 months to submit my application and do finger printing, send my passport away and so on before moving back to NZ. So I’ve listed some links below for different sites that offer various Exchange Programs, BUNAC is what I used for my second year in NZ!

BUNAC – 2 years in Canada, 2nd year in New Zealand and United Kingdom

InterExchange – Canada, Costa Rica, France, Guatemala, Italy, Netherlands, Peru, Spain and Thailand

Flying over New Zealand

Have a Skill

Okay so your job as an engineer/teacher/accountant may be pretty boring, did you know you can take those skills though and go use them in other countries that need you? Such places like New Zealand are in dire need of chefs so if you’re a skilled chef they will give you a visa to come live here. Generally they will want to keep you so this option can be much more long term too. These Skilled Migrant Visas are available for a lot more countries so here are some useful links if you’re ready to take your skills and start moving to the other side of the world!

New Zealand / United Kingdom / Australia

Study Abroad

This one is kind of a no-brainer but your university might be partnered with other schools around the world that you can go study at! Or see if your school does internships in other countries. I worked at the Whanganui River Top 10 Holiday Park here in NZ over the summertime and all 3 of my coworkers (1 from UK and 2 from Germany) were all here as part of an internship through their school to gain experience in their field of study: tourism!

Teach English

This option is high up on my list to still complete for myself so if I can do it than you can too. There are so many countries between South America, Asia and even Russia that want you to come teach English there and will pay you to do it! Some countries do require a degree to teach there such as South Korea, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam. Then there’s countries that require no degree such as Argentina, Chile, and Cambodia. You first need to get your TEFL Certification (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) which anyone can get. You’re better off paying the extra and doing a full 120+hour course versus the cheap 40 hour courses which won’t put you ahead of the game when looking for a job. Here’s a few links for TEFL courses, search through them and see what fits best for you!

The TEFL Academy

International TEFL Academy

I-to-I Love TEFL

(Check your local Groupon as well to see if there’s any discounts for a TEFL course!)

With a group of students in Bangkok, Thailand who interviewed me for their English class

Volunteer

There are so many places that will take you in if you’re a hard worker in exchange for food and accommodation. You won’t make money this way but you can stay for months in a country if that country permits this sort of work. You can do things from Elephant orphanages in Thailand (these can be expensive though) or clean hostels in Australia in exchange for a free bed every night. The possibilities are almost endless! I found work through Workaway which is also a great resource for English teachers. If you add it to your resume as I did, your inbox will be flooded with schools making you offers.

Join Workaway here and start volunteering all over the world

 

Well there you have it, you have so many different options to be able to travel long term and maybe even settle down in a new country permanently! I was beyond petrified when I was moving to NZ, I have an electronic passport so I din’t get ANY of my documents checked and no entry stamp. Then causing me to freak out and physically go ask customs to check my things and still to this day, I have no stamps in my passport for New Zealand. But that’s all part of travelling and learning! So if you get the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in another culture for more than a week, take it and run with it because you might not get the same chance twice.

**This guide is specifically for citizens of the USA. If you are from another country and would like to know your options, please email me or leave a comment and I will gladly send you what is available for citizens of your own country!**

-Katherine

Make sure to check out Vagabond Stories 20 Reasons to Travel Full Time to get some more inspiration!

“But is it such a bad thing to live like this for just a little while? Just for a few months of one’s life, is it so awful to travel through time with no greater ambition than to find the next lovely meal? Or to learn how to speak a language for no higher purpose than that it pleases your ear to hear it? Or to nap in a garden, in a patch of sunlight, in the middle of the day, right next to your favourite fountain? And then to do it again the next day?” Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

The day I left New York to move to New Zealand

 


Girl on the Wander



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