Category Archives: Travel

Healthcare in South Africa: What are the options for your family?

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

Photo by NEC Corporation of America with Creative Commons license.

 

Expats heading to the Rainbow Nation for a new life in South Africa will need to think carefully about their healthcare provision. There are currently two options for those living there – public or private healthcare.

Whilst 80% of South Africans use the public system, it’s recommended that expats take out private health insurance. Here we explain why.

Public healthcare:

The South African government is this year attempting to establish a public healthcare system that works for all, but in the meantime the service is poorly funded, lacking resources and manpower. Patients can expect long waiting times in inadequate conditions. Treatment is not free so patients pay for services based upon their salary and number of dependents.

As mentioned, the government is working towards improving care with the implementation of a National Health Insurance system. This will eventually be established countrywide and will see more money being poured into the public system. It is hoped that in the next 10 years the service will improve the lives of all South African residents.

Private healthcare:

In contrast to public healthcare, the private sector is excellent with each city having a wide range of hospitals, GPs and clinics. There are a huge number of private hospitals across the country, and the good news is that the service here is one of the best in the world. Very much on a par with care in Europe.

Unsurprisingly, it’s not free. It is recommended that expats take out private healthcare insurance either before they arrive in the country, or with one of the local providers. Some insurance companies will specify the hospitals in which you can have your treatment, others will have their own network.

Choosing your insurance provider will require you to think carefully about what you and your family need. You may be offered insurance by your employer as a key benefit or it may be possible to switch your current healthcare policy to include treatments in South Africa.

All schemes will offer you different variations and options. It is strongly suggested that you to take out an insurance policy that lasts for longer than a year, as companies can refuse to renew them if you fall ill. Others can terminate insurance in the same circumstances so make sure you have understood all the small print. You don’t want to be caught out.

If you choose a local company for insurance you may be required to get your treatment pre-authorised. You may also be asked to carry your medical card with you in your wallet at all times.

It could be the case that your basic care allows you to be treated in an emergency but not in other circumstances. You’ll need to think through your options in terms of visiting the GP, regular check-ups and even dentistry. Only those on the lowest salaries will be entitled to free dental care so look at your medical insurance carefully if you’re keen to include dental visits.

It is the same situation with GPs. Public healthcare consultations will involve waiting times of weeks. If you have paid to go private, these times will be cut dramatically. You can choose your doctor from a long list, dependent on requirements and locations.

Some hospitals expect you to pay upfront for services, and you’ll need to do this before any treatments begin. Make sure you have sufficient funds as it may take a number of weeks to claim the money back from the insurance provider.

Finally, if you are looking to have a baby whilst living in South Africa the good news is that private healthcare in maternity services is of a very high standard. Again make sure you have definitely got all treatment required in your policy.

Take a look at our services to South Africa if you are looking to make the move.

If you are considering moving abroad, PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 35 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote.

A Guide To Education In The US

First Student #540 by ThoseGuys119

What to expect when putting your children

in the American school system

It can be something of a minefield when moving your children to a new country, especially when you need to think about sending them to school. Making sure they get the very best education is usually at the top of a parent’s wish list. Here’s a guide to the education options when setting up home in America.

The options:

As in most countries around the world, there is fundamentally a two-tier system of education in America offering both public and private schooling. What you choose to do will be entirely down to personal preference, location and of course, funding. Some companies will offer to pay private school fees as part of an employment package. International schools are also offered to many of those moving overseas as they can sometimes offer a similar syllabus to that of the UK and also relevant and transferable qualifications.

Most American public schools are governed by the local school district. Each school district is governed by a school board, which sets out general policies and keeps the establishment in line with national guidelines.

Children begin elementary school at five years old, starting in kindergarten and staying until grade 5. Middle school is grades 6-8 with high school starting in grade 9 and ending in 12. The age at which your child leaves school depends on the state that you’re residing in, but the general rule is compulsory education until 16 years old. After graduation students will go on to study at university for four years in order to obtain a degree.

