The last few weeks have been so busy. Not only have we been packing and selling and gifting most of our possessions, but we've been attempting to get all the paperwork in order for our move to Portugal. We've updated our passports, obtained police checks, got health certificates and been to see the accountant to discuss taxes and moving bank accounts.
Now that we have most of it organised, the next step is to have everything translated into Portuguese. There are no local services near us, so we'll have to spend a day in Toronto and drop off all our documents to a translation service. It ain't cheap. So far the best estimate is about $35.00 for a full page. Yikes!
Once that's done all the documents and their translations must be notarised. Wouldn't want anyone thinking that the documents aren't what we say they are. The fee for getting everything notarised? Not sure yet, but it involves lawyers so....
After all that's done we have to choose our private health insurance for the first year we are in Portugal. Because we are not EU citizens we have no reciprocal health agreements. The younger you are the cheaper the insurance, of course. 65 seems to be the magical age beyond which things become rather expensive. Since we're going to be running a business in Portugal we will eventually be covered under the Portuguese social security system, so we'll only need private health insurance until that kicks in. Most health insurance policies are sold by the year though and billed monthly. Rates range from $400.00 a year to $12,000.00 a year, depends on age and coverage. And if you want to you can buy supplemental health insurance even after you are covered by the social security system which allows you access to a private hospital and all the extra care that entails.
We also started organising the paperwork for bringing the dogs with us. This is a step-by-step process that's almost as involved as moving people. It's not so much the paperwork as being sure it's all done in the correct order at the correct time. The dogs must have the correct type of microchip implanted and this must be done BEFORE the dogs get their rabies shots. They must have their shots just before they travel and be certified just before they travel because if the certificate is stale-dated they could be turned back at immigration.
And while we're waiting for the correct timing for vaccinations and dog paperwork there are proper travel crates to buy, which must be a particular size, and have the correct ventilation, and no holes in the top, and special slots for removable water bowls and feeding trays.