January 2014 Expat News Archive

Archived Daily Expat News from the Expats Blog Newsdesk...

31 Jan at 6 PM

Hints on the Australian working culture for confused expats

Australia may well share a language with UK and US expats, but its working culture might take some time to understand. Business ethics in other cultures are often a real challenge for newly-arrived expat professionals, especially when the spoken language is unfamiliar. However, Australia’s strong links with the West and its use of its...
31 Jan at 6 PM

MEP taskforce updated to include both EU and UK expats

In a follow-up to an article last week about an EU MEP’s plan to set up a parliamentary cross-party taskforce, a major French expat newspaper is now detailing the initiative's progress. Sophie in’t Veld, deputy leader of an EU parliamentary group, mooted the taskforce due to her concerns about the harsh treatment by the Home Office of...
31 Jan at 6 PM

Research shows numbers of UK expats in EU overestimated

Recently released research by the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows the number of British citizens living in Europe has been overestimated. A total of 890,000 Brits are at present living in other European Union member states as against a former estimate by the United Nations of around 1.2 million. At the same time, nationals...
30 Jan at 6 PM

Disenchanted Americans head for the good life in Belize

As American interest in alternatives to continuing living in the USA continues to grow, Belize is increasingly being seen as the perfect expat destination. The Caribbean island formerly known as British Honduras is becoming even more popular with refugees from an increasingly divided America. Along with all the usual attractions including...
30 Jan at 6 PM

New Zealand is favourite for footloose US citizens

New Zealand’s spectacular natural beauty is tempting would-be expatriates to leave the USA and change their lives. Spurred on by Silicone Valley billionaire Peter Thiel’s decision to become a Kiwi citizen after purchasing a magnificent lakeside estate, Americans who dislike the way their country seems to be heading are upping sticks...
30 Jan at 6 PM

US expats in Mexico at risk from Trump policies

American expats living in Mexico could be caught in retaliatory action by the Mexican government should Trump tax imports and remittances to pay for his wall. Three members of Mexico’s parliamentary Congress are putting forward a scheme which would result in US expat properties being confiscated or made subject to liens should Trump's...
27 Jan at 6 PM

Myanmar draft laws covering foreigners cause concern for expats

Two new draft laws affecting foreigners living and working in Myanmar are causing fear and trepidation in the country’s growing expat community. The laws are expected to be presented as priorities by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population and the Factory and General Labour Law Department once Myanmar’s upcoming...
27 Jan at 6 PM

EU taskforce to investigate plight of EU expats applying for UK residency

Following media coverage of bureaucratic nightmares caused to EU citizens applying for UK residency, the issue will come under investigation by a European Union cross-party taskforce. The move, by the EU parliament’s liberal group deputy leader Sophie in’t Veld, will examine harsh treatment by the British authorities of EU expats...
27 Jan at 6 PM

Expats in China embrace Chinese New Year customs and traditions

Chinese traditions and superstitions connected with the New Year celebrations are fascinating and fun, with many expats joining in the festivities. The customs connected with the Chinese New Year go back several thousands of years, and the festival itself causes the world’s largest migration as millions and millions of Chinese travel to...
26 Jan at 6 PM

Final salary pension transfer boost good news for expat retirees

Would-be expats transferring from a final salary scheme are getting some 40 per cent more than in 2015 due to falls in gilt yields and interest rates. Would-be expats transferring from a final salary scheme are getting some 40 per cent more than in 2015 due to falls in gilt yields and interest rates. Final salary pensions, also known...
26 Jan at 6 PM

Australia targets Ireland with new Working Holiday Visa package.

Australia has launched an appeal to younger Irish nationals to consider up to two years’ stay in the country on a Working Holiday visa package. Once a popular way for Irish citizens to experience Australia in the longer term, the Working Holiday Visa scheme has declined in popularity over the last few years. In 2011/12, successful...
26 Jan at 6 PM

Spanish PM cites financial disaster of Brexit linked expat and tourism losses

The reality of Brexit is hitting hard on the Spanish prime minister as he foresees the massive financial loss to the country should expats leave and tourists stay at home. Speaking to the media at a news conference in Madrid, PM Mariano Rajoy stated Brexit is a critical threat to Spain, as its impact on the 17 million British tourists and...
25 Jan at 6 PM

Expat teachers in Kuwait giving private tuition risk being sacked

Expat teachers on contract to Kuwaiti education facilities are now risking the sack if they offer private tuition without Education Ministry approval. According to the ministry’s undersecretary Haytham al Athari, the full force of the law will be applied to contracted teachers and lecturers giving private, out-of-hours tuition. In a...
25 Jan at 6 PM

Brit expats using local heathcare far outstrip NHS use by EU expats

Despite fashionable media claims that EU expats are clogging up the NHS, recent research has proved the opposite is true. It seems ‘fake news’ is as rampant in the UK as it’s claimed to be in the USA. British readers of the populist right-wing media have long been treated to scare stories about EU expats’ burden on the...
25 Jan at 6 PM

Supreme Court ruling gives hope to UK and EU expats

Although the Supreme Court’s ruling isn’t a ‘get out of jail free’ card for worried UK expats, it at least confirms parliament’s right to a role in the Brexit progression. Basically, the judgement simply blocks Theresa May from triggering Article 50 until proper parliamentary scrutiny and a vote have taken place. Representatives...
24 Jan at 6 PM

Brit expat finds rescue dogs shot dead and horse injured in overnight attack

The British expat owner of a Spanish farm woke to find her five rescue dogs shot dead and her horse with its eye gouged out in an horrific attack. Illona Mitchell bought her Spanish estate in 2004 after emigrating to the country with her young daughter, and was using part of the land as an animal rescue centre. The 173 acre farm in the...
24 Jan at 6 PM

Huge increase in US expat destination searches since Trump election

A massive 105 per cent jump in searches for expat destinations by US citizens seems to confirm anti-Trump voters’ determination to leave the USA. InternationalLiving.com is one of the most popular websites for information about emigration, with more than a million would-be expats every month logging on to compare destinations. According...
24 Jan at 6 PM

Expat startup in China wins prize in Startup Leadership Programme contest

A new online initiative by expats in China hopes to provide classified advertisement services to the entire foreign community. Foreign startups in China are not new, neither is the increasing number of expatriates heading for the country’s untapped opportunities. Focusing on the present expat population of around 600,000 is a smart move...
23 Jan at 6 PM

The real truth about Brit expats in France

France has long been a favourite destination for Brits looking to change their lives via emigration, but stereotyped expat communities are decidedly not the norm in the land of wine and fabulous food. Misconceptions about expatriate behaviours and perceptions are normal wherever foreign residents hang their hats, with France no exception...
23 Jan at 6 PM

Brit government hikes Qatar terrorism threat level

Expats and foreign visitors in Qatar are being urged by the UK government to stay alert after the emirate’s terrorism threat level was raised to ‘likely’. Prior to the update, Qatar’s rating as regards the likelihood of terrorist attacks fell in the General category, indicating ‘some level of known terrorist activity’. The...
23 Jan at 6 PM

Expats worldwide join 600 anti Trump Womens Marches

In perhaps the largest mass protest the world has ever seen, an estimated two million plus women, their partners and children marched against Trump in over 60 countries. In a multinational rejection of Trump’s stance on womens’ rights, immigrants, multiculturalism, racism and pacifism, as many as 2.2 million people took to the streets...
20 Jan at 6 PM

Furious Brits in freezing Alicante demand reinstatement of winter fuel allowance

Following the dramatic big freeze and snowfalls across Southern Spain, British expat pensioners are demanding the UK government reconsider the removal of their £300 winter fuel allowance. Earlier this week, the normally sun-drenched retirement hub of Alicante was a snow-covered, freezing resort reminiscent of the worst of the UK’s...
20 Jan at 6 PM

Vietnam rated as best low cost SE Asian country for expat professionals

Vietnam and its capital Hanoi are increasingly rated as not only the cheapest Southeast Asian destination for expats, but also as a great place to grow a new career. Although the relocation process itself isn’t exactly inexpensive, once you’ve arrived to start your new life you’ll find the cost of living is far cheaper than the vast...
20 Jan at 6 PM

EU citizens in UK to fight for post Brexit residency law

A protest group formed by French expats is preparing to campaign for a new law giving protected rights to all EU expatriates in the UK. Marketing executive Nicholas Hatton is spearheading the group’s efforts to end what he calls ‘xenophobic rhetoric’ by forcing British MPs to grant permanent residency to all EU expats settled in...
19 Jan at 6 PM

