Ultimate Guide to Relocation to Jordan 2023

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by Susanne Jones


Are you considering relocation to Jordan or moving to Jordan in the year ahead? This diverse and culturally rich country offers an exceptional expat experience for those seeking to embrace new adventures. From the bustling streets of Amman to the quiet charm of Madaba, living in Jordan presents an array of opportunities for personal and professional growth. Our comprehensive Jordan expat guide is designed to help you navigate the essential aspects of settling into this historic land, ensuring a smooth transition into the heart of the Middle East.

Whether you’re lured by Jordan’s world-renowned tourist attractions, rich historical sites, or its welcoming community, getting acquainted with the local lifestyle is key. Prepare to be charmed by the panoramic hillside views of the capital’s neighborhoods and overcome the initial challenges, such as navigation and banking regulations, with ease. Throughout this guide, we will provide insider tips on applications, dining, and leisure activities that will transform your Jordanian sojourn into an unforgettable experience.

Understanding the Cultural Landscape of Jordan Before Your Move

When contemplating a move to Jordan, it’s essential to immerse yourself in the heart of its cultural ethos, a realm where Jordan traditions are intertwined with the threads of daily life. The pulse of Jordan culture and lifestyle beats through its people—greeting newcomers with Arab hospitality that is both legendary and humbling. It’s a land where modernity and tradition converge, creating a rich tapestry that reflects its diverse historical influences.

Understanding the depth of social etiquette is vital. Respect for local customs, from reverent observance of Islamic practices to adherence to modest dress codes, guides meaningful interactions and enlightens your integration into Jordanian society. The cultural complexity of Jordan is palpable, with its heritage colored by Palestinian, Syrian, and Iraqi influences, each contributing a distinctive hue to the national identity.

To help you navigate the social norms and understand the community-centric way of life, consider the following guide to Jordan’s culture:

  • Explore the language landscape: While Arabic is the official tongue, English serves as a bridge in urban centers, easing expat communication challenges.
  • Embrace the hospitality: Social invitations and communal gatherings underscore the value placed on interaction, indicative of the renowned Arab warmth.
  • Dress with discretion: Conservative attire is more than sartorial choice—it’s a form of cultural respect, especially significant in Jordan’s public spaces.
  • Assimilate through cuisine: Sharing a meal is a gateway to understanding Jordanian traditions, where dishes like Mansaf symbolize communal bonds.
  • Participate in religious observance: Observing and respecting Islamic rituals and holidays emphasizes respect for the cultural beliefs of the majority.

Familiarity with these cultural elements of Jordan culture and lifestyle will not only ease your transition but also enrich your life with experiences emblematic of Middle Eastern hospitality. As you look forward to your move, let the allure of Jordan’s culture captivate and guide you towards a harmonious expat journey.

Exploring the Living Costs and Financial Considerations in Jordan

Relocating to Jordan introduces a myriad of financial considerations an expat must navigate to ensure a smooth transition. Familiarity with the Jordan cost of living and the nuances of the Jordan currency, the Jordanian Dinar (JOD), is pivotal for budgeting and day-to-day expenditures. Here we delve into essential aspects of financial planning and living costs in Jordan.

Amman, heralded as a central hub for international residents, can present relatively high costs, particularly in terms of housing and education. Furnished accommodations are standard for expats, offering a convenient yet often pricier option. Moreover, the prestigious private schools, many catering to international students, demand thorough financial planning due to their substantial fees.

Expense Category Average Cost Range Notes
Housing (Furnished 2-bedroom) 500 – 1,500 JOD/month Varies by location and amenities
Utilities (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) 50 – 150 JOD/month Depends on usage and season
Private School Tuition 2,000 – 6,000 JOD/year International schools often follow British or American curricula
Groceries 200 – 400 JOD/month Influenced by lifestyle and dietary preferences
Dining Out 10 – 30 JOD/meal Varies from local eateries to high-end restaurants
Transportation (Taxi Service) 0.5 – 3 JOD/ride Depends on distance and taxi company

While managing finances, expatriates must adeptly handle currency exchanges by seeking out banks or exchange offices renowned for offering competitive conversion rates. It’s critical to understand the interplay of various payment modalities, balancing the use of credit cards for certain transactions and cash for others, as is customary in many local markets and small businesses across Jordan.