Public Schools:

The good news is that public schools will be open to you should you choose this route. As with all public schools, some will be better than others. Property taxes in a large part pay to fund schools, so if you live in a wealthy suburb you will probably discover one with better facilities. It’s worth doing your research as standards can vary greatly and as there’s no national curriculum it’s worth checking what your child will and won’t be studying.

All children are entitled to public schooling and you’ll need to apply for admission. There may be a waiting list for some of the better schools so again do your research before embarking on this route. The great thing about public schools is that they are close to home so your children are likely to find new friends on their doorstep, which will help them settle in.

There are two additional public school options: Charter and Magnet Schools. Charter Schools receive more private financial backing. They are very popular and often have long waiting lists. Magnet Schools specialise in certain areas of the curriculum such as science, the arts or languages. A student’s admission is based on talent rather than grades.

Private Schools:

It’s no surprise that private schools in the USA tend to be better equipped, producing higher grades than the public sector. They have more flexibility around curriculums and often offer better extracurricular activities because they can afford to do this. Private school fees can vary from an average of $8,918 (£6,762) for elementary school and $13,524 (£10,255) a year for high school. The most expensive city for fees is New York, which wades in at $28,798 (£21,835).

The competition for many of these schools is fierce and places will not be guaranteed just because you live close by. If you want to go down this route be sure to check out criteria for admission carefully. Your child may need to sit a number of tests to gain a place and you’ll need to keep in mind the differences in subjects and content taught.

You can also include International Schools under the private schools banner as these too need to be paid for. Enrollment and admission can again be competitive but they offer a great solution for the expat child. Often multi-lingual schools provide similar curriculums to those in your home country as well as allowing students to gain internationally recognised qualifications, such as the international baccalaureate. Unsurprisingly teaching in these schools is excellent as are facilities. If you are considering boarding school they also offer this as an option.

If you are considering moving abroad, PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 35 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress-free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote.

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.

An Introduction To Doha, Qatar

Doha skyline by Francisco Anzola

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.

Around 20,000 Brits live in Qatar, and approximately 130,000 visit annually. Qatar is situated in The Middle East, bordered only by Saudi Arabia. A great proportion of its expats and visitors will be heading to the capital Doha, which is the political and business centre of the region.

After a fire destroyed the traditional Souq Waqif in 2003, the Quatari government have pumped huge amounts of money into returning it to its former splendour. Despite being given a face lift visitors to the souq can still hunt for traditional clothes, spices and routines. Rather surprisingly you can witness falconry around the souq and a traditional stables with Arabian horses is close by. You’ll also be able to witness camels being fed at the end of Al Jasra Street. Not something you’d usually see in a marketplace.

The Museum of Islamic Art is anything but traditional in appearance, floating as it does on a purpose-built island with a Lego-like square and cube appearance. Built by the same architects who designed the Louvre’s Pyramid, this is a very special gallery, housing the largest collection of Islamic art in the world. Built over three floors there are two permanent exhibitions and a special exhibitions gallery, revealing work and artefacts from early Islamic art to that from Syria, Egypt, Iran, Turkey and Central Asia.

If you’re looking to enjoy the great outdoors you can do this in Doha as it neatly hugs the Persian Gulf. Between May-September temperatures are 38’C so a sea breeze might be just what you need. Doha Bay is followed by a waterfront promenade that offers the opportunity to walk from the Museum to West Bay. Some say this is the best walk in Doha because the streets can be particularly crowded and not in the least pedestrian friendly.

Any self-respecting visitor or Doha will want to sample the cuisine. There are a number of traditional meals on offer such as Machboos, which is a spiced rice dish with marinated fish, seafood or meat. Thareed is a pot stew full of vegetables and meat. Soaked bread is placed at the bottom and covered with tomato sauce and spices. Those with a sweet tooth must opt for a Balaleet, which contains fried vermicelli noodles, sugar, cinnamon, saffron and cardamom. The meal is completed with an omelette on top.

