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Tips On Building A Strong Foundation Before Moving Your Family Abroad

November 22nd, 2019

Are you thinking of moving your family abroad to be with you? Are you looking forward to put an end to the lonely evenings and weekends? If your answer is yes, we would like to tell you that while the prospect may be exciting, migrating with your family is a significant decision that requires much forethought and planning.

Migration is like transplanting a tree; it has far-reaching effects on the family that is moving countries. Read on to know all about the processes involved in ensuring your family migrates abroad successfully.


1. Double-check visa regulations

If you’re thinking of moving your family abroad, the first and foremost priority should be to make sure they are fully visa-compliant. Before you initiate the visa process, conduct a thorough check on all the mandatory documents that are required to ensure your family’s timely arrival in the new country.

2. Calculate the cost of living

Maintaining a family in a foreign country can be prohibitively costly. Paying for essentials like rent, children’s education and even entertainment expenses could prove burdensome. It would be advisable to do the maths and factor in all the costs involved, to ensure that the idea of moving your family translates into a sustainable decision. More importantly, compare both the present and future expenses to gain a realistic long-term outlook.

3. Check your family relocation package

It is common for employers to offer employees a family relocation package. Scrutinise the relocation package closely, so you don’t inadvertently overlook the fine print. If the allowance seems inadequate, try to negotiate a better deal or minimise additional expenditure. Remember that you will need every penny at your disposal while settling your family abroad.

4. Secure your children’s education

Offering your children a good education is perhaps a significant consideration while moving your family to a foreign land. To this end, you need to research and shortlist institutions that will be an ideal fit. Education systems, campuses, and curricula differ from region to region, so do your groundwork to ensure you provide high – quality education for your children.

5. Take tips from fellow expats

Apart from the tips mentioned above, you can gain valuable practical insights from fellow expats who have moved their families abroad. Ask them questions; enquire about any unpleasant situations they faced while relocating as it would help you fill any gaps in your family’s migration plans.

Also Read: Financial Planning If You’re Moving Abroad


1. Move family, not belongings

They say that when you are moving abroad, take half of your clothes and all your money with you. If you decide to move your family, make sure they travel light. Do not pack heavy or bulky items that will make you exceed your baggage limit. With cargo and shipping costs rising manifold over the years, it makes sense to optimise the list of essentials that travel with your family.

2. Avoid being cultural misfits

Don’t let your family end up being cultural misfits in the new country. Ahead of the migration, familiarise your loved ones with the culture and lifestyle of the country that will be their adopted home.

3. Don’t succumb to social/cultural setbacks

Your family may feel out of place initially in the new country. The onus is on you to prepare your family to handle adversities without responding negatively to them. It is natural for children to take time to adjust to a new environment at school, or for your spouse to feel homesick and find it challenging to participate in social gatherings. Remember you are the only person who can help them settle in quickly into the new way of life.

4. Don’t delay getting insurance cover

It is essential to arrange for insurance cover for your family members as the new climate and environment can lead to health problems for your loved ones. It is quite common for minor illness to be persistent within the family soon after relocation. Make it a priority to get adequate life, health, and accident insurance for your family as neglecting this can burn a hole in your pocket; especially since healthcare can be prohibitively expensive in many western countries.

Moving your family abroad reunites you with your dear ones, and what can be more heartening than that? Mitigate the risks and shortcomings of the migration process by following these tips.