Top tips for a smooth relocation

Contributed by Cigna Global, 14 March, 2017

From having the right paperwork at hand at the right time, to knowing what to expect when you get there, it's often the little things that can make a big difference in ensuring a smooth relocation.

International healthcare insurance experts, Cigna Global play a big part in making life on foreign shores that little bit easier for expats. From preparing for the journey and beyond, here are Cigna's tips for a hassle-free move…

Get your financial history together at an early stage

Especially if you are relocating for reasons other than work, the visa application process typically requires you to show that you will be able to support yourself financially. So it's worth getting your paperwork organised early; typical requirements include original banks statements and evidence to demonstrate regular sources of income – such as pension statements.

Obtain a credit report before you go

In most countries, a credit check is carried out as a matter of course before entering into all manner of transactions, from signing a lease through to arranging a contract on a mobile phone. The absence of a credit record in your country of choice can sometimes make these transactions more complicated. To speed things along, it can be useful to obtain a copy of your credit report before you set off and take it with you when you go.

Do your research before agreeing to a relocation package

Relocation packages are common for employees moving abroad on secondment. These payments are designed to eliminate – or at least, substantially reduce – the financial burden of the move. The amount offered might look generous on first glance – but always do your research before accepting. Pay special attention to items such as removals costs, storage, travel and short-term rentals before you start negotiating.

Don't assume that your work health policy will cover everything

A works health policy is often as much about protecting the interests of the company as the individual employee. As such, don't assume that the coverage on offer will provide you and your family with everything you need. Are your spouse and children protected? Are pre-existing conditions taken into account? If you become unable to look after yourself, is the cost of repatriation covered?

For expats, one of the most valuable features of International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) from Cigna Global is flexibility; the ability to fill in the gaps that might exist in your existing cover.

Students: check work restrictions

Many students opt for a year or more abroad in the expectation of being able to combine their studies with part-time work. Make sure that you read up on the current rules in place for your particular country before you go. As an example, so long as they are enrolled in a registered establishment, students from outside the EU studying in the UK can work up to 20 hours a week in term time and full time during the holidays. Other countries have similar regimes in place. It's also important to read up on any rules concerning the relevant national minimum wage – to ensure you don't get taken advantage of.

Take advantage of short-term letting arrangements

At first glance, a short-term let might seem considerably more expensive than a regular lease. As a stop-gap for an expat however, this type of arrangement can hold considerable advantages. First and foremost, it can help you avoid making an expensive mistake on a longer term commitment in an area that you later become unhappy with. Often available on a rolling weekly or monthly basis, a short-term let can be used as a temporary base while you find your feet and get a closer look at the living options on offer in your destination of choice.

Factor in school terms when timing your move

If you have a choice over when to move, it can make sense to arrange it to correspond with the very latter part of the school term in the country you are heading to. This way, you can arrange some informal orientation days and tours of potential schools when things are winding down. You then have the summer to settle in and the children can start, fresh, at the beginning of a new term.

Check out Cigna's International Schools Finder tool to locate and find details of thousands of international schools across the world.

Ensure one less thing to worry about – thanks to IPMI

Settling in takes time – and it's only through experience that you start to get used to the new culture. Day-to-day tasks and transactions sometimes require an element of re-learning – and this includes accessing healthcare. Even free public healthcare can be problematic; there may be restrictions or added hoops to jump through for expats, while the quality of care available can sometimes vary, depending on where in the country you happen to be based.

IPMI can help to make it easier to access the treatment and advice you need in a straightforward way, while its 'portable' nature means that it's also ideal for those expats who will be splitting their time between multiple locations.

To discover more about IPMI, and for a quote, visit Cigna Global today.

Tags: interest | Relocation | Students | Other | employees | Insurance | public health | insurance |



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