Qatar itself is a muslim-majority country, with Islam as the state religion. Alcohol is available in many hotels and in some restaurants, bars and members-only establishments. Whilst there is no strict dress code for visitors to the country, they are expected to wear modest clothes suggesting no shorts, vest or over the knee skirts.

It’s also worth noting that as of June 2017 Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. This has led to closures affecting road, air and sea routes between these countries and Qatar, as well as travel and residence restrictions affecting Qatari nationals. Restrictions on entry to the UAE have also been placed on certain holders of Qatari Residence Permits. These restrictions don’t apply to British nationals.

If you are considering moving to Qatar, PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 35 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress-free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

 

Undiscovered Regions of France For Expats

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.

Undiscovered Regions of France For Expats. With some 150,000 Brits living in France it’s clear that the country is a big hit with those in the UK looking for a new place to live.

Popular with those who are retiring, as well as couples and families looking for a better quality of life, France can offer expats everything with the added bonus of not being too far away from home. British expats are usually attracted to certain areas and regions of France.

The name “Dordogneshire” is often bandied around to explain where Brits live in the South West of France although this is only part of the picture. Many also reside in the Ile De France region (which includes Paris), Brittany and Provence.

However, if you’re looking for somewhere a little different, away from the madding crowds of Brits, we’ve selected three regions where you might find the perfect taste of France.

Burgundy

Gr8ful Ted, Somewhere Along the Canal du Nivernais

The perfect spot if you like a tipple of the top wine, delicious cuisine and beautiful views, Burgundy is renowned for its historical hilltop villages and medieval locations. Situated in the east central region of France it is one of the most prestigious wine producing areas in the world. With a capital called Dijon it was also once the ‘mustard capital of the world’. Weather wise you’ll get lovely warm summers although temperatures will dip in the winter, and you can expect rain. With great transport links back to the UK the average house price is 120,000 Euros which will buy you a three bedroom house. Four bedrooms go from 137,000 Euros; five 156,00 Euros.

Champagne-Ardennes

Claude, Place Royale, Reims, Marne, Champagne-Ardennes, France

North East France produces some of the best sparkling wine in the world aka Champagne. Close to the Belgian border the area is not a huge hit with Brits as it’s not exactly the sunshine state, with just 1,500 hours of sun a year. This is in sharp contrast to those living in western regions where they might see 2,400 hours a year. That said, it’s very popular with Germans, Belgians and Swiss expats so it clearly has plenty to offer. The average house prices are expensive, around 214,000 Euros although you could be lucky enough to snap a property up for the minimum price of 60,000 Euros.

Lorraine

Pascal. Lechaudel,Les Maïs

You will find some British expats living in Lorraine region although only around 850, so you’re unlikely to bump into fellow citizens unless you really want to. Neighbouring the regions of Alsace and Burgundy, Lorraine is steeped in history and even able to stake claim to being the birthplace of Joan of Arc. It is the only area to border three countries – Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany, so plenty of places to visit on the weekend. The Vosages mountains also offer the perfect spot for some winter ski-ing or summer hiking. There’s also a chance to bag a property bargain here with projects going for as little as 17,000 Euros. If you are considering moving to France,

PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 35 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention. Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

A Moving Checklist – Australia

Steven Penton, Beauty Point, Tasmania.

 

There’s so much to think about when you move abroad. Moving your family, pets, bank accounts, jobs, schools….. the list can go on and on. One thing you can outsource is the actual process of moving as this can be handled by a company such as PSS International Removals, which has over 35 years experience in relocating homes to the other side of the world. We know exactly what essentials you need to remember before you head off Down Under.

Be organised. Don’t leave everything to the last minute. Draw up a list of the most urgent of your concerns. Some things can wait until you are in Australia, whilst others need to be taken care of immediately.

