Category Archives: Uncategorized

An Essential Financial Checklist 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.

 

Pictures of Money, Piggy Bank

Pictures of Money, Piggy Bank

 

Finances are complicated enough in your home country but moving abroad can add a whole new level of stress. Sorting out the financial aspects of your move is however absolutely essential as it will affect everything from personal tax, pensions and benefits.

There will be a huge array of people to contact and forms to fill in but it’s crucial you don’t bury your head in the financial sand. Take a look at our checklist and see what you need to do before finally leaving home for a new and distant shore.

The Essential Financial Checklist For Expats:

Tax: If you are moving from the UK to another country you will have to notify the HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs). This applies if you are looking to permanently reside somewhere else or work abroad full-time for at least one full year. As a non-resident you won’t need to pay UK income tax, although if you are renting out a property this will be classed as an income and the circumstances are different. Full information about the forms you need to fill out can be found here.

Benefits: The good news is that you may be able claim a Jobseeker’s Allowance, Maternity and Childcare benefits, Disability Benefits and Winter Fuel Payments. Your eligibility will be entirely dependent on which country you are moving to. These include those within the European Economic Area (EEA), plus a number of other countries that have agreements with the UK. A full list can be found on the government’s website.

Pensions: There are a number of pension options when you move abroad. You’re now allowed to be a member of a UK registered pension scheme regardless of where you live or where your employer is based. Your three options as stated by the Pensions Advisory Service are: Leaving your pension in the UK scheme, transferring it to an approved arrangement in your new country or paying into a UK scheme from abroad. HMRC offer more advise on the transfer to an overseas pension scheme.

Banking: Opening a bank account in a new country could be tricky if you don’t speak the language nor understand their financial situation. It may also be difficult to decide on which bank is best for you if you’re unfamiliar with the territory. Many UK banks offer an international bank account in Sterling, Euros and US Dollars before you move. This will allow you to direct your new salary here and pay your bills. HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays  and Nationwide offer a variety of options. 

Other Financial Considerations: Don’t forget you’ll also need to cancel your Council Tax so contacting your local council will be essential. You may also be required to continue paying National Insurance, dependent upon which country you are moving to. For all the most up-to-date information, please read here.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 34 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.

7 Things You Should Know About Living In A New Country

Ida Myrvold, HIKE

Ida Myrvold, HIKE

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.

You’ve made the big move, heading off to a new country to start a new successful life somewhere else in the world. So what can you expect once you’ve arrived in your new home?

1. Here PSS International Removals highlight the pros and cons of relocating.

You’ll spend your first few months filing paperwork

Moving within your own country is stressful enough, but relocating to a new country takes you to a whole new level of chaos.  New job, new home, new school, new doctor, new gas provider…. organisation won’t get tougher than this. Remember you can’t do everything at once so make a list, and slowly work your way through it. There is plenty of information out there to find everything from a new college or qualified dentist so do your research – and ask around.

2. Your friends back home won’t forget you

After having a busy social life back home you might find yourself with a pretty non-existent one once you arrive on foreign soil. Thanks to technology connecting to your old life will be easy and cheap. Plan Skype, What’sApp and Facebook connections and put calls in the diary. Keeping up with what’s going on back home, will cheer you up and give you a routine, if you’re struggling to find one.

3. The opportunity to travel will increase ten fold

Your initial thoughts may be with your new hometown but once you’ve found your feet, your new side of the world will become a land of opportunity. Flights across the likes of America, Australia and Canada will be far cheaper living inside the country, than outside. So you could be residing in Chicago but having a Manhattan in Manhattan in the space of two hours. You wouldn’t of been able to do this back home.

4. Sometimes you’ll wonder why you moved in the first place

Loneliness and isolation can be huge issues when you move abroad, no matter how much you wanted to do it. The key to moving on from these feelings is to force yourself out and about. Accept an invite to a colleague’s barbecue. Join the local netball team or sign up for a mother and baby group. You have not considered these activities at home, but international moving requires you to get busy.

5. It’s best to embrace the quirks

No two countries are the same. They’ll be plenty of new experiences you’ll want to embrace, and others that might present a culture shock. Working life may be shorter – or longer, queuing for a bus could become an alien concept and certain foods may be a challenge. At times like this you’ll need to remember that you moved to explore a new way of life. Going with the cultural flow may be easier than battling against it.

6. Learning the language may become a career necessity

While English may be spoken in many parts of the globe, expats looking to further their careers in a new country, will probably need to learn the native language. In some countries, such as Denmark, you’ll be entitled to free Danish lessons once you’ve met certain criteria, but in others it may be up to you. If you want to progress within your workplace, learn the language.

7. You’re never more than 24 hours from your hometown

Missing family and friends is only natural after a big move, but remember in reality no-one is ever that far away. The longest journeys might only take 24 hours of travel, so getting home, or getting someone to you could be realistic options. SkyScanner offer a variety of the cheapest flights around.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 34 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.

How Brexit Will Affect EU Students

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.

 

(Mick Baker)rooster  Brexit, How the vote went in the end.

(Mick Baker)rooster
Brexit, How the vote went in the end.

