Tag Archives: South Africa

What you need to know about living in South Africa

 

Hout Bay Beach by David Stanley https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Hout Bay Beach by David Stanley 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

There are over 200,000 British people living in South Africa, lured no doubt by 3,000km of coastline, encompassing both the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean. Growing vibrant cities such as Johannesburg and Cape Town offer good job opportunities, whilst the diverse cultural experiences such as safaris and wine tours add to the popularity.

Gaining employment in South Africa can be difficult for those emigrating from the UK and unless you are already in the country, you need to have a job or an offer to gain entry. The South African government has new schemes in place however to allow foreign workers easier entry if they have a number of years employment in certain areas. See http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/index.php/scarce-skills-work-quotas for details of qualifications needed to fulfill the criteria.

Once your job is secured, you’ll arrive to find a massively varied climate from region to region. The Western Cape has Mediterranean style weather whilst the interior of the country has a semi-desert climate that is typified by cold, dry winters and summer rainfall. Winters in South Africa start in June and end in August. The cost of living is relatively low and the current exchange rate of the South African rand vs pound sterling is very competitive (1 rand = 0.05 pounds), giving the British expat great value for money.

Although South Africa is predominantly an English speaking country, over 79% of the population of 53 million is black African, who themselves converse in a variety of 11 different languages. You’ll hear the likes of Afrikaans, IsiNdebele, IsiXhosa, IsiZulu, Sepedi and Sesotho around the country. Rest assured though most employers speak English and you probably won’t be required to know another language in order to work and live there.

The most popular destinations for Brits to settle in are Cape Town and Johannesburg. Cape Town is the provincial capital, and situated on the Western Cape. You’ll find head offices for insurance companies, large retailers and petroleum corporates in this location where many Brits become gainfully employed.

Johannesburg too is a thriving city and has seen a growth in the middle-classes. That said; nearby townships including Soweto still suffer from a huge disparity in wealth and lifestyle. It would be hard not to mention crime levels in South Africa which are still of concern. Although many visit the country with no problem whatsoever the UK government recommend certain precautions. See https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa/safety-and-security for more details.

Driving is easy for Brits as you continue to keep to the left-hand side of the road and the UK driving license is valued for 12 months once you’re in the country. You can also continue to draw your State Pension whilst living in South Africa, although it won’t go up with the rate of inflation as it would back home.

Health care however is not so familiar and if you are treated in a State hospital you’ll have to pay for it. Fees are based on your salary and number of dependents. It’s worth checking out the recommended immunisations by the World Health Organisation before relocation. If you are thinking of travelling to the Pumalanga Province (including the popular Kruger National Park) and Limpopo Province you’ll need to take precautions against malaria. See www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/africa/south-africa.aspx

Specialist international removal companies such as PSS offer expert advice to take the headache out of relocating to South Africa – a destination in which you can be guaranteed to see a completely different world. Read more about our services here: https://www.pssremovals.com/migration-services/south-africa .

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.

 

How to live a healthier life abroad

"Fruit Stall in Barcelona Market" by By en:User:Daderot. - First uploaded to en:wiki on 5 Apr 2005.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fruit_Stall_in_Barcelona_Market.jpg#/media/File:Fruit_Stall_in_Barcelona_Market.jpg

“Fruit Stall in Barcelona Market” by By en:User:Daderot. – First uploaded to en:wiki on 5 Apr 2005.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fruit_Stall_in_Barcelona_Market.jpg#/media/File:Fruit_Stall_in_Barcelona_Market.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

For those of you in search of greener grass, the transition overseas can at times prove testing. With this in mind, planning ahead is vital to ensure that your time spent abroad will be fun, rewarding and healthy! PSS International Removals are here to help with some top tips to abide by.

Before leaving, educate yourself about the correct type of food, the right amount of exercise and an advisable standard of living you should be adhering to. Read the right books and magazines but always consult with a nutritionist if you feel that they might be able to help you further.

When it comes to exercise – don’t overdo it. Pushing yourself too hard when you’re just beginning is never a good thing. You have to ease your way into a new regime, so pushing your body too much at first will not only drain you physically, but could cause you unnecessary pain and injury. Exercise doesn’t always have to involve an exhaustive gym workout either. It could even be as simple as a short run along the beach or a few press-ups at home but the key thing is to raise your heart rate – wherever you may be and however much time you may have.

