December 2012 Expat News Archive

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

30 Dec at 6 PM

European expats and UK nationals bring fresh Brexit legal challenges

As February’s Article 50 invocation draws ever nearer, four anonymous challengers are adding fuel to the legal fire lit by pro-single market group British Influence. Thursday saw the introduction of new challenges aimed at consolidating Adrian Yelland and Peter Wilding’s case demanding separate approval by the British parliament be...
30 Dec at 6 PM

EU expats in UK being refused residency

The UK Home Office is under fire from frustrated EU citizens over its draconian refusals of permanent residency permits. The permanent residency process appears to be in chaos as long-stay EU citizens and experts are being told they must leave the UK due to minor paperwork problems. As a result, a recently formed campaign group is now...
30 Dec at 6 PM

Qatar expat residents forced to carry ID cards or face heavy fines

Expats living and working in Qatar are being forced to carry their Residence Permit ID cards with them at all times or face being fined QR10,000. An article in Qatar Scoop is reminding expats of the requirement to carry the documentation with them whenever they go out, irrespective of their home countries or cultures. Should those stopped...
29 Dec at 6 PM

Expats in African mining industry to get 2017 salary increase

Expats working across Africa in the mining industry can expect salary increases in 2017, according to a recent report. According to consultancy firm Globe 24-7, expat professionals in the continent’s mining industry can look forward to slightly increased salaries in the coming year. The report states the remuneration crash has now...
29 Dec at 6 PM

Is Brexit good news for expat final salary pensions

In the UK, workers approaching retirement are facing scare stories about Brexit’s effect on final salary pension, but expat retirees may find opportunities as a result of the referendum. Nowadays, a final salary company pension seems essential for a comfortable retirement given the pittance offered by the UK state pension. Increasing...
29 Dec at 6 PM

Expats in Dubai rush to beat healthcare deadline

Dubai residents are struggling to find suitable healthcare policies before the cut-off date of December 31. Dubai expats faced with the emirate’s new requirements to purchase healthcare insurance are struggling to meet Saturday’s deadline in order to avoid the monthly 500 dirham fines and problems with their visa extensions. To date,...
28 Dec at 6 PM

UK expats in France unhappy with new street name

A far-right French mayor is causing annoyance to UK expats and pro-Europeans by his naming of a local road as ‘Brexit Street’ in honour of Britain’s referendum decision. Far-right Mayor of Beaucaire Julien Sanchez has caused resentment and controversy by his decision to ‘create a buzz’ by naming a road in an industrial estate...
28 Dec at 6 PM

UAE sends message of peace after year of world turmoil

Christians in Abu Dhabi flocked to St Joseph’s Cathedral’s midnight mass to send a message of hope and peace to the troubled world. Tolerance, peace and hope was the Christmas Eve message from the UAE Christian community to the rest of the world during an outdoor midnight mass in Abu Dhabi. The scene as the day drew to an end...
28 Dec at 6 PM

Medical check ups now compulsory for expats in Bahrain

As part of comprehensive new plans proposed in order to improve the country’s healthcare provision, expats will now be required to undergo mandatory health check-ups. The overall scheme as announced last week in a new health bill is expected to enhance the roles of local insurance companies and healthcare providers. At present, only...
28 Dec at 6 PM

Will New Year changes in France affect expat life

Traditionally, New Year’s Day welcomes many changes, with France no exception to the rule. Expats living in France will be used to minor changes in laws and rules arriving with the sunrise on January 1, with 2017 being no exception. However, most rile changes and price hikes are minor, and won’t disturb most expats’ daily regimes or...
28 Dec at 6 PM

Costa floods contaminate expat water supplies

The recent once-in-a-lifetime floods in Spain’s Costa del Sol have left the expat community in danger due to sewage contamination of the water supply. Heavy rain battered the popular Alicante area for four straight days, with flooded rivers inundating residential districts and destroying many homes. As communities struggled to recover,...
28 Dec at 3 PM

Expats choosing Utrecht for lifestyle and friendliness

The Netherlands is well-known as a popular destination for younger expats working in the tech industry, with Utrecht now coming to the fore as the new place to be. Most of the estimated 57,000 expats in the Netherlands are spread across the massive municipality created by the country’s four largest cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The...
26 Dec at 6 PM

Spate of violent burglaries hits Cost del Sol expat communities

A gang of burglars are hitting expats homes during the festive season, using gas to knock out householders before stealing valuable possessions and Christmas gifts. According to the Olive Press, a number of expats living in the Costa del Sol region have been targeted by a gang of thieves using gas to disable homeowners before making off...
26 Dec at 6 PM

Expat woman escapes from Dubai rape situation via 999 call

A quick-thinking Canadian woman living and working in Dubai managed to thwart a rape attempt by a UAE soldier by dialing 999 whilst the man was driving to a remote spot. The 21-year-old Canadian had agreed to meet the soldier at an agreed location in order to have dinner with him, and had driven her own car to the meeting place. After...
26 Dec at 6 PM

IMF slams Gulf States plan to tax expat remittances

In an unequivocal Christmas Day message, the International Monetary Fund has warned about Gulf State plans to tax money transfers made by expatriate workers across the region. According to the Arab Times, the IMF report states 90 per cent of private sector employees are workers from overseas, with implementing remittance taxes guaranteed...
23 Dec at 6 PM

Irish expats send festive love to family and friends

Irish expats all over the world unable to return home for the festive season are sending their love and best wishes to their families and friends by holding traditional Irish celebrations. Wanderlust, traditionally a part of the Irish psyche, has led many nationals of the Emerald Isle to try their luck in far-off climes, especially after...
23 Dec at 6 PM

Solutions for American expats barred from using US brokers

US expat investors are now mostly banned from using US-based investment brokers due to the effects of FATCA on withholding requirements and additional reporting, but there are now solutions which allow trading in low-cost index funds. Rather than assuming extra burdensome paperwork due to FATCA, the majority of US-based brokers are not...
23 Dec at 6 PM

Expat family saved from flood deaths by quick thinking

During the worst Costa del Sol floods in decades, an expat mother and daughter only escaped death by wriggling out of their kitchen window. The recent Costa del Sol floods were the worst in 27 years, and inundated the popular expat city of Fuengirola and its surroundings at lightning speed, threatening lives and property. Adrianne...
22 Dec at 6 PM

Saudi 2016 budget to bring bad news for expats

Saudi Arabia’s annual budget statement is expected to announce new fees for expat professionals working in the kingdom. The Saudi budget is expected to contain a number of tough measures aimed at putting the Kingdom in recovery mode and achieving a financial balance over the next three years. The Saudi economy has taken a hard hit from...
22 Dec at 6 PM

