Things To Know When You move to a New Country – Part 1

This article is useful if you are planning to settle down in a new country or even in a new place. I understand you are excited and at the same time anxious and little bit tensed how it will end up setting down in a place that you hardly know. You’ll have several thousand questions before you can land in the new country. This simple checklist will help you prepare for it, so you are more comfortable and confident and avoid unnecessary circumstances.

  1. Before you leave for the new place, make sure you have plenty of time in hand to do more research on the place.
  2. Apply for government Identity Card as soon as possible. It can be Social Security Number (SSN) or similar based on which country you are going to.
  3. Apply for Driving License if you are planning to drive in that country. Carry your existing driving license with you always. Some country has reciprocal driver license exchange program where you can exchange your driving license for local license.
  4. Apply for bank account. You may apply for both Checking and Savings account. You’ll not earn any interest on your checking account. So make sure you transfer excess amount to your savings account. Do your research about offers and charges from several banks. Most of the banks will have a monthly fee towards managing your checking account. However, saving accounts are free in most of the banks.  See if your employer in the new country has a corporate ties with the bank to offer FREE checking account. Most of the banks will have a minimum deposit requirement to waive checking account monthly fees. Make sure you have the minimum amount in the checking account all the time to avoid any monthly fees or penalty. Never ever make any transaction from your saving account. You may be charged hefty transaction fee if you do it. Always do transactions from your checking account.
  5. Carry an International Credit Card from your home country. It’ll help you in case of urgent need in the new country. Make sure you understand the charges which occur on your international purchases. Make sure you have online banking access to your credit card so that you can review international transactions and make the payment via online. Most of the credit card companies will start charging interest on the international purchases the moment you make the transaction. So make sure you make the payment as soon as possible on your international transactions.
  6. Carry cash but not big amount. For example, no more than $1000 dollars.
  7. Big amount should be in the form of Travellers check. AMEX is one of the providers of travellers check. You’ll need to show some kind of identity when you en-cash your travellers check in foreign banks. You can show your passport to en-cash and counter sign the travellers check in front of the bank teller.
  8. Apply for a credit card as soon as possible in the new country to build your credit score. Most of the banks will allow you to have a secure credit card when you deposit a certain amount of money as a secure deposit with the bank. For Example, you can secure deposit $500 to get a credit card for a $500 credit balance. Make sure you pay regularly on your secure credit card to make the limit available for purchases. If you reach your limit of $500 then you will not be allowed to purchase anymore. Your transaction will be declined.
  9. Sometimes it easier to get an approval for credit card from a large departmental store. Typically, the store credit cards will have a higher credit limit. I was able to get a $7000 credit limit Sears master card when I was in Canada and in the USA. The minimum credit you’ll get is no less than $1000.
  10. Open a PayPal account using two different email ids. One PayPal account will attach with your home country bank account and another will attach to the bank account in the new country. You can transfer money this way from your home country to the new country when in need or vice versa without paying hefty wire transfer fees charged by Western Union and similar wire transfer companies.

Continue Reading : Things to Take Care When You move to a New Country – Part 2

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