When the UK voted to leave the EU on June 23rd 2016, it opened up a huge amount of concern amongst students in relation to continuing their education in the country.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) reported at the beginning of the year, that 81% of students studying in HE in the UK are from the UK. 6% are from the rest of the EU and 14% are from the rest of the world.

This may sound like a relatively small number but it still means 124,575 EU students gained full and part-time qualifications in the UK in 2014-2015.

As members of the EU overseas students have the right to reside and study in the UK. They don’t currently need visas to study here and are able to apply for similar loans as native students. They can also pay the same £9,000 course fees.

With Brexit moving full steam ahead many will be wondering where they stand on studying across the United Kingdom. The good news, for now, is that nothing will change. In the short-term students from EU countries will be able to continue with their studies, unaffected.

The funding bodies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all confirmed last year that EU students would be eligible for loans.

UKCISA reported the following had been confirmed for EU students:

– currently on courses and receiving student finance will continue to be eligible for student finance for the duration of their study on that course; and

– commencing university study on an eligible course in Autumn 2016 will also be eligible for student finance in the normal way and, furthermore, will continue to be eligible for student finance for the duration of their study on that course.

The funding bodies in England, Scotland and Wales also confirmed that students from the EU would have funding for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year. The UK government made the following statement:

“The government has today (11 October 2016) announced that EU students applying for a place at an English university or further education institution in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will continue to be eligible for student loans and grants – and will be for the duration of their course.

The decision will mean that students applying to study from 2017 to 2018 will not only be eligible for the same funding and support as they are now, but that their eligibility will continue throughout their course, even if the UK exits the European Union during that period.”

As well loans, EU students have the benefit of paying the same fees as native students – this is called ‘Home fee status’ for the duration of their study. It has again been confirmed that those who begin studying in England in 2017/18 will still be eligible for this status.

This is indeed a big deal. In the UK tuition fees for international students (Non-EU) can range from £10,000 up to £35,000, for top level medical degrees. Keeping the status quo for now can only encourage students to study overseas.

UKCISA encourage students to discuss their concerns with the institutions to whom they are applying. Some universities have already listed Q&As on their websites concerning the changes. See here for Oxford University, here for Bristol and here for University of Edinburgh.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 34 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.

German Entertainment – A PSS Guide

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 

 

Pedro Ribeiro Simões, Girl reading at the beach Cascais, Portugal

Pedro Ribeiro Simões,
Girl reading at the beach Cascais, Portugal

 

Like much of Europe, German entertainment is based upon a mixture of homegrown talent and actors, novelists and singers from around the globe. Here’s our guide to what you might expect to watch, read or listen to should you move to Germany.

TV – what Germans are watching

Sporting fixtures are very popular in Germany with a staggering 13.84 million viewers tuning in to watch the Germany vs. Georgia European Championshipqualifying match in 2015. Another knockout programme saw Wladimir Klitschko’s fight with British boxer Tyson Fury. 8.91 million viewers tuned in. The start of the new I’m A Celebrity .. Get Me Out of Here! bagged 6.82 million viewers. Other popular series included drama/comedy Red Band Society (Club der Roten Bander) and Sing My Song (Sing Meinen Song). Berlin – Day & Night (Berlin – Tag & Nacht) is one of the country’s top ranking soaps.

Music – what Germans are listening to

Germans also like music that is very familiar across much of Europe. The latest billboard chart in Germany features familiar artists such as Drake, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez and Sia all in the top ten. Other German acts such as Helene Fischer win many of the national music awards.

The top ten selling singles for 2015 in Germany were:

1. OMI, Cheerleader

2. Lost Frequencies, Are You With Me

3. Felix Jaehn, featuring Jasmine Thompson, Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better)

4. Ellie Goulding, Love Me Like You Do

5. Major Lazer & DJ Snake, Lean On

6. Sido featuring Andreas Bourani, Astronaut

7. Adele, Hello

8. Robin Schultz, featuring Francesco Yates, Sugar

9. Wiz Khafila featuring Charlie Puth, See You Again

10. Kygo featuring Conrad Sewell, Firestone

Books – what Germans are reading

The most popular book for Germans in 2015 was a Diary of a Wimpy Kid, book 10. This is according to the Boersenblatt trade magazine. They also noted that only one of the top five was written in Germany and 13 of the 25 bestsellers were translations.

The top ten books of 2015 are:

1. Jeff Kinney: Gregs Tagebuch 10 – So ein Mist! (Greg’s Diary 10 – What a bummer!)

2. Jojo Moyes: Ein ganz neues Leben  (A Whole New Life)

3. Paula Hawkins: Girl on the Train

4. Michel Houellebecq: Unterwerfung  (Submission)

5. Dörte Hansen: Altes Land (Old Land)

6. Jean-Luc Bannalec: Bretonischer Stolz (Breton Pride)

7. Lori Nelson Spielman: Nur einen Horizont entfernt (Only A Horizon Away)

8. Rita Falk: Zwetschgendatschikomplott (A Provincial Crime )

9. Lori Nelson Spielman: Morgen kommt ein neuer Himmel (Morning Comes A New Heaven)

10. Jussi Adler-Olsen: Der Grenzenlose (Promise)

 

If you are considering a move to Germany PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

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

 

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

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

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.