I know all my posts are about this but since it basically runs my life I thought I’d write what I’ve learned. One day I will be a seasoned veteran. I’ve been dating a boy from a completely different continent than me for 3 1/2 years now and I’m pretty sure I have seen every piece of long distance relationship advice the internet has to offer. The problem is that nearly 100% of the advice or ways people “solve” the issue of being long distance is by marriage – I haven’t seen any other solutions yet (but if you have one let me know). Marriage is a legally binding contract which can and will alter your citizenship or residency depending on where you’re from, and if you decide to break up then you once again face these issues including paperwork for a divorce. If you and your partner have not been dating for very long or you’re quite young (I’m only 22) then this isn’t always the best solution for you even if it feels like it’s the only option. So I’m here to let you in on other ways to get you and your cutie to be together.
Three month long trips with no visas
This is a good place to start because the one thing a lot of people can’t grasp is the fact that no matter what, if you want to be together, at least one of you is going to have to give up your life completely. AKA quitting your job, quitting school, saying goodbye to your friends and family, selling your car and everything you own and starting fresh (which might include a new language). I did every single one of those things and it was awful. Absolute trash. I was basically a 4 year old who needed their hand held everywhere they went because I couldn’t read anything or talk to anyone. Do not recommend.
If that’s not your cup of tea then you might want to dip your toes into your new home with a visitor visa in whatever country your boo lives in. Most of my readers are from the US, who don’t need a visa for a boat load of countries to be able to stay there for 3 months/90 days per year (but always check to be sure – this website is awesome). If you can take time off somehow for 3 months, a month or even a few weeks/days to see how you two would live together then I highly recommend it. My relationship started with him coming for a month to explore my home. This website will tell you anything you need to know about the country you’re going to.
Remember that even best friends don’t always make the best roommates.
2. Work & Travel in a new country
So after I lived in Germany for 3 months I was lucky enough to be in a country so nice and also so desperate for people. I got another visa which allowed me to stay and search for a university for an extra 9 months, making it 1 year in Germany. Afterwards I went back home to see my family for a month over Christmas, I went back again to Germany on a visitor visa. The visitor visa lets you go for 3 out of 12 months of the year, but only applies to the visitor visa. I had the Student Applicant Visa which meant it was fine for me to come back that soon. I’m bad at explaining but I hope that made sense.
P.S. I want you to know that immigration places are way more chill than they make it seem online.
You can drunkenly stumble through the process and make it out alive. That’s just my experience in Australia and Germany. Although they were a bit anal when I went to the USA, even though I’m a citizen. They asked if I had touched a cow while I was in Germany. I laughed but the woman remained deadpanned. She was serious. It was the weirdest interview I have had in my life.
I had gone through all the visas we could think of in Germany so we looked for other options. Luckily a lot of people want to take a break in life and do some travelling while working, which is why a 1 year long Work and Travel Visa exists. Or I guess Working Holiday Visa. Same thing. If you’re unlucky enough to be American there are only TWO, count em TWO countries you can visit:
- New Zealand
If you have recently graduated college within the past 12 months or are still in college then you can also visit these ones:
- South Korea
This also brings me to the next way:
We’ve seen Australia, and we want to get our degrees so we can actually afford to see New Zealand next. So, we’re planning to go back to Germany to get our degrees! Unfortunately a lot of countries are starting to charge really high tuition costs for people outside of their countries. I was able to find one I’m interested in that’s still affordable. I paid over $6,000 USD per semester in the US. Typing that makes me want to die. In Germany they might pay only €265 per semester. Most of the cost is train tickets. As long as you’re applying to schools and you have proof that you are, then you’ll be allowed in a lot of 1st world countries. In Germany and Australia you can stay as a resident as long as you want, as long as you’re still in school.
(The actual moment we found out the Eiffel Tower sparkles at night.)
Maybe you already graduated college, or you have experience in a job that you can get anywhere. Most countries have visas for “Skilled occupations”. Usually they’re the classic jobs like anyone who does anything at a hospital, engineers, accountants, etc. but it depends on the country. If you have a wanted skill then you can stay in that country as a permanent resident. Depending on the country, you may not even have to be sponsored by an employer.
A “success story” long distance relationship doesn’t have to depend on marriage, really it depends on how hard you’re willing to work to be together. Moving somewhere new is always a big deal but your dingleberry might be perfect for you, and an amazing love is hard to find. Also you can die at any time, aneurysms aren’t agist.
If you’re alright with marriage and you’re 200% sure you guys will be together forever then go ahead and say F it and get the marriage visa. I don’t blame you. Although if you’re that type you probably wouldn’t be reading this. Also this is really random but I just remembered Ecuador has new visa laws so always remember to find updated visa lists of where you’re going.
If you’ve solved your long distance relationship or are planning to and you have a visa that wasn’t marriage then please let me know. I’ll add it to the list to help anyone else. Also comment whatever you want because I like comments. It could even just say “cantaloupe” and I would be happy. Thank you.
I wrote that as a temporary joke caption and I can’t erase it now please send help.