Dubai expat photographer holds Xmas charity pet photoshoot

Acting in the spirit of Christmas, an expat photographer working in Dubai is raising money for an animal welfare charity by photographing pets and their owners who attend a local veterinary clinic. Iranian expat Massih Shahbazi organised his first, free, Christmas photo call last year at the Lucky Veterinary Clinic for customers of the...
22 Dec at 6 PM

Is Tokyo truly the most expensive world city for expats

A new survey has identified Tokyo as the most expensive world city for expats. Jumping from 12th place to first in the ECA International Survey’s list of most expensive cities for expat life, Tokyo is now joined in the top ten by three other major Japanese cities. The 2016 survey placed Tokyo at the top of the list, which included...
21 Dec at 6 PM

Four expat destinations best avoided

Would-be expats face a huge choice of places to hang their hats but, in some, all is not as it seems. Getting away from the familiar and embracing the new is a challenge familiar to hundreds of thousands of expats from many Western countries, but how does the average expat make sure what they’re seeing on their reconnaissance trip is...
21 Dec at 6 PM

Expats overseas queuing to purchase UK buy to let properties

In spite of the UK government’s recent change in its tax policy for buy-to-let purchases, sales of British properties to overseas buyers have soared since Brexit. Since the sterling crash following the Brexit result, mortgage enquiries by non-British residents have soared by almost 50 percent, with the majority of the increase taking...
21 Dec at 6 PM

Hope for EU expats as UK government warned over deportation

The UK parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) has warned the government of the impracticability of attempting to deport 2.9 million EU expats from the UK. Published last Monday, the committee’s strongly-worded report tells it like it is as regards mass deportations, and also notes that expats living and working in the UK...
21 Dec at 6 PM

UK expats in UAE might not be home for Christmas

Christmas plans of UK expats living and working in the UAE risk being wrecked by threats of strike action from three major carriers. Three airlines are involved in a rash of labour actions aimed at disrupting many flights, including those booked by UAE expats returning home for Christmas celebrations with families and friends. Virgin...
21 Dec at 6 PM

Nigerian trade union protests expat hirings after local sackings

The trade union for Nigerian workers in the oil and gas industry is protesting against the sacking of local workers and their replacement by high-salaried expats. Nigeria’s Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) is up in arms over the sacking of its members and their replacement by expatriates on generous...
21 Dec at 6 PM

Kuwaiti parliament mulls bill to reduce expat numbers by 2021

If adopted, a draft law submitted by five members of the Kuwaiti parliament would reduce the number of expat workers in the emirate by 800,000. According to the Kuwait Times, the bill calls for a higher national committee to oversee the reduction of expat numbers over five years, resulting in parity with the number of Kuwaiti national...
19 Dec at 6 PM

Illegal expat mortgages from Marbella boiler room judged null and void

Another appalling example of financial fraudsters targeting inexperienced expat investors has finally been decided in the victims’ favour by a Bilbao court, Spain’s version of the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ was finally crushed last week by a Bilbao judge, who ruled all contracts made between SL Mortgage Funding Ltd and their clients are...
19 Dec at 6 PM

Do expats really need offshore accounts

Even if you’ve banked with the same high-street name for decades, your banking rights as an expat might change, making you wish you’d opened an offshore account. If you’re moving to a country with unfamiliar or possibly less secure or efficient banking facilities, leaving your money in your home country bank account is an attractive...
19 Dec at 6 PM

Expats in France can legally apply for permanent residency card

As the uncertainty of the fate of UK expats in the EU continues, those living in France may have an advantage due to the Carte de Sejour UE - sejours permanente. Although the thought of tackling French bureaucracy may strike terror into the hearts of many UK expats, there’s one way to avoid being on the first boat out after the Brexit...
18 Dec at 6 PM

British expats to be barred from Belgian citizenship after Brexit

An announcement by Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel states that UK expats living in the small country will not be allowed to take Belgian citizenship after Article 50 is triggered. British citizens working in Brussels and other Belgian cities have been hoping to be able to apply for Belgian citizenship in order to stay in the country....
18 Dec at 6 PM

US expats in Mexico distancing themselves from Trump

Life is getting more uncomfortable by the minute for US expats living in Mexico. From Trump’s first campaign rant about Mexicans and his promise to build a wall between the two countries to the present time, life for American expats across the US border is becoming ever more uncomfortable. Unsurprisingly, millions of Mexicans were deeply...
18 Dec at 6 PM

EU expats in UK face HMRC pension transfer block

In a surprise move by HMRC, French and Italian expats working in Britain are to be blocked from transferring their pensions to their home countries should Brexit force them to leave the UK. All French and Italian pension schemes on HM Revenue and Customs’ list of permitted international schemes have been removed in an unexpected move by...
16 Dec at 6 PM

May makes unexpected plea for UK expats during Brussels summit

Theresa May broke silence over the fate of UK citizens living in EU member states when she requested an early deal to protect their rights during an EU summit meeting. Although May’s plea seemed to fall on deaf EU ministerial ears, the fact she seems to be finally recognising the desperate plight of over a million Britons living in the...
16 Dec at 6 PM

Falling yuan causes expat belt tightening

Expats working in China are tightening their belts against further depreciation in the value of the yuan. According to Chinese media reports, the yuan is now at its weakest point against the US dollar since the 2008 financial crash. Expats whose salaries were agreed as late as 2015 are feeling the pinch and are concerned about further...
16 Dec at 6 PM

British couple living their expat dream in Cyprus found dead

Kenneth Lincoln and his wife Linda, both long-term British expat residents in Cyprus, were found unconscious in their gas-filled apartment after Linda failed to turn up to her job. After emigrating to the holiday island in 2005, the couple were living their dream of retiring to a stress-free location and simply enjoying life in Kapparis,...
15 Dec at 6 PM

UAE expat investors to benefit from ban on upfront commissions

Expats working in the UAE are expected to benefit from the emirates’ insurance regulator’s decision to ban up-front indemnity commissions taken by financial advisors working within the expat sector. The regulator’s decision was taken in order to align the industry with jurisdictions such as the UK and Hong Kong, whose regulations...
15 Dec at 6 PM

Dubai expats face fines if health insurance not purchased

Dubai residents and expats are facing fines if they have not registered for health insurance before January 1 next year. Not complying with Dubai’s new rules on health insurance will hit expats especially hard, as fines aren’t the only punishment for ignoring the emirate’s compulsory health insurance package. Those who fail to get up...
15 Dec at 6 PM

Report focuses on qualities required for success in expat business life

A recent research study has identified the personal qualities and characteristics which make up success as an expat. The report,‘Predicting who will be a successful expatriate’, followed a comprehensive research study involving not only expats but also managers, employers and subordinates in both expats’ home and overseas countries....
14 Dec at 6 PM

