Top Things You Should Know Before Relocating to the EU

If you’re looking to make a fresh start in a new country and culture, it’s worth considering relocating to one of the many beautiful countries within the European Union. While exciting, this experience can also be quite overwhelming. Therefore, you might want to know what to expect before taking such an enormous leap. We’ll walk through some of the key things you should consider when preparing for your relocation to the EU so that you can hit the ground running!

Top Things You Should Know Before Relocating to the EU

Understand visa requirements and restrictions

Depending on your individual circumstances, you might need to acquire a visa before relocating to the EU. For instance, if you are considering moving to Portugal, there are many visa options available, including the popular Golden Visa. Generally, the Portugal Golden visa requirements include investing in real estate, creating jobs, or contributing towards scientific research. But as with any visa, there are restrictions and requirements to keep in mind. First of all, you must spend a certain amount of time in Portugal to maintain your Golden Visa status.

If you don’t have the means to invest in the country, you can enter the country on a tourist visa, but this typically only allows you to stay for up to 90 days. If you plan to live there for a longer time, you will need to obtain a long-stay visa or residence permit. It’s essential to research and understand the visa requirements and restrictions of your chosen EU country before making any plans.

Research the cost of living in your destination country

Before making a move to a new country, you must research the cost of living beforehand. It’s easy to fall in love with the culture, sights, and people without considering how much it will cost to simply exist day-to-day.

Once you do your research and understand the local cost of living, you can prepare yourself financially and create a realistic budget to avoid financial stress. The cost of living varies from country to country, so it’s crucial to do your homework and plan accordingly.

Familiarize yourself with the local culture and customs

Immersing yourself in the local culture and customs of your new home is a crucial step towards a smooth transition. Understanding and respecting the local norms and traditions shows courtesy and helps you connect with the community and feel more at home. This can range from learning the local language, understanding dietary habits, and participating in local festivals and holidays, to knowing how business and social interactions are conducted.

Each EU country has its own distinct culture and traditions, so your experiences will vary depending on your destination. When you embrace these differences, you will enrich your own life and broaden your perspective.

Secure a job or have an emergency fund ready

Job market trends vary across EU countries and industries, so thorough research is key to finding suitable employment. Job security provides financial stability and aids in integrating into local society. If you’re unable to secure a job before moving, it’s advisable to have an emergency fund until you do. This fund should cover living expenses for at least 6 months, providing you with a safety net as you search for employment. Of course, unplanned costs can arise, making an emergency fund crucial for peaceful acclimation to your new environment.

Learn the local language

While English is widely spoken in many EU countries, learning the local language is highly recommended. Aside from showing respect for the culture, a new language makes daily life and integration into the community significantly easier. You might encounter situations where English isn’t commonly used, like local markets or government institutions.

Language proficiency also broadens your job prospects as many employers favor candidates with bilingual skills. Start learning the basic phrases, then gradually improve your proficiency by taking language courses or using language learning apps.

Have adequate health insurance coverage

Health insurance is a top priority when considering a move to an EU country. Each EU country has different healthcare systems and insurance requirements, so it’s essential to research the healthcare system in your destination country.

Some countries may provide free public healthcare, but in others, you may need to purchase private health insurance. You should ensure that your insurance coverage is adequate to cover any potential health issues you might have while abroad. It’s also important to understand how to access healthcare services in your new location, including emergency services, pharmacies, and routine healthcare.

Find out what kind of public transportation is available

The availability and efficiency of public transportation varies widely across the EU. Many major cities boast comprehensive, reliable systems utilizing buses, trams, and trains, while rural areas may be less accessible.

Research public transportation in your chosen location, as this will affect your mobility, lifestyle, and possibly even housing choices. Considerations may include the cost of public transit, the reliability of service, and whether routes cover your daily commutes. If public transit is limited and you’ll be reliant on a car, don’t forget to account for driving regulations and costs as well.

Research housing options

Securing a place to call home is an essential aspect of relocating to the EU. If you are looking to purchase a home, research local real estate market trends and consider the cost of living in your desired area. It may also be helpful to enlist the help of a reputable real estate agent. If you plan to rent, familiarize yourself with average rental prices in your destination country and city. 

Be aware that renting laws and regulations may differ from what you are used to, so it’s essential to understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.

Top Things You Should Know Before Relocating to the EU

Relocating to the European Union can be an exciting adventure filled with new opportunities and experiences. However, it requires careful planning and preparation. Understanding the visa requirements, researching the cost of living, getting acquainted with the local culture and customs, securing a job, learning the local language, ensuring health insurance coverage, assessing public transportation, and researching housing options are all crucial steps in this process. By methodically addressing each aspect, you can ease the transition and make your relocation a success. Indeed, the journey may be challenging, but the rewards of a new life in the EU are certainly worth the effort.

Bibliography (October 20, 2023). Top Things You Should Know Before Relocating to the EU. Recovered from