The decision to emigrate is a choice which has several consequences for you and your acquaintances. An unprepared expatriation can be a total failure, which leads to a hurried return in your home country. Thus, you need to take precautions before leaving, to make this experience extraordinary.
From paperwork to the culture shock, we explain you all you need to know through 5 points that will help you to prepare your departure serenely.
Anticipate medical expenses
First, ask in your home country what are the solutions offered. If none is attractive, you can subscribe a full insurance when you arrive in Thailand. It exists a wide range of insurances available, more or less complete, and with competitive prices. The advantages of this kind of insurance are the paperwork which is lighter (only one insurance company) and the faster repayment.
Settle the paperwork before departure
Check out the validity of your passport and obtain visa: the visa applicant file must be submitted at least 2 weeks before your departure. You can find all the information about the visa application at the Embassy of Thailand in your home country.
Unsubscribe to: electricity, telephone, internet, gym, etc.
Issue a notice of address change: to forward your mail to your new address.
Foresee to open a bank account: The opening of a bank account in Thailand is required to obtain a non-immigrant visa “OA” or to extend your one-year stay with the non-immigrant visa “O”.
Inquire about taxation
You are considered as a non-Thai resident if:
- You keep your home in France during your stay in Thailand.
- You keep your economic interests in France (investments, professional activities…).
Example: You are currently working in Bangkok, as an engineer, but your wife and your children are living in your home country. In this case, you are taxable in your home country.
You are Thai-resident if:
- None of the above is correct.
- You spend more than 180 days a year in Thailand.
Example: 5 years ago, you have decided to open a hotel in Phuket with your wife. Your children attend school in a local institution. In this case, you are considered as a Thai-resident and are non-taxable in France.
In any case, you have to complete some formalities before departure. That is the reason why it is important to plan ahead.
Set your goals
In order to better manage the transition, you have to find a reason (or several) to your expatriation.
If you leave with your family, you have to be sure that every member gains something to avoid undergoing the expatriation. If it can be a great opportunity for your partner, it can also be fatal if you do not set clear goals. It can be learn the local language, become an active member in an association or sign up in a formation. No matter which activity you choose the key one is being to match with your hobbies and avoid the pitfalls related to the change of country (loneliness, culture shock…)
Once on the spot… learn to deal with the culture shock!
Bags are packed; you are finally ready for departure. Remember that going in a new country, it is also adapting to a new culture, new codes. Culture shock is present for everyone, but for some it will be more important. Do not give up, and remember these 4 steps needful for your adaptation:
- The honey moon: As the name suggests, everything is new and beautiful. You are curious about the new customs and you are often euphoric and energetic. Your lifestyle is more like a tourist one than an expatriate one.
- The culture shock: Everything that delighted you before annoys you and you feel all the differences between your own culture and the one of your host country. You may feel confused, get homesick, and feel like you do not understand what is around you. Remember what you made the choice to come, and get involved, slowly but surely, in local life: learn the language, the local news, go out and meet new people… it is the best way to override.
- The adjustment: After few months, a routine sets in, everything looks more familiar. You have at the same time the feeling to return to the euphoria of the honey moon, while still being sad. Be patient! You need time to integrate. Keep investing you in the local life, through associations or expats communities!
- The adaptation: Well done, you have done it! You are finally comfortable with your new environment, and you are now used to what shocked you at the beginning. You embedded the new norms, and you are perfectly integrated to your new lifestyle. Congratulations!
Everyone apprehends the new culture in his own way and the transition is different depending on the person, for many reasons: a voluntary departure will be much more appreciated than a forced departure. The most important is not to give up and to remind you the reason why you have decide to come… hence the importance to set your goals!
The expatriation can be a wonderful experience if it is well prepared. Nevertheless, do not overlook convenient side (paperwork, health insurance, etc.) to avoid disappointments and to start your new life safely.