UAE expats in line for new global FATCA

Following the introduction of new international measures to stop expat tax evasion, banking secrecy for expat clients is about to become a thing of the past. International bank HSBC has issued a notice stating the impending collection of account-holder information related to tax matters, making global transparency a major tool in fighting...
14 Dec at 6 PM

US expats in Europe protest against Trumpland

American expats in Europe are getting together to protest Trump’s devastating victory in the recent presidential election. Concerned citizens all over the USA aren’t alone in planning protests and demonstrations to coincide with the Trump inauguration in January, with groups now forming in European expat destinations in order to make...
14 Dec at 6 PM

Brit expats lose chance of compensation for missold Spanish homes

An Almeria expat campaign group who’ve been fighting for compensation in a mis-selling scandal are furious over a court judgement that millions lost to British investors will not be reimbursed. The plight of British expats who’ve lost their Spanish homes due to illegal dealings between construction firms and local authorities is well...
13 Dec at 6 PM

Common sense tips for expat newbies in Dubai

Newcomers to Dubai’s dramatically different culture can be excused for making all the usual mistakes whilst settling in to their new lives, but most issues can be easily resolved with common sense and advice from long-stayers. Relocating to any foreign country can be stressful in itself, but when your new location is as different as it...
13 Dec at 6 PM

Trumpland escapees head south for retirement

Once retirement sets in, the wanderlust which turns citizens into expats is hard to resist, especially when shocks such as the Trump victory change established views of the home country. The recent US presidential election will go down in history as the most polarising and contentious ever, and has left Americans worried as to its...
13 Dec at 6 PM

Where in France is best for British expats

France has long been a popular destination for British expats looking for a new life, but where are the most popular areas for property purchases? A recent snapshot of the most popular French regions with Britons looking to buy homes showed the coastal areas south of Normandy, the Rhone-Alpes and the far south eastern coastline as holding...
12 Dec at 6 PM

UAE expat investor risk aversion survey gives interesting results

New research on UAE expats’ investment preferences has identified professionals from the UK are the least likely group to take chances with their savings. The survey, undertaken by an international insurance company and a local investment management firm, identified the highest risk-aversion attitude to investment as a British...
12 Dec at 6 PM

Shanghai steps up calls for talented expats

Last week, the Shanghai government unveiled fresh efforts to attract more young graduates and highly-qualified professionals from overseas. The Chinese city is planning to become a global hub for technological innovation by the year 2030, and is now stepping up its efforts to attract the brightest and best in the field. The new rules will...
12 Dec at 6 PM

As Christmas approaches, will UK expats in EU be celebrating

Britons in Europe have been on a knife edge since the Brexit vote left their futures hanging in the balance, but recent legal moves may give reason to at least celebrate the upcoming festive season. As the Supreme Court considers its verdict on the recent Article 50 challenge, a number of other anti-Brexit lawsuits are in preparation. In...
9 Dec at 6 PM

Expat court cases and property transactions at risk from Spanish ruling

A possible Brexit backlash by Spanish government legal advisors is set to threaten many hundreds of court cases brought by expats. Spain’s Directorate General of Registrars and Notaries, the equivalent regulatory body of the UK’s Notaries Society, recently issued a ruling cancelling the validity of powers of attorney issued by UK...
9 Dec at 6 PM

Expat QROPS at risk as HMRC delists Canadian schemes

A Canadian QROPS provider hard hit by HM Revenue and Customs’ delisting of a large number of expat pensions is claiming the regulator has accused local providers of breaking the rules. Canadian QROPS provider Mackenzie’s business is threatened by HMRC’s placing of all but three of Canada’s QROPS funds under review, thus freezing...
9 Dec at 6 PM

Hard Brexit forcing expats in UAE to change long-term financial plans

According to advisors in the UAE, the possibility of a hard Brexit is forcing UK expats to drastically re-evaluate their long-term investment plans. Daily rhetoric from UK government sources still suggests a hard Brexit is the preferred option even although the likely result is financial hardship and a drastic fall in the value of...
8 Dec at 6 PM

Brit expat survives brush with death in flooded lift

A British expat stuck in a flooded lift during last weekend’s devastating Costa del Sol storms believed his life was over until his dramatic rescue. UK expat Dan Dawson found himself in a nightmare scenario when the lift he’d taken during the storm began to flood. When the massive storm broke he’d headed for the basement to rescue...
8 Dec at 6 PM

Dubai property market still popular with UK expats

The Dubai real estate market has remained buoyant through 2016, with UK property investments forming a large part of its success. Recent reports from Dubai’s Land Department show property investments of AED 57 billion involving 26,000 investors during 2016, making the emirate one of the world’s most popular property investment hubs....
8 Dec at 6 PM

France the best place for expat home ownership

A recent and wide-ranging study on residential property across Europe gives good news to UK expats owning French homes. Eight European countries were compared for their number of home owners, costs of homes versus salaries, property price variations, sizes of homes, construction costs, mortgages and rural versus city locations. The...
7 Dec at 6 PM

Expat families hit by more increases in tuition fees

The increasing financial burden of international standard education for the children of expats is now a major problem. As the world economy stutters and relocation packages are replaced by local contracts, the ever-increasing fees changed by international schools overseas are becoming a major problem for expat families. As a result,...
7 Dec at 6 PM

UK pensioners overseas to face tax increased tax bills

A hidden message in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement indicated a government plan to align the process of taxation on overseas pension with that of UK pensions. At the present time, pensioners living overseas and taking their income from the so-called Qualifying Registered Overseas Pension Schemes’, (QROPS), are only paying income tax...
7 Dec at 6 PM

Community minded expats volunteer unpaid help in China

Volunteering to be of use in their local communities is the latest trend amongst long-stay expats in China’s mega-cities. Following the tradition of senior Chinese citizens’ unpaid community patrolling, expats in several Chinese cities are offering their services as well. Elderly Chinese can be seen wearing their distinctive red...
6 Dec at 6 PM

Singapore wins out as expat dream destination

If you’re searching for the perfect career-enhancing, luxury living, high-salary expat destination, Singapore has it all and more. For a good while, Singapore was a well-kept secret for its offerings of the most desirable aspects of expat life, at least until annual surveys spilled the beans on this tiny city-state. Nowadays, it’s...
6 Dec at 6 PM

Expats in Hangzhou get Good Neighbour awards

Two long-stay expats living in the Chinese city of Hangzhou have been given Good Neighbour awards for their service to the community. One of the traditional highlights of the annual Hangzhou Neighbour Festival is the giving of Good Neighbour awards to residents who’ve made significant contributions to their local community. This year,...
6 Dec at 6 PM

