Becoming An Expat – Pros and Cons

March 24 , 2021 by: Amelia Chui

Becoming an expat entails moving to another country to live and settle. Waves of immigrants have been created throughout the years, but ask yourself; can immigration really solve the problems that your current country is facing? Is becoming an expat really the best choice? Let’s dive deeper into the topic in this article.

Benefits of becoming an Expat

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Countering inflation is an important reason for many high net-worth individuals to decide on becoming an expat (i.e. to immigrate). If your country’s currency depreciates, your wealth will begin to shrink, leaving many investors questioning how to better allocate assets. In the current situation, investing in overseas real estate can effectively reduce the loss of personal assets while obtaining that country’s status. Moreover, most European immigration projects do not have immigration supervision requirements, therefore avoiding hindering the development of a career in your own country. For example, if you buy a house in Greece, you can invest 250,000 Euros in Greek real estate. Then after obtaining the status, you can live there or in your original country.

1. Children’s Education

Compared with studying abroad, immigrants can save more money with fewer worries. After successful immigration, not only can you reduce tuition fees for studying abroad, but you can also increase your child’s chances of getting into a prestigious school as well as them having a higher chance in obtaining a job after graduation; giving your child an additional choice for the future. In particular, having an immigrant status allows your child to choose a better educational environment and enjoy quality scholarly resources, allowing them to have more development in the future. Speaking of education, Australia is one of the best choices for children as it offers a comprehensive education system, ranging from preschool, primary, secondary and tertiary education. In Australia, if both or one parent is a citizen or has permanent residency, the child can enjoy 12 years of free and compulsory education (public schools only) from primary school to high school. When they go to university, they can also enjoy interest-free loans for higher education. There are 43 higher education institutions in Australia, and many of them are ranked among the world’s top universities. In addition, many of Australia’s most prestigious universities have set up branches overseas, making it a highly impressive place of study for all students. As well as Australia, there are other places that have good education. For example, in Hong Kong and Singapore, there are a number of institutes that have good global reputation. Those places are worth considering in terms of exceptional education.

2. Career

It is easier for expats to find good-paying jobs in cities that have already developed. For example, Australia is the 12th largest economy globally, rich in natural resources and well-developed in business, service, and financial industries; so if you’re looking to invest and develop in Australia, there are unlimited prospects. Besides, Australia is not far behind in employment, with a low unemployment rate and government department, Centrelink, providing comprehensive employment services to help Australian residents find jobs.

3. Retirement

Most of the popular immigrant countries are high welfare countries. After applying for immigration, you can obtain another country’s status; enjoying their social welfare and giving you an additional choice. When you retire, you can choose to live in your home country or live abroad. As previously mentioned, an example is the Australian social welfare system as it is well developed. The government provides a wide range of social welfare benefits; including unemployment benefits, superannuation, and family allowances. Additionally, Australia’s health care system is very well developed. The quality of healthcare is among the best in the world, and Australian citizens, as well as permanent residents, can enjoy free medical services in public health institutions. Furthermore, if you hold an Australian passport, you can see a doctor in 11 countries and regions “for free”, because Australia has signed reciprocal health care agreements with these 11 countries! With an Australian passport, you can receive the same treatment as Australia in Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.


Potential Threats

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1. Starting from scratch

After you immigrate, everything goes back to zero, including your accumulated resources and interpersonal relationships in the country that you were living in. You have to start adapting to a new environment, learning a new language, finding a new job, etc. It is not an easy task for adults who grew up in one country, to migrate to another living place.

2. Family

When it comes to becoming an expat, you may want to think about family issues. It is not easy to migrate with the whole family. Everyone has their own work and living habits, and some of the elderly in the family may have never even left their own country in their lives. A large portion of elderlies in a family might not adopt the sudden change in their living environment. There are cases where people have worked hard to get their parents to migrate, yet when the visa arrives, their parents do not want to come. In other cases, as it is fairly easy to get a tourist visa, people arrange one for their parents, but just a week after the parents arrive, they want to go back home and can’t live there anymore. It is not easy for the elderly to bring up the children for you without a circle of friends and a life of their own. In addition, it might not be easy for your spouse to find a job. They, like you, might not be familiar with the new living environment, culture and language. It might take a long time for them to find their desired job since they might not be as prepared as you were.

3. Many conditions and restrictions

Immigrant visas involve various aspects, such as the application cycle, required documents, maintaining status, etc. Some immigrant processes are as short as two months, like in Greece and Cyprus. But on the other hand, some are as long as a year or more, like in the United States, Canada, and Australia’s traditional immigrant countries. If you want the whole family to immigrate together, the required documents are more complex, so you should prepare early. To maintain your status, you need to have a detailed understanding of the immigration policy terms and conditions and you must comply with them.

Should I become an expat then?

Becoming an expat is an excellent way to start a new journey in your life. Not only can it bring great career opportunities and improved social welfare, but it could also benefit your children too. However, if you need to take care of the elderly in your family, it is not easy to do that remotely. After all, there is no “perfect life” that suits everyone in the world. So, follow your dreams and find your own perfect way of living! Cheers.


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