Everything you need to know about moving to Latin America

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  • By LAC Blog
  • Saturday 21, March 2020

Latin America is still a very exotic continent for many people. It holds the promise of warm weather, the romance of its languages, adventure and relaxed living. No matter what the reason for your move is, it is important to manage your expectations. This is especially true if you are coming from a country like the USA or Canada. There are many things people take for granted that are really not a given elsewhere in the world. As with most things in life, your best bet is to acquire as much knowledge about it as you can. Here is everything you need to know about moving to Latin America.

Organizing your move

The move itself can be quite a tricky thing to organize. It is not only long-distance, but also crosses multiple borders. When you are moving within your own state, it wouldn’t be odd to choose to deal with the move yourself, with a little help from your friends and family. An international move, however, requires much more logistical organizing. This is why moving to another country with trustworthy professionals is your best bet. Finding a reliable moving company for international moving will make your move as stress-free as possible. Not only will they deal with all of the typical bits and bobs involved in the move, but they will also be able to aid you in traversing the complications that can arise when moving across borders to Mexico, for example.

Save up

If you are not moving for work, it is important to make sure you are covered financially while you look for a job in a new city. Experts suggest saving enough money for a plane ticket home and living for three months without income. You can easily find the projected cost of living for the place you are moving to online. In the past, many people chose moving to South America in order to lower the cost of living. Nowadays, however, many major cities in the region are not as affordable as they used to be. So, be careful when planning your move. Make sure you have enough to last you for at least a couple of months.

Finding work

No matter where you come from, you will need a work visa in order to find a job. This can sometimes be hard to plan for. In an ideal scenario, you would acquire a work visa prior to moving to South America. It will require you to collect different notarized documents from your home country. These papers can differ slightly from country to country, but you can find all of the information in the chosen country’s consulate. This is where you apply for the visa as well. In order to apply for it, however, you need to have an offer from an employer.

If you decide on moving to Latin America without a work visa, you still have some options. For example, if you are able to do your work remotely, you can pretty much make the money you need without that visa. It can be pretty simple for native English speakers to find work in Latin American countries as they can always work as ESL teachers. Private tutoring is also something you can do while you work out your visa and find a full-time job. Lastly, some people even opt for working in the restaurant industry illegally, for example, and getting paid in cash. You can run into problems if you do this, however, as some countries take foreigners working without a visa seriously.

Visas

Even if you do not want to apply for a work visa, you will still probably need another kind of visa to stay in the country for longer periods of time. You should make sure you are updated on all of the legal aspects of your move to avoid any potentially uncomfortable situations. In most cases, countries allow foreigners to stay for three to six months without a visa. In some cases, you’ll need to leave the country for a little bit and reenter, but this can also get tricky. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you are aware of everything you need to know.

Culture & weather

Moving to Latin America can cause quite the culture shock. People can often paint entire continents with the same brush, without accounting for important distinctions between individual countries and their cultures. If you have decided on moving to Chile, for example, chances are you have read up on the country and the city you are moving to and know what you are getting yourself into. The language can be a huge barrier, so you want to have at least the basic functional knowledge of the official language. This will make things endlessly easier for you. One of the main adjustments you might have to make is learning that things move at a much slower pace than what you may be used to. Arm yourself with patience and curiosity and you will find a way to acclimate to any new surroundings.

When it comes to the weather, as we mentioned above, most people’s idea of moving to Central and South America implies moving to a tropical climate. However, this is not always the case. The further south from the equator you go, the closer you are to experiencing the four seasons. Not only that, but tropical climates are not always what they crack up to be. People can find it difficult to adjust to the humidity and the heat of the Caribbean.

When it comes to move to Latin American countries like Mexico, Peru, Brazil or Dominican Republic, getting enough information and being prepared will make all the difference. Feel free to contact us at any time for complete information and schedule a free estimate for your international relocation. 

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