London takes a beating for expat quality of life

London’s low ranking in current expat lifestyle surveys could persuade would-be expat arrivals it’s the worst city in the world for foreign residents. It’s not just recent surveys which slam London as an expat destination, as the trend has continued for some years now. Given that the British capital is one of the most important...
5 Dec at 6 PM

Making a success of expat life

Leaving your home country to become an expat isn’t just about shipping yourself, your goods and your family to a new country, nor is it just about jobs and visas. Moving overseas, whether for retirement, career advancement or simply a much-needed lifestyle change take months of research and planning, but the story doesn’t end once...
5 Dec at 6 PM

Beijing eases restrictions on expat property purchase

Beijing’s government is set to loosen restrictions on expat real estate purchases from early next year. As China becomes ever more popular with expatriates seeking to live and work in its unique environment, the good news is that expats in Beijing will be able to buy a home with just their work permit as a qualification. At present,...
5 Dec at 6 PM

Brexit effect devastates Spanish property market

Real estate agents in the Spanish Costas are reporting British demand for homes in the sun has fallen by 50 per cent since the Brexit vote. According to local estate agents, British demand for holiday and retirement homes in the popular Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca regions has fallen by 50 per cent since the Brexit vote and subsequent...
2 Dec at 6 PM

Vietnam hosts festival celebrating local friendships with expats

In a move well ahead of neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, Vietnam is hosting a Development and Integration Festival aimed at integrating expats into the Ho Chi Minh community. Ho Chi Minh City’s annual Development and Integration Festival kicked off yesterday for its three-day run aimed at introducing the country’s culture and...
2 Dec at 6 PM

Shanghai expats lose another English language voice

Popular English language online newspaper The Nanfang is set to close. Expats living and working in Shanghai are about to lose yet another favourite English language online news source, with the announcement of the Nanfang’s closure after seven years isure to sadden European expats living in working in the city. Launched in 2011, the...
2 Dec at 6 PM

Survey shows high number of expats call UAE their home

A new survey indicates that the vast majority of expats living and working in the UAE are proud to call the region home. From career opportunities through cultural diversity to feelings of safety and security, the UAE would seem to offer an unparalleled life experience for expats. Recently released results of a survey conducted by Xpress...
1 Dec at 6 PM

Uncertainty continues for UK expats in EU

Theresa May’s failure to fast-track a reciprocal deal on the status of both UK expats in Europe and EU expats in the UK has left several million migrants in a continuing state of uncertainty. Donald Tusk’s and Angela Merkel’s tough responses to May’s attempt at an expat amnesty seem to have made it clear that the European...
1 Dec at 6 PM

UK expats shock at worldwide Marks and Spencer closures

Following the UK company’s decision to close its stores in China due to lack of demand, the quintessentially British retailer has now announced it will close100 stores in Europe. Known as a link with home for Brit expat shoppers, M&S has seemingly overreached itself with its huge expansion in Europe as well as its 10 stores in China....
1 Dec at 6 PM

Study shows culture shock affects expat health and wellbeing

Would-be expats are underestimating the effect of culture shock on their physical and emotional wellbeing. The popular perception of relocating overseas is that moving to a totally different environment and taking on a new job and lifestyle is an exciting adventure. However, a new study has revealed culture shock is a very real threat to...
31 Dec at 10 AM

Illegal expats in Oman to be offered amnesty

Expatriates in the Gulf state of Oman who have overstayed their working visas and are now in the country illegally are to be offered amnesty, a government spokesperson has revealed. The Ministry of Manpower’s head of media Talib Al Dhabari explained that the country wanted to regulate its labour market so was preparing to offer amnesty...
31 Dec at 10 AM

Hong Kong: Expats gear up for night on the town

Expats in Hong Kong are set to party the night away this New Year’s Eve, with all-you-can-drink offers proving extremely popular among foreigners in a city renowned for its high prices. Hong Kong offers everything, from its bustling Mong Kok and high-end Central districts, to spectacular mountains and stunning beaches, but this diversity...
30 Dec at 4 PM

Kampala popularity rising among expats

The Ugandan capital Kampala is becoming more and more popular among expatriates, largely due to its booming oil and gas industries. The East African country was named the happiest in the region, according to the 2013 UN World Happiness Report, which seems another reason foreigners are flocking to this scenic city built on seven...
30 Dec at 2 PM

Shanghai to open more expat help centres

China is to open nine new “one-stop” expat service centres in Shanghai on Thursday, announced police. The new facilities will be located in the districts of Minhang, Singjiang, Zhabei, Yangpu, Jing’an and Changning as well as in the Pudong New Area. The service centres are being introduced so visitors have greater access to...
29 Dec at 3 PM

Kuwait: Expats to be deported for illegal barbecuing

Expatriates in Kuwait will be deported if they are caught barbecuing in non-allocated places, announced the municipal council. Spokesman Ahmad Al Saubaih said that a plan had been put in place with the interior ministry to ensure that all foreigners who broke municipal laws, such as barbecuing in public parks or on beaches, would be...
29 Dec at 12 PM

UAE: Expats workers made to pay for visa renewal

Expat workers in the UAE are being illegally charged as much as AED15,000 by employers to renew their working visas every two years, a Bangladesh embassy employee has said. It costs AED2,879 to renew a manual worker’s visa, but the law states that it is the employer’s responsibility to pay for it. But, according to the embassy staff...
28 Dec at 12 PM

New Zealand ‘expat’ faces jail time in Thailand for drug possession

A New Zealand man is facing years in a Thai prison if convicted of being in possession of Class A drugs, reports from the Southeast Asian country state. Forty-one-year-old Taylor Grainger was arrested and charged after local police allegedly found him with more than two grams of cocaine and methamphetamine in the hedonistic resort of...
28 Dec at 10 AM

Saudi Arabia: High student fees forced 300,000 expats to quit

The high price of education at private schools in Saudi Arabia has forced more than 300,000 foreign students to quit as their parents cannot afford the fees. Education expert Malek Al-Ghamdi explained that as expat students were not accepted in government schools, their only option was private schools. However, he noted, that as these...
26 Dec at 12 PM

Cost of living for expats in Nairobi on the rise

The cost of living for expats in the Kenyan capital Nairobi has increased over the past 12 months, largely due to a hike in consumer goods prices. The survey, published by service provider for staff assignments abroad ECA International, listed Nairobi as the 24th most expensive city to live in Africa and 177th worldwide. Last year’s...
26 Dec at 12 PM

Expats open the door to the homeless at Christmas

A pair of Brits living in Spain welcomed two homeless men into their flat this Christmas and are allowing them to stay there until after the new year. Twenty-one-year-olds Barcley Spicer Jenkins and Ed Lloyd have allowed two homeless men from the Czech Republic to stay in their house in Estepona over the two-week festive season while...
24 Dec at 9 AM

