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Getting a job or transitioning to a new position in Italy, is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in your life that will be a fantastic adventure; but there are still things you need to organize and get done before you set off.
There’s a lot to deal with before you leave that is vital to ensure a successful transition to your new job in Italy. Ensuring that everything in your home country is in order will save you a great deal of stress later on as well as help to facilitate your time in Italy.
Before you depart and become an Expat, you should work through this checklist to make sure that you don’t forget or overlook something crucial; which will only have to be arranged later and will be much harder to organize from overseas.
How Long Are You Going To Be Staying In Italy?
Is your new job a temporary arrangement or do you expect it to be a long term position? It’s critical for you to have a clear understanding of how long you’re going to be away for so that you can make the appropriate arrangements in advance.
The length of your intended stay in Italy will impact almost all of the rest of your decisions. Many of the key decisions surrounding your move to Italy will be based on how long your time in the country will be.
You should have signed a contract with your future employer and so you’ll have a good idea of the length of your job around which you can make the rest of your plans.
Your House In The United States.
When you move overseas for a new job you’ll have to make some important decisions about your home in the United States.
If you are currently renting your house then you should contact your landlord and make the appropriate arrangements. This means letting your landlord know as soon as possible that you’re going to be leaving on the date you have arranged with your future employer. Not only is this polite but it also means that you’ll avoid extra costs and fees for breaking your contract with the landlord; something which can also negatively impact your crediting rating.
Alternatively, if you own your own home you have two choices. Firstly, you can sell your home to help finance your future in Italy. You may want to buy a property in Italy, where house prices are very cheap compared to the United States and other Western nations, or you may decide to rent. Either way, if you choose to sell your house at home you’ll be in a strong financial situation going forward.
Your other choice is to rent your home while you are away. This will provide you with a stable, passive income but it will take some organization in advance. The easiest way to rent your home while you are abroad is to work with a property management service or estate agent. They will ensure that the tenants take care of your property and pay their bills on time! However, they will, of course, charge you a fee but it’s well worth the cost because not only will they manage your property on your behalf but they’ll also find new tenants when necessary and conduct any repairs and maintenance work for you.
Downsize And Profit.
When you move abroad for a new job it’s usually going to be necessary to downsize somewhat. It can be difficult to get rid of things you own but if you sell them you can put aside a handy fund which can be used later on, once you arrive in Italy. Shipping your belongings to Italy can end up being very costly and so selling the things that don’t have a sentimental value to you is probably the best idea.
Furniture, cars, electronics and other items can be sold on internet platforms, directly to friends and family or to second hand stores; and doing so can rapidly add up to a serious amount of cash! This cash can then be set aside as an emergency fund for your time in Italy; to cover emergencies and other shortfalls in your finances during your transition to your new life abroad.
Change Your Address.
When you move abroad for a new job it’s vital that you change your address with all the relevant parties. For instance, you need to change your address with your utilities company, credit card and bank so your mail doesn’t stack up back home without you being able to deal with the necessary issues that come up.
It’s very easy to change your address although it can get confusing to remember all the different companies and organizations that you’re dealing with. The best way to approach this is to write down a list of all your contracts, subscriptions, banks and utilities; and then contact them one by one.
As well as changing your address you should review your current subscriptions and decide whether or not you still need them. For example, are you going to be watching so much Netflix after your move or will you be too busy? It’s natural that we all have subscriptions we may not need, particularly when you’re moving abroad. Getting rid of those subscriptions will not only save you money but it can also free up your precious time to make the most of the upcoming opportunities in Italy.
It’s all well and good to cancel subscriptions and change your address with the companies and organizations you deal with but you should also be on the safe side and set up a mail forwarding service with the United States Postal Service. This means that any unexpected parcels or letters that are sent to your old address will be rerouted to your new address in Italy.
Passport And Visa.
When you move abroad it’s absolutely essential to have the correct paperwork. The first, and most important, thing to ensure is that your passport is valid and in order. Many countries, including Italy, require that your passport has been valid for at least 6 months before you can apply for a Visa or residency in the country. It’s easy to get a passport but if you don’t already have a valid one you should do so immediately!
To apply for a Visa you simply need to visit, or contact, your local Italian consulate. As a US citizen you can enter Italy on a tourist Visa for 90 days however after that you will need to apply for a permission to stay, known as a ‘Permesso di soggiorno’ in Italy.
