Category Archives: Migration Laws

What you need to know about moving to Canada

"Peyto Lake-Banff NP-Canada" by Tobias Alt, Tobi 87 - Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Peyto_Lake-Banff_NP-Canada.jpg#/media/File:Peyto_Lake-Banff_NP-Canada.jpg

“Peyto Lake-Banff NP-Canada” by Tobias Alt, Tobi 87 – Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Peyto_Lake-Banff_NP-Canada.jpg#/media/File:Peyto_Lake-Banff_NP-Canada.jpg

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Despite the fact a British speciality food shop recently stopped selling famous UK goods including Marmite and Irn-Bru because they contained ‘unapproved ingredients’, Canada is still the second most popular destination for British expats, behind Australia.

It is also the world’s second-largest country, and was colonised by the British and French in the 15th century, meaning that today it is officially bilingual, with almost a quarter of citizens speaking French. But this isn’t the only reason Canada is popular – the spirit of the kind and generous people, the outdoor lifestyle, the breath-taking scenery, the snowy winters and hot summers all contribute to its magnetic pull.

Most Canadians are fortunate enough to have access to high quality healthcare and for those with a healthy sense of adventure; there is an incredible variety of regions to explore. Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and world-class ski resorts including Whistler and Calgary are just the tip of the iceberg.

Canada is a vast expanse, where locals and tourists alike can holiday in the country every year without getting restless. A trip to see the northern lights in Newfoundland and whale-watching off Vancouver are also experiences you are never likely to forget.

Interestingly, when it comes to the Canuck language, ‘suckers’ are lollipops; ‘noodles’ means pasta; a ‘loonie’ is a dollar; a ‘parkade’ is a multi-storey car park; a ‘gas bar’ is the petrol station and ‘hydro’ means electricity. Ice hockey, known simply as ‘hockey’ in Canada, and lacrosse are the country’s national sports. Mail is never delivered on Saturdays and some famous Canadians include Pamela Anderson, Leonard Cohen, Avril Lavigne, Keanu Reeves and Jim Carrey – alrighty then!

Most Canadian emigrants usually require the ‘skilled workers and professionals’ visa, but in order to be successful in obtaining one, you’ll have to prove your worth and unique skillset to the economy. You will be scored on criteria including age and occupation, with 67 points needed to be considered for entry. Failing that there are visas for entrepreneurs and investors, for people who have skills that are needed in a specific province, and family visas for those joining a spouse or family member. For further information, take a look at the Canadian Citizen and Immigration service’s Visa Wizard to see whether you’re eligible.

You must be able to show you have sufficient income to support yourself and any dependants you might have before entering the country, unless you’ve already arranged employment in Canada. And you will also need to pass a medical exam.

A UK state pension is payable, but unfortunately you will not get annual increases in benefit once you have ceased to be resident in the UK. This means your benefit will stay at the same rate as when you left the UK.

You’ll also only need routine vaccinations, though Hepatitis B is recommended, as well as rabies if you are likely to be involved in any activities that might bring you into direct contact with bats, carnivores and other mammals.

Should you decide to emigrate to Canada you’ll be made to feel welcome. The country has one of the highest per capita immigration rates in the world. In fact, according to the Canadian immigration service the country attracted between 240-265,000 new permanent residents in 2013 alone.

Unfortunately, this rise in popularity is occasionally exploited by scammers so a specialist removals company such as PSS International Removals and their partners can safely guide you through the tricky business of applying for a Canadian visa. Although you’ll generally find the visa application process greatly improved by obtaining a job offer, PSS works closely with a number of visa specialist partners to ensure that you receive a successful migration. If you would like one of our partners to contact you and assist with your visa application process, please complete this form.

 

Advice on tax issues when moving country

By Phrontis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Phrontis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

It has been reported recently that many of the UK’s higher earners are currently feeling ‘soaked’ by taxes and therefore considering quitting the UK for greener pastures. Are you one of them?

While the thought of moving abroad to work or retire is very exciting, planning before your departure needs to be meticulously organised and well thought through.

Finding somewhere to live in a new country, arranging the necessary visas and booking a suitable removal firm are just some of the issues you are likely to have to arrange prior to leaving. It’s also vital that during this busy time, you pay careful attention to financial planning and the tax consequences of leaving the UK.

Your residential status will be the main factor in determining your continued liability to UK tax. In the past, it was quite difficult to become a non-UK resident for tax purposes, but since 6th April 2013, a new set of statutory tests made it far easier to establish your status. With this in mind, before moving abroad or if you currently live abroad and are now returning to the UK, it is highly recommended that you try and gain at least a basic understanding of these concepts.