Expat knitting group kicked out of Fuengirola restaurant

A group of kind-hearted expats were told to leave a restaurant in Fuengirola because of the knitting circle they were sitting in just hours before they were set to donate a large amount of clothing to an orphanage in Malaga. The group in question, Knit and Natter, were found by grumpy managers at Fuengilora’s Carihuela Chica restaurant...
24 Dec at 9 AM

Cambodian man jailed for 13 years for expat killing

A Cambodian drifter has been handed a 13-year prison sentence after being found guilty of stabbing a Dutch expat and her baby daughter to death during an attempted robbery in Phnom Penh. Thirty-one-year old Daphna Beerdsen, a UN consultant based in Cambodia, was found dead in her Phnom Penh home in April, while her two-year-old daughter...
23 Dec at 6 PM

France and Algeria reach agreement on training expat imams

A deal on training Algerian expatriate Imams in France has been agreed between the countries’ respective governments, revealed the French Interior and Cult Minister Bernard Cazenueve and the Algerian Religious Affairs Minister Mohamed Aissa on Thursday. The agreement concerns training Algerian imams who are serving in France as well as...
23 Dec at 3 PM

Online survey names Ecuador as best place for expats

A survey of over 14,000 expats in 160 countries has ranked Ecuador as the best place in the world to live in terms of factors such as finances and overall quality of life. The survey, which was carried out by online community website InterNations, also quizzed expats on family life, making friends, how easy settling into life in a country...
22 Dec at 4 PM

Expat in Saudi Arabia jailed for attack threat

An expat woman in Saudi Arabia has received a four-month jail term and 30 lashes after being convicted of threatening her brother and his wife. The court in Jeddah has ordered that the woman is psychologically evaluated at a mental hospital. The ruling comes after the women’s sister-in-law informed police that she had told her and...
22 Dec at 4 PM

Marbella needs expats

Marbella’s councillor for tourism and foreign residents Jose Luis Hernandez has backed up its mayor in saying that expats are vital for the success of the town. Mayor Angeles Munoz said last week that expats should be voting in local elections, and Hernandez has now said the large expat community based along the Costa del Sol is crucial...
19 Dec at 12 PM

Uruguay: Lebanon Foreign Minister urges expats to buy Lebanese products

Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil wants to see Lebanese expats in Uruguay spending their money on things produced in their homeland, noting that the recently-signed free trade agreement (FTA) with Latin America would make importing such goods all the more easier. During a meeting on Wednesday with a delegation of Uruguay-based...
19 Dec at 9 AM

North American expats in Belize reveal its draws

North American expats living in Belize have revealed the reasons why they chose the picturesque Caribbean nation as their new home. In addition to the pristine beaches and rolling mountains, they say they only need between US$2,000 and US$3,000 a month to give them a comfortable lifestyle. Another reason is that it is closer to home than...
18 Dec at 4 PM

Joy for expats in Denmark as government passes dual citizenship law

Denmark has finally passed a law that will allow expats to become citizens of the country without losing the citizenship of their homeland. The new legislation also states that Danes who have previously given up their citizenship are able to reclaim it. The government’s decision on dual citizenship came after a research on the issue...
18 Dec at 2 PM

Spain: Expat aims to ban circus on Casares and Manilva

A British expat in Spain is campaigning to outlaw animal circuses in the southern Spanish towns of Casares and Manilva after they were banned in Malaga. The animal-loving expat, Angela Ferguson, from the English country of Middlesex, is of the opinion that the law that was introduced in Malaga should be applied all along the Costa del Sol,...
17 Dec at 11 AM

Phuket expat accused of stealing bikes to sell via Facebook

A French expat and his Thai girlfriend have been accused of stealing motorcycles on the island of Phuket in order to rebuild them and sell them via Facebook. Twenty-seven-year-old Mathieu Alfano and Pawana Moonsatub, 21, were identified from CCTV footage and able to be traced to their residence on Phrabaramee Road in Patong – the...
17 Dec at 9 AM

Auckland among most expensive Asia Pacific cities for expats to live

New Zealand’s biggest city Auckland has moved ahead of the Australian cities of Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth to become the Asia Pacific region’s 16th most expensive city to live in, revealed an ECA International Survey. The city moved up from last year’s position of 54th most expensive city in the world to live in to 36th this time...
16 Dec at 6 PM

Australian expat slapped by Buddhist monk in Thailand

An expat English teacher received a nasty slap from a Buddhist monk in Thailand after he generously offered two women a double seat on the train he was travelling on. The incident occurred after the Australian, Jeff, offered two women the double seat he was sitting on from Bangkok to Phitsakulok when they got on the train. After the two...
16 Dec at 3 PM

House shortage in Doha leaves expats facing huge rent increases

A shortage of housing in the Qatari capital Doha means expats will have to pay higher rent prices than they would do in other Gulf states, according to a recent study by global real estate company Colliers International. The fact the city has such a shortage has resulted in the cost of rent soaring to unprecedented levels – a rise of 14...
15 Dec at 11 AM

Activists criticise Philippines over beheading of expat in Saudi Arabia

Activists have condemned the government of the Philippines for failing to do more to save a national who was executed in Saudi Arabia after being convicted of murder. Carletto Lana was beheaded in the capital Riyadh on Friday after being found guilty of shooting a Saudi man before running him over in a car. However, advocacy group...
15 Dec at 9 AM

Saudi Arabia: 3,000 expat professors seek move to Western countries

Three thousand expat professors in Saudi Arabian universities are trying to find work in Western countries, revealed an official at an international immigration centre. The figures come after Saudi’s Ministry of Higher Education recently told universities across the country that they should not renew expatriate workers’ contracts if...
12 Dec at 11 AM

Kuwait: Skilled expats unaffected by visa crackdown

Skilled expats in Kuwait will not be affected by a proposed five-year residency cap on foreigners working in the Gulf state. At present the number of expats in the country, which has a population of around 1.25 million, is in the region of 2.5 million, but the new proposal wants that figure brought down to just 10 per cent of the...
12 Dec at 9 AM

Bangladeshi shot dead in Saudi Arabia for prayer call no-show

A Bangladeshi expatriate worker in Saudi Arabia has been shot dead by a muezzin, reportedly because he failed to attend a prayer call on his behalf. The murder of 36-year-old Mohammed Rafiqul Islam occurred at Ortawwiyah in the Majmaah district, around 30kms for Riyadh, on Sunday. According to his brother, Kamal Uddin, he worked for a date...
11 Dec at 3 PM