Expats in sunny Spain wake up to big freeze

As the predicted big freeze finally reached Spain, UK expats in Andalucía and even the holiday island of Majorca woke up to snowy vistas reminiscent of the British winter. Although snow and sub-freezing temperatures had been predicted for a week, the heavy snowfalls across the south of Spain came as a shock to UK expats who’d relocated...
19 Jan at 6 PM

UK state pensioners in France terrified over more exchange rate falls

With the pound sterling forecast to sink even lower as the triggering of Article 50 draws nearer, Brit expats in France are fearing the worst. Theresa May’s long-awaited Brexit speech on Tuesday did nothing to allay the fears of British expats living in France on their UK state pensions. The PM’s continuing emphasis on a hard Brexit...
19 Jan at 6 PM

UK expats in Spain urge MP select committee to protect their rights

British nationals living in Spain and other EU member states have told British MPs a speedy gesture is needed to prevent their losing everything. Representatives from the Bremain in Spain group together with other campaigners for the right to remain spoke yesterday with members of a parliamentary select committee about their fears for...
18 Jan at 6 PM

Are expats in Kuwait being used as scapegoats

Since the New Kuwaiti parliament was sworn in some two months ago, its entire focus is being seen as scapegoating expats in the emirate rather than debating other concerns. Expat professionals working in Kuwait are uneasy about the seeming concentration on expat levels as against the numbers of Kuwaiti nationals. The expat author of an...
18 Jan at 6 PM

FEDs reject simplifying FATCA tax reporting for US expats

US expats in communities across the globe are unhappy about the US Treasury Department’s decision not to ease FATCA tax return reporting requirements by adopting same country exemption. One of the most burdensome requirements for US expats living abroad is the annual compulsory compliance with FATCA as regards their US tax liabilities....
18 Jan at 6 PM

US expats across Europe to hold Womens Marches against Trump

Inspired by the upcoming massive Womens’ March in Washington scheduled for the day after the inauguration, expat US citizens across Europe are holding their own versions. Spanish marches are being held in Madrid, Barcelona, Grenada and Valencia, beginning with Inauguration Day protests in Valencia and Madrid. Barcelona and Grenada’s...
17 Jan at 6 PM

Nationwide International closure narrows expats offshore bank choice

Nationwide International, the offshore branch of the well-known high street chain, will close some time in the summer. The closure of the offshore bank is certain to hit thousands of expats, as the brand is popular with retirees living overseas as well as expat workers. Shutting down of customer accounts is already in progress, giving...
17 Jan at 6 PM

EU expats in UK at risk of deliberate government hostility post Brexit

Leading immigration lawyers are sending a disturbing message suggesting possible deliberate governmental hostility to EU citizens living and working in Britain after Brexit. According to the Guardian, an immigration specialist lawyer with London firm Kingsley Napley is suggesting the possibility of a nightmare scenario for expats in the UK...
17 Jan at 6 PM

Kuwaiti MP demands special debate over increasing expat numbers

A Kuwaiti opposition MP is to demand a special debate on the demographic dangers resulting from the high level of expat numbers in the emirate. Opposition MP Abdulkarim al Kandari is collecting signatures from other MPs in order to force a debate on the so-called dangers of allowing an ever-increasing number of expats to enter the...
16 Jan at 6 PM

Student video defines expat reasons for loving Thailand

An award-winning video depicting Thai university students’ views of why expats come to Thailand is causing smiles amd a few raised eyebrows within the country’s expat community. The group of five Communication Arts students from Lampang’s Nation University won the coveted 50,000 Thai baht prize in a government-sponsored competition...
16 Jan at 6 PM

Expats watch and hope as more Brexit legal challenges are launched

Courts in Ireland and the British high court are set to hear two fresh challenges to Brexit as it's being put forward by Theresa May and her cronies. Expats are following the chaotic government manoeuvres and the various attempts to either reverse the referendum result or ameliorate its effects on their lives. The two latest challenges...
16 Jan at 6 PM

Scottish expats work to feed refugees in freezing Budapest

The severe cold weather in Europe is hitting hardest on refugees and the homeless, but a group of Scottish expats are doing their best to help. Dozens have already died in the life-threatening -19 Celsius freeze, many of whom were refugees from the Middle East or homeless Hungarians. Unable to watch the suffering without attempting to do...
13 Jan at 6 PM

New study offers clues to successful expat hirings

A new study has identified which character traits are common to expats with successful careers overseas. Many professionals and entrepreneurs are keen to try their luck as expats in countries across the world, but many don’t succeed and are forced to return to their home countries for a rethink. A recent study has identified the...
13 Jan at 6 PM

Tremlett petition may give hope to long term UK expats in Spain

Long-term British expats in Spain are watching in hope that Giles Tremlett’s efforts on their behalf will succeed. As the information-starved Brexit saga rumbles on, British expats living in Spain are stuck in no-man’s land with no-one to turn to for answers. Long-term Brit residents originally came to EU member state Spain with the...
13 Jan at 6 PM

Can UK expats rely on state pension to cover bills

The UK state pension is one the most ungenerous in the developed world, forcing many British retirees to relocate in order to take advantage of lower costs of living elsewhere in Europe or Asia. Taking into account that UK pensions are frozen unless the relocation is to countries whose governments have an agreement with the UK, even those...
12 Jan at 6 PM

Expats make a difference for Estepona stray dogs

A dedicated team of expat dog-lovers are working together to rehabilitate and rehome Estepona’s stray dogs. Spain is just one of several Mediterranean countries with a stray dog problem, a situation which causes distress to UK expats who’ve been brought up with the saying ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’. As a result,...
12 Jan at 6 PM

UAE expats rush to relocate currency as pound falls again

Following yet another fall in the value of sterling on Wednesday, British expats working in the UAE rushed to transfer funds back to the UK. Sterling fell a further 0.7 per cent against the US dollar, the local currency to which the dollar is pegged, starting a rush by UK expats to send even more money back home and causing remittance...
12 Jan at 6 PM

British expat retirees not responsible for failing NHS

In spite of the perceived wisdom that elderly Brit expats are wrecking the NHS, aided and abetted by EU pensioners living in the UK, figures show the vast majority use heathcare provided by their countries of residence. Using numbers provided via a freedom of information request, the BBC has published an article with figures proving that...
11 Jan at 6 PM

Expats in UAE to undergo criminal record checks

The UAE parliament is expected to make a favourable decision regarding the need for expatriate workers to undergo criminal record checks. Security checks for criminal records are about to become the norm for expats working in the UAE after the scheme was approved in principle by the emirates’ cabinet. The move is believed to be a result...
11 Jan at 6 PM

Anti Brexit movement ramping up in the UK and abroad

As parliament dithers and no clarification has yet been received on the Supreme Court’s judgement, resistance to Brexit as a done deal is growing in the UK as well as in British expat communities across Europe. As protest groups continue forming in major European expat destinations, EU expats living in the UK are getting together in...
11 Jan at 6 PM

Exiting EU Committee to hear rights retention arguments from expat group

January 18 will see the formal recognition of a group fighting for Brit expats’ rights after Brexit when their evidence is given to the Exiting EU Committee. The committee, chaired by MP Hilary Benn, will hear that UK expats in Spain are living in fear of Brexit’s effects on their lives. According to the Olive Press, the Madrid-based...
10 Jan at 6 PM

Kuwaiti MP hits out at expat right to change employers

Expat professionals working in Kuwait are under attack again regarding their right to change employers and residence permits. Kuwaiti MP Mubarak al Hajraf is being quoted in the Arab Times as attacking his government for not nationalising the jobs market as a tool to assist Kuwaitization of the workforce. Other oil-producing states are,...
10 Jan at 6 PM

Austrian idiosyncrasies and their effects on expats

In general, expats in Austria are more than happy to be there, but some local habits can cause frustration in the overseas community. Expats across the world are the first to admit that nowhere’s perfect, with those living in Austria finding the locals welcoming, helpful and supportive. Even so, some Austrian habits can cause...
10 Jan at 6 PM

Lifestyle changes for expats in Italy

Italy’s ancient culture is one of the many reasons why it’s popular with long-stay expats, but living the Italian dream can result in serious lifestyle changes. Italy is a draw for many would-be expats disenchanted with their countries of origin, with its milder weather, ancient history, wealth of delicious foods and laidback lifestyle...
9 Jan at 6 PM