Prioritise! Decide if you are going to ship everything, because once the goods are packed and on the lorry they’ll need to stay there. If you want to hang onto particular toys (for the kids) or technology (for the teens) make sure you keep them to one side. Important documents, such as proof of medication use, will need to be kept with you.

Check your passport is in date and make sure the relevant visas are in place. You will not be allowed to enter Australia without the correct documentation. See here for more information about visas.

Make plans to arrange bank accounts for your arrival. You have up to six weeks to arrange a bank account in Australia using just your passport – after that time period you’ll need further identification. See here for more advice.

Shipping your car is easy with PSS International Removals who can help with this process. You’ll also be able to drive in Australia for up to three months with your UK license, after which time you’ll need to get a local one. More information can be found here.

There are very strict guidelines about what you can and cannot take into Australia. Again PSS can help you with this, providing a list of goods that will not pass through customs. This link details all relevant information.

You’ll also need relevant documentation for your household goods to get the all clear at the customs office. Again PSS International Removals can let you know what you can pack into those crates and what you’ll need to leave behind.

Confirm how long the shipment will take. When shipping your personal belongings to Australia the transit time between removal in the UK and arrival at your destination will be approximately 6-8 weeks for full container shipments and 8-12 weeks for part load shipments.

Confirm your new address. You will need to let PSS International Removals know where the removal is to be delivered to once it arrives in Australia. It really couldn’t be any easier. Please visit our website for more information PSS International Removals.

Moving To New Zealand – are you ready?

Bruce Tuten, night, Auckland water at sunset

Moving to the other side of the world can be a daunting challenge, where do you start? How long will it take to get organized? Who are the best people to help?

At PSS International Removals we have over 35 years of experience in international removals and can help you with a variety of issues that you will have to face, as well as delivering your belongings to New Zealand ready to start your new life.

Take a look at our advice below and please get in touch should you have any further queries.

New Zealand checklist:

Get a plan in place. Think through the process in advance and note down all the elements that you need to organize. Then you can seek the help you need in good time.

Do you need to take everything to New Zealand with you? Consider which of your household items are essential and which can be purchased on arrival. Make sure you keep all of your personal documents with you, such as proof of medication use.

Make sure you have your Visas organized in good time and check your passport is in date. See here for more information.

Plan your finances ahead of your arrival in New Zealand if you can. You will need a permanent address to set up a bank account, but make sure you know what you need before you reach the country. More information about finances can be found here.

If you wish to take your car it can be easily arranged with PSS International Removals. Your UK driving licence will enable you to drive in New Zealand for up to a year. More information can be found here.

Familiarize yourself with the items that you cannot take into New Zealand. This link details all relevant information.

New Zealand Customs will need to see the relevant documentation for your household goods, so again be prepared. Take a look at the customs office advice before you go.

Take transit times into consideration when planning your move. Shipping your goods to New Zealand by sea will take approximately 6-8 weeks for full container shipments and 8-12 weeks for part load shipments. Please visit our website for more information on PSS International Removals.

In love with Abruzzo!

9370171218_7bfdfd9602_zGuest post by: Zoe Adams

I had been searching for a year for a property close to Lake Bracciano near Rome. My decision was made after two amazing trips to Rome in 2013, it was clear to me that Italy was my chosen country to buy a second home. I have spent a lifetime searching for the place I most want to be, rather than the place I have to be. At 52, single again, after 30 years and with my two children, the time was right for me.

It was the very early on a Sunday morning on 26th October 2014 when I found my little house. It was really by accident. In the last months my Mother had sadly died and I was in a state of grief, I had put life on hold. However going through the day to day motions of living and really not thinking so much, I found myself looking on the website I had been using for the last year in my search for a home in Bracciano. This time I widened the search. My criteria was to find a small house that was in sound condition that I could make nice with a little bit of work. It had to be near a lake and it had to be within a village or town, it also had to be beautiful. If it was near an airport this would make it accessible and a good road or train network would be essential.