UK expats in Cyprus to campaign for fuel allowance

British expats living in Cyprus are ready to campaign against the UK government’s proposal to stop their winter fuel allowance from next year. Expats residing in the Mediterranean country have said the eligibility tests that UK citizens have to go through to see if they’re entitled to the winter fuel payments were “unfair and...
11 Dec at 11 AM

Malaysia gaining in appeal to expats

Expats are increasingly viewing the Southeast Asia country of Malaysia as an exciting and cost-effective destination to live in. Some 54 per cent of respondents to the Expat Explorer survey, commissioned by HSBC, said that living conditions in the country were better than what they had in their home country, while 34 per cent revealed they...
10 Dec at 12 PM

Filipina expat in UAE claims she was raped by co-worker

A Filipina expat in Dubai has alleged a co-worker and compatriot raped her in their shared accommodation after a night drinking alcohol. Dubai Police CID Director General Major General Khalil Al Mansouri confirmed the claim and said that the police were currently investigating the matter. He revealed that the woman said she was in bed...
10 Dec at 12 PM

India second on list of ‘up and coming’ destinations for expats

India has come in second place behind China on a list of countries that are ‘up and coming’ for expats to live and work in, according to an HSBC survey. The Expat Explorer survey noted that emerging Asian economies provided a huge draw to challenge-seeking expats, with 44 per cent admitting that they chose them for the new challenges...
9 Dec at 2 PM

Expats in Spain help collect hundreds of thousands of kilos of food for the poor

A food campaign organised by food bank Bancosol to assist poor people in Spain has been a huge success, thanks in part to the large number of expats who helped. The results went way beyond what was expected, with the food bank collecting a total of 703,000 kilos of food – more than 100,000 kilos more than what was initially targeted. The...
9 Dec at 2 PM

Madeleine McCann: Police begin witness interviews

Police have begun the process of re-interviewing key witnesses in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Scotland Yard detectives have travelled to the Portuguese capital Lisbon to assist local officers in questioning 11 witnesses about the night the three-year-old disappeared. The UK police will sit in on interviews conducted by their...
8 Dec at 6 PM

Abu Dhabi expat murder not linked to terrorist group

The Emirati women facing charges for murdering US kindergarten teacher Ibolya Ryan in Abu Dhabi last week has no connections to any terrorist groups, an official security source has said. The woman, believed to be in her late thirties, is suspected of brutally murdering the nursery school teacher in the ladies toilets in the Boutik Mall...
8 Dec at 2 PM

British expat has missing wallet returned after 18 years

UK expat Colin Mendoza got an almighty shock when police in Switzerland contacted him to say they had his missing wallet and passport – 18 years after he lost them on a train in the country. Mendoza fell asleep on a train journey from Zurich Airport to Geneva in 1996, and didn’t realise he had left his wallet on board until after...
5 Dec at 12 PM

One in three UK expats want to return home

A third of UK expats would jump at the chance of moving home, while more than two thirds are unhappy where they live, revealed a survey of more than 700 British expats. The survey, conducted by Experts for Expats in October and November, quizzed British expats on where they would choose to live if there were no obstacles involved to...
5 Dec at 10 AM

Expats will not lose their tax breaks

Brits working abroad received some good news on Thursday after it was revealed that they would still be allowed to claim their personal tax allowance. Chancellor George Osborne said in March during his budget statement that the only people who may be able to retain their personal allowances in the future would be non-residents with strong...
4 Dec at 4 PM

Hong Kong’s expats told to brace themselves for cold weather

Weather authorities in Hong Kong have delivered a message to residents of the normally humid city: wrap up warm as winter is on its way. The Hong Kong Observatory issued the Cold Weather Warning as the temperature dropped to 21 degrees Celsius on Wednesday afternoon. It advised residents to be prepared for temperatures to plummet further...
4 Dec at 2 PM

Saudi Arabia: Firms that deny expats medical insurance will not be granted visas

Saudi Arabian companies that refuse to pay for the health insurance of their employees and their families will not be granted recruitment visas, the secretary-general of the Health Insurance Council has revealed. Abdullah bin Ibrahim Al-Sharief said that the regulations in the Gulf nation state that an employer is obliged to pay for the...
3 Dec at 4 PM

New Zealand’s Kea expat network reaches 500,000

A global network designed for New Zealanders living overseas has hit the half-million-member mark. Kea, which was launched in 2001 by Professor David Teece and The Warehouse founder Sir Stephen Tindall on the back of the Knowledge Wave conference, connects New Zealand businesses with Kiwis living around the world. Among those permitted...
3 Dec at 3 PM

Kuwait introduces new regulation for professional expat drivers

Driving will not be allowed to be considered a profession for expatriates in Kuwait unless the country the motorist comes from has issued the required licence to state he has come to the Middle Eastern state for that purpose. Kuwait has stated that the licence issued in the driver’s homeland must be in accordance with the Interior...
3 Dec at 11 AM

MP pushing Bill to allow expats to vote once more

Conservative MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown is to make one final push to abolish the 15-year voting rule imposed on British expats before the 2015 general election. The rule prevents UK nationals abroad from voting in elections if they have resided overseas for more than 15 years. Clifton-Brown is to make a speech seeking to persuade MPs...
2 Dec at 12 PM

Survey names Costa Rica happiest place in the world

The Central American country of Costa Rica is the happiest place in the world, according to a recent survey by relocation website Movehub. The study, which conducted research on 151 different countries, found that Vietnam was the second happiest place on Earth, followed by Colombia, Belize and El Salvador. The research took measures...
1 Dec at 12 PM

Expats in Abu Dhabi to pay more for power and water

Expats in Abu Dhabi will have to fork out more for their electricity and water bills come the start of 2015, with utility companies to up the charges. Electricity tariffs will increase to 3p per kilowatt hours of power used for customers consuming up to 20 kilowatt hours per day. Water charges will depend on whether the home is a villa...
1 Dec at 9 AM

Dubai named world’s best city to work

Dubai has been voted the best city on Earth to work, beating off completion from the likes of Hong Kong, London, Singapore, Paris and New York. According to a recent survey carried out by Insead’s French alumni association, Dubai came first on a list of 15 of the world’s seemingly most desirable places to live. The researchers...
30 Dec at 6 PM

UK government blunder threatens efforts to end pension ripoffs

Just as the government seemed to be taking pensioners’ sides against rip-off charges by pension providers, an embarrassing blunder by the DWP may have put an end to the reforms. Following the shocking results of an investigation by the Daily Telegraph into the UK’s major pension providers, the government instigated a consultation on...
30 Dec at 6 PM

Should Spain issue ID cards to resident expats

Laws in Spain can be somewhat confusing and, although the vast majority of expats lead an impeccable life, it’s embarrassing to be caught out unintentionally. The law as regards identification cards is one such example, and many long-term expats will remember an attempt by the government to provide a card to those who qualified as...
27 Dec at 6 PM

