Google Voice 101: Everything you need to know as expats

Expat life
16 Aug 2023
7 mins read
Written by Team Instarem

Do you find yourself googling “google voice moving abroad”?

Well if you are, you have come to the right place!

Google Voice is a great tool for expats. It allows you to keep your US phone number even when you move overseas. 

In this blog post, we will discuss:

  • all the features of Google Voice,
  • how to port number to google voice while abroad,
  • help to answer your query on whether you can use google voice internationally.
  • and talk about some things expats should look out for when they start using Google Voice.

What is Google Voice?

Google Voice is a telephone service that was created by Google. It is a form of Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VoIP.

VoIP is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband internet connection instead of a regular (analog) phone line.

VoIP calls travel over your high-speed internet connection, you can also make and receive calls when you’re away from home using your laptop or other mobile devices.

So, whether you’re at the office, on vacation, or in another country altogether, if you have a broadband internet connection, you can use Google Voice to make and receive calls from anywhere in the world, as well as send and receive text messages, using your Google Voice number. It also provides voicemail services and call forwarding.

How does Google Voice work?

When you sign up for Google Voice, you will be given a Google Voice number. This number can be used to make and receive calls, as well as send and receive text messages. You can also use this number to set up voicemail and call forwarding.

How much does Google Voice cost?

Google Voice is a free service. There are no monthly fees or charges for using the service.

For international calls, charges differ by country.

However, there is a service charge if you are looking to port over your existing phone number to Google Voice.

And here’s why Google Voice is great for expats…

6 reasons why google voice is good for expats

There are many benefits of Google Voice for expats.

Google Voice is a great way to keep your US number while living abroad without paying extra money to your US carrier.

This is an excellent benefit for expats who want to keep their US number for family and friends back home.

It also makes it easier when you need to maintain your phone number for security reasons like two-factor authentication for banks, credit cards, social media, and more.

Now can you use google voice internationally?

Technically, you can also call from any device with Google Voice, whether you’re on your computer, phone, or tablet – as long as you have an internet connection, you can make and receive calls.

This is great for when you don’t have easy access to a phone or if you’re traveling and want to avoid roaming charges.

Google Voice also offers voicemail services. So, if you can’t answer a call, the caller can leave you a voicemail and you can listen to it later.

Finally, Google Voice offers call forwarding. This is great for when you’re living in multiple places or traveling and want to forward your calls to any other phone number that you have.

So now that we have a better idea about expats who wants to understand Google Voice moving abroad, let’s talk about the advantages and how to port number to google voice while abroad.

How can expats take advantage of Google Voice number?

Step by step guide to setting up google voice

To be exact: How to port number to google voice while abroad?

All you have to do is transfer your number from your carrier to Google Voice for a one-time cost of $20 USD. Google Voice allows number porting from carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, T-mobile, Sprint, and more.

Once it is transferred, remove your SIM card and connect to wifi.

Test out Google Voice by calling or sending a text message. If it works, you can remove the physical SIM card from your former carrier.

Once you’ve landed in your new country, get a local SIM card and put it into your phone. Google Voice will work once your phone has a data connection from the local SIM carrier or wifi.

Once you’ve completed the process, you can call and send texts using your old US number via the app.

Alternatively, you can sign up for a free new phone number with Google Voice.

Then update this new Google Voice number as a contact detail in all your US-related accounts. If you ever need to port your Google Voice number to a US carrier later, don’t worry. It is definitely possible and it only costs $3 USD.

What should expats look out for when using Google Voice?

The biggest downside is that some websites do not accept a Google Voice number for account creation or 2FA codes, because they require numbers from cellular.

So don’t get rid of your old carrier yet. Set up a new Google Voice number and test out all your US accounts and find out which ones have issues receiving 2FA. That way, you can still decide if it’s worth keeping your Google Voice number.

There are also reports that Google Voice has poor call experience. This means that the person you are talking to might not be able to hear you well, or you might not be able to hear them well.

SMS/MMS support may be poor, meaning that text messages might not go through correctly or at all, and Caller ID can be sporadic, meaning it might not always show the right caller information.

Additionally, there may be charges for making international calls or sending text messages.

You can choose to register your Google Voice number to WhatsApp and maintain contact with your friends and families with one consistent phone number.

If you have problems verifying your Google Voice number on WhatsApp, you can request a call, and then check your spam folder for the recording. If you’re not hearing the beginning of the call, disable call screening temporarily.

Just be sure to familiarize yourself with all the features of Google Voice before you start using it

We hope that that answers your questions about “google voice moving abroad” and “can you use google voice internationally”. And also have a better understanding of how to port number to google voice while abroad.

Remember Google Voice is a tool to smoothen your expat journey by communicating with family and friends back at home much easier.

With a few simple steps, you can set up your Google Voice number and use it just like your old US number. Just be sure to keep an eye out for any potential problems that might arise!

And if you have already secured an overseas job, don’t forget to use Instarem to help you manage your money and easily move it overseas.

send money with Instarem

*rates are for display purposes only.

Here are a couple of reasons to consider Instarem:


Low transfer fees enable you to send money to multiple destinations without burning a hole in your pocket.

Easy and fast

Transferring money to other countries is typically an instant transaction.

Trusted and secure

Instarem is regulated by nine financial regulators across the globe. Instarem is a trusted licensed service provider with licenses in AustraliaSingaporeHong KongMalaysiaIndiaUKUSEU, and Canada.

Earn loyalty points

You will be rewarded with loyalty points which are referred to as ‘InstaPoints’ for every transaction and referral you make via Instarem. You will then be able to redeem your points and get great discounts for future transactions. Remember, the more you transfer, the more you earn!


Absolutely no hidden costs. You will be in the know of the exact rates and fees applied to your money transfer.

Try Instarem for your next transfer.

Download the app or sign up here.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with products or vendors mentioned.

About Instarem

Instarem stands at the forefront of international money transfer services, facilitating fast and secure transactions for both individuals and businesses. Our platform offers competitive exchange rates for popular currency pairs like USD to INR, SGD to INR, and AUD to INR. If you're looking to send money to India or transfer funds to any of 60+ global destinations, Instarem makes it easy for you. We are dedicated to simplifying cross-border payments, providing cutting-edge technology that support individuals and businesses alike in overcoming traditional fiscal barriers normally associated with banks. As a trusted and regulated brand under the umbrella of the Fintech Unicorn Nium Pte. Ltd., and its international subsidiaries, Instarem is your go-to for reliable global financial exchanges. Learn more about Instarem.