The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has just today launched a brand new campaign aimed at potential British expats, and aims to make their stay abroad as pleasant and rewarding as possible.
As a leader in the provision of expatriate healthcare insurance, we’re proud to support the new initiative which we hope will enable our valued clients to enjoy their expatriate lifestyles even more than before.
The new campaign, named ‘Know Before You Go’, has been introduced in light of startling recent research about expats priorities before moving abroad. With over 6 million Brits currently planning to move abroad upon retiring, the new initiative couldn’t have come at a better time.
The key finding is that many Brits are failing to fully investigate their chosen destination before leaving home. The study suggests that less than a third of expats believe that carrying out their own research on a potential destination is the most important aspect of a successful move.
The evidence would suggest quite the opposite; those individuals who are best prepared for their adventure tend to find their time away far more enjoyable than those with a less organized outlook on life.
To help potential expats carry out all the necessary research in order to make the most of their time away, the ‘Know Before You Go’ campaign focuses on a number of key points that all expats should consider before leaving their native country.
First on the list is getting a fair and balanced understanding of the laws and customs of their destination country to enable easier integration into their chosen community. Learning a local language as well as making a conscious effort to get to know the locals are also considered an important part of whole experience.
The FCO also has advice in relation to overseas property. They recommend against making impulse decisions when buying a property. A safer option is to rent at first, allowing you the opportunity to investigate the local area to find a place that suits you best.
According to the search, only 11% of potential expats truly consider the financial consequences of moving abroad, and this can be the source of some unpleasant surprises. As a result, gaining an understanding of local taxation laws as well as how you’ll claim pensions and benefits while abroad are also vital to your experience.
The situation is perhaps best summed up by The Minister for Consular Affairs, James Duddridge, who said recently:
‘A permanent or semi-permanent move overseas involves many practical and social changes. We would advise British nationals to take their time to research all aspects required for a successful move, such as the laws and customs of your future home country, the long-term financial implications for you and your family, any legal issues requiring independent advice and your current and future health needs. Remember, relocating is about more than bricks and mortar’.
If you’re planning to move abroad soon, we would strongly advise you to investigate the detailed advice given by the British government here
Additionally, potential expats may find out detailed expatriate country guides
provide a useful and entertaining addendum to their research.