November 28th, 2019 | Updated on December 14th, 2019
Have you met the love of your life while you were backpacking in another country? Maybe you met in school, online, or on a job assignment.
We live in a globally connected era. It’s now easier than ever to meet someone from another place in the world and fall in love. Unfortunately, there are many bureaucratic barriers for international couples.
Trying to make it work can be difficult, but it’ll be worth it in the end. Sharing your life with someone from a different part of the world is eye-opening and exciting for many.
Immigration laws have yet to adapt to an internationally fluid social world. There are ways to solve this problem.
There are many commitments that the two of you can make to ensure that your love holds strong in the face of challenges and cultural differences.
1. Be Prepared To Spend A Lot Of Time Apart
Usually, tourist visas are limited to three months at a time. Even the most committed partners will be forced to spend some time apart.
While it may work to visit each other and take turns living in the home country of the other person and visa versa, there is likely to be a period where you will be apart.
To help you make it through this period of separation, we’ve thrown together some tips for long-distance relationships.
A. Facetime Twice Per Day
We are so lucky to live in a time where we can feel like we are in the same room as someone tens of thousands of miles away.
As anyone who has ever been in a long-distance relationship knows, it can be tough to stay involved in the other person’s life.
Try video-calling once in the morning and once in the evening. By staying up to date with who’s who and what’s what in the other person’s life, you will feel more involved and connected.
You don’t necessarily need to be texting each other. Communicating 12 hours per day may feel excessive or exhausting.
B. Take Trips Together
While you may spend every opportunity visiting the other person in their home country and the other way around, it is also important to travel to new places together. Take short trips together, maybe meet in the middle.
Having new experiences together will be exciting and educational. Couples should see new adventures as an opportunity to get to know each other better outside of your comfort zone. This can be eye-opening.
C. Set Ground Rules And Lay Out Expectations
How often will the two of you meet up? What’s the commitment level? Are you two exclusive? It is best to be open with each other so that no one ends up being taken by surprise.
Setting boundaries and being clear about what you expect will make communication more effective and honest.
2. Consider Forever, Sooner
Do you think this person is the one? If you are dating someone who is from the same country as you, there is no rush to consider marriage.
Most couples take a long time to determine if they are going to spend the rest of their lives together. For international couples, the window is much shorter.
Being in a long-distance relationship is hard, and the stress is not always worth it if you’re not sure about your commitment to each other. If you are sure, then go for it, it will make the years to come much more comfortable.
The process of getting permanent residency in most countries can take a minimum of one year.
The sooner marriage is out of the way, the sooner the two of you can begin your life together. Don’t wait until there is another tiny human involved or some other major life decision to start.
3. Start Saving
Knowing what the future holds for you will make it easier to plan. You may end up spending a lot of money on plane tickets, and this requires having some money saved up.
Just seeing each other will be expensive. Once you move toward trying to settle in the same place, the legal process can also be very costly.
Navigating both immigration systems can be perplexing, and many people will need to hire an attorney to assist them in their case.
We agree with the website of Diamond & Diamond when they say, “finding a lawyer to take your case can be frustrating, and you often do not know where to turn” You’ll want to find a professional that you both trust as a guide.
A legal professional may want to know many details of your relationship to help the process.
4. Remember To Celebrate Your Differences
There are many cultural differences and language barriers to consider. The way someone reacts to drama, for example, or communicate their feelings, can be a reflection of their upbringing, which is unique from what you have experienced before.
Celebrate your differences instead of allowing them to bridge a gap. If your intentions are shared, take the little uncomfortable moments with a grain of salt.
In moments where you feel out of place, be open and honest with your partner, and be a listener when the roles are reversed.