As expats, you are unlikely to have the time to prepare fresh food, at least at the first stages, meaning you may rely on ready-made meals. Go back to basics. No matter where you are in the world, there are always local markets selling the simplest, freshest ingredients. Always drink between 8-10 glasses of water a day. Water aids digestion and increases your memory and concentration. It also keeps your skin well nourished so don’t ignore its hidden strengths.

Working a busy expat job in a humid climate can mean that your sleep patterns and body clock will become disrupted. Always try and achieve a minimum of 6-8 hours of sleep a night, do not sleep with the TV on and avoid reading your favourite book before bedtime. These habits will only serve to keep your mind busy and awake throughout the night. Plan a bedtime routine to get your body clock set to sleep at a certain time. Listen to relaxing ambient or classical music, try experimenting with meditation and dim your lighting to relax your mind and rest your body.

Your home away from home should always be a sanctuary. Minimise your time spent in front of a laptop or computer and socialise with your colleagues away from the office and with your friends and family whenever possible. If you have children, engage in activities other than gathering around the television before, during or after dinner time. Engage with them using real toys instead of tablet apps or computer games. Open your windows, breathe in the fresh air and bask in natural sunlight as much as possible. Also try buying a few plants to improve the air quality.

Living in a new country can mean that some of the things you’re used to may not be as readily available as they might be back home. With this in mind, look into various food substitutes  and plan your meals accordingly. You may even have to learn to become comfortable with substitutes not only when it comes to food, but with regards to your exercise schedule as well. Since gym memberships can be expensive and time consuming, you may have to accept something as simple as completing regular household chores to keep your body active.

Don’t disregard the importance of your mental health as well. After all, a healthy body does lead to healthy mind so avoid reacting to stress as much as possible. Always take short breaks from your work for at least 20 minutes a day and aim to divert your mind completely from things that may make you unhappy or distract you.

Despite what many people might think, smoking and drinking are not effective stress relievers. Sure, they might distract you from your problems for a brief period of time, but in the end they will only serve to create more stress and ruin your body. Maximize your free time, do what makes you happy and surround yourself with good people. A healthy lifestyle can be achieved by anyone, anywhere in the world. You just need the right information, a positive frame of mind and to accept that it’s not really as difficult as you think it might be.

Moving to a new country is not as easy or controllable as moving domestically. Although international movers do their best to minimise issues, problems can occur on route through shipping, at destination with customs officials and anywhere in-between.

To make your move abroad as easy and stress-free as possible, PSS International Removals can deliver services such as motor vehicle shipping, baggage shipments and shipping services to any international destination, with the most popular including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa, USA and UAE.

Get in touch with PSS to find out how we can help: http://www.pssremovals.com/

 

Case study: Moving to Cape Town, South Africa

 

"Camps Bay" by Tjeerd Wiersma from Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Camps Bay. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Camps_Bay.jpg#/media/File:Camps_Bay.jpg

“Camps Bay” by Tjeerd Wiersma from Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Camps Bay. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Camps_Bay.jpg#/media/File:Camps_Bay.jpg

For other 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.

Why choose PSS International Removals?

Mrs Robinson originally saw a PSS International Removals van on Finchley Road in London and made a note of the relevant contact details. After getting in contact with the PSS team, she was impressed with the team’s experience and professionalism.

She was also eager to work with a family-run business that has many years of experience to give her the peace of mind that her belongings would be well looked after.

The PSS team attended her property and gave her a free quote for shipping her belongings to Cape Town. Following the PSS quote, which was also the cheapest of those she obtained, she selected PSS International Removals as her moving partner.

The moving process:

When asked about her experience of the moving day, Mrs Robinson commented: “The PSS team gave me plenty of useful advice about what could and what couldn’t be shipped. That really helped us to organise the move and made sure the process was as smooth as possible.

On the move day the team were friendly and efficient, they packed quickly without any damage and overall the experience was brilliant.”

Advice for those thinking of moving to another country from Mrs Robinson:

When asked for any advice to fellow international movers, Mrs Robinson’s response was clear and concise: “Only use PSS!”

If you are looking to emigrate and want some expert advice, 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.

As a minimum you should select an international mover that has achieved the highest level of service within the industry by attaining FAIM ACCREDITATION which is the only independent Quality Assurance standard for the International Moving Industry.

