Tag Archives: Visa

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.

 

What you need to know about moving to India

 

"Taj Mahal, Agra, India" by Yann (talk) - Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Taj_Mahal,_Agra,_India.jpg#/media/File:Taj_Mahal,_Agra,_India.jpg

“Taj Mahal, Agra, India” by Yann (talk) – Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Taj_Mahal,_Agra,_India.jpg#/media/File:Taj_Mahal,_Agra,_India.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

In recent years, the press have reported on an increasing number of UK citizens of Indian origin moving back to the country that their parents left decades ago. But for those Brits searching for a new life abroad, emigrating to India can provide you and your family with a new life in a culturally diverse, exotic, beautiful and magically vibrant country.

In 2014, India’s population represents a sixth of the world’s total population despite still being a relatively small country covering just 2% of the world’s total landmass.

India has many differing religious and ethnic groups with Hindu’s accounting for approximately 80% of the population followed by Muslims (12%), Christians (2%) and other religions including Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains. Hindi is commonly spoken in the upper half of India by approximately 30% of the population with 14 other official languages. English is also commonly spoken and each state has its own language.

India generally experiences two seasons throughout the year; a rainy season and a dry season. From October to March, the weather is, on the whole, drier and mild. Monsoons and flooding are common during the rainy season.

Most of India’s cities offer a very high yet cheap standard of living and the cost of most things, including entertainment, education, housing and food is significantly lower than most western countries – even in Mumbai and New Delhi.

It is estimated that there are currently between 20,000-30,000 expats from all walks of life – teachers, artists and spiritualists as well as CEOs and executives of international corporations, living in the country with that number expected to increase dramatically in the coming years.

Finding work in India can at first appear challenging but there are in-fact many opportunities available. Nevertheless, it’s worth bearing in mind what might be considered a decent salary in the UK will typically be 25% of what expats would earn back home.

A large percentage of expats in India are on assignment with multinational companies but, in recent years, more and more Indian corporations have been importing skills and experience from overseas. However, it is highly recommended that you try and secure work prior to entering the country to be on the safe side and to know that you’ll earn what you’re worth.

Despite the fact that India is recognised as a country that is high-tech and progressive, networking and personal connections remain prominent means of finding suitable job opportunities.

Here are some key facts that every expat should know about living in India:

If you plan to stay in India for more than 180 consecutive days you will be required to register at the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO) within the first 14 days of your arrival. Failure to do so could mean that you lose your Indian Visa.

When living in India you will experience very irregular voltages and frequent power cuts. You will need to buy some voltage stabilizers for electronic appliances and UPS for your computer.

The majority of houses and apartments in India do not have ovens although ovens are easily available from large electrical shops.

You should never accept ripped or damaged bank notes – many places will refuse to accept them. You should always hand the Rupees back if they show the slightest sign of ripping or damage.

You should only ever use your right hand to eat and shake hands with. The left hand is considered dirty as it is traditionally used for bathroom duties.

When you are planning to move to a country like India, it is vitally important that you receive the right information and also the right support. PSS International Removals only handle international removals overseas, so rest assured that all our staff have been export trained and have the experience to supply you with an excellent service.

Furthermore, PSS can offer you a competitive quotation, we are members of FIDI Global Alliance, accredited by FAIM quality standard and financially bonded by the British Association of Removers & IMMI Payment guarantee scheme. Contact us now for a free estimators survey, online moving and baggage quote.

 

What you need to know about moving to Canada

"Peyto Lake-Banff NP-Canada" by Tobias Alt, Tobi 87 - Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Peyto_Lake-Banff_NP-Canada.jpg#/media/File:Peyto_Lake-Banff_NP-Canada.jpg

“Peyto Lake-Banff NP-Canada” by Tobias Alt, Tobi 87 – Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Peyto_Lake-Banff_NP-Canada.jpg#/media/File:Peyto_Lake-Banff_NP-Canada.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

Despite the fact a British speciality food shop recently stopped selling famous UK goods including Marmite and Irn-Bru because they contained ‘unapproved ingredients’, Canada is still the second most popular destination for British expats, behind Australia.

