Preparing to Become An Expatriate

passportcurrencyThis post is intended for readers who are about to set out for the first time as an Expatriate.  Although, it is stated from a U.S. citizen’s perspective, similar information should be available in the Consular Section of most embassy websites.

If you are traveling as an employee for an international company you may have already engaged in some sort of orientation process to prepare for your life abroad.  If you are making this step on your own, or you haven’t had the luxury of an orientation, the United States Department of State has already done the homework and you can access most of the information you need here.

The Traveler’s Checklist you will find on this website allows you to research the country  you will be traveling to or living in and provides the following information:

  • Passport Requirements
  • Vaccination Requirements
  • Currency Restrictions
  • Visa Requirements
  • Local Embassy Address & Contact Information
  • Facts About the Country
  • Safety & Security
  • Criminal Activity & Reporting Instructions
  • Health, Medical Care & Facilities
  • Travel & Transportation

Another service offered by the U. S. Department of State is the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  Expats and travelers can register for this free service to inform the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate of your stay in the country.  In return applicants will be informed of safety conditions, natural disasters, and civil unrest within that country.  In addition, the embassy will have a way to contact you in the event of a family emergency.  It is also an easy way for family and friends to contact or find you.

If you are expatriated from another country similar information should be available at your national embassy website.  To list a few:

French http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/

German http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/EN/Startseite_node.html

Italian http://embassyrome.com/italian/

Spanish http://www.spanishembassy.net/

United Kingdom http://www.embassy.org/embassies/gb.html

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