  • Expats should evaluate the cost-effectiveness of dining options as food expenses can fluctuate significantly based on one’s culinary preferences.
  • It is advisable to set aside contingency funds for potential unexpected expenditures or emergencies.
  • Daily transport can accrue considerable costs over time; thus, consideration towards vehicle ownership versus use of the robust taxi network can influence long-term budgeting.
  • Learning the common pricing of goods and services can serve as a valuable tool against overspending and aids in a deeper understanding of the financial considerations in Jordan.

Ultimately, while Jordan offers an enchanting environment for expatriates, being prudent with financial planning is essential to fully enjoy the experiences and comforts available in this culturally rich nation.

Relocation to Jordan: Navigating the Legal and Visa Process

Moving to Jordan is an exciting prospect for many expats, but it requires a clear understanding of the Jordan visa requirements and the legal process in Jordan. To start the journey, a well-documented legal pathway must be charted, which includes obtaining Jordan residency for a smooth transition into your new life.

To begin with, acquiring a visa is step one. All expatriates must ensure their passports are valid for a minimum of six months and have at least one blank page available for visa stamps. Accompanying this, a letter from your prospective employer in Jordan is mandatory, verifying your reason for entering the country.

Jordan Visa Requirements

The next crucial step is to secure a work permit and residency, commonly referred to as Iqama. This involves a comprehensive paperwork trail, consisting of, but not limited to, a visa application form, recent passport-sized photographs, evidence of health insurance, and a copy of your initial entry visa. It is important to note that employment contracts are often renegotiated on an annual basis, which underscores the need for keeping all legal documents current.

Here’s a clear outline of the documents required for obtaining residency in Jordan:

  • Completed visa application form
  • Passport with at least six months’ validity
  • Passport-sized photographs
  • Health insurance certification
  • Copy of your entry visa
  • Proof of address
  • Background check clearance

Expatriates are highly recommended to seek guidance from their country’s embassy within Jordan or hire a legal advisor familiar with the intricacies of the local immigration laws to navigate the visa and residency application process effectively.

Requirement Description Notes
Passport Validity Must be valid for 6 months with one blank page Renew prior if nearing expiration
Employer Letter Letter from Jordan-based employer Required for work visa applications
Passport Photos Recent color photographs Typically two are required
Health Insurance Valid health insurance coverage May need to be sourced locally
Entry Visa Copy of the current Jordanian entry visa Essential for residency application
Proof of Address Document confirming your residence in Jordan Can be a utility bill or rental agreement
Background Check Clearance from relevant authorities May require additional time to obtain

This comprehensive breakdown is designed to anticipate the requirements and prepare you thoroughly for the obtaining Jordan residency process. Whether you’re transitioning for work, family, or retirement, staying ahead with the factual legalities will undoubtedly lay a solid foundation for your new chapter in Jordan.

Jordan’s Healthcare System: What Expats Need to Know

As an expat navigating the complexities of a new country, understanding the Jordan healthcare system is fundamental to ensuring your well-being. The healthcare in Jordan comprises a mix of public and private services, with the private sector often considered the top choice for those seeking superior medical care. Here, we outline pivotal information about healthcare options for expats, including tips on securing international health insurance in Jordan.

It’s essential for expatriates to procure comprehensive international health insurance before their move. Such insurance plans typically cover a wide range of medical services and allow access to private hospitals known for their high-quality service and reduced waiting times. To enhance your healthcare experience in Jordan, it’s advisable to seek English-speaking medical professionals, ensuring that communication is clear and effective during consultations and treatment.

Healthcare Aspect Public Sector Private Sector
Care Quality Adequate, Varies by Location High, Consistent Standards
Cost Lower, Often Subsidized Higher, Insurance Advised
Accessibility Widely Available Selective Availability
Language Proficiency Variable, Arabic Predominant English Common among Practitioners
Insurance Acceptance Limited, Usually Government Insurance Broad, Including International Policies

While public healthcare is accessible and cost-effective, the quality can vary. Therefore, expats often opt for the private healthcare system, where the standard of care is uniformly high across various specialties. Conducting due diligence on available healthcare options for expats in Jordan is key, with recommendations from fellow expats and international forums serving as valuable resources.

  • Enroll in a comprehensive international health insurance plan.
  • Identify private healthcare facilities with English-speaking staff.
  • Understand your insurance policy’s coverage, including emergency services.
  • Explore healthcare provider networks to find the best match for your needs.

Taking these steps will bolster your preparedness and confidence, ensuring a smooth transition into Jordan’s healthcare landscape.