It is also the world’s second-largest country, and was colonised by the British and French in the 15th century, meaning that today it is officially bilingual, with almost a quarter of citizens speaking French. But this isn’t the only reason Canada is popular – the spirit of the kind and generous people, the outdoor lifestyle, the breath-taking scenery, the snowy winters and hot summers all contribute to its magnetic pull.

Most Canadians are fortunate enough to have access to high quality healthcare and for those with a healthy sense of adventure; there is an incredible variety of regions to explore. Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and world-class ski resorts including Whistler and Calgary are just the tip of the iceberg.

Canada is a vast expanse, where locals and tourists alike can holiday in the country every year without getting restless. A trip to see the northern lights in Newfoundland and whale-watching off Vancouver are also experiences you are never likely to forget.

Interestingly, when it comes to the Canuck language, ‘suckers’ are lollipops; ‘noodles’ means pasta; a ‘loonie’ is a dollar; a ‘parkade’ is a multi-storey car park; a ‘gas bar’ is the petrol station and ‘hydro’ means electricity. Ice hockey, known simply as ‘hockey’ in Canada, and lacrosse are the country’s national sports. Mail is never delivered on Saturdays and some famous Canadians include Pamela Anderson, Leonard Cohen, Avril Lavigne, Keanu Reeves and Jim Carrey – alrighty then!

Most Canadian emigrants usually require the ‘skilled workers and professionals’ visa, but in order to be successful in obtaining one, you’ll have to prove your worth and unique skillset to the economy. You will be scored on criteria including age and occupation, with 67 points needed to be considered for entry. Failing that there are visas for entrepreneurs and investors, for people who have skills that are needed in a specific province, and family visas for those joining a spouse or family member. For further information, take a look at the Canadian Citizen and Immigration service’s Visa Wizard to see whether you’re eligible.

You must be able to show you have sufficient income to support yourself and any dependants you might have before entering the country, unless you’ve already arranged employment in Canada. And you will also need to pass a medical exam.

A UK state pension is payable, but unfortunately you will not get annual increases in benefit once you have ceased to be resident in the UK. This means your benefit will stay at the same rate as when you left the UK.

You’ll also only need routine vaccinations, though Hepatitis B is recommended, as well as rabies if you are likely to be involved in any activities that might bring you into direct contact with bats, carnivores and other mammals.

Should you decide to emigrate to Canada you’ll be made to feel welcome. The country has one of the highest per capita immigration rates in the world. In fact, according to the Canadian immigration service the country attracted between 240-265,000 new permanent residents in 2013 alone.

Unfortunately, this rise in popularity is occasionally exploited by scammers so a specialist removals company such as PSS International Removals and their partners can safely guide you through the tricky business of applying for a Canadian visa. Although you’ll generally find the visa application process greatly improved by obtaining a job offer, PSS works closely with a number of visa specialist partners to ensure that you receive a successful migration. If you would like one of our partners to contact you and assist with your visa application process, please complete this form.

 

What you need to know before moving to Australia

"Sydney Opera House Night". Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sydney_Opera_House_Night.jpg#/media/File:Sydney_Opera_House_Night.jpg

“Sydney Opera House Night”. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sydney_Opera_House_Night.jpg#/media/File:Sydney_Opera_House_Night.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

Have you ever considered a move ‘down under’ or as some like to call it, ‘the land of wonder’ or ‘sunburnt country’? Did you know that more than 85% of Australians live within fifty kilometers of the coast and should anyone ever decide to visit one new beach in the country every day, it would take them over twenty seven years to see them all?

Melbourne has been ranked the world’s most livable city for the past three years, while the Great Barrier Reef is the planet’s largest living structure.

Australia’s wondrous countryside is a major pull factor for emigrants with 91% being covered by native vegetation. The Australian Alps even receive more snowfall per year than Switzerland, Tasmania has the cleanest air globally and there are over sixty designated wine regions. Furthermore, Australia is the only country in the world with an original police force consisting of the most well-behaved convicts!