Expats and retirees paid in sterling feel exchange rate pinch

The shocking decline in the value of the pound sterling against major currencies is hitting UK expat pensioners as well as expats working overseas and being paid in sterling. The majority of UK expats are either retirees drawing pensions originating in the UK or professionals working on overseas contracts including sterling payments. Both...
9 Jan at 6 PM

Expats in Kuwait to face huge heathcare cost increases

Kuwait’s unenviable position as one of the least satisfactory destinations for expats is about to get even worse as the government announces massive increases in heathcare costs. According to the Kuwait Times and other English language media, heathcare charges are to be increased by up to 500 per cent, beginning in mid-February. The...
9 Jan at 6 PM

China may phase out non native speaker expat English teachers

Following its testing late last year of a three-tier work permit system, China is looking to rid itself of non-native English language teachers. The new three-tier system, at present on trial in Beijing Shanghai, Tianjin and other major cities, classifies expat workers into three classes of expat, A, B and C. The rules include a...
6 Jan at 6 PM

Best destinations for expat heathcare at the right price

For many expats weighing up the pros and cons of a particular country, the quality and cost of healthcare is one of the most important aspects. Affordable, quality heathcare is one of the most important aspects of expat life for older professionals looking for an overseas position, retirees seeking the perfect location and expats with...
6 Jan at 6 PM

Vietnam scores in expat survey for salaries and lifestyle

A recent survey shows Vietnam has overtaken Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Thailand as a popular destination for expat professionals. The most recent Expat Explorer survey’s Vietnam result may come as a surprise to many would-be expats who’ve not even considered it as a destination, but the Southeast Asian country is now ranked at 28th in...
6 Jan at 6 PM

Man born in Britain to EU expat parents refused British passport

A 32-year old man born to German parents living in London has been refused a British passport and will have to take a UK citizenship test in order to stay. Given recent media revelations about Home Office chaos over EU citizens’ permanent residency applications, the present plight of Dom Wolf perhaps should not come as a surprise, even...
5 Jan at 6 PM

Kuwait to increase health charges for expats

Following a study of health service fees, the Kuwait ministry of health is due to announce increased health charges for expats in the emirate. The recent study reviewed expat health service charges with the aim of aligning them more closely to the actual costs, with the result that charges will now be set at an increased level affordable...
5 Jan at 6 PM

Expats providing UK temporary care defend their rights and motivations

Following reports in the UK media that unqualified British expats are taking on highly paid temp jobs in UK care homes, long-term expats in the programme are denying there’s any scandal. Expats who’ve been involved in the scheme are fighting back against what they claim is unfair misrepresentation a regards their previous experience...
5 Jan at 6 PM

US expats in Mexico fear anti-American sentiment

The Trump campaign’s concentration on offensive anti-Mexican rhetoric is causing long-stay US expats in the country to reconsider their futures. Around a million US citizens live south of their home country’s borders in Mexico, making up the largest concentration of American expats anywhere in the world. Many are long-stayers, many...
4 Jan at 6 PM

New Year finance resolutions for expats in UAE

Everyone’s favourite New Year resolution is to get richer than in the previous year, but it’s essential to set in place rules and regulations to make it come true. According to Gulf New’s Money page, personal debt via borrowing is at a high level in the UAE’s expat community. Consumer loan totals are soaring, making personal...
4 Jan at 6 PM

Tips for expats searching for a dream home in France

Dealing with French property agencies doesn’t have to be stressful for newbie expats looking for their dream home. If there’s one thing that’s absolutely certain about France, it’s that the French have their very own way of doing things which doesn't resemble the familiar British norms in any way. For expats searching for their...
4 Jan at 6 PM

Is Singapore worth the effort for expats

Due to its recent rating as the 16th most expensive world destinations for expat professionals, Singapore’s reputation as a hub for the good life may be at risk. When it comes down to choosing a country which delivers the perfect expat professional environment, earnings versus expenses are a prime consideration. Those on expatriate...
3 Jan at 6 PM

Koh Samui expats risk lives to rescue drowning tourists

Four expats living on Thailand’s holiday island of Koh Samui risked their own lives on New Year’s Day to rescue two tourists from heavy seas and strong undercurrents. Koh Samui is justly famous for its stunning natural beauty, sandy beaches and seductive, warm waters. However, in common with many beaches worldwide, rip-currents and...
3 Jan at 6 PM

Expats in Turkey fear growing anti-Westerner sentiment

Following the latest terror attack in Istanbul, many expats in Turkey are beginning to be afraid that anti-westerner sentiment is escalating. Many foreigners living in Turkey are now checking online every time an attack is reported to see if expats have been injured or killed. Last year, terror attacks across the country by extremist...
3 Jan at 6 PM

Survey shows UAE still tops for career minded expats

Expats determined to further their careers should still head for the UAE, according to the latest survey by HSBC. Regarded as the best expat destination for successful careers in Asia and the Middle East, the UAE is also the fourth best in the world for salaries, relocation benefits packages and overall lifestyle.UAE-based responders to...
2 Jan at 6 PM

LMIM ponzi scheme boss gets away with it in Oz civil court

Founder of LM Investment Management Peter Drake has walked free from an Australian federal court after being cleared of wrongdoing. Charges against Drake were brought by Australia’s Securities and Investments Commission after the April 2013 collapse of what has been described as an ‘elaborate Ponzi scheme’ by advisors to the 1,200...
2 Jan at 6 PM

New Years Honour medals given to two British expats in Spain

This year’s Queen Elizabeth New Year Honours list contained two British expats in Spain who’ve contributed extraordinary service during their working lives. Former editor of a leading English language newspaper Liz Parry was awarded the British Empire medal for her services to the UK expat community in Andalusia, and former president...
2 Jan at 6 PM

Brit expats in Europe rush for UK temp jobs as carers

Thousands of UK expats on hard times due to the sterling crash are flying home to take two-week job as carers in British care homes. According to an investigation by the Telegraph, cash-strapped Brits are being taken on part-time and left in charge of elderly people suffering from dementia, learning difficulties and other illnesses common...
30 Jan at 4 PM

Number of Swiss outside the country continues to rise

The number of Swiss expats increased to nearly 750,000 in 2014, an increase of two per cent from the previous year. Some 14,276 Swiss citizens left the country last year, taking the official total living abroad to 746,885, according to the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The number also includes Swiss nationals working at embassies...
30 Jan at 2 PM

Asian expat in trouble after submitting fake degree to Qatar authorities

An Asian expat faces three years in jail in Qatar after forging an engineering degree in order to change his profession. A criminal court sentenced the Bangladeshi man to three years in prison in absentia for submitting a fake engineering degree from a Bangladeshi university. The man also forged the seal of the Embassy of Bangladesh in...
29 Jan at 12 PM

DeVere introduces mortgage advice sector for expats

DeVere Group has launched a special mortgage division for expats after increased demand from clients who live overseas. The independently-run sector, DeVere Mortgages, will offer advice on properties abroad, buy-to-let equity release and tax optimisation from rental income. The group said it wants to increase its mortgage-related business...
29 Jan at 9 AM

Myanmar to publish expat census in March

Myanmar is due to release a census of the number of citizens living abroad in March, announced the Ministry of Immigration and Population’s Myint Kyaing. Kyaing, the director-general of the ministry’s Population Department, revealed that they had completed the census in Myanmar and were now carrying out a study on the number of...
27 Jan at 6 PM

Expat celebrate Australia Day by becoming citizens

Almost 16,000 immigrants in Australia became citizens of the country on Australia Day, which was celebrated across the nation on 26 January. As ceremonies took place all across the nation, Prime Minister Tony Abbott spoke to one group of new nationals in the capital Canberra, telling them that by moving to the country they had voted with...
27 Jan at 3 PM

Former Sky worker turned fighting for her life in Caribbean

Ex-Sky TV worker Kate Clayton is fighting for her life after being involved in a car crash on the island of Grand Cayman in the Caribbean. Thirty-year-old Clayton, who moved to the Caymans in December 2013 to become a diving instructor, has been left in a coma after suffering severe injuries when she lost control of her 4x4 Jeep Wrangler...
26 Jan at 6 PM

Expat bachelors in Manama face segregation

Single foreign workers in the Bahraini capital Manama will be forced to reside in set areas because of the number of complaints received about them harassing local women and families among other things. The Capital Trustees Board came up with the proposal after expat labourers have increasingly been accused of harassment, trespassing and...
26 Jan at 2 PM

Copenhagen and Bern lead the way in expat liveability index

Copenhagen and Bern are the easiest places for Europeans to relocate to, according to a new index by ECA International. The organisation, which advises firms on posting workers on foreign assignments, evaluated more than 450 locations across the world. Among the things it evaluated were: the lifestyle on offer in a city; the availability...
23 Jan at 12 PM