There it was, photos of the house, the lake. The small convenient size, the original features of the ceilings and floors. I was sitting up and paying attention! Within minutes I had looked more on to the internet to see where the village and the lake was situated in Italy. Within an hour I had contacted the estate agent and asked the main questions regarding the condition of the house. I had carried out some internet research for the area, to find out as much as I could.

A reply came quite fast from the estate agent with all the right answers. By the next evening I had arranged a flight to see the house for the 10th November. The estate agent asked me if I wanted to see others, I looked at the selection, I chose one other to be polite, but it felt clear to me I had found my house.

I came into the village a day early on the Sunday November 10th. As I was driving on my journey to the village my breath was taken away by the sheer beauty of the area. Mountains and sea both together at one point of my journey. It felt too good to be true. When I came around the corner and the village was visible, it felt like I had arrived in Paradise. I honestly could not believe how beautiful the village looked. On arrival, I felt the sense of delight as I walked through the small network of streets throughout the village. I saw the men talking on the Piazza, the smell of good home cooked food rising through the streets, the people coming out of the church.

The next morning I was due to meet the estate agent, again I came early, this time I met and spoke to the people I saw, I used my very poor Italian which amounted to no more than about 20 words. This included a very interesting conversation with the men that morning who were all clustered around an APE van with at least 20 pots of sand. To start I thought it was a building project and they were comparing the sand for the best to use, but it turned out to be pots of germinating asparagus! To this day they will all remember that time when that strange English woman was asking about what they were doing.

When I saw the house I was completely sure, it was everything and more than I could have wished for.

In less than a month the 10th of December I had the key and the house was mine.

It had not been an easy journey from Vasto and I was totally exhausted from a busy week at work. When I finally arrived I had no electricity, water and it was just about to be a holiday weekend. Within minutes of arrival my neighbour had brought me a camp bed and put an electric extension cable through to allow me to see. By Saturday morning the police man had come to help by putting on the water for me and he arranged for a man to bring me some wood (it was that or freeze) and by the Tuesday I had power that was brought through the street from a neighbours house (directly across from my house) via assistance from the local building firm.

Within a few months the house was transformed from empty house needing love to a beautiful home with furniture and all the help I could possibly ask for. At one point during the work there was at least 4 men in the bathroom singing together while they worked. I am very grateful to those who made my house so beautiful.

Abruzzo has changed my life beyond my wildest dreams. I could never have believed the changes it has brought to me and my life. It has made me think very differently about the future and how I will enjoy both life in the UK and at my little house. I have also been exploring my love of painting and art which I hope to pursue and maybe exhibit and sell one day in the UK and Italy. Currently

Zoe Adams In love with Abruzzo!

my plan is to spend six months in UK and 6 months in Abruzzo. It is my hope that my friends and family can stay in the house and that they too can enjoy the village.

The greatest gift of all has been Emilia my next door neighbour aged 84. We have found a bond of love that has been with us from the start. We have spent many hours together and despite our differences in language we manage easily to understand each other. I have heard many wonderful stories from her about the times when she was a young woman. She is never short of things that we can do together to enjoy. Emilia is a remarkable woman and I feel the luckiest woman in the world to be her neighbour.

For a foreign woman arriving in a new village alone I have been totally amazed by the kindness and help and welcome I have received had from everybody. I have immersed myself into the life here and although I have had many challenges and it has not always been easy for me its been an adventure and a truly wonderful experience that I know I will continue to enjoy for many years to come.

