If you caught the travel bug and want to take it a step further to become a permanent resident in a new country, the process can be long and complicated. You will need to reside in the country for at least a few years before you can apply for citizenship, but this entirely depends on which country it is. Some can take much longer and require lots more steps. For example, it takes 12 years to become a citizen of Malaysia as an immigrant.
Alternatively, if you plan to invest money and business into the country, the process can be sped up but is still tricky. Which passport you hold depends on where you can live, and invest. Don’t be put off though – if it is your dream to emigrate, make it happen! This ‘how-to’ guide will give you a brief overview of the steps necessary to become a legal citizen of a new country.
Apply for Visas
This is the most important step you will need to take – you can’t emigrate without the appropriate visa and passport. USIF are a company who provide investment opportunities to foreign investors, and help them obtain the necessary visas and secure permanent residency in the US. If you or your family are looking to secure residency through investment, this is a worthwhile program to consider.
If you want to apply for a normal long-term residence visa (so you can stay for more than three months), your chosen country’s website will have all the information you need. The UK government website has a form to apply for a residence card, and the New Zealand government website lists all your visa options for permanent stays. Where ever you want to go, there are various options available to you.
Research Your Family Tree
If you are looking to obtain dual citizenship but are not sure where, checking to see if you have family or ancestors descending from other countries is a great start. Getting dual citizenship in a place of your heritage is firstly good for connecting to your roots, but it may also speed up the residency process.
If your family descend from that country, even if they no longer live there or are alive, you could gain citizenship in a minimum of six months.
Open a Bank Account in Your New Country
To make sure everything is set up and ready for you to live in your new country, you’ll need a bank account to pay for your housing, bills, food, and get wages from your job paid into. Of course, if you aren’t transferring to the country with your current job, or you do not yet have a new one where you are moving to, you’ll need to get one, fast!
If you are moving as an investor, you will probably already know the banking system in the country, but it could be worthwhile contacting lawyers and accountants for expert direction.
There are many ways to transfer your cash to your new country – ask your current bank for help with this. There are now mobile apps and internet banking transfers that will make this step easy.
Learn the Language
A very important factor to becoming a resident of a new country is learning the language, if you don’t know it already. It will be much harder to fit into your new surroundings and culture without being able to read the street signs or talk with the locals.
Without being able to read labels in shops you can’t easily locate foods you need, and having a language barrier will hinder you from making new friends and a support network in your new home.
Important documents like bills and rental or mortgage agreements will be almost impossible to decipher. Make a real effort to learn the language and everyone there will be more than happy to help you do so.