Are you thinking about moving abroad? Or you just moved and wondering what steps you should do next? This guide can help you…
Hello! Since I moved to Czech Republic, many people have asked me which difficulties I faced with this step. Even before moving, I didn’t have a clear idea of what exactly meant to move to another country, and like me other people have this problem. That’s why I decided to create this guide: here I grouped in 4 points what it is necessary to do for moving and the main difficulties to face, based on my experience.
Long term moving
First of all, bear in mind that moving abroad is a different experience in comparison to Erasmus: Erasmus is a definite experience, generally 6-7 months, and you have the idea that most likely you will return back; moving abroad instead is considered as a “long-term experience”, which means more than 12 months.
When you move abroad, you don’t have an expiring date. And all the bureaucratic steps, such as changing your permanent address, make this step more difficult. We will talk about these changes later.
Moreover, the feeling of moving abroad can be perceived as scarier than simply going to Erasmus: a new country means a new culture, new bureaucracy, and a new lifestyle. Every country has its own complexity to which you will need to adapt - in the long term.
This is an important point. When you start working abroad, the common question is: “Where should I pay the taxes?”.
As you already know, when you work as an employee, your employer is responsible for paying the taxes for you, and if you would work as an employee abroad, most likely in the new country will be the same.
“So, where should I do the tax return?” In Europe, a general rule to follow is: you do the tax return in the country where you spend at least 183 days in a specific year.
Let’s see first some definitions.
The tax residence is different from your residence or domicile:
- The residence is the place where you have your usual home. More precisely, it is the place that will be associated with you in the major parts of your documents.
- The domicile is the place where the person has established his interests and businesses. These interests can be: economic, personal, social, or political.
Instead, a person obtains the tax residence by the following two factors:
- If the person has his residence and domicile in a specific country;
- And if the person live in this country for more than 183 days.
So, for example,if you have your residence or domicile in a country, and you live there for more than 183 days; there you must make your tax declaration.
Warning- Check this information for your specific case, since the rules can change. For example, in Italy the situation is different: a person has tax residence in Italy if he/she has his/her residence or just domicile there. So, the Italians who move abroad must enroll in AIRE (Anagrafe Italiani Residenti all’Estero) to avoid paying taxes in two different countries. You find more information on this on the website of the Agenzia dell’entrate.
Warning 2. The Italians should pay attention if they move to a country with fiscal privileges (the so-called “fiscal heavens”). In fact, anyone who moves into one of these countries this person will be considered - in all cases - still fiscally resident in Italy
Warning 3. Among countries, there might be present some “Double Tax Treaties” that protect people to pay taxes two times in two different countries. You can find this information in this in-depth article.
Other important things to do
After the fiscal aspect, there are other things to consider when you are moving abroad.
For this reason, I recommend to find some official sources that explains to you the necessary steps to do.
When I moved to Czech Republic I found this official website, which contains all the mandatory steps to do after the arrival. Among these, there is to announce yourself to the Foreign Police as a citizen. If you don’t do it, you can receive a fine of some thousands of Czech crowns.
Unfortunately, no one will explain to you all the things to do, so it is better to find this information by yourself. So, to help you, I prepared some other points based on my experience:
- You need to retrieve your medical records, in English if possible, especially the part dedicated to the performed vaccines since you were a kid. Another medical record will be created in the foreign country based on the previous one;
- Understand the taxation and your net salary: what is the difference between your net and gross salary? The gross salary is more or less? How is your gross salary in comparison to the average salary of the country?
- Find a bank abroad. Your employer will likely ask you to open a new bank account in the foreign country in which your salary will be sent;
- Manage your own investments. When you change country, you need to communicate your tax residence and your own investments to the country you will move in. To avoid fraud, the foreign State wants to know exactly how much money you have invested that year and where. This is important because, for example, in Italy you need to pay the 0.20% of the taxation of what you have invested; so it is better to know the fiscal rules of the country you will move to.
- Optional: start to study the language of the foreign country. For example, in the Czech Republic, according to me, it is important to know at least the basics of the Czech language.
Regarding the last point, I would like to spend just a few more words: very often people who move abroad don’t consider the importance of knowing the local language. However, knowing the language can help you in tasks such as ordering some food, understanding road signals, going to the post office, or just understanding the price of something when someone tells you. In Italy, for example, it is common that people don’t speak English in these places - making the use of the local language necessary.
Moreover, knowing another language is usually considered a notable skill in your curriculum, beyond expanding your general knowledge and culture.
Fun fact that happens to me. Sometimes I play football and I’m the only foreigner. Obviously, everyone speaks czech, and I literally have no clues on what they are saying. 😃
Lastly, I would like to talk about the loneliness of this step. Sometimes we can see “moving abroad” as something exciting: an adventure that has lots of benefits, and we can easily underestimate the psychological difficulties to perform such an important step.
So I would like to tell the other side: when you move you leave friends and family. You change the environment and so the circumstances: what happens in the Country, the government, the problems of the city, the events and even the activities to do during free time. On my skin, I have noticed how different the habits between Czech and Italians are.
I would say it is something like starting from zero, but without your family next to you. You have to rely on yourself and your own capacities. You need to become more responsible in facing problems that might be completely new for you.
You will also see your family and parents fewer times than before. Coming back home will become more complex: you need to organize the flights, and the dates, decide who to see, and settle your holidays more precisely. Sometimes returning home is not even possible; so it is better to be aware of these difficulties when you live abroad.
I hope you had an overview of the steps and the difficulties that a step as moving abroad can have. If you would like to add something, or if you have questions don’t hesitate to contact me. Cheers! 😃