Greek expats angered at voting exclusion

Greeks abroad have admitted their frustration at not being allowed to vote as the southern European nation gears up for its general elections. Electoral regulations state that expats can only cast their ballots if they return home to do so, which for many is not possible. In the Belgian capital, Brussels, there are an estimated 20,000...
23 Jan at 9 AM

Singapore tops the list of best place for expats

Singapore has once again claimed top spot in the world’s most liveable city for expats in the latest list published by ECA International. ECA International’s regional director for Asia, Lee Quane, explained that among the factors that led to Singapore taking top spot were solid infrastructure, good quality air, low crime, decent...
22 Jan at 4 PM

Canadian expat missing ‘under strange circumstances’ in Costa Rica

Police in Costa Rica are investigating the disappearance of a missing Canadian native, announced the Canadian embassy and Central American country’s Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ). Police discovered an abandoned vehicle with its roadside doors left open along Route 32 on Tuesday evening. Upon further investigation, they found that...
22 Jan at 2 PM

Expats demanding winter fuel allowance show proof of wintry conditions

Thousands of UK expats across the Europe are campaigning to ensure their winter fuel payments are not scrapped, and many have now taken to sending photos to show just how cold conditions are in the countries they live in during the winter months. Under a new government proposal, expats living in Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, France, Malta,...
22 Jan at 12 PM

Expat Sri Lankans win the right to vote

Sri Lankans living overseas will now be permitted to vote in their country’s polls in further changes made under President Maithripala’s Sirisena’s new regime. The last Sri Lankan elections were held on 8 January, but expatriates, of whom there are an estimated 1.7 million, were not allowed to cast their ballots. However, under...
22 Jan at 10 AM

New Zealand expat dies on British mountain

A New Zealand expat in the UK has been found dead on a mountain after being missing for several days. Michael Flanagan, originally from Napier in New Zealand, told hotel staff in Windermere, around 130kms north of Manchester, he was going for a walk two weeks ago and never returned. Cumbria Police confirmed they had found Mr...
20 Jan at 4 PM

Voting referendum ‘unlikely’ this year for Irish expats

A referendum on whether to allow Irish expatriates the right to vote in general elections is unlikely to take place this year, according to Minister of State for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan. The Cabinet was scheduled discuss holding a referendum on the matter before Christmas, but it has yet to do so, confirmed Deehinan. The minister said...
20 Jan at 3 PM

Suvarnabhumi Airport bans overcharging taxi driver after Japanese expat rant

Bangkok’s main international airport has banned a taxi driver from picking up passengers and revoked his registration with the facility after he admitted flat-charging a Japanese expatriate. The cabbie, Chaiyan Charoensopha, was told he would no longer be allowed to operate at Suvarnabhumi Airport after he refused to turn on his meter...
19 Jan at 4 PM

Iran footballers warned about posing for selfies with expatriate women in Australia

Iranian footballers have been warned about posing for selfies with female fans at the Asian Cup finals in Australia. Australia is home to around 70,000 expats from Iran, and the buzz about the three-time Asian champions playing in the country has drawn many fans, male and female, to the stadiums to cheer them on. However, in Iran,...
19 Jan at 4 PM

Saudi urges authorities to allow his regnant Indonesian wife to stay

A Saudi Arabian man has pleaded with authorities to grant his pregnant Indonesian wife a residency permit rather than deport her. Amro Muhammad Kurdi wed his wife eight years ago and the couple have one daughter. The woman, who is now seven months pregnant with their second child, has never had a residency permit for the Gulf...
16 Jan at 12 PM

Indonesia: Bahasa test to be introduced for expat workers

The Indonesian government has proposed that expatriates in the country should have to master the Bahasa language before being granted work permits. At the beginning of the year, Manpower Minister Hanif Dhakiri announced that the Test of Indonesia as a Foreign Language exam was being drawn up and that expat workers would soon be required to...
16 Jan at 9 AM

Bermuda adds Italian channels to ExPat TV

Italians living in Bermuda will now be able to watch TV shows and listen to radio programmes from their homeland for the first time, announced the island nation’s ExPat TV. The television station already features dozens of UK channels such as BBC, ITV and a number of popular Sky channels as well as ones from the US, Germany, Greece,...
15 Jan at 9 AM

Indian expatriates granted the right to vote

The Indian government has told the country’s Supreme Court that it has accepted a proposal to allow Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to vote in polls via e-post ballot, meaning that Indian expatriates are now likely to become influential in their home country’s politics. Around 10 million NRI’s will be affected by the ruling, which Abu...
14 Jan at 4 PM

British expat pensioners in Cyprus fighting to keep winter fuel allowance

British expat pensioners in the Mediterranean nation of Cyprus are fighting tooth and nail to keep their winter fuel benefits after a proposal to take the allowance away from them due to the climate they live in was tabled. The UK government is considering taking winter fuel allowances away from pensioners from 2015-16 if the country they...
14 Jan at 12 PM

British expat woman found dead and buried in Portugal villa

A British woman living in Portugal has been found dead and buried in the garden of her Portuguese villa. The expat, identified only as Brenda, 72, had been living with her boyfriend in Alcalar, Portimao, in the Algarve, but was reported missing by her son in the UK when he became worried after not having any contact with her for a couple...
13 Jan at 4 PM

Spain: British expats wanted for ‘underpaid’ property tax

British expats who have purchased property in Spain at reduced prices in recent years may be told they have to make back payments on tax bills. Authorities in the Iberian country are currently looking thousands of property sales from the past four years and working out whether the costs were knocked down in order to make the sales....
13 Jan at 2 PM

Filipino expat in Saudi Arabia handed seven-year prison sentence for murder

A Qatari court has sentenced a Filipino expatriate to seven years in jail after finding him guilty of murdering one of his compatriots. The court has also told the man to pay QR200,000 in blood money to the victim’s family after the death sentence was waived. The man has appealed the judgment and the case has been adjourned till 23...
9 Jan at 9 AM

Indonesia union refuses to work with Saudi recruitment offices

An Indonesian expatriates union has said it will not work with Saudi Arabian recruitments offices, opting to work only with larger companies, in order to ensure expats from the Southeast Asian nation receive the rights they consider they are entitled to. The move has yet to be confirmed by the Indonesian government so, at present, it...
8 Jan at 2 PM

Expats to benefit from new British school in Thailand

Foreigners living in Thailand are expected to benefit from a new British International school that is to open on the outskirts of Bangkok. With the number of students worldwide between the ages of three and 18 enrolling in international schools increasing from 3.3 million in May 2013 to 3.6 million in just 12 months, analysts say that more...
8 Jan at 10 AM

Remittances from Egyptian expats equate to three times Suez Canal revenues

The amount of money expatriate Egyptians send home is equal to three times the revenue earned by the Suez Canal, according to the World Bank’s director of migration and remittances Dilip Ratha. Egyptians send home around US$20bn annually, with Ratha revealing that the figure had doubled more than once in the past four or five years. He...
7 Jan at 4 PM

Oslo most expensive European city for expats

The Norwegian capital Oslo has been ranked as the most expensive city in Europe for expats to live in, according to a recent cost of living survey. The latest rankings, compiled by ECA International, did not feature any cities in neighbouring Sweden in the top 30, most likely because of the weakening of the Krona. ECA conducts cost of...
7 Jan at 10 AM

Ecuador tops list of retirement havens

The South American nation of Ecuador has been ranked the best place to retire abroad, with Latin American countries dominating the list. The International Living magazine’s Annual Global Retirement Index looked at factors such as cost of living, healthcare and climate in ranking a total of 25 popular countries among expat retirees on the...
6 Jan at 12 PM

Oman scraps expat tax plan

The Gulf state of Oman has abandoned plans to levy a tax on remittances sent home by expat workers, reports local media. Last November, the country’s Shura Council said that the government tax on remittances foreign employees sent to their families should be set at two per cent in order to ease the mounting pressure on the troubled state...
6 Jan at 9 AM

US expat in Switzerland abandons citizenship mission after 43 years

A US expat who has been living in Switzerland for 43 years says he has finally given up hope of become a citizen of the country. Seventy-six-year-old Irving Dunn, formerly a professor at the landlocked country’s top university, explained that he was abandoning his second citizenship application because he would have to fork out 3,100...
5 Jan at 11 AM

