My Expat Tips To Make It Easier For You To Do Business

Any preparation for a possible expatriation requires an inevitable phase: that of gathering all the documents required to have the opportunity to fulfill one’s dream. This is the phase that any person who does not wish to end up with a visa or work permit is dreaded simply because of a “sheet of paper”. To facilitate this phase and allow you to prepare serenely, I have gathered all my tips and habits.

List All Your Travels On A Travel/Flight Diary

It was only recently that I took the time to gather all the information about my previous trips, I wish I had been able to start it before. Today, for many, flights are booked online, so it’s easy enough to track his/her travels in emails. But since in my case, I had the will to list all my trips since 2000, and that at that time, online booking was not extremely common, the task was not simple.

Having a travel/flight diary is essential and will save you many hours of research when your future country of expatriation asks you where you are going to walk in recent years. Often, for a residency application, you can also be asked for your travels over the last 10 years (this is the case for the USA). I advise you to prepare for it.

Scan And Backup Your Important Documents Online

Scanning documents regularly should be a habit and practice taught in school!

For years, I’ve been used to scanning all my documents on an online storage space like Google Drive, totally free and easy to use regardless of your age. Nowadays, you can easily use your phone to scan any document. Free apps like Adobe Scan, Microsoft Office Lens or even Evernote Scannable only for iOS, allow you to identify the type of document and save or share it easily.

Passports (all written pages), identity card (back),,s proof of residence, invoices, bachelor’s notes, diplomas, work certificates, payslips, plane tickets, tax sheets, documents in your wallet. All of these documents are important, and I would say that even if you do not emigrate or more, getting into the habit of storing these documents can make it much easier for you to take future administrative steps.

Learn The Basics Of How A Pdf File Editor Works

The PDF format is an electronic format that allows for the fairly simple sharing of documents. 

Often you also have the option to download documents in JPEG, PNG formats that are image formats. But it’s always easier, especially for the person who receives the documents to receive the files in PDF format. If it’s not already installed on your device, you can use the free Acrobat Reader software or find a host of other free software that allows you to convert an image format into a PDF, insert an image, write in the document…

Very often, instead of printing documents (and for lack of a printer), I open them in a reader/pdf file editor and write on forms as if I were doing it by hand. A photo of my signature was imported into this document and here I am with a fully filled document, which I can easily send and save on my computer and online.

The few tricks you can learn like filling out a form (if it’s not already ready to be filled out) or adding an image (your signature for example) will often be useful to you and can save you valuable time (in addition to helping to protect the planet by printing less)

Take A Picture Of Yourself Often

In the majority of your steps, you will be asked for a photo in the ID format.

If you get into the habit of taking photos in identity format, this will allow you two things:

  • Have one on hand if you need it,
  • to be able to make a nice montage over several years of your physiological evolution. Yes, it’s a lot these days…

You don’t need to go to the photographer’s house every time (except for a permanent residence application), but try to follow the instructions to avoid having your file rejected due to a blurry photo or incorrect dimensions.

Anticipate Your Future Steps

Preparing all your documents for a work permit or student visa application is great! But being able to anticipate your future steps is even better.

Taking a look at the list of documents needed for future steps can be essential. For those who have lived in other countries like me, it must be considered that some steps also take longer in some places. 

For example, in France, applying for a court extract is done online, and you receive your act in the mail in less than two weeks (depending on the destination of course). In Mauritius, it can take between one and two months and you must have someone on site to take care of it. Two months is a long time.

Don’t Stress, There Is Often A Solution To Everything

You may have travelled a lot, or your apartment may have caught fire one day and you may have lost your important documents. Don’t panic!

Administrative procedures are part of any immigration process, and the majority of people know that. Are you missing a document? Consider a way to get a copy back: there is always usually an alternative or possibility to recover or have access to an important document. Don’t put any more unnecessary pressure on yourself and try to follow the tricks I share with you. I assure you that your steps will be less stressful and easier to face.

Do you have other tricks or habits that have made your life easier or your expatriation process? Please leave us a comment.