Where Shall I Immigrate To?

I’ve summed up in this post couple of attractive destination to which people are immigrating to in the recent years. I tried to make it an easy reading text. Of course that a decision should be based on more firm grounds. If you have further thoughts about it, you are welcome to share!

Oceania

The land down under, a popular destination for backpackers who have finished high school and have no idea what they want further in life. For young people it’s a great opportunity to try their luck and apply for a working holiday visa. This kind of visa is usually for a few months, but can be prolonged.
For more mature people there are also plenty of (job) opportunities in Australia. Quite recently the Australian immigration service announced on new policies, which suppose to make it easier for foreign skilled workers to enter the country. These policies have been brought to life because of the skills deficit in Australia in areas such as, health care, construction, IT and education for example. In New Zealand you are also very welcome if you have certain skills.

Asia

If you have a business degree, you should definitely explore opportunities in the economic powerhouse of the 21st century. Businesses in Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Japan are eager for western talents. You could easily apply in a local business establishment or directly in the Far East.
For people who are not interested in doing business there is also the accessible option to teach English in Asia. Native English speaker are preferred, but this is not always a requirement. A TEFL-certificate (teaching English as a foreign language) is an important requirement though.

Europe

You could also save yourself the trouble and move within the European Union. Due to the free movement act, all citizens of the European Union are allowed to travel, work and live freely within its borders. The only thing you might want to prepare beforehand is a Europass; a document which contains your education, work experience and skills in all European languages.

A popular destination within Europe which isn’t part of the European Union is Norway. The Norwegian economy is growing and there are enough jobs for technicians, (ship)builders, nurses and farmers. (interested? Visit the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration website.)

Canada

The prime minister of Canada has announced that they want to attract the best and most intelligent people to Canada in order to get their industry on the highest level ever. Since a lot of countries are amidst an economic crisis and the unemployment rates are very high, it’s the best time to attract talent.

But not just the exceptional worker could go to Canada, they are also eager for nurses, carpenters, plasterers, bricklayers and truck drivers.

What else?

If you really can’t choose, why can’t choose them all? you could always work on a cruise ship! 🙂 The wages aren’t high, but you hardly have the opportunity to spend it. You should however have to be able to stay away from home for a few months at a time, have nothing against small spaces and enjoy the company of the elderly and families.

So if you are planning to relocate, you can read my post Sum Up of Immigration Questions.

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Best Country in the World for Business – Ranking 2012

Bloomberg released the ranking of the best countries in the world to do business in. Hong Kong, the entrance to the Chinese market, is obviously no. 1. Following closely are the Netherlands and the USA (for the whole list of countries, see the list incorporated in the article). UK and Australia are also attractive destination in this category.

Bloomberg ranking base its ranking on 6 factors: The cost of setting up a business, hiring and moving goods; Economic intergration; inflation and corruption; other economics dimensions, such as the size of the middle class, household consumption and GDP per capita.

This is quite interesting and personally I would like to know more about the experience of expats in these fields.

Links:

SkillSelect Australia – How It will Work

Australian government announced on a change in the immigration policy on effect from July 2012. One of the changes is the creating SkillSelect, a new agency which will control and monitor the recruitment of skilled immigrants.

In the basis of SkillSelect is the registration of the candidate in the system through Expression of Interest (EOI). In this stage, the person detail on his intention to immigrate to Australia and elaborate on his skills. According to their website, the following info will be required:

  • Basic personal information
  • Nominated occupation
  • Work experience
  • Study and education
  • Level of English skills
  • Details of a Skills Assessment, related to the nominated occupation
  • Business and investment experience

The above details and skills will account to a certain score, . The highest scores on certain field will automatically qualify for independent visa and family sponsored visas. State and Territory Sponsored Visas will be granted for applicants whose skills are required by a certain state or territory. In such case, the applicant will also get and automatic invitation. Business Skills Visa is also a new type of visa issued under SkillSelect. For the time being, there is no further information about it.

Employer could also use the system of SkillSelect to find skilled workers and to grant Employer Sponsored Visa. Therefore, SkillSelect will be shaped like a job agency for skilled immigrants, holding the data which describe their skills and competence. However, employers will still be able to invite a skilled worker outside of the SkillSelect process, using their own recruitment.

Also, the candidates are subject to Occupation Ceiling criterion, which limits the number of immigration for a certain occupation group on a yearly basis. Once the limit has reached, not more visas will be granted for this group in that year. This is relevant only for independent, family sponsored or state/territory sponsored visas.

When an applicant is invited, it is a must to apply online within 60 days before the invitation expires. Shall an individual refuse twice to an invitation, his EOI will be removed from SkillSelect.

According to SkillSelect, the following Visa will still be open for application with employers granting visas to foreign workers:

  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) – “Allows Australian employers to sponsor employees who are foreign nationals for a permanent visa to work in Australia”.
  • Regional Sponsored Scheme (RSMS) – “Allows employers in regional or low population growth areas of Australia, to sponsor employees who are foreign nationals for a permanent visa to work in Australia”
  • Temporary Business (Long Stay), subclass 457 program – “This is the most commonly used program for employers to sponsor overseas workers to work in Australia on a temporary basis.”

Related Links

International Removal: The Frugal Way

In this post I would like to give you my opinion on the removal of your old house’s items. It might be more relevant for people who move for a long period of time, but others might also find it useful. For other thoughts regarding the move, you are welcome to see my post about immigration questions.

