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7 Ways To Make Music With Your Toddler

Living as an expat with young children can be challenging. Mum is often carer, playmate and teacher all in one. Avenues for interaction and education are not as straightforward when you’re living in an unfamiliar place and structured classes for things like music can be difficult to find. The great news is, there’s lots of things you can do at home ...

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How To Achieve A Great Move Abroad

Katia Vlachos, born of Greek parents in Cameroon, has lived as an expat in Paris, LA, the Netherlands, Vienna and Zurich and so is well placed to write on living the expat life. At the London book launch of her new book, A Great Move, she outlined her top seven tips for a successful expatriate assignment. Having spent a period as an expat in Vienna, struggling to settle whilst surrounded by people ...

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Canada Calling

This vast, resource-rich country stretching over six time-zones is still open to immigrants and has many job opportunities for those with the right skills and qualifications A land of geographic differences and cultural diversity. Canada has a high standard of living with a friendly and sociable people. Within its vast borders, spanning six time-zones, there is a beautiful and varied landscape tha ...

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New Zealand Customs Requirements

When you move to New Zealand there are household items concessions available that mean you will not have to pay GST and duties on most of your items. You cannot claim household concessions for: new and unused items cars scooters motorbikes boats aircraft commercial items. Other types of motor vehicle or craft.   Clearing your items Your shipping company can provide the documents you need and ...

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Visa Options For New Zealand

If you are considering visiting, working in or moving to New Zealand there are a range of options for visas depending on your citizenship, the purpose of your move and how long you want to spend there. Visitor Visa You can apply for a Visitor Visa if you want to come to New Zealand as a tourist, visit family and friends, or study a short course.  You can stay up to nine months in New Zealand.  You ...

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Customs Requirements For Entry To Canada

If you are moving to Canada it is important to understand the customs requirements for entry in to Canada.  We provide guidelines here but the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) website has a wealth of detailed information You will need two copies of an inventory of all the goods you intend to bring into Canada as part of your personal effects indicating the value, make, model and serial number ...

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Passport And Visa For Canada

There are a range of visa options depending on the purpose and timing of your planned stay in Canada.  There are visas that give the right to temporary residence and those that allow you permanent residence. If you are entering Canada by air from most countries you will need an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA), but if you are entering by land or by boat you will simply need a valid passport.  ...

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Passport And Visa Requirements To Live And Work In France

A passport valid for three months beyond the intended stay and issued within the last ten years is required by anyone entering France unless you are from another EU country.  EU citizens must hold a passport of national ID card which is valid for the duration of the stay. Although EU nationals travelling from another Schengen country are not required to show a passport of ID card, it is best to ca ...

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Renting Or Buying Property In France

For many the idea of moving to France is to buy an old farmhouse deep in the country to renovate and settle into a rural lifestyle.  For others it is the attractions of the cosmopolitan life in Paris.  With prices in Paris it is generally more practical to rent rather than buy, but buying is more common in rural areas. Renting Property law in France generally favours the tenant, but it can be diff ...

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Personal Finance Issues For Expats In France

France has a reputation as a high tax jurisdiction and while President Hollande was in power, some wealthy French nationals chose to move to the UK and Portugal, enticed by their fiscal sweeteners.  But France can be a tax efficient place to live for retirees, providing you understand the tax implications of your specific situation and obtain specialist expatriate tax advice. You are considered ta ...

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What Are The Most Popular Regions In France?

Moving to France remains a popular choice amongst expats looking to change their way of life. There are many different French regions to choose from and each has its attractions, but the following four have proved to be consistently popular with people looking to move to France to live and work, or to retire. Brittany – Brittany is France’s most westerly region and its proximity to the UK ma ...

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Top 10 Tips To Learn A Language

How do I learn a foreign language? It is easy to start, but it is worth learning from those who have done it before to find out what works. We set out our top 10 tips for learning a foreign language. Know why you are learning the language. Make sure that before you start you know why you are learning the language and that you set short term goals as well as the final target of full proficiency or ...

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Financial And Lifestyle Benefits Of The Expat Life

The HSBC Expat Explorer survey provides insights each year into expat life around the world and highlights the locations that expats love.  Overall expats are very positive about the experience and there are lifestyle as well as financial benefits. Financial The economic drivers for moving abroad are highlighted with expats globally having an average gross personal income of just under US$100,000 ...

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Investor Visas In The US

Investor visas are a way for those who are attracted to the USA to gain residency rights.   The world’s largest economy offers the allure of the American dream and a wide range of different lifestyles across this vast country.  There are different options for entrepreneurs wanting to move to America depending on the circumstances and whether you are wanting to move there temporarily or perman ...

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Getting Connected In America

Getting connected – organising mobile phones (cellphones) for yourself and your family members, together with broadband for your new home –  will be one of your first and most important tasks when arriving in the US. Standards America as an enormous market in its own right has generally followed its own standards.  The United States and Canada use a 110-120 volt, 60-cycle system rather ...

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Driving in America

In the USA driving is an essential part of the culture.  This is partly driven by the practicality of getting around in a country so large and partly a function of the lifestyle.  In some of the major cities there is an extensive public transport system, but the cities are all served by extensive multi-lane freeways, many of which regularly grind to a slow crawl during busy periods of the day. Any ...

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Finding Schools in America

When considering your options for schools in America, assuming you have decided against a boarding school back home, you will need to decide between American public and private schools and international and foreign-language schools. International Schools International schools generally teach in English and focus on the International Baccalaureate (IB) examination and diploma.  The advantage of thi ...

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Taking Your Pet To America

There is a lot to consider when taking your pet to America. In the US, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responsible for the regulations that govern the importation of animals and animal products that might cause human disease. The CDC does not require certificates of health for pets that enter America. However, they may be required by some states and are generally required by ...

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Customs Requirements On Moving To The USA

Everyone entering the US has to complete the Customs and Border Protection Form (CBP Form) 6059B, “Customs Declaration,” for accompanying goods. If your goods are arriving separately you will need to complete the CBP Form 3299 “Declaration For Free Entry of Unaccompanied Articles. “You cannot simply give a statement that the goods are “household effects”, but wi ...

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Financing The Purchase Of A Property Abroad

Financing is of course a key thing to consider when you are looking to purchase a property abroad. If you are unable to purchase the property from your own funds you will need to identify options to obtain a mortgage. There are basically three options: 1. Remortgage your home – This can be the easiest option if you have sufficient equity in your home. However, the repayments will need to be ...

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