Australia really is a country with so much to offer; which is why an estimated 40,000 Brits are being attracted by its outdoor lifestyle, sunshine and sense of space each year. While the UK has a massive 248.25 persons per square kilometer, Australia only has 2.66 persons per square kilometer. Even 70 tourists per week are currently overstaying their visas!

Despite one Australian man once trying to sell New Zealand on eBay and a healthy rivalry between the two countries, both share many cultural similarities.

Much like New Zealand, if you have a growing family then Australia is generally seen as a great place to bring up children. It’s a country with thriving family values, and the standard mode of entertainment is a barbecue in someone’s back garden, as opposed to the UK where many adults might just visit the pub and leave the children at home to watch TV or play computer games. Perhaps it comes from being a nation of builders and pioneers? For many, Australia could be compared to Britain in the 1970’s, but without the strikes, the power cuts or revolutionary punk music.

Australians are a proud, strong, unfailingly friendly, helpful bunch of people with a laid-back mentality and a ‘work hard, play hard’ ethic.
Also, as you will no doubt find out should you decide move there, they love sport and regularly celebrate their wins against England when it comes to both the cricket and the rugby.

If you are seriously considering a move to Australia then you really should learn about the history of the country.
Here are some links worth reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Australia
http://australia.gov.au/topics/culture-history-and-sport/australian-history
http://www.australia.com/about/culture-history/history.aspx

When it comes to applying for a visa, you will be pleased to know that currently the whole process is a lot quicker than it used to be a few years ago. Depending on which visa you decide to apply for or which professional skills you might have, you could be granted a visa within a few months. Nevertheless, the online application lets you track your progress and upload all of the relevant supporting documentation easily.

Should you be planning on retiring in Australia, the UK state pension is non-transferable, and some personal pensions have special requirements, which must be met to enable a transfer. Pension funds can also sometimes be liable for tax, so check in advance what you can and can’t transfer easily. If you’re likely to need to apply for credit, whether a credit card, loan or mortgage, you should apply for a full credit report before leaving the UK in order to ascertain whether there might be outstanding issues which can be dealt with prior to arriving in Australia. Also make sure you cancel all your direct debits before leaving.

As a UK citizen, you may be temporarily covered by Medicare, Australia’s national health program, but you should check this with the Australian embassy before your departure, particularly if you have outstanding health issues.
As a visitor to Australia, you’re entitled to drive as a long as you have a valid driver’s licence and passport together with you at all times. If you hold a permanent visa however, you can only use your UK license for a maximum of three months. Once your licence is all arranged, at least you won’t have to remember to drive on the right-hand-side – Australia drives on the left, just like the UK!
With regards to shipping your goods overseas, it is recommended that you first compare the replacement costs of items of furniture and other effects with your removals company as the replacement costs of some items in Australia can be quite expensive.
PSS International Removals are UK’s first choice for moving overseas and we have successfully helped thousands of people move to Australia since we began. We are able to offer you a professional service including additional visa, employment, banking, currency, pension transfer, pet shipping, tax rebate, education, flight and property advice through our network of trusted partners.

Visit our website to find out more or contact us for a free quote now!

Everything you need to know about moving to New Zealand

 

"Tasman Valley - Aoraki Mount Cook - Canterbury" by David Briody from Edinburgh, Scotland - Tasman Valley (by Lesley). Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tasman_Valley_-_Aoraki_Mount_Cook_-_Canterbury.jpg#/media/File:Tasman_Valley_-_Aoraki_Mount_Cook_-_Canterbury.jpg

“Tasman Valley – Aoraki Mount Cook – Canterbury” by David Briody from Edinburgh, Scotland – Tasman Valley (by Lesley). Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tasman_Valley_-_Aoraki_Mount_Cook_-_Canterbury.jpg#/media/File:Tasman_Valley_-_Aoraki_Mount_Cook_-_Canterbury.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

Latest news: New Zealand attempts to lure UK medics: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/nz-attempts-lure-uk-medics-baby-boomers-age

How would you like to live in a country that is only 174 years old, the same size as the UK but with a population of around 4 million (as opposed to 63 million)? It will still let you sing ‘God Save The Queen’ whilst never being more than 79 miles from the beach? The least corrupt nation on earth (tied with Denmark) where one third of the land is protected national parkland, has plenty of work opportunities and 1 in 3 households own a boat? Oh, and there’s lots of sheep – LOTS.

