See the video below, where Dan Prescher answers some of your questions posted on the International Living Facebook page this week. (Work in Belize…Collect Your Social Security When You Move Overseas…Bring Your Pet Abroad…and Much More) Feel free to post your questions on living overseas on our Facebook page.
Q. This week, Jennifer Wong asks: How does one make it in Belize without being a retiree? I am far from retirement and had planned on making my way to Central America and work as a bartender, RN or ESL teacher, but since I fell for Caye Caulker in Belize, I was told that one can’t work in a job that would displace a local, but one can start their own business…also, is there a resident program where a US citizen can establish residency and after a year, work in ANY job? The Belize link is geared more towards retirees….I can’t wait ’til then!
A. Jennifer, Belize does have the Qualified Retired Persons program, or QRP. It has a lot of benefits, but residency isn’t one of them… it’s a program of the tourist office in Belize. And you’re right… Belize, like most countries in the world, limits the work that foreigners can do in order to preserve jobs for locals. But you’re also right when you say that you can start your own business in Belize that provides jobs for locals… AND you can have any kind of business you want outside of Belize and still live there… for example, any online business, like writing, consulting, copy editing, you name it. Lots of options, Jennifer. See IL’s section on working overseas here. And you could also try AWAI’s website.
Q. Tamara Cortez writes: I want to live part time in Egypt. Can I fly my pet with me? Are there quarantine laws?
A. Tamara, Egypt is a pet-friendly country, if you’re talking about common domestic pets like dogs and cats. Egypt has no quarantine for incoming pets, but you will need to have an International Veterinarian Health Certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian and signed in ink. The certificate should be signed not more than 14 days before your arrival in Egypt, and it has to be stamped by the local USDA office if you are traveling from the United States.
You’ll also need to keep your pet in your personal custody for the first three months after you arrive, if you’re staying that long.
Egypt also requires a microchip implant, an ISO standard 15-digit, non-encrypted microchip… something else your vet should be able to provide.
Q. George Wojtowicz asks: When will you write anything about Europe?
A. Oh, George my friend. We have more material on European countries there than you can shake a stick at. You’ll see the links for Europe and European countries on the left-side navigation panel (Choose a country) on our homepage. Write in to the Facebook page again when you do and tell me what you find.
Q. Sybil Norman says: “I want to move to Australia. How do I start?”
A. Sybil, we have some information on Australia, but I always advise people looking for the most current information on immigration and legal requirements to go to the web page for the embassy of the country they’re interested in. For example, a quick web search turned up www.immi.gov.au, which is the official site of the department of immigration and citizenship of Australia. In this case, Sybil, it’s easy to go straight to the source…you should find the answers to most of your questions there.
Q. Rachel Wesson asks: “Can you still collect Social Security if you leave the United States?”
You sure can, Rachel. I can’t count how many of our friends in Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, and other countries around the world are living happily with the help of their Social Security funds. Some of them have the actual checks sent to them for deposit in their chosen countries, but many have them automatically deposited in bank accounts back home that they can access through ATMs or wire transfers.
We have yet to go to a country in Latin America where we couldn’t find an ATM that could access our U.S. account…they’re pretty much standard now, and Suzan and I make constant use of them.
We don’t like the transaction fees, but we stop complaining about them when we have to actually go into a Latin American bank to get anything done. Then the transaction fees for a quick and easy ATM withdrawal don’t seem so onerous
That’s it for me…
If you have any questions regarding your new life overseas, get them up on the International Living Facebook page, and we’ll see you next week.
Editor’s note: Sign up for IL’s free daily postcards to learn more about topics like these and lots more information about moving overseas.