The State Department is telling US citizens living abroad to be ready to leave quickly. Whatever. I feel way safer here. In fact, I keep telling people I know in the US to move out. Everyone should get to experience gun control and public health care at some point.


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  1. Heh. I don’t see that happening here anytime soon, so looks like you’ll be an Aussie a while longer.

    As much as we love this country, we’ve briefly contemplated whether the grass is truly greener on the other side. Bush is pissing off the lot of us normally-conservatives (including some rabidly hardcore religious right folks in my family). Canada is beginning to look mighty fine from where we’re sitting.

    I’m an honorary Canadian, too. I get in by default! 🙂

  2. Ooh, if you see “Bowling for Columbine” you’ll be even more convinced about Canada. They don’t even lock their doors up there!

  3. How does one become an expatriate? What do you just fly over and buy a house?

  4. Well, the first (and biggest) thing is just getting a visa (i.e. permission to live and work in the country). There are various ways to accomplish this. If you’re relatively young, there are programs (like Bunac, which I used to get into England originally) which will provide you with a short-term work visa for various countries. For longer (or indefinite) stays, there are basically three options: 1) Find a company willing to hire and “sponsor” you for a visa. They’ll have to go through a lot of paperwork though to prove that they couldn’t find a local person to fill the position. That’s why you’ve gotta be in an upper-level position to make it worth their while. It does happen though; there was a project manager at my last job who got in this way. 2) Look up the country’s Department of Immigration and see what the process is for getting in *without* a job. In Australia, they have a “points” system where you earn points based on the industry you’re in, whether you speak English, whether you’re young, etc. Then if you’ve got enough points and they haven’t reached their immigration limit for the year, you’re in. I believe you can also get preferential treatment if you’re willing to, like, go work in the outback or something. (It’s getting harder and harder to get in here if you just wanna live in Sydney.) I looked into doing this option – I had more than enough points – but they advise that it can take up to a year to get approval. You have to apply from outside Australia too. 3) Find an Australian willing to marry you. 🙂 Well, technically you don’t have to get married. Rodd and I are “de facto”, which is basically the same thing here. The requirements were that we’d lived together for a year and could prove the validity of our relationship. The best thing about this route is that you can apply from within the country. So I was able to enter on a regular 3 month tourist visa and then do all the paperwork and stuff once we got here.

    Anyhoo… that’s the basics as I understand it. Of course, I only have experience with an American going to the UK or Australia. Some countries have special relationships set up that make it really easy. If you’re a European, for example, you can basically move and work anywhere you want in the EU with no hassle. I’ve heard that it’s also pretty easy to go between Australia and New Zealand. It’s possible that the US and Canada might have a similar arrangement, if that’s what you’re thinking. Just look into it.

    Once you get the visa, then it’s just the same old stuff: find a place to live, find a job, ship all your crap over (that can take a long time though, depending where you’re moving). It really is worth it, though, to get the outside perspective on your home country. I bitch about America a lot, but I also appreciate the good parts more that I’m away.

    Good luck if you decide to try it!

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