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Tuesday, 2 October 2023

What to do on arrival

When you arrive in the country, there are several steps you can take to help things go smoothly. It may be an unsettling time for you and your family, so any preparations you can make will be a real benefit.

Some of the things that you can do

  • register with the local authorities - this may give you access to the local welfare services after a short period of time, if you are in doubt then ask
  • if you are moving to another European Economic Area country (EEA - is the European Union countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) country you must apply for a residence permit within three months of arrival
  • register with the British Consulate, this will help the Consulate keep in touch with you if you get into difficulties
  • ensure your passport is valid and fill in the next-of-kin details on the back page - if your passport is about to expire apply to the British Consulate to have it renewed
  • open a foreign bank account; if you are retiring, in many countries your pension can be paid directly into your bank account there
  • if you haven't already started, learn the local language, you will find day-to-day life much easier
  • if you haven't got one already make a will - you can get professional legal advice on how to do this, your local British Consulate can provide a list of English-speaking lawyers who can help you
  • check local traffic regulations -driving is permitted on a valid UK licence in EEA countries, although you may be required to exchange it for an EEA national licence once you have gained residence status
  • for non-EEA countries you will need to take an International Driving Permit (IDP), which must be obtained before you leave the UK
  • make sure you are fully insured to drive and that your car complies to the regulations of that country
  • to help you settle in, find out about British associations, clubs, publications and charity organisations for the expatriate English-speaking community - you can get contact lists from your local British Consulate
  • stay in touch - remember to give your family and friends in the UK your address abroad
  • keep your vote by registering in the UK as an overseas elector

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