Viva Italia viva Abruzz

Image: Abruzzo, Italy by Catherine Wilson https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ no changes made

Advice on taking your pet to a new country

"AKC Great Falls June 2011" by SheltieBoy - Flickr: AKC Great Falls June 2011. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AKC_Great_Falls_June_2011.jpg#/media/File:AKC_Great_Falls_June_2011.jpg

“AKC Great Falls June 2011” by SheltieBoy – Flickr: AKC Great Falls June 2011. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AKC_Great_Falls_June_2011.jpg#/media/File:AKC_Great_Falls_June_2011.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

According to recent news reports, a dog a day is currently being caught travelling into the UK on a forged passport with breeders from all over the world trying to smuggle dogs into the country using fake documents.

However, leaving the UK and moving abroad with your pet is actually a lot easier than you might think and doesn’t present the need for such desperate measures.

Unless there is a concrete reason as to why your beloved dog, cat, rabbit or guinea pig can’t make the move, it’s something that really shouldn’t deter you. Whilst the loss of a much-loved animal can be devastating, taking them abroad can really aid your family in settling into your new home. Besides, families who, as children, moved overseas without their treasured pets, often report being upset at leaving them behind. Some never even forgave their parents so don’t allow the same to happen to you!

With this in mind, whilst your new country’s climate and possible quarantine regulations may be a major deciding factor, should you decide to leave without your pet, be sure to discuss the situation carefully with your family to alleviate any potential problems. Here are some useful websites, resources and related businesses worth reviewing before having that all-important conversation:

Transfur animals

UK Government advice on taking your pet abroad

Pet Travel

Pet Plan

Procedures vary for every country of origin and destination so we highly recommend employing a specialist pet relocation agent such as PSS International Removals who can offer you advice as well as put you in touch with our own tried and tested pet specialist.

Regardless of which company you choose, as soon as you know when and where you’ll be moving, contact your vet to make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date. Some will need to take place on specific dates prior to your relocation, so be sure to formulate a schedule and try to stick to it as rigidly as possible.

You should also have your pet fully inspected to ensure that it will withstand the journey by air. For example, some dog breeds have been known not to travel well due to their respiratory problems so make sure you seek professional advice well in advance. Always ask and research the various airlines for their pet relocation options because most have different regulations.

Once you’ve decided upon which company to use to transport your pet, your chosen company should then start preparing a crate for their journey. Again, every airline will have slightly different rules and regulations but in general, the crate needs to comply with airline and government regulations as well as be the correct size for your pet. It is the responsibility of the company transporting your pet to ensure that the crate has been manufactured large enough for them to stand, sit and lie down in a natural, comfortable position. Get this part wrong and you may face the shock of your pet not being allowed on the plane!

Make sure they have a microchip, collar and ID tag and that their name and details are clearly marked on the crate. Include your pet’s name, your name as well as the destination address and a telephone number.

In an effort to be extra-organised, create a file containing copies of all the relevant paperwork, vaccination certificates and microchip number so that everything’s together in one place. It may also be useful to include a photo of your pet, details of its species, breed and colour as well as size. Do also keep a note of any relevant contact details such as your vet and your pet relocation or removals agent.

It should be noted that assistance dogs are allowed to travel in the aircraft cabin with their owner on approved routes and carriers registered to carry assistance dogs. They can normally also travel on other forms of transport where other animals aren’t allowed. The Guide Dogs Association website has advice about taking assistance dogs abroad.

PSS International Removals offer a wide range of shipping and removal services, as well as advice and recommendations from our panel of tried-and-tested professional companies to ensure that your move goes as smoothly as possible. Our chosen pet specialist will ensure that your pet’s needs are catered for and that they arrive at your new destination fit and well.

Furthermore, they will be able to advise you on everything from import and export permits, welfare, vaccinations, kennels, flights and special crates for the airline including quarantine rules.

For more information or for our pet partner to contact you, please click this link, select the pet migration country you plan to move to, scroll down to the ‘Pet Transport’ section and click ‘Enquire Now’ to fill out a simple form.

