Tag Archives: PSS Removals

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.

Doing Business in Barcelona

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.

Barcelona by Bert Kaufmann

Barcelona by Bert Kaufmann

Barcelona has an irresistible attraction for many British expats. With the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains close by, this vibrant, cosmopolitan city is also brimming with history and culture. But what possibilities does the city hold for expats that want to do business there?

Spain as a whole remains a relatively easy place in which to do business. This may explain why it was positioned 33 out of 189 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Survey for 2016. Spain ranked well in factors such as trading across borders (earning first place), resolving insolvency (25th), and protecting minority investors (29th).

Perhaps due to its diversity, with Spanish nationals and international expats living and working closely together, there are excellent business prospects for expatriates in Barcelona. However, to make the most of business opportunities, fluency in the Spanish language and, ideally, a basic grasp of Catalan, is an enormous benefit.

When you get past the language, what is different about doing business in Barcelona? Well, there’s a different timetable for starters. Business isn’t typically 9 ‘til 5. Instead, it starts somewhere between 9 and 10am, breaks for lunch around 1pm, and resumes from about 3pm until evening. There isn’t quite a siesta, but a long lunch is quite normal.

That break in the middle of the day isn’t all about feasting and snoozing, however, as business is often carried out over lunch. Spaniards and Catalans love eating and it is very common to spend time in restaurants combining delicious food with business.

One of the characteristics of doing business in Barcelona, is that relationships tend to be formed between people, rather than companies. As a result, once you have established a connection, it will be unaffected when you, or the other party, change companies. Trust, therefore, is very important, and demonstrating reliability and strong business ethics is key.

You must also show due respect to those senior to you, as Spanish businesses are hierarchical. Even though you may be depending on a decision from a senior executive, it would be bad form to attempt to set up an initial meeting with anyone above your own rank.

On the subject of etiquette, dealing with associates in their own language is another essential, not just verbally but in all your materials. Offering presentations in both English and Spanish shows that you appreciate the opportunity to take your business to their country.

Some customs in Spanish businesses may seem strange, even rude. For instance, it’s quite normal for people around the meeting table to interrupt one another, and even talk over each other. This should not be misinterpreted as impoliteness, although it can make it difficult to follow the conversation, especially when it is in a foreign tongue.

Once you navigate around a few cultural differences, you will find that doing business in Barcelona can be a pleasurable experience. Spaniards are generally friendly and cheerful, and those in Barcelona are no exception. It’s likely that you will find the business community warm and genuinely interested in you and what you can offer through your business.

If you are setting out on a business venture in Spain, it is advisable to consult with a solicitor and accountant to ensure that all your dealings adhere to Spanish law and tax regulations. You may be considering setting up a company in Barcelona – a Sociedad Limitada. In which case, you will need assistance with this and with setting up an overseas bank account.

If you are considering moving to Barcelona, 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.

A City Guide To Vancouver

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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.

Vancouver is a coastal sea port on Canada’s south west coast on the mainland of British Columbia. It has over 600,000 residents and is the largest city in British Columbia.

Weather:

Vancouver has one of the warmest climates in the country. You’ll find relatively mild winters – with temperatures staying above freezing and a distinct lack of snow, and in the summer the heady highs will be around the mid 20s. That said, you haven’t found a weather nirvana. It rains, and rains a lot, in Vancouver It will rain for 17 days a month through the winter, so you’ll need a raincoat! Due to its location it may also be quote foggy and windy. Given the fact that much of Canada is under inches of snow, you’ll get off lightly in Vancouver.

Housing:

The most recent reports show that house prices in Vancouver are going down. The average home price is $1.1 million (£656,767), which is a 24.5% on the three months prior to the survey. This might still be quite steep in terms of costings for many Brits so it’s worth thinking about this before you move. Due to its location, locked in by mountains and sea, much of the accommodation is high rise apartments. There are great suburbs of Burnaby, Langley and Surrey. Renting is always an option. Check out both options on online.

Schools:

There is a good array of co-ed free schools in Vancouver. To find out more about the school system, see here. All districts have catchment areas for certain schools so it’s worth considering this if you definitely want your child to go to a particular one. Your child cannot attend school unless you have a Confirmation of Landing or Permanent Residency. The school year runs from September – June and if you’re moving within these months, it’s worth remembering you may not get a place in your favourite school.

Parks:

Stanley Park is Vancouver’s largest park, covering 400-hectares of the natural West Coast rainforest as well as wonderful views, mountains and historical landmarks. There’s an aquarium, swimming pool, the Stanley Park train, tour buses and plenty of walking and cycling tracks. Not to be missed are the First Nations art at the Brockton Point Visitor Centre and the nine Totem poles. A true oasis in the heart of the city.

Museums:

There are a large number of public art trails around Vancouver and more information can be found here. The Museum of Vancouver and Vancouver Art Gallery has a wide range of exhibitions and family event. Also, look out for Science World British Columbia, UBC Museum of Anthropology and the Vancouver Maritime Museum.

