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Lauren Chester Melbourne, Australia, blogs...

While the prospect of an international move is an exciting one, it is very easy to get swept away in the excitement and forget about the logistics of such a move. While it would be nice to simply pack a bag and head for the airport, a move of this nature does take a good amount of preparation and planning.

Working with lawyers making this type of move on a day to day basis, we see first-hand the nuances people often face. Below are the key things it’s worth bearing in mind from the moment you start your job search overseas. If you do, I promise the process will be a whole lot easier!

1. Timeframe
Realistically, how long do you need to execute a move? Any firm hiring a lawyer from overseas understands that it will be a slightly longer process than bringing in a lateral hire from the firm down the street- however, it can still be very tempting for candidates to commit themselves to dates that just aren’t manageable or practical.

Of course, it is always best to present yourself as flexible, however saying ‘4 weeks, no problem’ when you know that it will take you at least 12, could be potentially damaging if you then backtrack down the line. From the outset, think about the things you will have to box off before relocating i.e. selling/renting out any property, upcoming holidays or commitments etc.

On the flip-side, don’t overestimate. If you come in saying you need 6 months when really you could move in 2, you could potentially miss out on a great opportunity!

2. Personal circumstances & financing the move
While this is a difficult topic to broach, it is certainly something that you need to consider. Dependent upon location and firm, relocation packages can vary quite significantly. Often, big international firms will offer generous relocation packages, covering flights, temporary accommodation and shipping of personal effects. However, some firms may only cover a proportion of the costs, or as in certain cases, may not offer any contribution at all. Of course, this is something that can be addressed from the outset and your consultant should be able to give you an idea of what kind of relocation package (if any) their clients offer.

3. Accommodation
Certain relocation packages will include temporary accommodation, but what if this isn’t covered in your package or you don’t receive one to begin with? Consider whether you have the means to fund your own temporary accommodation while you find a more permanent base. Perhaps you have friends or family locally you could stay with? I would recommend starting to explore your options early on. Research different districts or suburbs to give you an idea of what kind of properties are on offer within your budget. Prepare well enough in advance and you could well have your new home lined up for your arrival, without the additional expense of temporary accommodation.

4. Who are you bringing with you?
Family? Partner? Pets? Your consultant should be able to offer you some advice on the visa process for any dependents, such as children, spouses or long-term partners. Often this is taken care of as part of your own visa application, but it is helpful to have an idea of the general process. In some locations, the Middle East for example, you need to be married for your significant other to be covered by your visa. If you’re not married, investigate whether your partner can secure their own working visa/permit ahead of time. It’s best to be prepared and find a location that suits you and your personal circumstances. When it comes to pets- if you know you absolutely cannot move without your furry (or scaly) friend, then research the process ahead of time. Some countries have very strict rules when it comes to importing animals (which can carry a big expense!). Make sure you are prepared for this as some firms may not consider this under their standard relocation cost contributions.

5. State provisions
This is an especially important consideration when it comes to things like healthcare and education. In the UK, as standard people receive a good level of health care free of charge on the NHS, but not all countries have national health systems. Make sure you research what provisions are in place for international residents in your chosen country. You may well need to take out private healthcare, so consider this when working out your living expenses.

If you are relocating with children then one of your main considerations will be schooling. If you are moving to another English-speaking country, then you would expect there to be a good state-schooling system in place. If, however you are relocating to somewhere like Tokyo or Dubai, you will likely have to consider the additional expense of private English-speaking school. The key here is research!

How Nexus Legal can help you
​If you are thinking about making an international move and would like to have an initial discussion, or have any specific questions, then feel free to contact Lauren Chester directly on +44 161 870 6776 /

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