Sri Lankan expat workers must show passports before casting vote

Migrant workers from Sri Lanka who are returning to the country for the elections will be made to show their passports and National Identity Cards (NICs) before being allowed to cast their votes, announced an elections official. By showing their passports, officials will be able to determine the date and time migrant workers returned to...
5 Jan at 9 AM

PNG: Expat businessman found dead in Lae

An expatriate businessman in Papua New Guinea’s industrial city of Lae has been found dead in his home, and an investigation into a possible murder is underway. The Singaporean man, who owned the Morobe Stationary Company and has been identified only as Tan, was discovered at his home in the suburb of Eriku on Saturday morning. He had...
3 Jan at 4 PM

Saudi Arabia: Expat held at hospital over failure to pay bill

An expat was temporarily detained at a Saudi Arabian hospital for failing to pay his medical bill, before being allowed to leave after the Department of Health Affairs intervened. Muddathir Ibrahim, whose total bill came to SR100,000, said he went to the private hospital in Madinah as he felt fatigued, and two days, when his condition...
3 Jan at 2 PM

Top expats staying longer than ever before in UAE

Executive expats are staying up to twice as long in the UAE even though the economy is improving in the West and salary increases in the Gulf state are “modest”, according to recruitment companies. In 2013, senior professionals’ average stay rose to four and a half years – nearly twice as long as the number recorded in 2007, said...
1 Jan at 12 PM

German expat engineers killed in Nigeria

Two German expatriate workers have been shot dead in Nigeria while travelling on a motorbike without security, reports German media. The men, said to be in their mid-thirties and mid-fifties and from the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, worked with Nigerian construction giant Julius Berger, which bases its international...
1 Jan at 10 AM

Pakistani expat beheaded in Saudi for drug trafficking

A Pakistani expat has been beheaded in Saudi Arabia after being convicted of heroin smuggling, announced authorities from the kingdom. Sadruddin Saeedullah Khan, who became the 13th Pakistani to be executed for drug smuggling in Saudi Arabia since mid-October, was beheaded in the province of Makkah on Wednesday. The Interior Ministry said...
31 Jan at 6 PM

UK state pension changes and missold annuities to leave widows in penury

UK financial regulators are closing their eyes to the plight of widows after the projected state pension changes in 2016. Hundreds of thousands of women are being condemned to die in abject poverty due to state pension changes and the actions of unprincipled FAs who fail to advise correctly on annuities. The City is fully aware of the as...
31 Jan at 6 PM

British FCO wants to hear expat opinions of consular services

Better late than never might be the expat reaction to a UK government watchdog’s request for opinions on embassy and consular services overseas. Britons who’ve fallen foul of police, immigration officers, local violence, scams and more and have asked local embassies or consulates for help have being asked to submit their experiences...
30 Jan at 6 PM

Cypriot government throws lifeline to desperate expat homeowners

Tens of thousands of expat homeowners in Cyprus who are facing the loss of their homes and financial ruin due to fraudulent developers are to be given hope by the government. Cyprus is still struggling with managing its massive bailout, and its economy as yet is showing no signs of recovery. However, after years of ignoring the scandal...
30 Jan at 6 PM

British expats in UAE found support group to help divorced or separated women

After becoming aware that divorce and separation was affecting a growing number of married expats, two Dubai-Based teachers have started a support group to help desperate women start over. Fiona Cameron and Anne Prince, themselves the victims of broken relationships, decided to start the Leaving Dubai group after they became aware that...
29 Jan at 6 PM

Chinese and Russian property investors pricing expat investors out of the market

Wealthy Chinese, Singaporean and Russian property investors are beating expat investors to the best buys in major world capitals. With more millionaires than in any country except the USA, and a rapidly expanding number of would-be migrants, it’s no surprise that nowadays the Chinese are the most sought-out property investors in the...
29 Jan at 6 PM

Expat professionals searching for UAE positions facing new challenges

After some years of being the destination of choice or high-flying expat professionals, the jobs market in the UAE is due to become less foreigner-friendly and more complex. The seven-principality United Arab Emirates has long been a hub for white-collar expat professionals looking for high salaries and a boost to their CVs. However,...
28 Jan at 6 PM

Survey reveals UK pensioners would vote for a party willing to unfreeze expat pensions

A recent survey has shown welcome support for expat pensioners overseas who are struggling to manage on their frozen pensions. The study’s results revealed that state pensioners living in the UK would vote for a political party which promised to unfreeze overseas pensions. The OnePoll survey, conducted on behalf of the International...
28 Jan at 6 PM

Dubai plans retirement homes for expats as well as Emiratis

As part of a scheme aimed at increasing the number of medical tourists to Dubai, the emirate is planning to set up retirement homes for expats as well as Emirati nationals. The retirement homes will come in three styles, independent retirement homes, nursing homes giving full medical care and assisted living homes. According to local...
27 Jan at 6 PM

IRS slammed for savage offshore cash penalties

An annual report by the USA’s consumer watchdog Nina Olson has revealed that the IRS has hit out unfairly at taxpayers who inadvertently broke tax laws when making their annual returns. Olson stated that the IRS has been unreasonably zealous in pursuing taxpayers who had made genuine mistakes in declaring their offshore holdings. Even...
27 Jan at 6 PM

Saudi government postpones plan to limit expat workers to seven years

Saudi businesses and long-term expat employees have welcomed the Saudi labour ministry’s decision to postpone the introduction of a proposal which would limit work visas to seven years. The recently mooted draft proposal was doubly unwelcome to expats working in the kingdom as it was also aimed at forbidding the families of expat...
24 Jan at 6 PM

Financial fraud cases spike during 2013

In spite of the worldwide financial chaos caused by the casino culture in Wall Street, the City of London and other bourses, large-scale financial fraud is still ongoing across the sector. According to a survey by a highly-respected audit and accountancy firm in London, fraud across the industry cost investors £532 million in 2013, a 12...
24 Jan at 6 PM

Dubai brings in compulsory heath insurance for expats

Expats, locals and visitors to Dubai must now have compulsory medical insurance, with the new law taking effect immediately. The move is expected to push up the cost of health insurance in the emirate, although it’s expected that private companies employing expats will bear the cost. The scheme will be phased in over a three year...
23 Jan at 6 PM

Bad news for expat savers as Britannia pulls out of IOM

Expat savers with accounts held offshore in the Isle of Man are facing more bad news as the Britannia offshore arm of the Cooperative Bank announces its closure plans. After a raft of Isle of Man bank closures hit expat savers in 2013, the new year looks to be even worse for UK citizens living overseas who don’t want to risk their...
23 Jan at 6 PM

Son of Harlequin Property CEO denies Ponzi scam

As the result of an investigation by the UK Financial Conduct Authority and fraud investigators, Michael Ames found himself in a London court today on charges of running a Ponzi scheme. Ames, the son of Harlequin Properties CEO, David Ames, was charged with fraud in December 2012. The charges related to a £1.6 million Ponzi scheme...
22 Jan at 6 PM

FA commissions are undermining fair treatment of clients

A study by the UK’s Financial Conduct Agency has confirmed that the payment of commissions to FAs by financial firms acts against the best interests of clients. The research, undertaken to evaluate the recently introduced Retail Distribution Review (RDR) rules, reveals that customers are still being diverted from investments suited to...
22 Jan at 6 PM

UK expats urged to make a difference by registering to vote

The UK’s Electoral Commission has begun a global campaign encouraging expats to register to vote, saying that their votes could make a real difference. Given the number of expats who left the UK due to their disenchantment with present-day politics, it’s surprising that only a small minority of those eligible are at present willing to...
21 Jan at 6 PM

Malaga expat gets day in court to fight thieving bank

A Malaga expat who lost his life savings after a bank sold him an illegal equity bond has vowed to continue his fight. Euan Armstrong, 75, was sold a €1,000,000 equity release scheme by Danske Bank on the premise that it would protect his family from having to pay inheritance tax after his death. The equity scheme was considered...
21 Jan at 6 PM

Expats granted right to buy freehold homes in UAE

Foreigners working legally in Abu Dhabi can now purchase freehold properties located in specifically designated investment zones in the city. Previously, expats were only allowed to purchase leasehold properties, with the change widely believed to have been brought in to stimulate the property market. For a decade or more, neighbouring...
20 Jan at 6 PM

Consumer watchdog warns about latest investment scam

The latest offering from the same dodgy FAs who brought you the carbon credits, rare earth and land banking frauds is a new scheme dreamed up in order to fleece unwary investors of their nest-eggs – Graphene. Discovered in the computer records of a bogus share company being investigated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, the new...
20 Jan at 6 PM

