Tag Archives: expat

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.

 

A guide to property price trends in key expat locations

image: House by Rene Schwietzke

image: House by Rene Schwietzke

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.

What’s it all about? You’re working every day to pay for your lifestyle. The mortgage repayments, insurance, car lease, utility bills, childcare. The depleted chunk of change that goes into your savings every month is not earning interest. Are you missing a trick? Couldn’t it all be simpler and, let’s face it, more fun?

If you’re in this mind set, it’s time to stop, get off the hamster wheel, and have a rethink. Bold ideas may start to form about doing the unthinkable: quitting your job and moving to a place where the cost of living is so much less that you could work to live (having lots of fun adventures along the way), rather than live to work.

Is it a fantasy? Or can it really be achieved? That depends on where you choose to lay your hat. The grass isn’t always greener when it comes to property prices overseas – and a cheap or non-existent mortgage is going to be the key to you finding your idyllic work-life balance. So where in the world should you go?

MOST POPULAR UK EXPAT LOCATIONS

Australia

While still a popular expat destination for Brits, Australia is not the place to go for cheap property. Eye-watering house prices in all its major cities have hit the headlines in recent times. As of December 2016, mortgages soak up 42% of average income in Sydney, 37% in Melbourne and 23% in Brisbane.

Canada

Renowned for offering better work-life balance, more space and the opportunity to get back to nature, Canada also benefits from having English as a mother tongue, so expats feel at home more quickly. Recent reports show that, for the first time in over four years, the average house price in Canada is declining, albeit marginally. This trend is evident in the Toronto and Vancouver regions, popular with expats, however property prices here remain the highest in the country. Average property prices in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick are significantly lower.

USA

In the year up to March 2016, foreign buyers paid $102.6 billion to buy property in the US, with half of sales occurring in Florida, California, Texas, Arizona and New York. Window shopping for property online, you may spot unbelievable ‘bargains’, but affordability often reflects the lack of local desire to live there. It’s important to research areas, considering economic stability, jobs market, crime rate and frequency of natural disasters to discover possible reasons for lower house prices.

Spain

Brits’ favourite, Spain, has obvious attractions including plenty of sunshine, culture, history, and sound infrastructure. One in four overseas property purchases by Brits are in Spain. After a property crash, and subsequent changes to tax rules, which made buying property in Spain more expensive for expats, the terrain has now settled. Property prices, though beginning to recover, are still around 30% lower than their 2007 peak, making them affordable for expats.

France

Some corners of France have an eternal appeal to British expats, including Brittany, Aquitaine and Languedoc-Roussillon, where traditional homes in pretty villages offer good value for money and a quiet, laid-back lifestyle. UK property buyers also flock to urban areas, such as Paris and Lyon, attracted by career opportunities, but metropolitan living doesn’t come cheap, and property to rent or buy has a steep cost.

AFFORDABLE LOCATIONS ELSEWHERE…

If you really want to embrace your inner global nomad, these destinations offer exceptional bang for your buck in the property market:

Mexico

Columbia

Ecuador

Peru

Portugal

Bulgaria

Morocco

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 form.

Everything You Need To Know About A Working.Holiday

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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.

Deciding to work in an overseas destination can be a great idea in practice but finding all the information and inspiration you need can be a tricky business. Where do you start? Where do you actually want to go? What’s the cheapest way to get there?

PSS International Removals is pleased to announce its new partnership with Working.Holiday a website created to help those wishing to work abroad, armed with all the latest information.

Working.Holiday hope to take the initial hesitancy out of your moving choices by offering visitors all the tools, tips, offers and incentives to help you get started with a working holiday. Working with leaders of the industry Working.Holiday can help with answers to just about any question that potential overseas employment will raise.

Typical issues covered by Working.Holiday include:

Destinations: If you are looking to work in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Canada, USA or Africa then the company can offer you detailed information on the country, visas, volunteer projects and travel offers.

Travel: Looking for the most up-to-date facts on visas, packages and tours and latest offers and best deals? Working.Holiday has it covered. Features on money and banking as well as travel and insurance are also included.

Working Abroad: You may know that you want to work abroad but be unsure of the options. Working.Holiday has a live Backpacker Job Board and access to a range of services, including, volunteer projects, internships, camps, flights and accommodation.