You should also ask if the company is a Member of the FIDI Global alliance, British Association of Removers Overseas Group, and BAR OVERSEAS, which is covered by the I.M.M.I. Advance payment guarantee scheme for your financial protection.

Contact

If you would like to find out more about moving with PSS International Removals, or to book your no obligation, home survey where we will send one of our estimators around to offer you advice as well estimate the items that you would like to ship, please get in touch:

Tel: +44 (0)800 988 3711

Email: sales@p-s-s.co.uk

Website: http://www.pssremovals.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pssinternationalremovals

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSSRemovals

 

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.

Excess Baggage services

"Belber Crocodile Trunks and Luggage" by Sandrine Z - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Belber_Crocodile_Trunks_and_Luggage.jpg#/media/File:Belber_Crocodile_Trunks_and_Luggage.jpg

“Belber Crocodile Trunks and Luggage” by Sandrine Z – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Belber_Crocodile_Trunks_and_Luggage.jpg#/media/File:Belber_Crocodile_Trunks_and_Luggage.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 

Leaving one country and returning home to another can bring with it a whole host of complications especially if you have acquired a selection of keepsakes that you just can’t leave behind. A suitcase or bag may have been all you required for the trip over but now you’re looking at boxes and cartons to send back all the books, clothes and kit you can’t live without.

Taking this excess baggage with you could be pricey but PSS International Removals specialises in making it easy and affordable, shipping goods to a number of worldwide destinations such as Australia, South Africa and the USA.

Discovering how much the shipment will cost is simple and all you need to do is fill in the free quotation form at https://www.pssremovals.com/excess-baggage

It’s an easy step-by-step process. You’ll be asked to use the online luggage calculator and select which cartons you think you’ll need.

Each container option is helpfully listed with its measurements beginning with an economy carton which is 46x46x46 cms and 3.4 cubic feet in volume. You’ll also have the choice of tea cartons, book cartons and bike cartons. These all vary in shape and size.

More unusually shaped objects can also be accommodated and popular belongings such as skis, snowboards, guitars and golf clubs can also be sent on to you. You’ll be asked for the weight of these items before you can receive a final costing.

Once you’ve completed the initial forms you’ll be asked to input your destination and the date you intend to leave before getting a quote. If you are happy with the price you can then checkout and pay. If you’d prefer to receive a quote from one of PSS Removals’ many expert advisors you can do so by calling freephone 0800 988 3711 or by Free Mobile 0333 321 2822.

Once your quote is agreed and paid for, PSS will arrange to have your luggage collected and will also give you an estimated time of arrival in your new destination. The size and weight of the package will determine how the goods are returned, either by ship or air, and this too will dictate how long it takes for them to arrive at the new destination. If you don’t have your new address confirmed you can inform PSS at a later date by phone or email.

There really is nothing simpler. This is a popular service with individuals moving home after completing a working visa, study or travel in the UK.

PSS International Removals has 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.

How expats should deal with VAT issues when considering a move abroad

By Images_of_Money's profile (www.flickr.com) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Images_of_Money’s profile (www.flickr.com) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], 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

Are you being transferred overseas by your current UK employer or thinking of starting a new career abroad? If so, you’ll need to ascertain whether or not you’ll still be liable to pay UK tax.

By demonstrating that you are a non-UK resident for UK tax purposes, your employment income for work performed overseas won’t usually be liable to UK tax.

Once abroad, most countries will generally regard you as a non-UK resident where you work full-time overseas throughout the tax year as long as you don’t take any significant breaks from overseas work, you spend less than 91 days in the UK in the tax year and the number of days you work for more than three hours in the UK is less than 31.

Before leaving, it is highly recommended that you consider your split year tax rules and make a note of what records you should maintain. Complete a P85 form and notify HM Revenue and Customs of your departure.

A tax refund will often occur if you are in employment and leave the UK halfway through the UK tax year, breaking your UK residence. Social Security (National Insurance) can help reclaim any amount owed to you although you may have to pay social security contributions on your employment income, whether in the UK or overseas.

The new country where you are working, the period you intend to work there for and whether you are sent on a temporary assignment with your existing UK employer or not, are all factors that can affect where contributions are payable. Depending upon your circumstances, it may be possible for you to remain within the UK national insurance system and avoid paying overseas social security overseas, either using EU legislation or a reciprocal agreement that the UK has with your new country of residence.

