Rachel’s Move | Idaho to Prague | International Relocation
After I graduated from the University of Idaho, my plan was to teach English in Prague for a year then come home and get a ‘real’ job. After two years in the Czech Republic, I started to feel like I was building a home. I had friends, a job, and an apartment here. What did I have at home? And I also met my husband Tom around that time. It’s the general feeling in Europe that keeps me here…there is a safety and comfort living in the cities. For example, I love being able to take public transit, versus having to drive everywhere when I am in the US.
The downsides are that Czech attitudes can be tough to take, and the laws do seem to change a lot. For example, they got strict with visa approvals shortly after I got my first one, and at one point I was in visa limbo for about a year. This meant I had to ask for permission every time I wanted to leave the country. Then they started asking for random documents so I was running back and forth to the immigration office every week it seemed. I mean, absolutely everything was tied to that visa. My apartment landlord was constantly asking me for proof that I was legally in the country. Luckily I found a friend to help me; a Czech/Canadian who totally charmed the officers. Eventually I was able to obtain a partnership visa (since I was living with my Czech boyfriend, now husband), but not before officers came to our apartment to make sure we were actually a couple. In any case, with the new visa I was allowed to get full-time employment and could approach companies without the cloud of ‘you’ll have to sort out my work visa’ hanging over my head.
While I had some help, one thing I will say is do not pay an agency. Most agencies promise you a visa and “guarantee” that you won’t need to lift a finger to get it. In reality you must obtain all your documents yourself. The only help they provide is going to the foreign police office with you. They have no impact on whether or not you do get a visa in the end. Although some of them may be expats themselves they have learned how easy it is to make money off of fresh imports.
Read more about Rachel’s move inside the guidebook How To Make Big Moves: Relocate Without Losing Your Mind. You’ll get her tips and international intel curated from 17 other big movers.