You know what happens when you assume anything because it makes…well, you know the rest. When you are moving overseas, don’t assume that your familiarity with the requirements of passports and visas will prepare you going into another country. Each country has their own regulations and documentation requirements and procedures are very detailed complicated and often subject to change.
A little planning and forethought to make sure you understand the requirements, complete all the forms and account for any government bureaucracy, will help to ensure everything goes smoothly. To ensure your required documents such as your passport, visa and permits etc. are correct, start by contacting the consular office of your host country’s embassy. They know the latest rules and registration requirements because documentation regulations may change on short notice.
A passport is an official verification of the holder’s nationality and, with a few exceptions, is required to enter another country. In many cases, a visa will not be issued unless you have a passport. Each member of your family should have a passport. Some countries will refuse entry to visitors whose passports expire during the period of their stay, so make sure passports for you and your family members are valid for well past your stay.
A visa allows a foreigner to enter a country for a specific purpose and duration. It’s usually stamped in the visitor’s passport, although sometimes it may be on a separate document. It may authorize a single visit or multiple entries to the country.
Once you’re ready to make the big move, countries require longer-term visas. When inquiring about the regulations, make sure you specify that you are relocating to the country. Real problems can result if you obtain the wrong type of visa. The last thing you want, when starting your life abroad, is to find yourself escorted across the border in the wrong direction.
The country you are visiting may issue a visa via its consulates and embassies. You may need to obtain your visa before traveling, although in some cases visas can be obtained at the port of entry. Most countries in Europe no longer require a visa but it’s always good to check with the consulate.
By preparing and making sure your passport and visa and other documents are all in order, it will ensure your move will be uneventful.