Expats on final exit from Saudi must surrender their iqama

Following the refusal to leave the country imposed on a number of expats returning home after their contracts had ended, Saudi’s immigration department are urging corporations to surrender residential certificates on time. Private companies and residents in Saudi Arabia generally prefer to use the immigration authority’s online visa...
17 Jan at 6 PM

Investor scams still ongoing in spite of tighter regulations

Over five years after the Madoff case hit world headlines, small-time fraudsters continue to trap unwary investors, with expats especially at risk. Enforcement agencies in first world countries are upping the ante and catching more scammers than previously, but in many popular expat destinations as well as in the USA and UK, it’s...
17 Jan at 6 PM

Independent expat survey invites participants

Results from the majority of annual expat surveys are regularly skewed by the organisations conducting the studies, the majority of which are international banks and finance houses standing to gain by analysing the results. Expat Survey 2013, the largest and only totally independent international study of expat lifestyles and experiences,...
16 Jan at 6 PM

Recognising the signs of impending expat financial disaster

Put simply, living abroad may be great for health, social life and a comfortable retirement, but it’s a minefield as regards financial pitfalls, even if expats manage to avoid the menacing packs of commission-hungry salesmen peddling too-good-to-be-true returns. More often than not, the reason behind failed expats’ return to their...
16 Jan at 6 PM

Survey of Saudi nursing staff infuriates expat nurses

The survey undertaken amongst patients in Saudi hospitals and their relatives has hit a sour note amongst expatriate health professionals working in the same hospitals. Saudi’s King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Science’s College of Nursing was responsible for surveying several hundred patients and their families. The poll...
15 Jan at 6 PM

Expat landlords liable for UK income tax on rental profits

As the UK government tries every trick in the book to improve its vast deficit, its latest hit on expats is to attempt to charge income tax on UK rental properties, no matter where the owner lives. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs department (HMRC) are proceeding on the premise that every expat with rented-out property in the UK is a...
15 Jan at 6 PM

Expats in Japan warned about Fukushima radiation hazards

As the Fukushima nuclear disaster grinds on with seemingly no short-term solution, radiation at the boundaries of the stricken plant has reaches eight times the official safety limit. The Asahi Shinbun newspaper recently reported that levels around the plant still exceed the government standard of one milliseviert a year and are measured...
14 Jan at 6 PM

New take on currency exchange with person to person online service

A new internet start-up, launches three months ago, is bringing person-to-person currency exchange to expat travellers as well as their business counterparts. WeSwap is the brainchild of ex-corporate financial advisor Simon Sacerdoti and former currency trader Jared Jesner. It’s the world’s first person-to-person currency exchange...
14 Jan at 6 PM

Expat oil and gas workers heading home in dramatic industry turnaround

Cross-border travel has been the norm for oil and gas workers looking for lucrative expat assignments overseas, but many are now returning to their home countries. Although high salaries and acceptable working conditions are still the norm in the worldwide industry, many Australian, American and Brazilian expats are giving up overseas work...
13 Jan at 6 PM

Singapore QROPS savers granted tax amnesty

Expat investors in Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes arranged before 24 September 2008 are being offered a tax amnesty by HM Revenue and Customs. Retirement savers who set up QROPS suspended by HRMC before that date will not be forced to pay the 55 per cent tax charge, unless it is proven that dishonesty or artificiality has...
13 Jan at 6 PM

NZ expat construction workers exploited by bosses

A New Zealand trade union is accusing construction site bosses at the Christchurch rebuild of exploiting expat workers. First Union accuses construction site firms involved in the rebuilding of Christchurch of taking advantage of and exploiting skilled expat tradespeople. The union has revealed a catalogue of exploitation and insists that...
10 Jan at 6 PM

Offshore tax havens Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man sign up for FATCA

The halcyon days of the UK’s three offshore islands as tax havens finally came to an end recently as all three simultaneously signed up for FATCA. As a result, all three will now be passing the financial details of all transactions, investment and bank accounts owned by US citizens to the American Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The UK...
10 Jan at 6 PM

Reem Island is new expat hotspot in Abu Dhabi

Accessibility, an attractive setting, green spaces and high-end amenities are all reasons why Reem Island is Abu Dhabi’s fastest-growing expat community. Located just a short drive from the city’s commercial district, Reem Island’s waterfront accommodation, chic new mall and steel and glass highrises are all drawing expats to its...
9 Jan at 6 PM

Abu Dhabi rent hikes shock residents in expat district

Following the Abu Dhabi government’s recent removal of the five per cent per annum cap in rent hikes, expat residents in Mussaffah district are being hit with arbitrary rises of up to 50 per cent. Many expat families have made the sprawling commercial and residential Mohammed Bin Zayed City in Mussaffah their home from home, but have...
9 Jan at 6 PM

UK visas and citizenship to be auctioned to overseas millionaires

A report in the London Times stating that the UK government is preparing to auction off UK visas, residency and citizenship to high-bidding foreign millionaires is causing anger and controversy. The report states that, under the scheme, wealthy foreigners could buy their way into the UK by donating to hospitals or universities or bidding...
8 Jan at 6 PM

Expat investors warned to avoid scams offering high returns

‘If it looks to good to be true, it is’ should be the motto of every expat investor looking for exceptionally high returns for their savings nowadays. Scammers in every favourite expat destination are still cashing in on unwary expats searching for the impossible dream – a far higher return than the rates offered by most...
8 Jan at 6 PM

Expat and tourist Gulf States free travel movement visa on the cards

A free movement visa valid for travel between all six Gulf states is expected to be rolled out by the middle of 2014. The Gulf Co-operation Council is ironing out details of the visa, based on the European Union Schengen scheme which allows holders of its visa free movement across all member states except Ireland and the UK. The aim of the...
7 Jan at 6 PM

Saudi may introduce eight year limit for expat professionals

The Saudi Arabian government is mulling a plan to restrict expat professionals to eight years’ employment and prevent their families from accompanying them. The new scheme now under consideration forms part of the kingdom’s controversial Saudization plan originally intended to boost employment amongst Saudi nationals. However, if...
7 Jan at 6 PM

New Year holds even tougher choices for expat investors

With base rates showing no chance of rising in the predictable future and the choice of offshore fixed rate deals dwindling further, it’s going to be a tough year for expat investors. The question, as always after the turn of the old years since 2008, is whether to opt for an unsatisfactory fixed rate deal or leave money in a variable...
7 Jan at 6 PM

British expat women in Spain making their mark

British women emigrating to Spain aren’t just sitting in the sunshine enjoying their retirements or breaks from the world of work, they’re out there making their mark in communities and online. The role of women in Spain’s traditionally male-dominated society has undergone massive changes over the last half-century, with the female...
6 Jan at 6 PM

Expat budget flights cheap but extras pile on the charges

A recent survey has revealed that expats booking budget flights may well pay more than with a full-service airline if they include extras in their booking and pay be credit card. UK consumer watchdog Which is warning budget airline travellers to avoid booking extras along with their flights, as low-cost airlines pile on charges for...
3 Jan at 6 PM

Are expat property investors impacting the UK real estate market

With London’s property prices continuing to escalate, real estate experts are calculating the effect of expat property investment on the boom. Media coverage over the last year has focused on the soaring costs of purchasing a home in London’s fashionable districts, but prices across the capital are following suit. Even a basic, one...
3 Jan at 6 PM

Pensioner expat right to vote campaigner awarded MBE

A long-term campaigner against the disenfranchisement of expats living overseas for more than 15 years, Harry Shindler has been recognised for his work to find British servicemen’s WWII graves. Now in his early 90’s, Mr Shindler is a veteran of the WWII liberation of Rome and the Battle of Anzio, and has long been active in tracing the...
2 Jan at 6 PM

Seven Saudi job categories now open to expat women

In a surprise move, the Saudi Ministry of Labour is to open seven business categories to expat women due to a lack of skilled local female labour. After a survey of available female Saudi nationals in the fields of health, education, childcare, dressmaking and several other sectors had revealed no takers, the Saudi government has decided...
2 Jan at 6 PM

Expats cool on petition against end of winter fuel allowance

A petition by lobbyists attempting to reverse the withdrawal of winter fuel allowances for expat pensioners is getting the cold shoulder from the majority of retirees overseas. With over 200,000 British pensioners living overseas in European states due to lose their winter fuel allowance, it’s a surprise that the petition has so far...
2 Jan at 6 PM