Language and Communication in Jordan: Overcoming the Barrier

In the heart of the Middle East, Jordan stands as a land where ancient dialects echo against the backdrop of modernity. For expats, understanding the language in Jordan is tantamount to unlocking a wealth of cultural experiences. While Arabic remains the soulful linguistic heritage of the nation, the English language in Jordan acts as a versatile key, opening doors for international residents in urban centers and tourist hotspots.

Acclimating to Jordan’s linguistic landscape can be made smoother by embracing some basic yet essential Arabic phrases for expats. Not only does this foster a sense of belonging, but it garners appreciation from local communities. Let’s explore some of the key phrases and communication tips that would serve you well in your Jordanian sojourn.

English Phrase Arabic Phrase Pronunciation Context of Use
Hello مرحبا Marhaba General greeting
Thank you شكرا Shukran Showing gratitude
Yes نعم Na’am Agreement or confirmation
No لا La Disagreement or denial
Please من فضلك Min fadlik Requesting something
Excuse me/Sorry عفوا ’Afuwan Getting attention or apologizing
Goodbye مع السلامة Ma’a salama Parting phrase

Moving beyond greetings, expats will find that the capability to converse in Arabic opens up a myriad of social and professional avenues. Engaging with locals in their native language can enrich your understanding of the country’s spirit and nuances. Connectivity remains vital; upon your arrival, prioritize obtaining a SIM card from recognized Jordanian telecom providers to maintain avenues of communication. With a combination of Arabic phrases and the widespread use of English, expats can navigate the vibrant culture and society of Jordan with confidence and ease.

  • Getting a local SIM card helps bridge any communication gaps.
  • Telecom Providers include Zain, Orange, and Umniah – each offering competitive packages for calls and data.
  • Many Jordanians are bilingual, be open to practicing Arabic while many will be eager to speak English with you.

Finding Your New Home: Housing Options and Renting in Jordan

Securing the right accommodation is one of the most critical steps in establishing a comfortable life in a new country. For expats moving to Jordan, understanding the housing market, particularly in the vibrant capital of Amman, is essential. Various housing options in Jordan are available to cater to diverse lifestyles and budgetary constraints—from upscale villas in tranquil suburbs to cost-effective apartments in the bustling city center.

When considering renting in Jordan, it’s important to factor in the cost of utilities, which may or may not be included in the rental price, as well as the property’s proximity to essential services such as schools, supermarkets, and public transportation. Local renting practices also dictate a need to be well-informed about lease negotiations, security deposits, and tenancy rights. Below is a comparison of accommodation types that are commonly sought after by expats in Amman.

Accommodation Type Features Average Monthly Rent (Amman)
Luxurious Villa Spacious living, private garden, often in expat-favored neighborhoods 1,500 – 3,000+ JOD
Modern Apartment Balcony views, shared amenities like a gym or pool 500 – 1,200 JOD
Traditional House Cultural architecture, often located in older districts 700 – 1,500 JOD
Studio Apartment Compact living space, ideal for singles or couples 300 – 600 JOD
Serviced Apartment Furnishings and utilities included, housekeeping services 800 – 1,800 JOD

Exploring accommodation options involves both online research and on-the-ground visits. Agencies and property websites offer a glimpse into the range of available properties, but nothing compares to seeing the spaces in person. For many, a temporary stay in hotels or serviced apartments serves as a practical solution allowing newcomers to thoroughly explore different districts of Amman before making the commitment of a long-term lease. One such option for temporary accommodation is the Sydney Hotel, conveniently located near the heart of downtown Amman, providing easy access to explore the city.

Regardless of the type of accommodation in Amman that expats choose, it’s advisable to seek legal advice or assistance when reviewing tenancy agreements to ensure a clear understanding of all terms and obligations. Ensuring a successful integration into Jordanian life begins with the peace of mind that comes from finding the perfect home.

Explore Housing Options in Jordan

Getting Around in Jordan: Transportation for Expats

For expats, understanding the intricacies of transportation in Jordan is key to making the most out of living in this historically rich nation. While public transport exists, many expatriates opt for taxis in Jordan due to their convenience and the flexibility they offer when moving about in the city. From the old streets of Amman to the vast deserts of Wadi Rum, transportation choices significantly impact the expat experience.

  • Catching a taxi is straightforward, with yellow cabs being a common sight on city roads. It’s advisable to agree on a fare beforehand or ensure that the meter is used to avoid any confusion later on.

  • App-based ride services like Careem and Uber have changed the game, offering transparent pricing through their platforms, thus reducing language barriers and fare disputes.

  • For those who prefer expat driving in Jordan, car rental services provide the freedom to explore the country’s landscapes at their own pace. With a valid international driving permit, expats can embark on road trips across the country, from the Roman ruins in Jerash to the Red Sea’s azure waters in Aqaba.

