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Working overseas?

While some move country for a better way of living, others move country for work. Regardless of the reason behind the move, moving to a new country is a huge step for anyone. When moving country for work, however, there are a number of considerations that must be taken into account, such as how to obtain a visa and the likely lifestyle changes. Here at Santa Fe Relocation, we’re taking a closer look at these considerations that employees and employers alike should consider.

Building a social network

Moving country for work can come with several challenges, including the challenge to build a new social network. Many expats can experience feelings of loneliness throughout the initial moving process and during their settling-in period, and employers should offer network opportunities for employees to meet new people. Further to this, expats should seek out local events and social gatherings which they can get involved with, in order to help them meet new people in their new community.

Lifestyle changes

Moving country for work presents several lifestyle changes, and many expats will experience some form of culture shock when moving for work which is something that needs to be prepared for. The differences in climate, language, culture, quality of life and social norms can take a considerable amount of time to adjust to, and the expat may experience some form of personal disorientation in up to four stages. Employers should prepare to provide support to employees who are feeling this and it is advised that expatriates visit their new location a number of times before the move in order to give them more time to adjust fully.


Several countries require prospective employees to obtain a visa or work permit to work legally including the likes of the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Cambodia. In many cases, in order to obtain a visa to move to the relevant country, those moving country for work require a job offer first. However, at time of writing, EU citizens do not require a work permit (or visa) to work elsewhere in the European Union including in France, Spain and Italy. As a result, moving to these countries for work is relatively straightforward. While this is sometimes included in the expatriate package, there are times when the employee must seek the relevant visa and paperwork themselves. It is important to prepare this in advance of the move in order to guarantee that there are no delays.

Cost of living

In a job application, employers will disclose the salary and benefits of the role. When moving country for work, expats should ensure that the suggested salary is applicable in line with the local cost of living. This includes researching the local property rental costs, household costs and living costs such as the cost of food, gas and electricity. While some of this may be included in a traditional expatriate package, it is becoming more common for employees to pay for these themselves with their own salary. Advice should also be given on setting up a local bank account where required.

If you are considering relocating a member of your team, and you would like advice on the relocation process, get in touch with a member of our expert team, today.

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