It’s worth bearing in mind that you should apply for your permit to stay, or residency permit, at least a few weeks in advance of your tourist Visa running out because the bureaucracy does take time to work through!
If you’re moving to Italy for a job then your future employer may well be able to help you with the process and so if you’re unsure about any aspect of the process don’t be afraid to ask for advice. In many cases, your future employer will actually arrange your Visa and residency permit for you, although you will still have to arrange your own passport of course.
Find A Place To Stay!
Naturally, when you move to Italy you will need to find somewhere to live. Finding accommodation in Italy is not too tricky but it will take some forward planning. When you first arrive to start your new job you can choose to stay in a hotel to begin with. This will take the stress out of arranging a more permanent place of residence but it will cost you more on a daily basis.
A cheaper alternative is to rent a property. You can do this by using large international platforms such as AirBnB or else make arrangements through a local real estate agent.
Average prices for renting a property range from $500 to $1500 per month, depending on the location you are moving to. You can get some very cheap rental properties in Italy however if you prefer a more luxurious lifestyle you can find some incredible properties at prices that will surprise you.
Ultimately, if you’re planning to stay in Italy for the long term the best option is to buy a property in the country. This can be a difficult process unless you work with an Italian real estate company because the bureaucracy can be very complex and if you don’t have the connections within the local authorities it can be a real uphill battle!
Moving Abroad With Children.
If you’re moving to Italy with children then their welfare will, naturally, be at the forefront of your mind. This means that their education should be as uninterrupted as possible so you’ll need to enroll them in a local school as soon as possible.
Fortunately, the Italian education system is very good and you have a choice between public or private schools. Your children will have to learn Italian, not only to make friends but also to make the most of the educational opportunities available to them.
To enroll your children in an Italian school you need to submit your application before the end of December for the following year.
It’s essential that you have your healthcare taken care of before you move to Italy. The best way to do this is to set up an internationally accessible health insurance policy which will cover you while you’re abroad.
Of course, Italy does have a free national health service, known as the ‘Servizio Sanitario Nazionale’, or the SSN, but in some instances you may have to pay up front for certain treatments. It’s also legally required in Italy to register with the SSN but even so, most Expats opt for private insurance policies to cover their personal health needs.
Setup An Emergency Fund.
Moving abroad is a daunting prospect so one of the first things you need to do is ensure that you can cover your basic daily costs. However, above and beyond your essentials you should always have an emergency fund set aside which you can fall back on if you experience an emergency.
Ideally, you should have the equivalent of 3 to 6 months worth of living costs set aside as an emergency fund should the worst happen. There are many reasons why you might need an emergency fund but you must not forget that if you’re overseas you won’t have your usual support network around you; in which case, having some back up funds could be a literal life saver!
Get A Codice Fiscale.
When you move to Italy you will have to get a ‘Codice Fiscale’. This is the equivalent of an American social security number and is essential for paying taxes, obtaining your residency permit, setting up a bank account and many other aspects of life in Italy.
To obtain your Codice Fiscale you can apply through the Italian tax office, known as the ‘Agenzia delle Entrate’ or an Italian consulate in America. It’s wise to apply for your Codice Fiscale as soon as possible, once you’ve confirmed your new job in Italy, so that you don’t have to worry about arranging it once you arrive with a thousand other things to do!
Set Up An Italian Bank Account.
Once you’ve moved to Italy you’re going to need a bank account to function in daily life. In order to set up a bank account though you’re going to need to have several things; including a valid Identification, such as a passport, a local Italian address, your official Codice Fiscale number and proof of your new employment.
After you’ve set up your account you can pay your bills, take money out of ATMs without charges and manage your daily expenses with ease.
Think Ahead And Get Your Affairs In Order Before Moving To Italy.
Moving to Italy to start a new job is an exciting prospect but unless you arrange your affairs in advance it could turn out to be a nightmare! So don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can sort it all out once you arrive because if you try to do that you’ll quickly find yourself overwhelmed by the bureaucracy and complexity of the arrangements.
Once you have confirmed that your job in Italy is secured then you should immediately begin to make sure that you have as much arranged in advance as possible. This will make your transition to your new situation much easier and allow you to truly enjoy the opportunities that are awaiting you.