It can sometimes feel as if everyone you know is on the move. Moving out of the city, moving out of the country. The enforced confinement of the pandemic has left us restless and hungry for change. The workplace has also changed, businesses are more open to remote working. Already, 18% of the global workforce, work remotely, and that figure is certainly set to rise. So, before you pack that laptop and head for the sun, take a little time to consider the practicalities of moving abroad.
Work and right-to-work laws
Don’t just arrive somewhere and assume that you can pick up work. If you are moving to Europe, the E.U. right-to-work law means that only E.U. citizens have an automatic right to employment in Europe, everyone else is going to need a work visa or residency status. You should also not assume that your academic qualifications will be recognised, this is especially true for medical and law degrees. Even with a trade, such as plumbing, you will almost certainly have to undertake a training course in order to operate.
If you are buying property abroad you shouldn’t have too much trouble in opening a bank account, but foreign banks can be unwilling to open bank accounts for people whom they regard as transient. Such customers are considered high risk and banks are always on the lookout for money laundering. If you have a work visa, your employer may be able to help you open a bank account or another solution may be to open a digital account. A digital account will allow you to hold money in different currencies, in different accounts. This enables you to access different currencies without having to pay a transfer fee each time.
Tax is always a headache, so be prepared for an even bigger headache when you move abroad. The easiest solution is to get professional help, but of course that comes at a cost. Ex-pat forums can be helpful, and you may find someone who has been through the process and is prepared to help out. Failing those options, you’ll have to get to grips with it yourself. Thanks to your laptop, you should be able to read forms and documents in your own language, but it still won’t be easy. As long as you are honest about any mistakes you have made in your return, you should be ok.
A large part of your budget is going to be your accommodation and the quality of your accommodation is also going to make a significant contribution to your general happiness. For these reasons it makes sense to find an attractive location where property prices are low. If you are heading for Europe, then Portugal should be high on your list. It’s sunny, pretty much all year, it has beautiful beaches, and it’s cheap. Rental prices are around 53% lower than they are in the U.K. In Castelo Branco, the average rental price as advertised on Imovirtual in December 2021, was just 427 euros a month.