Let me preface with that by default, most of the people will decide in an arbitrary manner to take everything with them to their new home. In most of the cases, the removal will require you to rent a whole container, so the more you fill it in, the more affordable it will become in your mind. I agree with this view in general. There is no reason not to ship your sofas, fridge, oven and etc. in case you have to rent a 40′ container or even 20′ container. Let Alone the other personal stuff like the huge CD’s collection collected over years.

Still, in some cases, your international removal of your entire house can be pricy, and you might find out that buying essential items in the destination might be a better idea. Take for example relocation to China. Did you know for instance that the prices of IKEA (maybe the best spot for newcomers looking for an all-in-one place) in China are ridiculously lower than in other parts of the world? My quick research found that same leather sofa which cost in Australia EUR 2100 cost EUR 1400 in Ikea China. Also, China has all the brands that you can find in other countries, in lower price range. Moving to China or another country with different prices ranges changes the picture.

So, with price comparison you can decide whether you would like to bring all of your old belongings with you. Or, the move is an opportunity to get brand new items, which can be moved back to the home country when you move back.

Having removed all the big items from your list, you might not need a container any more. This is perfectly normal, as a lot of removal companies offer you the possibility to share a space in a container. If you have 50-60 boxes, you obviously don’t need a whole 20’ container, but just 6-7 cubic meters (cbm). This can be a great saving for your moving budget. You should consult the prices with international removalists that can provide you a quote. Some of them have a minimal amount of shipping volume to allow this type of shipping (usually minimum 4-5cbm). Anyway, I have added a list of the containers available on the market today for you to compare.

The available containers on the market:

Container Size 10’ 20’ 40’
Volume in cubic meters 15.4 cbm 33.2 cbm 67 cbm

Note: the 10/20/40 relates to the size in Feet, the American measurement

Australia Immigration Policy Change from July 2012

The Australian government declared (March 9th 2012) on forthcoming to the current visa system an immigration policy. Reading the releases, it suppose to help Australia to suffice the demand of workers. Basically it can help workers to reach permanent status faster, and suppose to make things more flexible.

Some of the key features of the reforms include:

  • simplifying the current visa structure
  • introducing a streamlined and simplified pathway to permanent residence for
    eligible subclass 457 visa holders
  • changing the upper age limit from less than 45 to less than 50 years of age
  • changing to key visa criteria including English language and skill requirements
  •  introducing one consolidated sponsored occupation list to replace the 457,
    ENSOL and StatSOL occupation lists
  • strategically refocusing the Regional Certifying Body (RCB) network to the Direct
    Entry stream of RSMS
  • integrating the new ENS and RSMS visas with the skilled migrant selection
    model, SkillSelect, which will be launched on 1 July 2012

The above changes no doubt cause a lot of changes for the planning of future immigrants. Not everything is clear yet and clarifications are expected to be given. I recommend for future immigrants of Australia to go over the following document to see the repercussions on your plans:

Related sources by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Australian Government:

Sum Up of Immigration Questions

In this post I would like to sum up some of the immigration questions that I heard over the years. I don’t plan to give all the answers (I hope to do it in later posts) but it might be a good overview (and I am open to suggestions of course).

Opportunities Abroad for All

Many families are moving abroad because of an opportunity of one person in the family. It can be be a career opportunity for managers going to supervise a branch overseas; studying abroad in a university for Ph.D or other research programs; or even a diplomatic mission. In these cases, when one of the members have an exciting opportunity, consideration should be made for chances of work and living for the other partner. A move can be frustrating for one of the sides, especially when there is no planning. This of course have to do with the length of the stay overseas. There is a big difference between one year to 5 years to permanent settlement.

Life and Education of the Family

This is by far one of the biggest challenge for parents. Children will have to be taken out from their school, neighborhood, friends and etc. In addition, you might be worried about the education level in the destination. In these cases, most parents prepare the children a long time before the move, while keeping the stress about it out of the house. Children do not really comprehend the repercussions of these types of changes before it actually happens. In addition, parents are usually choosing their neighborhood in the city according to different parameters such as: The existence of international schools; community of the origin country, important facilities and other characteristics for finding the best family-oriented area.

Health

Health insurance is nothing special for movers. But moving abroad with one of the family members is having a health condition, is a different story. First of all, the coverage of the future health expenses should be confirmed beforehand. Also, it should be examined whether environment changes, such as moving from a rural area to a city, or moving to a different climate zone, will have any negative effect. Just an example, check out this blog, Gluten Free Kids Travel of a couple moving between countries with a celiac child. This is admirable.

Renovation of the Future House

If you were thinking that renovating your house can be chaotic your own country, you will find it even harder abroad when you do not know about any local services and contractors. The condition of the house (rented/bought) the moment you move in should be absolutely considered. Remember, it is as always, a major headache.

The Remaining 2 Cents

Income, savings, pension and all other financial condition and social rights are of course, a main concern. This differs so much between countries and was discussed so much in many expats forums, that researching this area should be too hard. In addition, immigration departments of various countries provide detailed information on their websites.

So to sum it up, I hope I covered some of the questions and problems arise when a family wishes to move. Any comment will be greatly appreciated.

Irish Communities Celebrations of St. Patrick’s day 2012

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most popular events in the Irish communities abroad. Irish people that emigrated around the globe find this holiday as a very uniting holiday which binds together the first generation of immigrants and also the later generations. Green color, drinking, celebrations and parties are all part of this special holiday that helps to link to the Irish identity and heritage overseas.

The most known parade is the one held in New York. This parade attracts over 2 millions people yearly, to watch the delighting marchers of the parade:

How do you plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day thisi year? I’d be happy to hear!

If you haven’t planned your celebration and not sure where to be, the best place to start is an Irish pub in major cities – sure there you will find jolly fellows.