The native Maori’s often call it; ‘Aotearoa’, the ‘land of the long white cloud’ or ‘God’s own country’, New Zealand can offer all of these things and much, much more. No wonder it scored highest for quality of life in a recent survey of UK expats.

Culturally, New Zealand is generally laid back and Kiwis are renowned for their relaxed attitude to life. Nevertheless, they do work hard but play harder, love the great outdoors with most entertainment involving some form of outdoor activity or another. Kiwis also pride themselves on living in an environment where social status means very little. Whether you are rich or poor, they all play the same games.

If you are from the UK and considering a move to New Zealand then you really should learn about and be aware of the Treaty of Waitangi. This was an agreement in 1840 between the British Crown and Maori chiefs which regulated British sovereignty over the country whilst granting certain rights to the natives. Here are some links that are worth reading:

New Zealand

Working in New Zealand

New Zealand Now

The local currency is the New Zealand dollar and the economy has weathered the recent global recession relatively well.

As a result, many job seekers from the UK are finding plenty of work opportunities within the country, especially within the ICT, healthcare, engineering and construction sectors. UK technical and professional qualifications are also generally recognised. There are also lots of other opportunities, particularly if your skills are on the New Zealand skill shortages lists posted by Immigration New Zealand. You may even be able to apply for a skilled migrant visa that lets you live and work in the country indefinitely.

New Zealand’s tax year runs from 1 April to 31 March and if you spend more than 183 days of a year in the country you will be considered a resident for tax purposes. When you first arrive you may qualify as a transitional tax resident which will give you exemptions from paying tax on any income earned outside of New Zealand for four years. As long as it isn’t related to work you are doing while in the country. This means income from a UK pension during this period is un-taxable. There is also no tax-free income allowance in New Zealand and everyone is taxed on all of their earnings; with a starting rate of 10.5%.

Due to significantly cheaper prices than the UK, buying a property is the norm in New Zealand, but as a result there are fewer properties available to rent – even if that might be the advisable thing to do in the short term. The average property price is currently $350,000 and prices are generally highest in Auckland where 1 in 3 kiwis and expats live.

As with the UK, landlords usually ask for up to four weeks’ rent in advance as a bond. Here are some useful resources for your reference:

For information on properties to rent or buy  Real Estate NZ and Emigrate NZ

A full list of rental agenciesYellow

Government assistance for families –   Government NZ

If you are considering emigrating with a young family, New Zealand’s schools and campuses are generally safe with generous play areas and fantastic access to the outdoors.

Most schools are free despite parents being expected to cover some minor costs. Interestingly, seven of New Zealand’s universities recently appeared in the top 400 QS World University Rankings 2012/13(50% of them in the top 250) and six were in the 2012/13 Times Higher Education Supplement’s top 400.

Roughly 30% of New Zealanders opt for private medical insurance but for expats, the Ministry of Health website will tell you all you need to know about the country’s health services. New Zealand also has Reciprocal Health Agreements with both Australia and the UK, which means that UK citizens working in the country can receive the same publicly-funded services as a citizen if covered by the agreement.

Expats currently have to pay for routine visits to GPs and dentists although children under six can visit their doctor for free. GPs set their own charges and these can vary from between $10.50 and $65.00. Those under 18 and over 45 receive a government subsidy for GP visits.

Nevertheless, maternity care is free and basic dental care is also free for children still attending school. Furthermore, if your GP refers you to a hospital or for emergency treatment this is also free.

Planning on taking your pet down under? This site will tell you all you need to know about bringing your pet into New Zealand. It’s worth noting that dogs and cats from the UK/Ireland will not require quarantine but will need pre-import tests/treatments and will be inspected for ticks on arrival.

