Algeria is a beautiful country with a vibrant culture and rich history. Whether you decide to settle in the bustling capital of Algiers, or make your home in the rural outskirts of the Sahara desert, there is something truly captivating about this exotic locale. Study up on the following information about this amazing country and you will be well on your way to a smooth and stress-free relocation process.
Country Facts and Interesting Information
- Capital: Algiers
- Currency: Algerian Dinar (DZD)
- Languages: Modern Standard Arabic, Berber, French
- Major Religion: Islam
- Largest Cities: Algiers, Oran, Constantine
- Officially the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
- Largest city in Africa
- Population of approximately 40.4 million
- Classified as an upper middle income country
Process of Moving Overseas to Algeria
Relocating abroad is almost always an expensive and involved process, but with a little research, proper planning, and a bit of patience, it is possible to enlist the help of a full-service, reputable international moving company who can expertly handle your move to Algeria, while staying affordable and efficient. The top rated companies in the industry will be able to walk you through every step of the process with expert knowledge and experience. The best option available will provide you with the basic movers and packers, coupled with immigration advice, storage, auto transport, and any other logistics help you need throughout the process. Request a quote today by completing the simple contact form in the upper right or call to speak with an agent immediately. Your move to Algeria is on the horizon and there is only one company equipped to handle it with the skill and ease you deserve. Get in touch with International Moving Companies, Inc. today and fast track your move now!
Depending on where exactly you plan to reside within the country of Algeria, you may or may not need a personal vehicle. In the busier cities, there are no shortage of taxis, but of course, these can get expensive when you rely solely on them for transportation. There are also two high-speed train routes you can utilize, along with a network of buses that can get you to and from the main train stations. However, most people prefer to use a personal vehicle, and it should be noted that an automobile with four-wheel drive is absolutely recommended because it will better handle the potentially rough terrain.
If you have a vehicle you want to relocate with you, make sure you consult with a reputable international moving company beforehand, so you can get a full picture of what you can plan to spend on transport. Keep in mind, import taxes on both used and new vehicles into Algeria can be very high, so you will want to weigh out the pros and cons prior to making the decision to ship your vehicle. Required documentation for importing a vehicle is as follows:
- Certificate of title and registration (original)
- Commercial/Purchase Invoice
- Import License
- Non-Sale Certificate
Remember that these required items can change and this list is not all-inclusive. You will want to work closely with your moving or auto transport company, as well as the Algerian Customs Department to ensure you have all the proper documentation prepared well in advance of your vehicle’s transport.
International Driving Permit
Algeria recognizes the International Driver’s Permit. It is important to make sure you obtain one far in advance of your move, so you will legally be able to drive immediately upon arrival.
Algerian citizenship may be obtained by naturalization, providing the following requirements are met:
- Must have resided in Algeria for a minimum of seven years
- Must be of good morality and good health
- No criminal convictions
- Minimum 21 years of age
- Has assimilated into Algerian society
- Has a secure means of financial support
Because Algeria’s population is comprised predominantly of Muslims, you will find the beliefs and traditions of Islam influence the culture heavily. For instance, Muslims do not drink alcohol or eat pork, so most restaurants will abstain from selling either of these items. Unlike the US, where it often customary to bring a bottle of wine to a host or hostess, it will most definitely be deemed disrespectful if you replicate that tradition in Algeria. Expect that businesses will often be closed on Fridays which is considered the holy day. Finally, the left hand is considered a symbol of filth, so do not offer it in a handshake or eat with it when in public. There are also designated prayer breaks during specific times each day which you will become accustomed to expect. Arabic is the most common language, so it is important to make an effort to learn at minimum a working knowledge and common phrases, but you will do much better if you get a firm grasp on the language prior to relocating. The importance of family is also an integral part of Algerian culture, so be sure to respect the dynamic. Also, recognize that actions of an individual are a direct reflection the entire family, and honor is prioritized above all.
If you are moving due to corporate or executive relocation, then you won’t need to worry about finding a job. However, if you are job seeking, expect to find opportunities in the petroleum or natural gas industries, as these tend to be the most common and lucrative. Secondary options for expats include banking, finance, and of course tourism. It would be an extremely good idea to begin your job search prior to relocating by using several resources, such as the following:
With the aid of modern technology, it is possible to not only apply for, but also be interviewed and hired for a job prior to making your move. Also, be sure to consult with your reputable international moving company for tips, tricks, and local connections in your destination city, so that you can secure employment if at all possible, before moving abroad.
Communication and Technology
Similar to most of the world, most communication is done via mobile telephone, but if you plan on keeping your current phone and plan, make sure you research roaming fees, as these can be quite expensive. There are three main mobile phone providers in the country, so you can shop around for the best plan for your personal needs. The international dialing code +213 which is very helpful when being contacted by those abroad.
Internet is also widely available, so you should have access to WiFi the majority of places in Algeria, and internet cafes are also a viable option for getting online. If you are in an emergency situation, call “17” for police assistance and “14” for help with a fire. Other worldwide emergency numbers can easily be accessed here.
Unfortunately, the postal service in Algeria tends to be less than reliable. Also, because all mail and parcels are subject to being opened, it is highly advised against sending anything of value in the mail.
Algeria’s electrical standard 220V and 50Hz. European two-pin plugs are most commonly used, so don’t forget to bring an adapter for your electrical devices.
Visas and Work Permits
- Visas – In order to obtain a visa prior to moving to Algeria, you will need to apply through the Algerian Embassy. Make sure to start the process well in advance of your intended move, because although standard processing only takes 5-8 business days, sometimes additional documentation or paperwork can be required, and it is not possible to put a rush on these applications. Please be advised that certain countries are exempt from a visa requiremend. A list of these exempted countries of nationality can be found on the Algerian Visa Center’s website. For nationals from all other countries, the standard requirements include:
- Passport with 6 months of validity remaining
- Two completed application forms
- Two standard sized passport pictures
- Payment of fees to Embassy of Algeria
- Work Permit – If you are relocating based on an employment opportunity, the first resource you should consult with is your employer. They should be able to help direct you in the actual process regarding obtaining a work permit. Usually, you will need documentation of a job offer in conjunction with your visa application, but in some instances, there may be more information required.
Cost of Living
Most expats will find that the cost of living tends to be less than in many other countries worldwide. Generally, day to day living expenses are much less than many other regions, although imported goods and items not readily available will of course be more costly. To give you an idea, the cost of living, not including rent is approximately 58% lower than in the US, and the cost of rent alone is approximately 84% lower.
Traditional Algerian schooling requires nine years of elementary education, followed by an optional one to four years of secondary schooling. Although public primary education is free, many expats prefer to send their children to private international institutions because it makes for a smoother transition and higher quality of education. It is also important to note that public school classes are taught in Arabic, and you must be fluent in the language to successfully transition. For those that don’t want to shell out the high tuition rates for international private institutions and don’t feel comfortable sending their children to public schools, homeschooling of course is always a viable option.
Although hospitals are accessible and quality of care is improving, do not expect the same level of care and quality you will find in Algerian’s Western and European counterparts. Plan to pay cash immediately for most medical services, and you will find that the majority of practitioners speak Arabic or French, and do not understand English. It is also in your best interest to consider purchasing overseas health insurance before your relocation. A list of providers can be found here.
Finally, if you plan on traveling with any prescription medications, first make sure that that the medication is indeed legal in Algeria, and always keep your doctor’s prescription on you.