Scattered pension pots make expat financial planning difficult

New research has revealed that more than half of the total number of workers have two or more pensions, and those over 51 have four or more, making financial planning in retirement less than straightforward. The survey was undertaken as a response to the system proposed by pension minister Steve Web of migration of occupational pensions...
27 Dec at 6 PM

Dubai set to stage world largest New Year fireworks spectacular

Expats in Dubai will have a spectacular New Year’s Eve as the emirate again attempts to beat the Guinness world record for the largest New Year’s Eve fireworks display. The amazing, if somewhat brief, programme of fireworks will be launched from 400 locations on the offshore Palm Jumeirah Island and is expected to break Kuwait’s...
26 Dec at 6 PM

Offshore warehouses stuffed with treasures of the wealthy to avoid tax

The creative use of tax avoidance schemes has hit a new high with the discovery of massive freeport warehouses in offshore havens crammed with artworks and treasures belonging to the world’s mega-rich. Usually located close to docks or airports near major world financial centres such as Zurich, Geneva, Singapore and Monaco, the giant,...
26 Dec at 6 PM

Improving Cyprus economy spurs upscale property development

Earlier this year, the Cypriot economy seemed to be heading for the rocks due to its Greek bank liabilities, but is now rebounding in an unexpectedly lively manner. Expats all over Europe were frightened by the expat savings cash grab, fearing their chosen country would be next in line. The island’s economy quickly went from bad to...
26 Dec at 6 PM

Irish Archbishop urges government to curb emigration in Christmas address

In his Christmas address, the Archbishop of Dublin, Irish Catholicism’s senior prelate, has urged the government to create more jobs for the young. Dr Diarmuid Martin included both coalition parties in his request, saying that job creation measures are the only way to stop the rush to emigrate amongst Ireland’s youth. Families, he...
26 Dec at 6 PM

Abu Dhabi New Year celebrations too expensive for many expats

Whilst everyone loves to ring in the New Year, 2014’s popular Abu Dhabi offerings are pricing many expat workers out of the party -going market. As with any major world city, restaurants, entertainment venues, upscale hotels and shopping malls pull out all the stops to provide exciting and exclusive events to welcome in the New Year....
24 Dec at 6 PM

Experts warn maximum GAD drawdowns may exhaust retirement funds

Financial experts are concerned that ill-advised pensioners may believe GAD is a target figure for regular drawdowns rather than an income guide. Independent financial analysis experts are concerned that financial advisors may be encouraging excessive drawdowns. Quoting 120 per cent GAD rather than lower annuity rates is, they say, bad...
24 Dec at 6 PM

Virtual Private Networks the expat answer to blocked British soaps

One of the most frustrating aspects of expat life outside the UK is that, for long-time fans of TV soaps, the only option is to bid goodbye to the much-loved series in exchange for great weather and a laid-back lifestyle. Access to BBC content in particular has been blocked to all living outside the UK, although it’s possible to watch...
23 Dec at 6 PM

Dubai moots license to drink within sensible limits

A Dubai lawyer’s message to expats over the festive season suggests that licenses to drink legally should be given at the airport, but stresses it’s not a licence to get wasted in public. In an interview with a UAE business newspaper, Emirati lawyer Yousef Ali Baher said that visitors to Dubai who drink alcohol in hotel bars are...
23 Dec at 6 PM

Expats can beat the UK taxman by keeping travel logs

As most UK expats are aware, expat tax liabilities depend on whether an individual is deemed to still be domiciled in Britain, thus giving tax residency status. Under British tax rules, all personal or financial ties to the UK must be broken in order not to be considered tax resident. If this is the case, expats are forced to pay UK tax on...
21 Dec at 6 PM

Brits returning from overseas to be hit by Eastern European benefit curbs

UK expats returning home after living or working overseas for three months or more are due to be hit by the same benefit restrictions as will apply to immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria. In a bid to dissuade Bulgarians and Romanians from coming to the UK for work and claiming benefits, the Department of Work and Pensions has introduced...
21 Dec at 6 PM

Is Dubai landlord tenant trouble a battle or a bubble

The battle between Dubai expat tenants and their greedy landlords has been hotting up for the last few weeks, but is it being fuelled by an investor-led real estate bubble? Rent increases in Dubai have reached record levels over the last several months, with expat tenants’ blood boiling as a result. Meanwhile, the strong possibility of...
19 Dec at 6 PM

UK capital gains tax changes may not affect London house price boom

Given that around five million Britons have chosen to live overseas and most keep an eye on the news from back home, how severe will the changes be for expat property investors? Expat investors living outside the UK have traditionally favoured buy-to-let property back home, both to have a home ready and waiting when it’s time to return,...
19 Dec at 6 PM

Abu Dhabi introduces online courses in teaching Arabic to expats

In a bid to integrate expats into the Abu Dhabi community, the skills necessary to teach Arabic as a foreign language are to be offered online to Emirati teachers. During his speech at the initial meeting of the Abu Dhabi Forum for Teaching Arabic to Speakers of Other Languages, Dr Nidal al Tunaji told the media that the Zayed House for...
18 Dec at 6 PM

Cyprus pushes back property misselling deadline for expat victims

Whilst the bulldozers continue demolishing mis-sold expat homes in Spain, those unfortunates in a similar position in Cyprus have been given more time to launch legal proceedings. Thousands of investors and retirees who emigrated to the popular island have now been given by the Cyprus government another 12 months in which to launch...
18 Dec at 6 PM

Are retirement savers dumping too much into pension plans

A recent study by pension experts suggests that retirement savers may be putting too much of their hard-earned cash into pension plans due to an overestimate of their needs by financial advisors. In order to predict the amount pre-retirees will need to save, financial advisors feed figures and other date into complicated algorithms unable...
17 Dec at 6 PM

UK Foreign Office to confront Spanish authorities over demolitions

Britain’s Foreign Office has stated that there is a substantial problem concerning the continuing demolition of British-owned properties due to the supposed breaching of planning laws. With at least four thousand homes at risk of being bulldozed due to property disputes, the uncertainty as well as the actual loss of the homes is a...
17 Dec at 6 PM

Expat health insurance inflation fuelled by overtreatment and fraud

Expats in most popular destinations are having to pay ever-increasing premiums for private heathcare due to local private hospitals' over-treatment and even fraudulent billing. Foreign nationals everywhere, especially in southeast Asian medical hubs such as Thailand, have seen their health insurance premiums soar over the last several...
16 Dec at 6 PM

Second home owners in France and Spain to be banned from renting out

Thousands of expats and second-home owners in France and Spain are facing a ban on renting out their properties to holidaymakers. The crackdown on renting out second homes in two of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations is expected to hit owners where it hurts most – in their pockets. The new rules may be implemented in Lyon,...
16 Dec at 6 PM

