Deciding to move overseas is a big enough decision on its own, however, as I am sure many of you are aware, making the decision is just the beginning of the relocating process.
Everyone has their reasons for moving abroad. Many of us find ourselves having to apply and wait for visa approval to enable you and possibly your family, to live overseas. This stage can be a real waiting game!
My first relocation was to Qatar, which started back in December 2009. I visited Qatar for a few days for my job interview. I found out the week of Christmas that I was offered the position, then came the tricky part, I did not move to Qatar until May 2010!
I understand that people have waited for visa approval a lot longer than six months, it can be years! However, personally waiting a few months, felt like an eternity. I can empathise with your pain!
It's like living in limbo! You can’t do anything new with your current life until the day your visa is approved, and then it's all a big rush to start your new life overseas! During the waiting stage, I felt anxious, uncertain and frustrated. It is a truly an emotional time!
Awaiting approval for an Australian Visa (now that was a long waiting game!) Again, waiting in limbo, it felt awful and very unsettling. I felt that the Australian Visa requirements were much more in depth and required accurate details on all stages of the application process.
As human’s we crave stability, and during this time of your life, you may feel like you can’t lead a normal life. You may feel very indecisive, wondering if this is the week you may obtain visa approval. Your immediate future feels forgotten about; you struggle to book any events or holidays that are more than a week away! You can’t make any home improvements, change jobs, or buy a new car! You’re on hold, I am with you, and I have been in those shoes!
Visa applications can take a lot of time and dedication. It is a waiting game of just how long it will all take for your request for a visa to be reviewed.
Here are a few suggestions to help cope while waiting in limbo for a decision on your visa application.
#1. Try and relax!!
Yes, yes I can hear you saying “Kate, you're joking, how can I relax at a time like this? Stressing about visa applications is not going to make it all happen any faster. If you have provided as much information in your visa application as you can, then from your side there is not much more you can do, it is out of your control.
#2. Take the time while waiting to start planning the moving process
If you’re in the limbo stage, then use the time wisely and start planning. You can start making some provisional decisions. Are you taking a suitcase or packing a whole house up? Planning is essential when it comes to relocating, but at this stage, I wouldn’t recommend to take any action and book anything. I strongly recommend waiting until you have the visa approval before making any concrete decisions about your moving process. Take the waiting period to start sorting out your house and deciding what you would take with you and what removal company you may use?
#3. Start to research your new country
Go on forums, Facebook groups and try to talk to people who are in the same position as you. Hopefully, this will boost your positivity while learning the patience of the relocation process. Learn as much as you can before making a move. Information is power when it comes to relocating. If you know, you will need to find a job when you arrive overseas then start looking before making the journey and try to make contacts.
#4. Try and find out the estimated visa turnaround times
Often immigration authorities will give a rough timeline on how long your visa application may take to be reviewed. It might help if you have a rough idea of how long the process may take. Check this out!
#5. Spend time with your family and friends
While in the waiting period spend as much time with your friends and family as you can. If you’re leaving your home town, your family and friends use this time wisely, spend quality time with them while you’re still living near them, especially if you know that if your visa is approved and your move may happen pretty quickly. I moved in a rush to Qatar and regretted not spending more time with my family and friends before I left.
#6. Have a good spring clean!
You may decide to start selling your non-essential belongings. It can keep you busy and earn you some extra cash before you move overseas! Think of it as spring cleaning time!
#7. Try Meditation and Yoga!
Meditation and Yoga can help minimise stress. It could start to help elevate some of the anxiety and stress when preparing for a big move overseas. Plus it could be a new hobby for you to continue with in your new country.
#8. Might not go your way
Unfortunately, in life some decisions don’t always go your way and how we planned. It may be that your visa is not approved. At this time it may seem your world has come crashing down! However, start to think if moving overseas is what you want then work on finding another way to make it a reality, try to keep positive and focused. Remember we often grow as people when we pick ourselves back up after a defeat!
#9. Talk to people!
It is so important to remember you’re not alone during this time of your life. Talk about your situation and feelings with others. Do not suffer in silence. Talk to someone, get yourself on the expat forums and realise there are others in the same situation. The waiting game can be so emotional (I talk from experience). I have been in your shoes and I know that you feel like your the only one going through the situation. Yes, your circumstances maybe unique to you but your not the only one to feel the abundance of emotions!
#10. I'm here!
That leads me to conclude this blog by saying, I am not an immigration agent, I base my information on my personal experiences and research, I am a Relocation Coach who works with courageous women who are planning a move, just moved or beyond. Coaching can help you in life! If you have not tried it, contact me today.