Helpful Tips: With a wide array of posts relating to everything from packing your bags to homesickness, you’re bound to find something relevant to your own situation. For example; look for key information on Minding Your Manners in Thailand and Safety Tips in India.

If you’re still hesitant about working abroad, Working.Holiday offers the following advice on why you should just do it.

–  A working holiday visa allows you to travel for longer. That means you can move around for up to a year, in comparison to a tourist visa, which only lasts three months.

–  You’ll get out of your comfort zone and find more confidence and inner strength.

–  Becoming culturally aware can only be a good thing.

–  With a working holiday visa you do not have to prove you have thousands of pounds in your bank account, however you will need to show you can support yourself during the journey.

–  Learning an abundance of new skills is possible whilst working abroad. Teach English, become a ski instructor or hone your skills as a barista. It’s all possible if you just take the first leap.

For more information on Working.Holiday please visit their website here.

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 form.

 

International Removals to Australia the PSS Way

Australia Day 2010 by Travis Simon   https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Australia Day 2010 by Travis Simon
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

There’s nothing more daunting than moving house. Add in moving to a new location overseas and the enormity of the situation could throw even the hardened traveller off kilter. Packing up your belongings is a difficult business especially if you’re unsure of how to protect your goods or even whether you can take them with you in the first place.

Avoid some of the stress with the help of a family run, experienced business such as PSS International Removals. With over 35 years in the business we have plenty of experience in moving sofas – and lives – to the other side of the world. We also adhere to the highest international standards. These include, FAIM Accreditation, which is the only independent Quality Assurance standard for the International Moving Industry; Membership of the FIDI Global Alliance, which sets a quality benchmark for its members; Membership of the British Association of Removers Overseas Group. BAR OVERSEAS is covered by the I.M.M.I. Advance payment guarantee scheme for your financial protection.

So where to start? Even before you’ve got your visas confirmed, PSS recommend you call our free, no obligation, removal quote service. This will give you an idea of costings and logistics. We can also send an experienced estimator who will give you advice on sending your goods abroad. Once the quote is agreed you will be given your own moving coordinator to keep you updated.

If you’re planning to send either part or all of your household goods, this is classified as a removal. All of your belongings, which can include a car, will be sent via one container onto the destination.

If you’re moving to Australia there are a number of goods you cannot take into the country with you. At PSS International Removals we can advise you on this but initial information can be found here. You’ll also need specific documentation for your move, which again we can help with. Details are available here.

You have the option of packing your own goods or getting the experts in. If you decide to pack yourself, PSS will give you all the boxes and packaging you need to protect everything on its long journey.

If you prefer us to pack your belongings we will arrange a suitable ‘moving day’ date with you. Once the removal is complete you’ll be given a list of what’s gone and then the container will return to the depot or onto the demarkation port. This will be the last you see of your belongings until they arrive at your new destination.

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. PSS International Removals will also make sure you have all the correct customs documentation meeting Australian requirements.

Soon after you arrive in your new home, PSS will call to arrange the delivery of your goods to the location of your choice. It really couldn’t be any easier. Please visit our website for more information PSS International Removals.

How To Make 2017 The Year To Move Abroad

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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.

We can all make resolutions to lose weight or learn a new language on December 31st only to break them by January 2nd. But what if you want to do something really major like move to a new country and start a new life? It’s a huge commitment and one that takes some planning.

If 2017 is the year you want to realise your dream of settling abroad, we’ve listed the basic necessities to help it become a reality.

–  Check out the visa situation:

A visa is your gateway into many countries and essential if you want to emigrate and work in countries such as America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Other places such as the UAE allow you to enter with a three month working permit, before applying for a longer stay during that time period. In Hong Kong you will need a work visa and permit before securing employment. The UK government has more advice here.

–  Take stock of the jobs on offer:

One of the biggest issues faced by those looking to move abroad is finding work. In many countries, it’s imperative you have a job offer before you can even get certain types of visas. EU residents can work within other EU countries with relative ease but in other locations it’s not so straightforward and you’ll need to check out the roles on offer before deciding to relocate. See here for New Zealand, here for Canada and here for Australia.

