Anyone who thinks about emigrating quickly comes to the realization that it is unfortunately not so easy. All the paperwork one has to do before leaving seems to deter many people. I too was a bit freightened of the process of emigrating, but I was full of motivation and so I informed myself about this topic and read many blogs. The more information I have accumulated, the less queasy it was in my stomach. Because what I found out is, that emigrating is not really as hard as it seems! The only thing you have to do is decide on it. The rest comes step by step and is getting lighter and lighter. Here I explain to you how I approached the whole thing.


If you are faced with the decision to emigrate, you will certainly have good reasons for it. If not, then you should at least ask yourself the following questions:

➣ Why do I want to emigrate?
➣ What do I hope for from the new location/what is my plan?
➣ Does my plan/idea convince me?

If you have an answer for each of these questions and the answer to the last question is “Hell, yes!”, then there’s nothing in the way and you’re ready for the next step into your future.

When emigrating, there is nothing more reassuring than knowing why you are doing all this for. Namely, to get closer to your goal. Once you have decided you should keep in mind that whatever comes, you will go through it! By that I mean: There are always people or circumstances that can make you afraid and  want to give up your plan. Don’t be put off by envious people or by friends who want to keep you close to them. Not even those who tell you what could possibly go wrong. In the end YOU have to be happy with your decision. And the more determined you are, the easier it will be for you.

Ps. I for example only told my friends and parents about my plan, after I’ve already quit my job. So nobody could talk me out like that anymore and many people were happy for me 😉


This is one of the most important steps before you just log out: get informed. Here I list you some websites and blogs that helped me. (Excuse, that most of them are only in german, as I emigrated from Switzerland. Nevertheless there are helpful tips which you can take from those websites, if you use google website translator.)

General  Emigration (from Switzerland):

Say goodbye to the authorities
Checklist for emigration
How to report in Switzerland

Living in Portugal (for those who want to do likewise):

Peaceful Portugal
Expats Portugal

These are blogs that have captivated and motivated me to start a slightly different lifestyle, even though my current lifestyle is not completely aligned with it:

Planet Backpack
The Sundance Family

Of course, there are tons of other blogs that you might come across while doing your research. So don’t limit yourself to my modest selection.

In addition, you will inevitably have to think further. For example, about the new place of residence, postal address (alternatively digital mailbox), visas, vaccinations, job, schools (?), car / driver’s license, bank account, various insurance (health insurance, civil liability …), mobile phone, and and and … Of course, it depends, where you plan to go and whether you are traveling alone or with family.


If everything should go smoothly and you’re not in the mood for stress, make a plan soon enough. I for example started to inform myself half a year before I left. After that, I’ve created a to-do list, with fix dates, when to do something.

Here I’ll show you my personal to-do list on emigration (which does not include immigration), which may serve as a guide:

–Unsubscribe from the community and ask for confirmation of departure.
(It is important to make dismissals)
–Fill out tax return during the year


– Quit job
– Quit studies
– Apartment
– Cancel health insurance
– Adjourn supplementary insurance (instead of cancellation)
– Cancel liability insurance
– Cancel pillar 3a and 2nd pillar (social and private care system in Switzerland)
– Cancel swiss bank account
– Terminate internet contract
– Cancel railway subscription
– Customize your mobile subscription (not cancellable until next year)


– Post office: New address
– AHV: Interruption of deposit  (retirement care)


– German/Portugese bank account
– Make car insurance


–Proof of civil status
– Homeland certificate
– Birth certificate
– Request salary certificate


– Get my laptop ready for work
– Chucking out what I don’t want or can’t take.
(This is a very important point: Now is your chance to let go of old stuff!)


This list may look a bit different for everyone, especially if you want / can continue to deposit the AHV, for example, or the Pillar 3A, etc. (Swiss System)

I also created another to-do list for the arrival in Portugal and what I have to do there. This list will require a little more research on your part as the systems vary from country to country.


And now it only means: tackle! You should have prepared well by now and all that needs to be done is to tick off the list step by step. I can promise you one thing: The more green check marks you see on your list, the better you feel and the anticipation grows!

I hope that I could take some of your anxiety of emigrating. I wish a lot of fun and success for all those who are now embarking on the adventure “emigrating”! And if you still have questions, I will help you as far as I can.