There are several steps for a foreigner to obtain residency in any foreign country, with some countries having stricter requirements than others. In general a host country is seeking to ensure that you meet the usual requirements for residency, which include:
That being said, there are no hard-and-fast rules in place here. It is kind of like when you arrive in the United States from overseas and the Immigration Officer asks you a number of questions. He/she will make the final decision whether you allowed into the country or not. Oftentimes they can make your life quite difficult if there is something about you that concerns them.
The same thing goes with the immigration officers—THEY MAKE THE DECISIONS HERE. Where one person will have to produce a specific piece of documentation, someone else may not. Always remember that YMMV (your mileage may vary) and for every person reporting a smooth experience there is another pulling their hair out.
To cut down on that potential hair pulling, we decided on two strategies:
To have EVERYTHING that they might ask for notarized, checked and double checked AND to hire an immigration attorney
We are aware there are ample reports of people who DIY the entire procedure, but we just don’t want the added stress. We are going to be starting over in a new household in a foreign country that speaks a different language, so we are making the choice to hire the needed expertise so we can focus on some of the other tasks in front of us. We’ll let you know how that works out for us.
Next up: How to Obtain Your FBI Background Check
Harold is a former software engineer. Jana is an author. Together they're exploring their new life in Portugal.