– Research the country to where you’d like to move:

You may like the idea of Danish ‘hygge’ or a life drinking Manhattans in New York but in reality what do you know what living in your chosen country? Do your research. Look at expat blogs, expat forums and a number of books dedicated to residing in a new country. Be fully informed about where you’re going and what you can expect from a life living there.

– List what is important to you:

Where you decide to relocate to can be as much dependent upon the lifestyle on offer as the jobs available. For many, the lure of a better climate, shorter working hours or a quality education system are right up there on the checklist. Making a list of the pros and cons of staying or leaving can help you focus on what you need and what you can live without.

–  Think about your property home and away:

You might like to hang onto your own property in the UK or you could choose to rent it out. In another instance you might sell up and put all of your finances into a new home abroad. Both will need careful planning and some thought must be given to financial and tax obligations. Check out some international estate agent websites and see what you can afford in your new locations too. You may be pleasantly surprised – or disappointed – about the cost.

–  Talk to an international removals company:

Last but not least, contact a removals company such as PSS International Removals about your options for transporting your belongings. You may want to take just a few boxes or the entire contents of your house and the removals company will be able to give your guidance and pricing for both. They can also give you advice about customs.

If you are considering a move abroad 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.

Photo credit: New York City Sunrise, by Anthony Quintano https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Teaching English as a foreign language – when is it useful?

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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

The opportunity to work and travel the world at the same time, may seem like a pipe dream to many but teaching English as a foreign language is one very real way to achieve that goal. You can add another skill to your career bow whilst ticking off your bucket list at the same time.

The good news is there are plenty of opportunities to teach English abroad and plenty of ways to go about doing it.

The British Council runs a scheme called Study Work Create and offers students the chance to work as Language Assistants. They work with schools across four continents, from Europe through to Asia and Latin America, including countries such as India and Thailand.  Each year around 2,500 posts become available allowing applicants to work in Primary, Secondary or University education.

Applicants will need to have completed two years at higher education and be native English speakers, but unlike some courses there are no formal qualifications or enrollment fees. You will also earn a wage of between €700-1,100. Some countries such as China will pay for your flights and offer you a place to stay. There are specific entry requirements for each country, so please see here for more details.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language or TEFL is another common way to gain a qualification in teaching and travel the world.

TEFL is a professional qualification that equips, “you with the skills, knowledge and confidence to teach across the world.”

There are a huge number of TEFL courses across the globe, ranging in teaching hours to cost. Make you do your homework, gain the correct course for the country you are hoping to enter, and check the course credentials. To find out all about choosing the right course, see the Love TEFl website.

As well as offering qualifications through online courses, TEFL also can help with internships and job placements. Internships are the ultimate teach and travel package and for a fee of around £1,000 you could find yourself in Colombia, South Africa or Cambodia. Job placements for TEFL jobs are for those with previous teaching experience and if you head to Madrid, one of the most popular destinations, you could earn around £850 a month. Current jobs on offer are also in China and Thailand.

Whatever way you decide to teach and travel, working visas may play a part in what you are able to do. If you are from the EU, then in most instances, you wont need a visa, however this won’t be the case wherever you globe trot. The British Council offer advice on the visa situation around the world, as do the British government. If in doubt, ask for official advice before you set off on your language adventure.

Thinking of moving abroad? PSS International removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive 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 in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimators survey, online moving and baggage quote.

Image credit – Classroom by Lead Beyond https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

What you need to know about living in Thailand

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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

Thailand is an appealing country for many of expats. It is very cheap, very beautiful and has fabulous food and a relaxed approach to life.  It attracts a wide range of expats from retired people, the business community, students and teachers.  So what’s not to like?

As with all big moves, it’s good to find out exactly what you can expect before you get there, to avoid any major surprises.

1.     Climate

It is relatively hot and humid all the time in Thailand but there are distinct seasons that vary depending on which part of the country you are in.   The weather in central, northern and north eastern Thailand (the landlocked provinces) can broadly be split into three seasons, whereas in the southern coastal regions, it is only two.

So inland, November until May is mainly dry and November to February is mainly cool with the hot weather starting in March.   In May, the rainy season starts and lasts until November.

On the west coast, where Phuket, Krabi and the Phi Phi Islands lie, there are heavy storms from April to October, whereas on the east coast on the Gulf of Thailand where Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao lie, September to December are the main rainy times.

Bangkok is six hours ahead of GMT.