 

Shipping your car abroad

By ヤマモトキョージ (Own work (投稿者撮影)) [Copyrighted free use], via Wikimedia Commons

By ヤマモトキョージ (Own work (投稿者撮影)) [Copyrighted free use], 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

Your move to a new country will raise many questions, not just in relation to how you get there, but what you need to take with you, and what to buy when you arrive. Perhaps one of the biggest costs in relation to the ‘take with you or buy new’ question is your mode of transport. For most of us that means do you take your car or buy one in your new country?

Shipping a vehicle these days really isn’t as complicated or expensive as you might think; although there are many factors to consider.

For example, you may discover your steering wheel being positioned on the opposite side to what you are used to back home. Also, did you know that the cost of any car shipping quote can often depend on your specific make and model of car, which country you are shipping it to and via which service? The length of delivery can also largely depend on which country it is going to and the transit time can range from two to twelve weeks depending on the distance & Service type.

Many worry that they might have to pay taxes when importing their car but this all depends on the destination, how long you’ve been the owner and whether or not you are a first time immigrant or returning citizen.

Most countries either offer tax-free entry on cars for all first time immigrants and citizens, or free entry if you originally left your country of origin with no intention of returning. It’s also worth bearing in mind that some countries do charge taxes based on the purchase price of the value of the car and you should always research into whether or not your driving license might be recognised in your new country.

Always make a note of your car’s condition and ask the removal men the necessary questions should you discover scratches or dents upon arrival at your new destination. Be aware that most removal companies, including PSS International Removals will also ask you to provide keys to the many car locks you may have installed.

In terms of pre-shipping logistics, it is vital that you advise the DVLA that you will be exporting your vehicle and complete and return the relevant section on your V5 (log book) document to them. Always ensure that the exterior of your car is steam cleaned 24-48 hours before loading, with special attention being given to the wheels and wheel arches. It is also advisable to keep hold of the receipt and supply a copy to your removals company should they need it.

Some countries may even require your car to conform to its own transport policy before they will grant import approval, so in most cases this should be done prior to shipment. Common requirements of conformity would be road safety or environmental, however PSS International Removals will always advise you of any certificate or statement that you might need to complete or obtain.

When removal day arrives, your removals company should supply you with all of the necessary information and if we are not loading your car at your residence we will advise you where to take your car so that it is ready to be loaded onto the vessel.

When the shipping process begins costs and procedures greatly depends on where your car is being transported to, how much you are willing to spend and whether or not you intend to ship any of your household contents at the same time.

If you are only shipping your car then PSS International Removals offer the option to send it via our ‘Roll on Roll off’ service where your vehicle is driven onto a vessel and secured for the entire journey. Alternatively, PSS can arrange to have your car secured and containerized either at your residence or at one of UK depots.

If you are intending on consolidating your household effects and your car inside one container, PSS would load and secure your car and build a wooden frame and crate around it to ensure that it is fully protected and sectioned-off. PSS would then utilize the additional container space containing your household contents.

Upon arrival at your new destination, your car will either be unloaded at your door or handed out at our depot or in some circumstances at the port/container base. Some countries may then carry out a full inspection of the vehicle to ensure that it is road worthy and the safety features are in line with their own transport policy. It is not uncommon for some cars to even be steam cleaned again upon arrival.

At PSS, we believe it is essential that when you are shipping your car or vehicle you have peace of mind in knowing that professionals will handle it. PSS International Removals are fully bonded members of the British Association of Removers (BAR Overseas), IMMI (International Movers Mutual Insurance), FIDI (Global alliance) we have also been awarded with FAIM accreditation, which is the international removal industries quality standard.
For more information and a free quote, please click the following link.

Life in Canada

The magical land of maples, Mounties and manners!