Where EU rules or reciprocal agreements do not apply, consideration can be given to paying voluntary UK national insurance contributions to ensure an entitlement to a state retirement pension and certain other UK social security benefits are not compromised.

Should you decide to let out your property whilst working overseas, any resulting profit could be subject to UK tax and will be calculated by deducting allowable expenses from gross rents. Separate rules apply where rent is paid to landlords who are abroad for six months or more but in this situation, either your tenant or your letting agent will legally be obliged to withhold basic rate tax from the rent payable to you as well as transfer it to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on a quarterly basis.

You will also be entitled to continue to claim a UK personal allowance in tax years throughout which you are regarded as non-UK resident for UK tax purposes provided you qualify as a British and EEA national and a citizen of the Commonwealth.

PSS International Removals can help ensure that you receive the maximum taxback refund or expenses that you may be entitled to. It’s well worth seeing what you might be owed, as the initial application only takes minutes and in 2014, the average refund for PSS clients was £1,005!

Anyone working in the UK is entitled to earn a tax-free allowance of £10,000 (2014/15 tax year) but Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax is deducted on the assumption that the you will work the full 12 months, so the benefit of this tax-free allowance is spread over 12 months when determining monthly tax deductions. However, if you work less than 12 months in a tax year then you are entitled to claim back the PAYE tax that you have overpaid. You will also be entitled to a tax refund if you have worked under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) system.

You may make a tax claim at any time during the financial year if you are leaving the country to travel for an extended period of time, to return home, or to emigrate, or if you have already left before the tax year has finished. What’s more, you can make a tax claim for previous years (up to four years ago), at any time.

At PSS, we aim to secure the maximum return for you in the shortest period of time and also operate on a ‘No Rebate, No Fee’ basis with commission only being deducted when the tax rebate is secured. We will also ensure that you are refunded the maximum amount possible through reviewing previous years’ tax deductions and arranging additional repayments where applicable. The amount refunded will depend entirely on your personal circumstances.

Ready to see how much tax back you’re owed with PSS?

Complete this form to get started, call 0203 137 1794 or pss@taxback.co.uk

Here are some additional resources worth reading:

Overseas country tax guides

HM Revenue and Customs

National insurance-booklet NI38 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Tips To Help You Settle In To Your New Country

 

"Draw me a picture 120818-A-TA763-005" by Sgt. Lauren Twigg - https://www.dvidshub.net/image/652837. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Draw_me_a_picture_120818-A-TA763-005.jpg#/media/File:Draw_me_a_picture_120818-A-TA763-005.jpg

“Draw me a picture 120818-A-TA763-005″ by Sgt. Lauren Twigg – https://www.dvidshub.net/image/652837. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Draw_me_a_picture_120818-A-TA763-005.jpg#/media/File:Draw_me_a_picture_120818-A-TA763-005.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

Relocating abroad – to boldly go where you’ve never been before. The experience, knowledge and qualifications to not only move to an unfamiliar country but to integrate into a new culture can be quite a challenge. But acquiring a valuable skill-set whilst re-discovering yourself together with a healthy amount of wanderlust can provide a solid foundation for a future as a successful expat. But what if you have a family?

First things first – remain patient, very patient. Change isn’t always easy – particularly if you have young children. Settling in can take time so don’t rush or be too hard on yourself. Keep everyone’s spirits high and stay busy, enthused and positive.

Be open and flexible. At times, without realizing it, we can appear set in our ways – but when in a new country it’s at times important to take a fresh approach to life. Consider your personal and family goals and ambitions and be realistic with how you might go about achieving them.

Communicate openly with your children. At times, we may underestimate their emotional development, but even the smallest of toddlers often still sense when change occurs so make sure you explain to them what’s happening and let them know that their room will eventually contain their favourite teddy bear, toys and prized possessions again.

Don’t lose touch with friends and family. The fact that you’re now overseas doesn’t mean you’ve left planet earth. Ensure you keep all channels of communication open when you arrive at your new home. Should your children miss their friends then arrange Skype chats for them on a regular basis.

Turn your house into a home. It will make your children feel safe, comfortable and loved. Maintain similar routines to those you had back home and ensure your children recognise their spaces as their own. Create a communal, inclusive living room space and display some photos of everyone’s friends and family on the walls.

