Since Alexandra has moved from America to Ireland she got a lot of questions from people looking for advice. She had spoken about it in her blog and Instagram profile.
Some tips are more related to the bureaucracy of the countries she knows (America and Ireland), while some others are suitable for every other aspect for the expat-wanna-be. Based on her personal experience, Alexandra gives her idea on how to do everything well in order not to have any problems.
Let’s read what she tells us!
You will need to immigrate to your chosen country legally with a visa.
No, you can’t just pick up and move to another country. I think that sometimes Americans don’t get this because we have 50 states we can freely move to and from with no restriction, so why would moving to Australia, be any different? Because you have to give the proof to have the legal right to live and work in the country. People moving from a country to another one and not having to deal with immigration offices, exist only in the movies. So if you want to work, the first and most important step is to ensure you do it all the correct way!
Thankfully, Ireland hasn’t been a nightmare, but not even so easy. Yes, because I arrived with a student visa and then went on to my graduate visa (take a look here for further information), and then onto my working visa. So: different visas, different permissions, filling out paper and paper and paper all time can be really stressful. Indeed, my first application was denied, a solicitor was brought in to make sure all the wording was perfect. I suggest that you fill in every application/form as if your life depends on it. Because, in a way, it is all about it, and it is not cheap. To make an estimate, I’ve spent well over €1,000 on visas and I am lucky that my job pays for the cost of my permit. That’s another thing – your job may not be required to pay for your permit! If they don’t pay, well, believe me, you will have to count in other big costs.
Consider all your options
Bear in mind, you have multiple choices. I came to Ireland for study, with the clear goal to stay no longer than the year of my degree. But things change and I see that the most I stay, the more and more people come and go for a different reason. A lot of them are here for a postgraduate degree and they try to obtain an EU Visa in order to move easily and find a job. There are other countries offering holidays visa (such as Canada, Australia and Japan) which allows recent graduates to work abroad for a year more or less.
The easiest way to move abroad is if you already work for a big international company because you may be able to be transferred to the country of your choice if your company has an office there. I have met Americans from Facebook and IBM that have done it this way. But be careful, it can happen that your salary will change and be lower even if your job stays exactly the same.
Some people choose to join the Work Away which means helping a host in exchange for room and board. Another way to live, work and travel abroad is to Teach English. There are a lot of options, just make sure don’t miss any of them.
No, you can’t really just apply for jobs and move over
Usually, no EU citizens don’t have immediately the chance to apply for a job. Even though, it really depends on the country you are looking at. Here you can read about the top 5 countries with effortless immigration policies. You will be required to have a working permit, a visa, and plenty of other fun bureaucratic paperwork. For my work permit, my job had to be posted to the entire EU (that is 28 countries for y’all who aren’t aware) for two weeks as a part of my application to prove that I was the only person who could do the job I have. It means that if you have to be chosen out of someone who has already the legal right to work there you need a “sponsor” – meaning a specific company to back you up.
It can be done!
Obviously, it can be done! I am living abroad, and even if I wasn’t in Dublin for so long I have seen such a big growth in Americans coming and living here. Do you know the best part of it? Every immigration story is different and any given advice may not be perfect, but if you have the chance to move abroad for any reason, I would highly encourage you to do so. All the paperwork, money, and stress are worth it in the end!
Thanks, Alexandra for your tips and the motivation you are giving us!!!