 

"Lake Louise Canada Banff" by Guenter Wieschendahl - Own Work--Eigenaufnahme. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lake_Louise_Canada_Banff.JPG#/media/File:Lake_Louise_Canada_Banff.JPG

“Lake Louise Canada Banff” by Guenter Wieschendahl – Own Work–Eigenaufnahme. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lake_Louise_Canada_Banff.JPG#/media/File:Lake_Louise_Canada_Banff.JPG

“We are genuine and authentic, honest and are leaders to the world on so many fronts. I believe heavily in the words to our anthem “with glowing hearts” and “True North strong and free.”

–          Kaillie Humphries, the first woman to win gold in the bobsleigh at consecutive Olympics

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Canada has plenty to boast about. Not that boasting is something Canadians do comfortably. It’s no wonder Canada ranked first choice migration destination amongst British and Irish visitors to recent Working International Expo’s.

So why do we love it? It has a strong, stable economy that escaped the recession, along with a great education system. The landscape is fantastically diverse and beautiful, having provided the backdrop for many famous films, for example, Twilight, Brokeback Mountain and Titanic. It also has lots of fresh air, literally – Canada’s air quality was ranked 3rd best in the world!

Considering the appeal of the country, here are a few things you may be interested to know should you be planning a move there.

 

Life in Canada

 

Healthcare:

Each Canadian citizen and permanent resident is entitled to health insurance in Canada. The system is fair and created to cater for peoples need for healthcare, giving them access to doctors and hospitals, as opposed to focussing on their ability to pay for it.

 

Schooling:

Education is free of charge in Canada for every child starting at the age of four or five. Children can legally drop out of school once they are sixteen, however, all children are encouraged to stay in school until the age of eighteen.

 

Pension:

The UK state pension is payable in Canada. However, once you are no longer residing in the UK you will not receive the annual increases. Your benefit will stay at the same rate as when you left the UK.

As a worker in Canada, you and your employer are subject to social insurance laws. There is a three pillar pension system when you retire, it is at that point you will establish your pension entitlements after analysing the pillars.

 

Immunisation:

You only need routine vaccinations. For those looking to get stuck in with activities that might bring you into direct contact with bats, carnivores and other mammals, both Hepatitis B and rabies vaccinations are recommended.

 

Weather:

Canada is the second largest country in the world. It can take a week to drive from one part of the country to the other, and it falls within six different time zones. Therefore, it is no surprise that the weather in Canada varies depending on the location. Ontario has notably cold winters and Manitoba is the coldest winter province with average daily temperatures of -25.1 C. Areas such as Victoria in British Colombia tends to have the most temperate weather all year round and experience the hottest summers. However, Canada definitely experiences four different seasons. You will see sun, you will see snow.

 

Working in Canada:

 

“This is a country where people are given a chance. We don’t have a class structure like so many other countries in the world. If you are willing to work hard, this country welcomes you.”

 –       John Sleeman, founder and chairman of Sleeman Breweries

To work in Canada any educational or professional accreditations gained outside of Canada will need to be assessed. These assessments can be made by your employer or an appropriate provincial or territorial regulatory body.

An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) of your complete educational credentials outside of Canada is used to validate your achievements. This process will then make your application to immigrate as a Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) eligible.

 

Wages:

Here’s a list of hourly wages in Canada to allow you to compare you profession in the UK.

Canadian Wages 1
Here’s a list of weekly wages in Canada for a variety of professions. Mining and oil/gas drilling are particularly well paid sectors to enter should you have the relevant skills.

Canadian Wages2

 

Holiday entitlement:

Most Canadian employers offer 10 – 15 days holiday each year.

Canada has ten national holidays. They are; New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas and  Boxing Day.

Most Canadian provinces have a further day’s holiday additional to the national holidays. Residents of Alberta enjoy two days’ provincial holiday and those living in Newfoundland are particularly lucky, with six days of provincial holidays.

 

How can we help?

If you are at the stage where you are planning your move to Canada we have more in depth information on the documentation you will require, what you can and can’t take and what happens when you arrive on our international shipping and removals to Canada page. We also offer a FREE pre-move survey carried out by our friendly experts.