Your residential status will be determined separately for each tax year; so even if you are treated as a remaining resident in the UK after living abroad, it might be possible to change your status in subsequent years. The more days you spend in the UK during a tax year, the fewer UK ties you will be permitted before being treated as a resident.

If you are currently considering leaving the UK to live abroad, then the following ties also need to be thought through for tax purposes:

• Do you have a spouse, civil partner or minor children in the UK?

• Do you have accommodation in the UK, which is made use of during the tax year?

• Will you work in the UK for 40 days or more during the tax year?

• Were you in the UK for more than 90 days during either of the two previous tax years?

• Will you spend more time in the UK than in any other country during the tax year?

If you are UK resident, you will have to pay UK capital gains tax (CGT) on gains from disposing of your assets wherever they are situated globally. The tax treatment doesn’t change if you are only temporarily non-resident – where you are away for a period of five years or less.

However, if you are non-resident for a longer period of time, then you will not be liable to UK CGT even if your assets might be situated in the UK. Tax may be payable in your new country of residence, and this could be higher than the CGT that would have been paid in the UK.

Unlike income tax and CGT, the determining factor when it comes to inheritance tax (IHT) is the status of your natural or permanent home. The governing law states that you can only have one permanent home, which is in most cases, the country of your birth.

Many countries charge IHT (or its equivalent) based on residence; so when you die your estate may be liable to tax both in the UK and also abroad. There is tax relief from the double charge, but should you be retiring abroad then you might also like to think about changing this natural home status.

When it comes to property considerations,  you’ll need to decide how to manage your home before moving abroad. Even if you can afford to, simply leaving your property empty could be deemed ‘in breach of your mortgage agreement’ and may invalidate your household insurance. Should you decide to sell your property prior to leaving, always allow plenty of time to do so and should you decide to rent it out, you will normally still be liable for income tax if the rent exceeds your personal allowance. Your letting agent will normally be required to deduct tax at source and pay it to HMRC unless HMRC agrees otherwise.

If you are moving abroad permanently, you should consider keeping your UK bank account active and at least one credit card until you are settled in your new country. In some countries it can be difficult to borrow before you have an established credit history there.

Another option could be opening a local currency bank account in your new country as well as an offshore bank account. The latter can provide tax breaks by paying interest and may offer 24-hour internet banking, multi-currency facilities and mortgages.

Claiming tax back before you leave the UK can be very advantageous but completing a tax refund application can be a daunting task for anyone. However, PSS International Removals can happily refer you to one of our tax-back agents who will prepare and submit a claim on your behalf.

This will ensure that all of the information and evidence is provided correctly to the HMRC who can also review tax payments dating back 6 years and claim back any over payments for the same period. Furthermore, our tax-back agent is based in the UK and can offer a free, no obligation initial consultation.

Please select the country that you are moving to via this link and then scroll down to ‘Tax Rebate’ for more information or if you would like our partner to contact you.

 

South Africa – New regulations on travelling with children

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

From safaris to skyscrapers, South Africa is a unique and exciting place to either holiday or start a new life. If you and your family are planning to travel there, it’s important to make sure that you tick all the legal boxes asked of you. As new regulations are soon to be imposed, take a look at what you need to prepare with our simple checklist.

What’s changing?

From 1st June 2015, there will be tighter rules designed to improve child safety. There will be specific paperwork that you need when travelling with children under the age of 18. This will affect joint parents, single parents and other guardians, as all will be asked to show relevant certificates for the children travelling.

What do the experts think?

South Africa saw tourism surge by 284% between 2005 and 2011. Recently ranked as the second fastest-growing holiday destination in the world, 1 in 20 jobs in the country operate in the travel and tourism industry. Because tourism is so important to the country, those who work in the industry are worried that these new rules might be off-putting to families. Dr Anna Spenceley, a tourism specialist based in South Africa, said that “a proper study and evaluation should be undertaken [which] should include implications for normal travellers”.

Going to South Africa?

With such a beautiful and diverse landscape, the perks of travelling to South Africa far outweigh the short-lived trouble of getting there.  Here we’ve created a simple checklist which breaks down the different documentation you will require depending on your circumstances. Most importantly, you’ll need birth certificates, which are fairly easy to get hold of:

- Head to the General Registration Office to order your certificates
- Pay £9.25 for a certificate within three weeks
- Pay £23.40 for a fast-track service taking a couple of working days
- In Scotland and Northern Ireland, the route is similar with slightly more expensive costs
- Alternatively, if you know where your children’s births were registered, you may be able to print certificates off at this specific office

South Africa immigration regulations 2015