2.    Currency

The currency in Thailand is the Thai baht (pronounced – baaht). One baht is made up of 100 satang and coins come in denominations of: 1, 2, 5 and 10 baht, as well as 25 and 50 satang. Banknotes come in denominations of: 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 baht.

The most commonly used coin is the 10 baht and the most commonly used note is the 100 baht.  Banknotes feature a portrait of the King. The Royal Family are highly revered in Thailand and you should never joke about, or criticize, them. More of this later.

 3.    Housing

In Thailand, foreign nationals are not allowed to own land, although they can buy an apartment as along as no more than 49% of the building is occupied by foreigners.

They can also buy detached properties but cannot own the land that it sits on, and can only lease it for 30 years at a time.  This has led to some expats entering into complex legal arrangements to get around the Thai laws, whereby they set up a company to buy the land and they find a Thai national to ‘own’ the company but not have a financial interest in it.  But beware that these arrangements can end in disaster, and also the Thai Government is cracking down on such deals which aim to bend the rules: those who fall foul of the tough new laws could be deported.

Renting is therefore your safest bet and compared to many countries, it is very cheap. Location is the key however and prices will vary enormously according to what you choose.  In Thailand, expats live in anything from an incredibly modern apartment in Bangkok to a shack on a beach on one of the islands and anything in between.  A good place to start your property search is one of the main property portals. From a budget point of view, a high specification apartment in Bangkok could be THB 30,000 or as little as THB 2,000 for a small studio.

 4.    Schooling

The vast majority of expats who choose to live in Thailand with school age children, choose an international school.  These are located almost entirely in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket and offer high standards of education taught in English. Beware trying to cut costs with education, as although some establishments offer lower fees, standards are often much lower.  Obviously getting your children’s educational needs met will be of the highest priority, so do your research well – here is an excellent source of initial information.

5.     Transport

Bangkok is notorious for its congestion not aided by the Thai’s love of double and triple parking!  Although public transport is good for getting around the country, you may still want to have a car and for this you will need an International Driving License. A license from most major western countries including UK, USA and Australia would be valid but if you are not sure, contact your local Embassy.  After three months, many insurance policies will not cover anyone on a foreign license so you will have to apply for a Thai one from the Department of Land Transport Office, which has a series of local offices.

You will need to take a series of documents, fill out an application and take various tests, so take a Thai translator with you!

6.    Public Transport

Travelling around Thailand is relatively easy by plane, train, bus, car or boat. However in rural areas it may be a slightly chaotic.  Generally speaking, it is a good idea to book trips well in advance, although as the options are plentiful, you can normally get where you want to go.

7.     Language

The principal language spoken in Thailand is Thai, although there are large numbers who speak Chinese, Lao, Khmer and Malay. A large percentage of the Thai population speaks English though, and aside from official bureaucracy where you should employ a translator, you can get by with English.

8.     Culture

Thailand is about 95% Theravada Buddhist, and a lot of its customs and culture derives from that. One of the most distinctive and well-known Thai customs is the wai. This is used in greetings, leave-taking, or as an acknowledgement, and it comes in many forms which is determined by the relative status of the people greeting one another.  Generally speaking, it is a very positive culture and smiling is very important: expats are advised not to use argumentative tones in discussions.

9.    Law and Order

Thailand is currently under military rule, although life has carried on much as normal and in some respects, it has become safer.  There are no special instructions for travellers and expats, although that is always worth checking in the run up to your departure.  However, it is worth noting that this situation may affect your insurance, and you should be careful not to offend the Thai regime in anyway, which includes posting anything disrespectful about the Royal Family or the ruling military, on social media channels. Keep an eye on sites like this one to see what the situation is, as well as the international sections of large media outlets.

If you are considering a move to Thailand 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 33 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.

Image: Thailand – Wat Mahathat by Melenama https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

PSS joins forces with Migration Cover – The first insurance product created specifically for skilled migrants!

MC Logo

 

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

Moving away to a new life in Australia or New Zealand is exciting but there may be nagging concerns. What will happen if a family member at home becomes ill? What will happen if I am involuntarily made redundant? How will I return home if I need to?

Launched this month, Migration Cover could have the answers you need. It has been developed to reduce the stumbling blocks from international migration for both individuals and families.