When opting to drive, expatriates should be well aware of local traffic laws and customs. Jordan is known for its rapid, sometimes unpredictable traffic, and driving defensively is often recommended. Nonetheless, the road infrastructure is quite developed, especially connecting major tourist spots and city centers.

Overall, getting around in Jordan can be a seamless experience for expats with the right information and a bit of planning. Whether relying on taxis, ride-hailing apps, or driving oneself, the country’s transport system offers various options to fit different preferences and lifestyles.

The following table provides an at-a-glance view of transportation options for expats in Jordan:

Mode of Transportation Pros Cons
Taxis Readily available, flexible Potential fare negotiation
Ride-hailing Apps (Careem, Uber) Transparent pricing, easy-to-use Reliant on internet connectivity
Car Rental Complete autonomy, ability to explore Requires comfort with local driving conditions

By staying informed about their transportation options, expats can enjoy the beauty and culture of Jordan without the stress of figuring out how to navigate its roads and transportation systems.

International Schooling in Jordan: Education for Expat Children

When choosing the right educational system for their children, expat parents in Jordan are often drawn to the world-renowned British-based education system. A considerable number of international schools in Jordan have adopted this model, offering a consistent and high-quality academic experience. The benefits of such an education are manifold: children can enjoy a seamless transition, especially those coming from countries with a similar system, while also preparing for global qualifications like IGCSEs and A-Levels.

Settling into a new country can be a challenge, more so for expat children who have to adjust to a new school environment. In Jordan, the choice of schools for expat families is ample, helping to ensure that each child’s educational needs are met. Schools in Jordan for expats not only focus on academic excellence but also place a high emphasis on extracurricular activities and personal development, essential aspects of holistic education.

  • Assessing academic standards and the availability of British curriculum subjects.
  • Evaluating extracurricular programs that foster diverse interests and talents.
  • Interfacing with administrators and teachers to gauge school ethos and teaching quality.
  • Engaging with other expat families to gather first-hand experiences and feedback.

For families prioritizing international schooling in Jordan, it’s important to understand that while this educational route presents many advantages, it may also come with a higher financial commitment. The investment in a child’s education is seen as invaluable, and many expat parents are willing to allocate a significant portion of their resources to ensure their children receive top-tier schooling.

British-based international schools in Jordan are known for their well-rounded approach, ensuring not just academic success but also cultivating a sense of global citizenship and cultural sensitivity — traits that are increasingly valuable in our interconnected world.

Embracing Jordan’s Vibrant Culinary Scene and Social Life

Diving into the wondrous world of Jordan cuisine is an essential aspect of the expat journey, offering a sensory delight rich with aromatic spices and flavorful traditions. From the hearty goodness of mansaf—Jordan’s national dish laden with tender lamb and tangy yogurt sauce—to the beloved simplicity of falafel and the sweet indulgence of kunafa, Jordan’s gastronomic offerings are a testament to its cultural tapestry. These culinary delights provide not just sustenance but also a pathway to understanding the local customs and bringing people together in the spirit of Jordanian hospitality.

The social life in Jordan vibrates with energy as it ushers expats into a milieu that combines authentic Arab restaurants in Jordan with global cuisine, reflecting the country’s hospitable and inclusive nature. Teahouses sparkle with convivial chatter, while international restaurants offer a taste from home or new cuisines to explore. The nightlife, with its mosaic of bars and clubs, stands as a testament to Amman’s cosmopolitan heartbeat, inviting expats to form fresh social bonds and create memories in this storied and spirited Middle Eastern locale.

For expatriates seeking to fully immerse themselves in the local culture, frequent visits to the numerous Arab restaurants in Jordan are imperative. It is here, amidst the sizzle of kebabs and the warmth of freshly baked bread, that communal bonds are forged and the essence of Jordanian life truly unfolds. As newcomers to Jordan’s picturesque landscapes, expats are encouraged to engage their palates and participate in the flourishing social festivities that make living in Jordan a rich and rewarding experience.

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Susanne Jones
Susanne, the wordsmith with a penchant for planting roots in foreign soils, has called more countries home than most people have on their travel bucket lists. Through her vivid narratives on this site she guides fellow adventurers on how to seamlessly blend into new cultures, from mastering local etiquette to unearthing hidden gems. Her rich tapestry of experiences across continents lends authenticity to her advice, making her the ultimate mentor for anyone looking to embrace the expat lifestyle.
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