Moving yourself and your family (possibly even your business) to a new country is a complex task for even the most organised individual. It can take months of preparation if you have accumulated a larger collection of assets and some items you may wish to take with you may even be subject to separate rules and regulations. For all these reasons and more it’s essential to hire a qualified immigration attorney familiar with your new home, but there are also some important steps you can take yourself to ensure everything goes smoothly and you remain firmly in control of the transition.
#1 Consider your visa type
Needless to say, the type of visa your attorney pursues for you will be dependent on your intentions resulting in the application for either a permanent residence permit, South African work permit or a business visa. While people intent on complete immigration to the country will likely want a residence permit it’s important to familiarise yourself with all of the visa options, in case there is another more beneficial to your situation.
#2 Register with your local embassy
While this may seem a needless precaution, it can save you a lot of trouble in an unforeseen emergency situation. If representatives of your government are aware of your immigration situation they will also be more prepared to offer you legal support in the event you end up needing it. They will also be able to issue you any warnings which they think may be pertinent to you before you depart for your new home.
#3 Learn the local language and customs
It’s difficult enough settling into a new location so far away from what you’re familiar with, without struggling to communicate with your new neighbours on top of it. It’s been well documented that people are happier and more quickly accepted by local residents when they’re able to communicate effectively in the local tongue. For the local residents of your new home, your taking the time to learn their language will make an instant positive impression, and have the dual effect of reducing your inevitable early sense of home sickness.
#4 Prepare your belongings
A professional moving company will do all of this for you, which means identifying your most fragile items and packaging them properly. Depending on your living situation you may need to put a large amount of items in storage before they can be moved to your new overseas residence, so make a note of what you can and cannot live without during this transition phase.
Always remember to consult a specialised immigration attorney as early into the process as possible to ensure a successful migration to your new home.