PSS are the UK’s first choice for moving overseas and we have successfully helped thousands of customers move to many destinations throughout the world, including New Zealand. Please take a look at the relevant page on our website for more detailed information about our migration services to New Zealand.

 

VISA considerations when moving abroad

Swedish_Visa

 

 

Image credit: “Swedish Visa” by Emon77dhk – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Swedish_Visa.jpg#/media/File:Swedish_Visa.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

So you’ve decided that you’d like to live abroad. You’ve researched your chosen destination, considered the various foreign health services on offer, your long-term financial requirements, set-up a consultancy session with an independent legal professional, looked into recruiting a specialist international removals company, enquired into taxes and properties to rent and notified the Social Security Office. But there’s still one key thing you’ve forgotten about isn’t there?

How do you get a Visa and which Visa is right for you?

You might be planning on temporarily working abroad or even considering a more permanent move with your family? Whether this might be to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, USA, UAE or elsewhere in Europe, start by researching early to avoid running afoul of entry requirements that often ruin the plans of even the most experienced travellers. You can never be too prepared when you move abroad because if you don’t have all of the necessary arrangements in place, you could find yourself deported or even going to jail. The following advice will help ensure that you plan efficiently before your departure but by working with an international removals company such as PSS International Removals, we can put you in touch with our specialist Visa partners who will guide you through the tricky business of application which is a critical part of any relocation. You will find that your Visa process will be greatly improved by obtaining a job offer and we work closely with a number of Visa specialist partners who can guide you through this complex process and ensure a successful migration to your chosen country.

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least the next few years. Many countries often refuse entry to travellers whose passports are nearing expiration and always remember to check it’s physical condition. If it’s ripped or torn, you may be rejected at the border, so make sure you replace it before you go.

Always research into the necessary documentation needed to accompany your Visa application. The government’s website and those of individual countries’ embassies and consulates usually list the relevant information. Typical requirements include proof of arriving and departing flights; confirmation of hotel reservation and a current bank statement that shows you have the basic funds in place necessary for the move. Always call to confirm that the information on the website is up to date and whether the processing fee has increased or not.

Always research your chosen country in advance. This will also alert you to any special requirements or processing quirks that you might encounter. For example, visitors to South Africa might be turned away if they don’t have two consecutive blank pages in their passports but if you’re moving to Brazil, your visa application must be processed before leaving and several countries that don’t require a Visa do impose a ‘reciprocity fee’, so make sure you’re informed about all entry requirements, not just those related to Visas.

Looking at the Visa application process in more detail and taking a typical move to Australia as an example, if you might need a Visa for your family, family sponsored applicants are usually assessed on an individual basis against Australia’s health and character requirements. Applicants must be sponsored or nominated by a close family member living in Australia and the sponsor must be either an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, and would usually be 18 years of age or older. Assurance of support and payment of bond is also required for certain Visas.

All family Visas are classified as ‘family stream’ and enable Australian permanent residence and citizens to bring together other family members living outside of the country. The Australian government also facilitates option for parents, husband/wife, children and other family members and their ‘Partner category’ applications apply to married, engaged and defacto couples. In some countries, common sex partners are allowed and this Visa scheme allows them too however, applicants must cite this when they are consulting with their immigration consultant. Finally, the parent visa category is for those parents who have children settled in Australia as an Australian citizen or permanent resident. For those applying for a general business visa in Australia, this visa provides business people the opportunity of investing or establishing and managing a business with their family. Visa applications are typically divided up into 3 categories – ‘Business Owner Investor Visa’, ‘Senior Executive Visa’ and ‘Business Talent Visa’.

Once all of you’re Visa paperwork has been approved and your all ready to go, don’t forget to check your airline’s rules, especially when you’re moving to a country that allows you to obtain your Visa on arrival. Airline policies often differ from published requirements based on the specific experiences in the destination country. That’s because the airline can be fined heavily if it transports passengers who do not have their paperwork in order. Airlines these days often face very high penalty fees, tens of thousands of dollars, so they’re not going to board the traveller if there’s a risk of being denied admission into the country.