Dubai New Year fireworks display beats world record

Dubai’s astonishing New Year fireworks display achieved what its designers promised and beat the standing Guinness World Record. The start of the world’s largest fireworks display saw more than 100,000 fireworks light the sky in the first minute of the spectacle. The amazing number beat out the previous holder, Kuwait, which only...
2 Jan at 6 PM

How not to leave Dubai with no savings

Many expat workers in Dubai earn good salaries and have useful packages helping them save, but equally as many leave after their contracts end with little to show for the experience. Expats in Dubai are trading their present lifestyles for a future financial disaster when their contracts run out, due to getting caught in the culture of...
1 Jan at 6 PM

Concealing overseas assets during expat divorce a bad idea

Although divorce may be the last thing on the minds of most expat couples, it’s wise to check out spousal money and property held abroad. Divorce is one of the most stressful procedures you’ll ever encounter, but it can be made far worse if you’re both expats and the assets to be divided are overseas. Not only will the court...
1 Jan at 6 PM

UK Electoral Commission aims to triple registrations by expat voters

The European Parliament elections in the UK are due to take place on 22 May 2014, with the Electoral Commission campaign aimed at encouraging expats in Europe to vote. Provided they are registered as overseas voters, have not been out of the UK for more than 15 years and are not registered to vote in the member state where they are...
31 Jan at 6 PM

New Zealand Immigration posts warning over scam job offers

Immigration New Zealand has posted a global warning about a recently-discovered scam involving huge payments by Singaporean students for non-existent job offers. A job offer from a New Zealand company is a necessary requirement in the essential skills work category’s visa application regulations. The fraudsters targeted mainly Indian...
31 Jan at 6 PM

Asian cities lose out to European equivalents on expat appeal

Expats making a lifestyle choice are far more likely to choose large cities in Europe than they are to make the same choice when heading for Asian countries. New York, London, Paris and Berlin all have a considerable number of expat enclaves in which those of the same nationality feel secure amid their own languages and amenities....
30 Jan at 6 PM

UK negative ads to discourage Bulgarian and Romanian migrants

In an attempt to stem the flow of immigrants into Britain, government ministers are mooting a campaign of negative advertisements aimed at would-be migrants from Bulgaria and Romania. As the 2014 deadline for opening the UK’s borders to migrants from countries about to become full EU members approaches, the UK government is planning a...
30 Jan at 6 PM

Dubai to boost flagging economy by welcoming foreign investors

In a bid to boost its flagging economic performance, Dubai is planning to offer new lures to foreign investors. Major changes to the requirements and red tape at present in place for those who wish to start a business in Dubai are part of a push by the government to attract foreign money into the country. Potential investors will no...
29 Jan at 6 PM

Survey reveals France is still UK expats dream location

A recent survey shows that, in spite of problems in the Eurozone and the recently announced hike in property tax, France is still the first choice for property-buyers considering emigration. The survey, carried out by HIFX Property Hotspots, revealed that almost 25 per cent of those questioned preferred France for its perceived quality of...
29 Jan at 6 PM

UK House of Lords calls for expat voting rights extension

The British government is being urged by its senior parliamentary body, the House of Lords, to extend expat voting rights beyond the present limit of 15 years. Although it’s possible that many expats are not aware that they can still vote for a period of 15 years after their departure from the UK, those that are may get the voting break...
28 Jan at 6 PM

Dubai property deals steam ahead as bank holds mortgage cap

Property buyers who withdrew from the market when Dubai’s Central Bank announced new lending criteria are rushing back in after the bank put the change on hold. The recent move by the Central Bank to limit mortgage funds to 50 per cent of property values for expats and 70 per cent for nationals was aimed at eliminating speculators from...
28 Jan at 6 PM

USA senators move ahead on new immigration plan

After seemingly endless wrangling and confusion, it seems that the long-awaited overhaul of the US immigration system may finally move a few steps forward. An afternoon press conference will take place Monday, during which a deal involving a bipartisan group of senators will be announced. Agreement has been reached on a framework for the...
25 Jan at 6 PM

Kiwis to be first in line for Christchurch rebuild

Following the introduction of changes in New Zealand immigration law, local workers in the construction trade will be given preference over incomers from overseas. The population of the earthquake-hit city is expected to soar as rebuilding gets under way and overseas construction workers arrive, but new immigration rules are expected to...
25 Jan at 6 PM

Sin Fein leader states Irish graduate nurses should emigrate

As the row over cuts to professional health care workers in Irish hospitals rumbles on, Sinn Fain deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald stated that nurses would be better off by emigrating McDonald made her views known to the Irish parliament as a reply to a statement by Eamon Gilmore that the government’s stance on nurses’ pay would stem...
24 Jan at 6 PM

UK expats may not understand new statutory residence test

The UK’s new Statutory Residence Test, (SRT), due to come into effect on 6 April this year, needs to be fully understood by expats who split their time between their new country and the UK. The overhauled SRT has significant implications for expats planning to leave the UK as well as those already living overseas but with ties and...
24 Jan at 6 PM

UK Border Agency chaos results in massive applications backlog

A recent investigation into UK border controls has revealed at least 16,000 immigrants are still waiting to hear whether they have permission to stay in Britain. The investigation, the latest in a series which has brought disrepute to the UK Border Agency (UKBA), was focused on applications to stay in the UK on the basis of marriage. As a...
23 Jan at 6 PM

Expat investments to be dumped as Clydesdale deserts Guernsey

As the international clout of Guernsey as an offshore tax haven fades into the distance, the Clydesdale Bank’s international arm is the latest financial organisation to desert the sinking ship. The familiar high street bank’s offshore operations have traditionally been a haven for expat investments for their higher rates of interest....
23 Jan at 6 PM

Indian budget airline SpiceJet costcutting prunes expat pilots

After two consecutive years of posting operating losses, Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet is planning to slash the number of its expat pilots in a bid to return to profitability. Beginning immediately, the company will operate all flights of their Boeing 737 fleet with local pilots, and are introducing other cost-cutting measures such as...
22 Jan at 6 PM

Saudi businessman defends Saudization and controversial expat tax rise

The controversy over the hike in expat tax levy for Saudi private companies has taken a new turn with a prominent Saudi business owner coming out publicly in favour of the tax increase. Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel has defended the Labour Ministry’s decision and accused other Saudi business people of not understanding its objective of...
22 Jan at 6 PM

Indian migrants hit by tightening Canadian immigration laws

Whilst job-seeing migrants from the West are praising Canada’s new Federal Skilled Worker programme, their Indian equivalents fear they will lose their chance to migrate. Indian migrants make up 33 per cent of all new entrants to Canada, but the imminent introduction of the new scheme has led to the closing of other skilled migrant...
21 Jan at 6 PM

Guernsey slumps as leading offshore finance hub for expats

Just a year ago, the Channel Island of Guernsey was leading most of the rest of the offshore havens with its financial services for expats and offshore internet-based businesses. During 2012, the island has witnessed the closure of expat-oriented banks, an end to QROPS for new investors and the closure of the Low Value Consignment Relief...
21 Jan at 6 PM

Newborn refugee baby to remain in Oz immigration limbo

The future immigration status of a newborn child and his Tamil refugee mother is in doubt due to legal wranglings over the imprisonment of 50 Tamil refugees at an Australian immigration centre. As he was born on Australian soil, the baby is by right an Australian citizen, but his mother, Ranjini, is part of a group of Tamil refugees...
19 Jan at 6 PM

New Spanish law requires medical examinations for expat drivers

Yet another EU directive is due to come in force by January 19, meaning that all UK expat drivers in Spain will be forced to undergo a medical examination. Expats up to the age of 65 will need to have a medical every 10 years, and those over the age of 65 will be required to be re-examined every five years. The medical examination will...
19 Jan at 6 PM

Hague states no hope for UK expat pension increases

During his recent visit to Australia, British Foreign Minister William Hague made it clear that expat retirees living in OZ would not receive annual increases to their state pensions. Speaking in Sydney, Hague dashed the hopes of around 250,000 UK retirees who had their pensions frozen when they left the UK and are now facing financial...
17 Jan at 6 PM

Singapore property tax hike to hit expat buyers

In a bid to cool Singapore’s rapidly-overheating property market, the city state’s government is introducing higher property taxes in the form of increased stamp duty. Companies and foreigners purchasing residential property in Singapore will be hit by an extra buyers’ stamp duty of 15 per cent of the purchase price, an increase from...
17 Jan at 4 PM

Oman jumps on expat manpower in favour of Omani jobs

In a move similar to those in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, the Omani government is reviewing the hiring of foreign workers in a bid to increase the numbers of jobs available to Omani citizens. The government is asking its departments to assess which business sectors should be forced to focus on employing local workers and to...
16 Jan at 6 PM

