Worst Advice about Becoming an Expat

In the build up to becoming an expat, there were many bits of advice offered to me (mainly by people who did not know me too well) about what to do to prepare etc. The advice given was well-meaning, but sometimes completely inappropriate especially as they usually had no grasp on what immigration actually entails.

What is the worst advice you have ever been given about travelling, the visa process or becoming an expat? Here is some of mine:

worst advice quote 1
I am not sure if this particular person really wanted to get rid of me, but I was most certainly not going to start my new life like a fugitive. I am one of those boring people who like to do things properly, so trudging through the visa forms, evidence and fees was the only way I was going to do it!

worst advice quote 2
This is terrible advice because my impression of an American accent starts off fairly well but ends up turning into something from South Africa via Ireland with a little bit of Bristol thrown in for good measure. I. Sound. Ridiculous!

worst advice quote 3
Of course, what was I thinking! I will just put some random information on a scrap of paper and send it off. Nobody is going to read it or check up on all the details or ask for more information to corroborate what you first wrote and do a detailed background and medical check on you … Really? Are you serious?

I would love to hear more about your experiences, or what you thought of mine!


18 thoughts on “Worst Advice about Becoming an Expat

  1. bevchen says:

    LOL, these are hilarious! Do people actually believe that could ever work? I was never offered any advice on becoming an expat because I became an expat entirely by accident with no prior planning. I also didn’t need a visa (thankfully!) as Germany is in the EU (as is Austria where I lived before).


  2. englishroseamericansoil says:

    I don’t think I’ve received any bad expat advice yet….but there’s still time! I got plenty of advice about applying for a visa though – not from people who had ever applied for one themselves mind, always ‘I know someone who applied for a visa who did this….’ and usually the point made was not correct!


  3. Mary says:

    Oh no! haha! Yeah, properly filling out forms makes you careful and shows you have commonsense (which I was never doubting the first place 😉 ) so kudos to you for doing it the right way! Oh and the American accent oh dear. The best advice to anyone is be yourself. And the fact that you are English and your accent denotes that will cause Americans to find you interesting but also allow you to share your perspective on life that many Americans don’t have (one of the reasons why I love your blog). Thanks for sharing these!


  4. Jade says:

    Oh my god, these are AWFUL pieces of advice (which is why you posted them, der!) but I just can’t believe that one about the tourist visa. Did someone really say that? I wonder if they understood the implications??!


  5. Stacey @ One Trip at a Time says:

    Those are terrible bits of advice! Glad you didn’t follow them. I’m a Canadian now living in the USA and the one thing I’ve heard over and over again was that “well you’re Canadian so you really have it easier and don’t have to go through that whole immigration process”…um yeah I did! Last I checked Canada was still another country and no special exemptions were made for me! 🙂


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