Restaurants and Bars:

There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy really good, fresh and sustainable food in Vancouver. Everything from five-star cuisine to food trucks offer great options to diners. Wild salmon, spot prawns and mussels are just some of the delicious ingredients available. Be prepared for international cuisine with chefs taking their influences from places such as Japan, Germany and India. If you want to find out more about where to eat and what to eat and when, see here.

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.

Image: Coal Harbor, Vancouver by tdlucas5000 published under creative commons: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

Get Packing with A 10% Discount for Students on Excess Baggage

 

"Graduating students" by Sasikiran 10 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Graduating_students.JPG#/media/File:Graduating_students.JPG

“Graduating students” by Sasikiran 10 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Graduating_students.JPG#/media/File:Graduating_students.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

10% off your Excess Baggage order here: https://www.pssremovals.com/facebook 

As a student you may have arrived to study in a new country with nothing more than a rucksack of clothes, your laptop and some favourite foods. Skip forward a year and you’ve suddenly found yourself with excess baggage that includes a guitar, a desk and a stash of course books – all of which you want to take back home with you.

Not much of a problem if your parents are coming to collect you and they can throw it all in the back of their car but more of an issue if home is several thousand miles away.

With budgets squeezed and airlines limited on what they can and can’t take the easiest and cheapest option could be an international removal service such as PSS, especially as we are now offering a 10% discount to students (code – students2015).

While taking an extra suitcase on an airplane may sometimes be the best option, especially if it’s fairly small, shipping home your cello or a few boxes of keepsakes needs specialist care and consideration.

At PSS we can tailor our Excess Baggage service to fit your requirements. If you need your belongings quickly, and have a bit more money to spend, you might like to consider the express airline rates. If however, money is tight and you’re not in any hurry, our sea freight delivery service may suit you better. Whatever your budget, we have a delivery option to suit you.

We can also offer you great deals on packing options. Whereas some companies may insist you have a standard size box or crate, regardless of what you have to pack, PSS have different shaped cartons for different shaped options.

We can also give you separate quotes if you have more unusual objects to send on. Want that snowboard shipped back? How about the trumpet you can’t be parted with? PSS can do it. These items will be priced individually and quotes are dependent upon their weight.

With the offer including free cartons and packing materials as well as free delivery and collection service for customers inside the M25, and just a small charge for outside delivery and collection outside, PSS really do have a student’s best packing interests at heart.

For more information go to: https://www.pssremovals.com/excess-baggage PSS International Removals have specialised in shipping excess baggage and luggage to a number of worldwide destinations such as Australia, South Africa and the USA for over 32 years. We handle thousands of baggage consignments each year ranging from shipments as small as 1 carton to larger shipments of 20 cartons. Our vast experience and expertise in moving baggage consignments is just one of the reasons why we are known as the UK’s 1st choice for sending baggage overseas.

The importance of opening a bank account before moving overseas

"Froschmaul an Geldautomat, 1" by Aisano - Self-photographed. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Froschmaul_an_Geldautomat,_1.jpeg#/media/File:Froschmaul_an_Geldautomat,_1.jpeg

“Froschmaul an Geldautomat, 1” by Aisano – Self-photographed. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Froschmaul_an_Geldautomat,_1.jpeg#/media/File:Froschmaul_an_Geldautomat,_1.jpeg

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

While digital payments could help billions of people without access to banks, many moving overseas still require the benefits of a local bank and the convenience of a local branch.

If you are moving abroad, we would recommend opening a new overseas bank account before you leave the UK. Here’s why:

When you move overseas, it’s likely you’ll have an extensive ‘to do list’ to complete in order to settle into your new home. Provided you give sufficient notice, most banks abroad will be able to open an account for you fairly quickly. Having your account up and running as soon as you arrive in your new country means you can avoid wasting precious time queuing in banks and get on with enjoying your new life. However, bear in mind that every country has different rules and procedures that may catch you off-guard if you leave it until you arrive.

For example; If you are considering a move to the US , you will probably have to show a reference from your existing UK bank, proof of employment or letters from your place of study, copies of visas, two forms of ID as well as proof of address. In France, if you have changed your surname, you will have to provide the relevant paperwork and in Australia, your signature on the application form must appear exactly as it does on your passport.

Most banks will send your new cards and PIN numbers to you before you move but if left too late, they may be able to arrange for everything to be sent to your new local branch to be picked up when you get there.

If you don’t have bankcards for your overseas account that you can use as soon as you arrive, you’ll have to ensure you have enough money to be able to survive while you wait.  Some banks may also allow you to transfer your credit history from the UK to your new bank account – which could provide very useful when buying a new property abroad.

Depending on where you are emigrating to, if you don’t speak the local language, the task of opening a bank account can be a daunting one as there may not be any English-speaking advisers working at your local bank. This can make getting guidance on the best account to suit your needs difficult.

Finally, if you open an account before you leave, most banks will guide you through the account-opening process and explain any important differences in the way banking is run in your new country.

So what are you waiting for?

 At PSS International Removals, we work with some of the largest banks around the world as such we can arrange a personalised service for you with them. To open up a bank account or for more information on overseas banking, please complete this form.

Advice on tax issues when moving country

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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