Until now, the threat of covering moving and repatriation costs related to going back to their home country has been placed largely on the migrant, or their employer, who has already had to pay up to £20,000 to cover visas, removals, pet shipping, flights, car hire, accommodation and other associated costs.

Migration Cover reduces the anxiety of immigrating by covering the policyholder’s repatriation, employment advocacy and travel needs, subject to the conditions of the policy.

The product was created as a direct result of listening to migrants, understanding and empathising with their issues. The founders of the company are themselves migrants and used this experience to address the stumbling blocks they had faced.

Migration Cover offers four levels of cover; Platinum, Gold, Silver and Basic, starting at around £460 (exclusive of taxes, fees and charges) for a single policyholder and £760 (exclusive of taxes, fees and charges) for a family policy. There is no limit on the number of dependent children, either up to the age of 21 or 25 if they are studying full-time, which can be covered under a family policy. The prices shown are for 18-30 year old primary applicants. Potential clients are encouraged to seek a quote online at www.migrationcover.com

For more information about how PSS International can help you make your move to Australia or New Zealand visit https://www.pssremovals.com

PSS International Removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 33 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

The truth about Visa processing times

Image by Miran Rijavec - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Image by Miran Rijavec – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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

Waiting for your Visa to come through can be a nerve-wracking business. You may have planned your move to Australia, New Zealand or South Africa with painstaking accuracy, you may have found the job of your dreams, but until your Visa is confirmed there’s nothing much you can do but sit and wait. Most foreign embassies recommend you don’t confirm your travel plans until you have confirmation of a Visa. It can be a very unsettling time but the key to gaining a Visa and making sure you get one on time is to apply early.

As with dealing with any government office the better organised you are; the better they’ll be at getting back to you. Make sure you plan ahead, fill in applications forms correctly and observe all the guidelines and requirements for your chosen Visa. (See https://www.pssremovals.com/blog/visa-considerations-when-moving-abroad/).

It’s also worth checking the application procedures for the specific country you are planning to emigrate to. For example, some countries such as New Zealand allow online applications whereas South Africa prefers applicants to attend their Embassy or Consular Offices in person to hand in the documentation.

Typical processing will look at the following:

*  the requirements of the immigration instructions you are applying under

*  the completeness of your application

*  how easily they can check the information you provide

*  how well and how quickly you respond to any concerns raised with you.

(source: http://www.immigration.govt.nz)

Immigration New Zealand state, “Most problems and delays happen because an applicant has not provided all of the information required.”

If there are glaring errors in your application it will be returned to you and you will be given the chance to reapply within a certain timeframe. Failure to provide the details within the set number of days will usually involve the loss of the fee paid so it’s worth double-checking everything before applying.

Alternatively, you could use a visa specialist partner as recommended by PSS International Removals who can take the pain out of the process. They’ll know exactly what you need and make sure you hand in everything required for a smooth application.

Either way, once you’ve handed over all the necessary documentation, the length of time it takes to receive the Visa is hugely variable, dependent on which country you are applying to and what type of Visa you are applying for.

Current information from The Emigration Group states that for:

New Zealand waiting times are as follows:

*    Work Visa (1-2 months), Work to Residence Visa (1 month), Residence Visa with job offer (4-6months), Parent Visa (12 months) and Partner Visa (2-3 months).

In Australia they are seeing times of the following:

* Work Visa (1-3 months), Residence Visa (8-12 months),  Parent Visa (24 months) and Partner Visa (12-14months).

Countries such as South Africa and Canada publish waiting times on their websites; see

www.southafricahouseuk.com and www.cic.gc.ca respectively. Current figures suggest South Africa Visas may be gained between 1-6 months. In Canada, Express Entry for Skilled Immigrants can take up to 6 months. Data and figures, however change all the time so keep a check on proceedings through the relevant websites.

The key it seems to a successful migration is to be organised and be prepared to wait. Six months may seem like a lifetime but when you’re tipping your toes into the warm waters on Bondi Beach, it will surely have been worth the wait.

PSS International removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 32 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves. Contact us now for a free estimators survey, online moving and baggage quote.