Become a social butterfly. As the new foreigners in town, it can be difficult to meet new people but by getting involved in the various communities that interest you such as sport, music, school or expat associations, you will very likely find other parents with similar interests who in turn will introduce you to their circle of friends.

Be open to offers of help. Sometimes we don’t like being fussed over but when in a new and foreign land, it’s important to make the effort to ask people who’ve been there longer to offer a hand and inform you about your new surroundings.

Discover the familiar. Seek out places and things that remind you of home or seem familiar in some way. Involve your children in their favourite activities locally, or introduce them to new hobbies. Maybe you might be surprised to discover that your daughter loves ballet or has an eye for painting?

Learn from your new country’s culture. Learn a few basic phrases in your new country’s language and teach them to the children. Being polite, respectful and saying please and thank you opens many doors in any language.

PSS International removals are 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.

 

 

What you need to know about moving to South Africa

(WT-shared) NJR ZA at wts wikivoyage [CC BY-SA 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

(WT-shared) NJR ZA at wts wikivoyage [CC BY-SA 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)], 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

Thousands of British expats are currently moving to South Africa every year to enjoy the sunshine and call it their new home. And can you blame them? Located at the southern-most tip of the African continent, the country offers a warm climate all year, over 3,000km of beaches and some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes.

In 2014, South Africa has become a dynamic and forward-looking, multi-cultural society, with financial investments being injected into infrastructure, the economy and education. For this reason, it’s currently one of the leading worldwide destinations for Brits looking for a better life abroad.

Some interesting and unique facts about South Africa; did you know that the country has 19,004 miles of railway track, accounting for 80% of Africa’s rail infrastructure? Cape Town’s Table Mountain is believed to be one of the oldest mountains in the world, the country is home to its own penguin colony. South Africa is also home to the largest bird (ostrich), the largest land mammal (elephant), the tallest creature (giraffe), the largest reptile (leatherback turtle), the largest fish (whale shark), the heaviest flying bird (kori bustard), the largest antelope (eland), the fastest land mammal (cheetah) and the smallest mammal (least dwarf shrew)!

Most tourists and expats alike, choose to live in either Cape Town, a bustling, fast-paced, modern and culturally diverse city; Johannesburg, a thriving urban centre which is home to more than 3 million people and growing fast. The alternative is Durban, which lies right in the heart of Zulu kingdom, offering a unique and colourful atmosphere that permeates its streets, bars, beaches and people. Both Cape Town and Johannesburg are major cultural hubs, embracing both traditional and contemporary film, the performing arts, literature, photography as well as music and fine art. South African food is a melting pot of indigenous, colonial influences and as in most European countries, there is a strong culture of eating-out, with many restaurants serving traditional home-grown dishes alongside all manner of cuisine from around the world. Barbecues or ‘braai’s’ as they are known, are hugely popular as is Biltong, a typical South African food snack which is fast becoming globally popular.

If you are considering leaving the UK to go and give South Africa a try, it is vitally important to do your research fully.

Visa regulations are designed to find a balance between protecting the South African workforce, whilst enabling employers to recruit workers from abroad when needed. There are several different types of work permit, two of which are available to individuals without a job offer and three of which you will need to have already secured a position.

As with the US , if you are qualified and experienced in a profession or occupation which appears on the Published Skill Shortage List, you may be granted an initial three months in which to secure a suitable position. This includes certain specialist jobs in fields such as engineering, mining, accounting, agriculture, law, medicine and senior management. It’s also worth noting that if you are a UK citizen you can visit South Africa for up to 90 days without a visa, subject to proof that you can support yourself during that time. If you want to stay longer, or are relocating, you will need a visa.

Moving abroad means saying goodbye to some of the most important people in your life, but that doesn’t have to include animal(s). The South African government will allow you to transport dogs, cats and other pets into the country, subject to the relevant paperwork and veterinary procedures. Furthermore, if you are a returning national or have a permanent residence visa, you may also import your motor vehicle.

When moving overseas, it pays to choose a removal company that specialises solely in international removals. At PSS we believe in delivering a friendly efficient service to every client to ensure they receive the very best service from start to finish. We recommend that you arrange a free home survey no later than 3-6 months prior to your intended move date. So whether you are sending a full household or a part household, it is never too early to plan your removal or to arrange a free home survey.

 

South Africa – New regulations on travelling with children

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

What’s changing?

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

What do the experts think?

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

Going to South Africa?

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

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

South Africa immigration regulations 2015