Thriving on a spousal visa: Navigating challenges in a foreign land

Expat life
18 Feb 2024
8 mins read
Written by Riona lye

Embarking on life on a spousal visa can be a rollercoaster of emotions. The excitement of joining your partner in a new country can often be overshadowed by the complexities of immigration regulations and the need to adapt to a new environment. The challenges of limited job opportunities, language barriers, and a sense of isolation can take a toll on anyone.


If you find yourself feeling homesick or struggling to find your place in a foreign land, you are not alone. In this blog post, we’re going to tackle some of these challenges head-on and provide you with tips to help you stay sane while navigating life on a spousal visa.


So, buckle up and let’s dive in!

What is a spousal visa?

Have you ever wondered what a spousal visa is? Well, put simply, it’s a type of visa that allows you to live with your partner in a new country. This is a perfect solution for those in long-distance relationships or married couples who want to live together in a country where one partner is already working.


Now, moving to a foreign country can be both exciting and intimidating, especially when it involves relocating for a relationship. While a spouse visa can be a solution to relationship obstacles, it can also bring its own set of challenges. Your partner may have an established sense of self-worth and a job, making their transition smoother.


However, being in an unfamiliar land can be tough, and you may feel nervous relying solely on your partner for support and comfort. But fret not – with our practical tips, you can adapt to the system and build your life abroad. Learning the basics of the language, connecting with the local community, and engaging in activities that interest you, are just a few ways to help you find your footing in a foreign land.


By embracing adventure and being open to new experiences, you can turn challenges into opportunities, making your new country feel like home.

Build a routine

Establishing a daily routine is a game changer! Not only does it help you manage your time better, but it also keeps you sane. Trust us, there’s nothing quite like stability and predictability in a strange and unfamiliar place.


Plus, you get to focus on your personal growth and skill development. With all that free time, you can take up new hobbies or learn a new language. It’s a fantastic opportunity to do things that you otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to do if you were working a full-time job. The possibilities are endless!


Engaging in a hobby can be a valuable outlet for personal fulfillment and time management. Not only does it offer the opportunity for skill development and stress relief, but hobbies can also facilitate cultural exploration and aid in adapting to new people and places.


Certain hobbies may even highlight skills that can contribute to your resume. So, whether it’s joining a club or taking a class, pursuing a hobby is a great way to enrich your life while scouting for employment opportunities in a new country.


For many individuals on spousal visa, unable to work in their desired field due to visa restrictions, the idea of staying idle can be daunting. Volunteering might just be the perfect alternative. Not only can it help improve your skills and personal growth, but it can also bring you closer to your new community, allowing you to understand their culture and contribute to the greater good.


Best of all, volunteering can provide a sense of purpose and structure to your day, contributing positively to your overall mental well-being. And who knows your volunteer work might even turn into a networking opportunity for future employment prospects!


Ultimately, volunteering becomes a fulfilling and constructive way for individuals on spousal visas to make a positive impact while dealing with the challenges of restricted formal employment in a new host country.

Study at a language school

So, you’ve just moved to a new country and you’re feeling a little lost. Maybe English isn’t the primary language, and suddenly ordering food or asking for directions seems like an impossible feat.


That’s why we highly recommend finding a language school to study the local tongue. Not only will it help you to integrate better into your new community, but it will also give you a sense of purpose and fill up your time while you adjust to your new surroundings.


Don’t forget, you’re living in an immersive environment. This means you’ll have ample opportunity to advance your language skills quickly and gain a sense of independence.

Plus, if you’re in the job market, being fluent in the local language can only benefit you.

Finding a job

If you’re on a spousal visa and are itching to work, you need to be aware of some rules and restrictions that could apply, depending on the country you’re in. It’s worth doing your homework first and checking with the immigration authorities to avoid getting yourself into hot water.


However, if you’re really set on working abroad, you may be able to find a company that would be willing to sponsor your work visa. Just remember that it’s not as simple as applying for a job and turning up – there are legalities to consider first.

Adapt your CV

Let’s face it, getting an interview can be tough. But instead of feeling discouraged, it’s time to get proactive! One of the first things you should do is to adapt your CV or resume to the style of the country you’re hoping to work in. Don’t just assume it’s perfect – get others to review it too. Start by asking your friends, and then broaden your scope to local acquaintances.

Get your resume translated

And don’t forget to have your resume translated! Even if you’re looking for a job that requires English, having your resume available in the local language can make a big difference. It shows that you’re making an effort to understand the local culture and language, and it can help local HR or managers feel more confident in hiring you. So don’t be afraid to put in the extra effort – it could mean the difference between landing that interview or not.

Show your location and availability

Companies and hiring managers often check out LinkedIn profiles, so it’s important to make yours attractive. Set your location and work availability so that recruiters can easily find you. Plus, LinkedIn is a great place to network, and when you reach out to someone, they’re definitely going to check your profile.

Balance quantity and quality in job applications

Some job applications on LinkedIn are as simple as a click. While it’s good to increase the volume of applications, don’t forget about quality. Tailor each application to the position you’re applying for and highlight your relevant skills and experience. It will make a better impression.

Connect with professionals every day

Building a strong network is key. Connect with people in your industry, join LinkedIn groups that align with your interests, and engage in discussions. This will boost your chances of finding job opportunities and getting referrals.

Ultimately, it extends beyond a mere matter of adaptation…

It’s a real problem that many people face, and it’s more common than you think. While getting a job might help alleviate some of the feelings of loneliness, it’s not a guaranteed solution. Sure, it would provide some social interaction, but it also depends on the workplace environment and the people around you.


At the end of the day, what truly matters is connecting with people on a deeper level. It’s having that support system of people who truly care about you that can make all the difference. So, if you’re feeling lonely, know that you’re not alone. Reach out to friends and family, explore social groups and clubs, and try using free calling apps to stay in touch with loved ones who might be far away. You’ve got this!

Before you go…

So, you’re following your heart and moving to be with your partner abroad. Exciting times, but let’s be real, it can be stressful too. Packing up your life and moving to a foreign country can be overwhelming, not to mention all of the administrative hoops you need to jump through. But one thing you won’t have to worry about is your money.


Say hello to Instarem!


This service makes it super easy to transfer your funds to more than 60 countries, all at great rates and with no pesky hidden fees. With our app, you can track your transactions every step of the way, leaving you free to focus on the more important things, like starting your new life overseas.


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*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.

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