 

Design considerations for your expat home

 

By Marlene Oostryck (Wiki Takes Fremantle participant) (Uploaded from Wiki Takes Fremantle) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Marlene Oostryck (Wiki Takes Fremantle participant) (Uploaded from Wiki Takes Fremantle) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/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

There was once a saying made famous by the likes of Paul Young and Marvin Gaye suggesting that ‘wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home.’

All over the world, roughly 230 million people are currently living away from their country of birth. That means that if expats were to create their own nation, it’d be the fifth largest in the world! In developed countries, one in every 10 people lives outside his or her country and roughly 6 million Americans legally reside outside of the United States with 5 million Brits following suit.

To make you feel more at home and to help you settle into your new country, we’ve pulled together some basic advice on how you can use home design to make your new space more comfortable.

Leave the cynicism behind living abroad requires a very open-minded and positive approach. While many people move to their new countries with varying degrees of desire and circumstance, there’s no denying that it can often result in homesickness and adaptation. Nesting in a new home is essential to being able to psychologically re-adjust, no matter how beautiful your new surroundings may be.

Start afresh the feeling of diving in head-first to a new culture can often be exhilarating, and you can easily feel adventurous with a sudden need to test your limits. If you are this type of person, cutting ties with your home country’s aesthetic can help you become integrated with your new surroundings.

Know your roots  some expats prefer to use their new house for preserving a certain feeling of normality and identity, which of course means something completely different for each expat. It could be playing 5 a-side football or planting a rose bush in the back garden. Drinking British tea, eating hob-knobs or cooking a Sunday roast – even if the design of the building is nothing like back home.

It’s interesting what can suddenly become a treasure to an expat. As time passes, even the most common objects from a former dwelling can in fact become reminders of what seems like a different life.

Embrace your new hybrid existence – instead of fearing the loss of your identity in the face of a new culture, find a way for it to exist alongside your host country. Don’t hesitate to let contrasting styles take over; the look will reflect the eclectic mix of cultural influences in your life. There’s no denying that it can be difficult to create a home away from home not just psychologically, but also logistically. Often the options are different, the materials and prices are unfamiliar, and it can be difficult to balance what you find normal and what fits in with the local setting.

Share your culture through cuisine – Ask a British expat the question, ‘what do you miss most about home?’ and you’ll probably receive a list of food items ranging from Tetley Tea, HP sauce, Milk Chocolate to fish and chips. Expats can often be found in the kitchen, attempting to merge the tastes from their childhood with the cooking culture of their new country together with substituted ingredients and modified recipes. The great thing about expressing your expatriatism in the kitchen is that other people get to benefit from it as well so celebrate it!

Plan multiple time zones – many expats often find themselves working strange hours, telecommuting to offices back in their home countries. With this in mind, a home office should be equally tranquil during the day and night. Create a relaxing garden space for you to wind down when you need to recouperate.

Decorate your home with photos and memories – don’t forget the positive aspects of your past and your journey in life. After all, it’s made you who you are today! Many people often lose memories simply because the visual cues aren’t there for them anymore. To prevent your travels and your home culture from fading away, try framing and hanging photos and mementos as pleasant reminders.

Push yourself – being an expat can be one of the most challenging, rewarding, frustrating but satisfying experiences. There are days when you absolutely love where you are and consider yourself incredibly fortunate and there are days when you feel your limits being stretched! Either way, there’s no time to look back or unlearn the variety of experiences gained from living in multiple cultures.

Our advice? Let your home reflect your range of life experiences and use interior design as a tool for teaching others about your home culture.

PSS International Removals are the UK’s first choice for moving overseas and we have successfully helped thousands of customers move to many destinations throughout the world.

All PSS Staff have been professionally trained in export procedures and work entirely on overseas removals.

PSS specialises in:

  • Full or Part Household shipments
  • Motor Vehicle shipments
  • Baggage Shipments
  • Airfreight/Express Service
  • Shipping Service from anywhere in the UK to Anywhere in the World

PSS also charges for part loads. This means you only pay for the space you fill.

We are able to offer you all of the services listed above including additional visa, employment, banking, currency, pension transfer, pet shipping, tax rebate, education, flight and property advice through our network of trusted partners.

So if you are thinking about moving to a new country and want to find out more about what you should expect, get in touch for a free survey and a chat with one of our experienced consultants who will be happy to help you.

Visit http://www.pssremovals.com to find out more or contact us for a free quote now!