My situation: I am 31 years old. I live in the UK and have been a software developer for 5 years (but only 1 year in a really challenging, full stack position). I own a house. I have a fair amount of savings and a decent salary.

However, I became divorced about a year ago. I have always wanted to move abroad, but haven't been able to as my ex-partner didn't want to.

Now I can, but I'm very apprehensive. I have a good job, am secure financially and am a home owner. I would be giving all of that up for the unknown... but it is something I've always dreamed of.

My question, is what order should I do things in to move? I would not want to rent my house out,as the rent to mortgage ratio is not good where I am and the tenants in my area are notoriously bad, so if I move I will be selling.

In terms of location, my current preference is New Zealand, but I have also looked at some other places that are good for software devs (Switzerland, Canada).

So I need to sell the house, get a job, find accommodation somewhere else, ship all my belongings, set up a new bank account, get a working or residency visa. It's quite overwhelming and I'm not sure where to start or what to do first (do I move and then look for a job or get a job offer first, in which case I have to hope the house sells quickly... etc.)

Apologies for the long post, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • 1
    Have you visited your preferred destination(s) before? Do you speak the local languages? If not, if finances permit, why not consider a sabbatical that would enable you to get some some first hand experience of what life there would be like? You could let your house in the UK on a short term basis in the meanwhile
    – Traveller
    Jan 3, 2020 at 10:50
  • 1
    The sort of issue that may narrow the question a bit is to say whether you intend a temporary or permanent move, your qualifications, what languages you know. Jan 3, 2020 at 10:57
  • 1
    The answer partly depends on your citizenships and the immigration rules of where you want to go. Some will let you move without work (which will make finding work easier). Some will require that you are sponsored by an employer, so you need to find a job first.
    – CMaster
    Jan 3, 2020 at 11:03

1 Answer 1

  1. Research the countries that you are considering. Especially look at immigration rules (and the associated pain in the neck), job market, cost of living, general culture, language barriers, etc.
  2. Take another look at immigration, visa types, and required sponsorships. Cross check with available jobs.
  3. Visit the countries (time and money permitting) to get see it in person at least once if you haven't yet.
  4. Narrow it down to one or two and start a serious job hunt.
  5. Discuss general approach to relocation and sponsorship requirements with any prospective employer.
  6. Once you you get close to signing, go into the nitty-gritty. Many companies have people who can help with paperwork & logistics. Figure out a time line for Visas and moving, temporary housing if needed, initial remote work if needed, relocation assistance (who pays for what). At this point you should have a well defined plan with a time line.
  7. If it's all good: sign the contract and make sure you have a copy that's signed by the employer (or something that as legally binding as possible in the jurisdiction)
  8. Only THEN you can start winding things down. Plan your exit from your current job, hand in your notice at the appropriate time, put your house on the market or rent it out, sort through your stuff, etc. Just execute the plan you came up with in step 6
  9. Move and enjoy your new country !

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