Oh dear lord, the paperwork. There is a lot to keep in mind when you decide to move abroad. And it doesn’t matter to which country you go, there is paperwork and it is a lot. For me luckily my boyfriend is arranging visas for a living, so he knew exactly what documents I needed. The rest was up to me!
Go through your bank account, how many subscriptions do you have and will you still need them in your new adventure? No? Start by cancelling them all and keep all the cancellations in your e-mail or print them out. For example I switched my phone subscription to prepaid, so I wouldn’t have to pay monthly anymore. Apparently I was supporting a lot of charities, so I had to cancel those as well, because I wanted to have a clean start in Macedonia and not to be attached to any companies in the Netherlands. This seems like a small detail, but it is definitely something to think about.
The serious stuff
First of all, decide if you want to have a postal address in your country or do you want to receive all the post from the authorities in your new home abroad? I knew from previous experience that it takes three weeks before a letter from the Netherlands arrives in Macedonia. So I choose a postal address (my dad was the lucky one the receive all my post) in the Netherlands.
Call the city hall and ask what you need to arrange when you move abroad, just call, you will have a direct answer and it will be more clear then when you communicate by e-mail.
Call the authorities about your taxes, how will this continue when you move abroad? Call the bank, give your new address or tell them you are moving out of the country and want a postal address. Make sure you have informed all the authorities and institutions in advance of you moving abroad, so they won’t bother you later on.
Insurance for me was another story. I was advised not to cancel it yet! So I called and told them my story and if I could cancel it from abroad. Lucky me my country is pro-digitalizing everything! Once I had a job in Macedonia and got insured I cancelled mine in the Netherlands. So make sure you know exactly what to do for every institution and authority!
Make sure you know which documents you need for your new visa. If you want to move to Macedonia, you can always contact me! Or you can call the embassy and explain for which visa you want to apply.
And make copies of your documents in advance. For example in Macedonia everything needs to be notarized and they ask copies from everything… yeah really everything. Also one useful tip of my aunt who moved to Sweden, if you are looking for a job, translate your CV. For example I have mine in Dutch, English and Macedonian.
Sell, give and throw away
Do you own a car? Or even a house? And there is no reason keeping those? Sell them before you move abroad! Do not wait to long with this, or else you will be paying for things you are not using anymore.
The clothes, ok I am a girl so it was expected to have a lot of clothes, and I was prepared for that. I had a golden rule: didn’t wear it for a year, throw it out! I gathered up all my clothes I didn’t want anymore and I gave them to nieces or charity.
Same goes for your personal stuff, if you don’t need it anymore, find someone who does or just throw it away. You don’t want to bring anything that you don’t need in your new home abroad.
Your new home
My boyfriend and I found an apartment in Skopje furnished and close to the center, which is ideal. Make sure you know the city and your demands, and make sure your demands are also realistic. How much will your salary be? What will be the expanses per month on bills and groceries? Make a list (yes, lists are very dull, but very helpful!) of all the incoming and outgoing money for a whole month. Based on that you will know exactly what kind of house/apartment you can afford and still be able to live!
I know this all sound very basic, but when I was searching on the internet when I was planning to emigrate, there was not so much information to find about emigrating. And what I could find in that time, wasn’t very helpful and even dated. This is just the beginning of how to prepare to emigrate, stay tuned for more!