Saudi Crown Prince demands report on expat worker tax

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman, the state’s deputy PM and minister for defence, has instructed the Council of Saudi Chambers to present a report on the controversial expat worker tax. The recently-announced tax is levied on private companies who employ more expat workers than local staff, and costs SR 2,400 per year per worker....
16 Jan at 6 PM

Qatar to crack down on unregulated financial advisers

In a move seen as part of a plan to project an image of clean and responsible financial services to the international financial regulatory community, Qatar is banning unregulated FAs. As a result, all financial advisory firms working with expats within the emirate will be forced to submit to regulation by one of the three Qatar domestic...
15 Jan at 6 PM

Expats to fight for Spanish home in European Court

British retirees who face losing their Spanish retirement home to the bulldozers after a final Spanish High Court ruling are to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights. The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, built their home in Albox, Andalusia in 2001, having obtained the necessary planning licenses from the town hall....
15 Jan at 6 PM

Oz rules deny Kiwi expats federal and state benefits

New Zealand expats and their children living in Australia are being relegated to a low-paid, low-skilled second-class status by the effects of changes in social benefit laws passed in 2001. Although studies repeatedly reveal that immigrants arriving from New Zealand are making the move for better jobs, higher wages, a better lifestyle and...
14 Jan at 6 PM

Former tennis great Nastase may follow Depardieu to Russia

Romanian former tennis star Ilie Nastase, now living in Bucharest, says he’d be happy to emigrate to Russia to avoid Romanian taxes once the Russian weather warms up. Nastase told the media he is fed up with the high level of income tax in his home country and was willing to take a leaf out of Gerard Depardieu’s book and move to...
14 Jan at 6 PM

NZ Immigration fears Christchurch rebuilding will attract illegal immigrants

New Zealand Immigration officers are planning to carry out random searches on Christchurch building sites in an attempt to discourage illegal immigration. A huge swathe of Christchurch city centre was destroyed during the disastrous earthquake, with massive rebuilding projects now ongoing. The Kiwi immigration department has said it is...
14 Jan at 12 PM

Want to be on TV? Casting Call for New Channel 4 Series

The TV production company True North are looking for would-be expats for a new TV show due to air on Channel 4! Here is what they have to say: ‘Compare Your Life’ is a brand new series currently in production. We are taking UK families and couples who aren’t satisfied with their lives and changing them. Our families are wanting to...
11 Jan at 6 PM

Survey suggests immigrants are more welcome in Nordic countries

The European Social Survey, one of the most broadly based of its type, indicates that nations in the Nordic countries and Finland are more tolerant towards immigrants than other European nationals. The survey, one of several recent pan-European studies, is academically-driven and aims to explain the interactions between countries and the...
11 Jan at 4 PM

Taiwan immigration agency to update online information website

Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency convened a meeting last Wednesday to consider the best ways to improve its online web pages which give information for expats in the country. The interdepartmental meeting was attended by representatives of the expat community in Taiwan, who were invited to present ideas and suggestions which would...
10 Jan at 6 PM

British students heading to German universities to study for free

Over a year after British university fees were increased by almost 200 per cent, mounting numbers of UK’s brightest and best are heading to German universities. It’s not just undergraduates who are deserting the UK’s seats of learning due to the threat of being in debt until their middle years, it’s postgraduates as well. Many of...
10 Jan at 6 PM

Fledgling UK expats falling foul of international movers scams

Leaving your country of origin and moving overseas is an expensive and stressful business from start to finish, made worse by scams by rogue international freight forwarding companies hitting the headlines. The recent rise in emigration from the UK has caused unscrupulous international moving companies to spring up across the country,...
9 Jan at 6 PM

UAE confirms no change in new expat mortgage rules

As the United Arab Emirates expat community digests the ramifications of the emirates’ new ruling on expat mortgage credit, an article in Emirat Alyoum makes it clear there will be no reversal. Media reports quote the central bank as stating that the new rules will not be revised, and change would fuel speculation and spark a second...
9 Jan at 6 PM

UK expat retiree winter fuel payments under threat

According to recently released figures, the majority of the total of £13 million paid to UK retirees through the winter fuel grant is being sent to expat pensioners living in warm countries. The figures, published by the UK’s Department of Work and Pensions under the Freedom of Information Act, state that almost £6 million went to...
8 Jan at 6 PM

UAE cuts expat mortgages in response to default fears

In a recent surprise move, the United Arab Emirates central bank has announced a restriction on expat mortgages capped at 50 per cent of the value of the property. At the present time, no restrictions are applied to mortgages granted to UAE nationals, with 100 per cent loans the norm. However, as expat workers comprise the majority of the...
8 Jan at 6 PM

British Columbia launches advisory website for international students

Yesterday, the western Canadian province of British Columbia, launched its new website aimed at promoting its post-secondary education opportunities to international students. The LearnLiveBC website will stress the province’s high-level universities and technical colleges, with information presented in a number of languages including...
7 Jan at 6 PM

Asia Pacific property investments to perform well in 2013

A recent review of the best-performing Asian locations for investment in property tips Bangkok and Jakarta as highlights for 2013, continuing last year’s successful trend. Knight Frank’s Asia Pacific Residential Review recommends the two cities for their likelihood of strong economic growth and the growing presence of an affluent and...
7 Jan at 6 PM

Global employers face expat heathcare provision headaches

Global companies with branches in fast-growing emerging markets such as India, Russia, China, Southeast Asia and Brazil are experiencing difficulties in providing expat workers’ health care. Companies attracting expat workers are expected to cover healthcare benefits and services as part of employment packages for a growing number of...
4 Jan at 6 PM

Octogenarian Kiwi applies for his first passport

An 89-year old resident of Alexandra, New Zealand is applying for his first-ever passport in a bid to join his sick Filipina wife after she was refused residency. Ian Glover met his Filipina wife Aurora, 67, through friends in Alexandra and the couple have been married for five years. Aurora, a diabetic, was forced to return to the...
4 Jan at 6 PM

Survey shows Singapore as tops for wealthy expats

Self-made and other styles of mobile millionaires have voted Singapore as the best place in Asia to live for its quality of life and family-friendliness. The research, carried out for RBC Wealth Management, reveled that Singapore beat out its major rival, Hong Kong, as the safe destination of choice, both for finances and for family....
3 Jan at 6 PM

UK sinks in quality of life and opportunity survey

Over the last 25 years, Britain has fallen from 7th to 27th in the latest global survey based on quality of life and opportunity. The Lottery of Life poll, taken by the Economist Intelligence Unit, was based on the best place to be born in 2013 and encompassed 11 lifestyle factors from happiness through job opportunities and wealth...
3 Jan at 6 PM

Russian PM Vladimir Putin grants Gerard Depardieu Russian citizenship

A bizarre twist in the continuing controversy over the proposed French ‘millionaire tax’ has seen Russian PM Vladimir Putin granting Russian citizenship to migrant movie star Gerard Depardieu. One of France’s most popular movie personalities, Depardieu recently ignited countrywide consternation and political derision when he...
2 Jan at 6 PM

Poland becomes new hub for Southeast Asian migrants

Poland, one of Europe’s fastest-growing economies, isn’t yet known for its multiculturalism but is now becoming a favourite with a new wave of migrants from Southeast Asia. Vietnamese citizens looking for a new start are now heading for the former Communist country, drawn by its previous links with the Vietnamese Communist regime....
2 Jan at 6 PM

UK expat retirees advised to beware of QROPS scams

Newly-arrived expat investors and those still in the planning stages of their move to overseas shores are warned to beware of so-called wealth managers pushing the QROPS product. With the value of annuities still dropping and tax burdens on pension pots increasing, many older Britons are considering a move abroad. The attraction isn’t...
1 Jan at 6 PM

UAE ends prison sentences for expat loan defaulters

Following a relaxation for Emirati citizens in sentencing laws regarding the criminal offence of defaulting on loan payments, expats who bounce cheques will not now be given jail terms. In October last year, the UAE ruler Sheikh Khalifa issued a royal decree announcing the decriminalisation of the issuing of bouncing cheques, which has...
1 Jan at 6 PM

Expat British pensioners to face more years in poverty

British pensioners living outside the European Union are facing a poverty-stricken 2013 as the UK government refuses to allow payment of yearly increases in the state pension. In spite of increased pressure from overseas governments in countries such as Australia and Canada, the iniquitous rule that refuses increases to pensions paid to...