Categories: Moving Abroad

Expat experience ‘can be Kafkaesque’

Working through labyrinthine administrative processes can be an arduous task for many migrant workers, says a new report.

26-year-old French expatriate Delphine told European magazine her move to Berlin was only made possible through the help of German-speaking friends, as all forms and documents were in German.

"Administration in your own country is usually very complicated, whereas in a foreign country we may feel like Kafkaesque characters," she explained.

She advised those planning a move abroad to get their papers ready well in advance, including copies and where necessary, certified translations.

The publication indicates that things may soon become a little easier for European expats as quota restrictions for certain professions and the need for a work permit are likely to be abolished by 2012.

In the meantime it suggests using migrants’ forums such as or for advice and support, or logging on to Facebook, which hosts numerous traveller and expat groups.

In related news, The Expatriate Archive in the Netherlands is inviting anyone who has experienced living abroad to share their thoughts and experiences in a series of writing workshops.

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