Canadian 65 year immigrant refused pension without proof of immigration

A 65-year-old woman who arrived in 1949 as a three-month old babe in arms with her parents has been refused her pension unless she can provide her immigration documents. Bureaucracy run riot is alive and kicking in Canada, especially in the case of Martha Kozub, whose parents brought her from Germany to Canada after WWII. When she was 13...
13 Dec at 6 PM

Expat pensioners protest against biannual proof of life rule

Pensioners rights campaigners are up in arms over last week’s Treasury announcement that UK expat pensioners over 75 years old need to regularly prove they’re still alive or have their pensions stopped. The controversial new rule is seen as yet another thorn in the side of retirees living abroad, as the time allocated for the form’s...
13 Dec at 6 PM

UAE expats enjoy Christmas with all the usual homestyle treats

Whilst expats the world over look forward to Christmas as a time to relax and have fun with friends, those lucky enough to live the UAE can source all the usual Christmas treats right on their doorsteps. Entrepreneurs in the Emirates are now setting up shop to make and deliver traditional festive foods using recipes from Scotland, the UK...
12 Dec at 6 PM

Expat mortgage blow as another lender bars borrowing against property

The market for expat home loans on UK property has been shrinking fast over the last year, with Nationwide now planning to pull the plug on mortgages for those who have lived overseas. The UK’s biggest building society is the latest commercial lender to shut up shop for expats wanting to take out home loans. The issue, according to the...
12 Dec at 6 PM

New Zealand Immigration under fire for Stasi tactics

Whether a worrying indication of the global police state or a bad hair day for an immigration officer, the ‘goings on’ at Kiwi immigration checkpoints are hitting international media outlets. It all started when a New Zealand citizen returning from London with his fiancée was detained at the airport and forced to hand over his iPad,...
11 Dec at 6 PM

Guernsey tax changes may reinstate hundreds of suspended QROPS

More than 300 Guernsey pension plans which lost QROPS status when HM Revenue and Custom changed the tax laws may soon be back in business. The suspended Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pensions lost their status as a result of offering different tax incentives to expats who were non-resident. The State of Guernsey is now gearing up to...
11 Dec at 6 PM

Republicans urge FATCA repeal as expat Americans dump citizenship

President Obama’s flagship FATCA law is under fire from Republican party leaders as well as from the thousands of USA expats living overseas who have renounced their citizenship. The controversial and much-hated anti-tax evasion measure was designed to stop American citizens hiding assets and cash in overseas tax havens, but has...
10 Dec at 6 PM

UK government consumer panel warns against annuity rip offs

Expat destinations and the UK are hotspots for unprincipled financial advisors ripping off new retirees attempting to purchase annuities with their savings. In another blow to hard-working retiree savers, the Financial Services Consumer Panel arm of the UK’s City watchdog is warning about insurers and their middle men who are making...
10 Dec at 6 PM

Expats in Malta protest against two tier utility bills

Following the introduction by Maltese utility company ARMS of a two-tier energy and water billing system, a group of angry expats living on the island are lobbying against discrimination. After the establishment of a lower residential and domestic utility rate for Maltese nationals, the expat community complained to Arms. In response, the...
9 Dec at 6 PM

Winners and losers on UK expat state pension new rules

The UK chancellor’s Autumn Budget Statement will bring a raft of changes for pensioners both home and abroad as well as affecting private pension investors. The state pension will be increased by £2.95 per week from April next year, but Britons retiring in European Economic Area states which are on average warmer in winter than the...
9 Dec at 6 PM

Carbon credit crooks target expat investors

A new breed of fraudster is lurking in the already murky waters of expat financial advice, with genuine carbon credit investment firms’ names being used to trap the unwary. Britain’s watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, is concerned enough about the growth of such scams to publish an official warning to investors to stay clear of...
6 Dec at 6 PM

Singapore now the 30th most expensive country for expats

Having moved in 2013 from 31st place last year to 30th, Singapore is still well down from the leader, Caracas, and price rises in the city state have slowed in recent months. The results of ECA International’s latest Cost of Living survey also revealed that Singapore had slipped in the regional ranking from 8th to 9th, placing it behind...
6 Dec at 6 PM

Temporary or permanent emigration may depend on pension provision

Migrants leaving the UK for overseas jobs many never intend to return, but the final decision to stay or go may depend on whether they have a pension in their host country. It seems that deciding to make a permanent commitment to your host county at the end of a career is easier if you have opted into a pension scheme in your overseas...
5 Dec at 6 PM

Expat employers expect newbies to go it alone

For newly arrived expat employees, the most tricky part of moving to a new country is learning the language and finding a home without the assistance of their new employer. A recent survey conducted by Lloyds Bank International has revealed that many overseas employers fail to give new expat staff any help in settling in to their new host...
5 Dec at 6 PM

80 per cent of Dubai residents will need compulsory health insurance

A new law unveiled earlier this week means that the 80 per cent of Dubai’s residents who are expats will be compelled to obtain private health insurance. Dubai nationals make up just 20 per cent of the Emirate’s population, and are already covered by a national scheme, but private health insurance will be mandatory for all other...
4 Dec at 6 PM

QROPS for expats in countries without providers

Much has been written about the desirability of transferring an expat retirement pension to a QROPS, but what if you’re living in a country which has no listed providers? Around 180 countries are not represented in the global QROPS market place with its over 3,000 pension funds, giving rise to worries amongst retirement savers who wish...
4 Dec at 6 PM

Tips for expat investors taking on unregulated funds

With offshore banks closing down at a fast rate, expat investors may be confused about where to put their money next, and may be tempted to try unregulated funds. The temptation to invest in high-risk, unregulated ,collective investment schemes for at least a short while is considerable, with prices rising across the globe and little...
4 Dec at 6 PM

Expat and Saudi families shun leisure venues due to accidents

Both expats with children and their Saudi equivalents are searching for alternative leisure venues for days out following a spate of accidents in commercial arcades. Local family entertainment centres are found in malls and other commercial centres, but are often poorly maintained and with few health and safety measures on children’s...
4 Dec at 6 PM

Older expats who take regular exercise stay healthier longer

The recently published results of a survey have revealed that the elderly who take up regular exercise later in their lives are three times healthier than their couch potato counterparts. According to the study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, pensioners who take up exercising can stave off the chance of dementia or...
2 Dec at 6 PM

Cooperative Bank Guernsey kicks out expat customers

In another hit on expat investors, the Guernsey arm of the Co-Operative Bank is closing the accounts of fixed-rate depositors and returning their money. Already in the headlines over the last few weeks concerning its former chairman’s antics, the now decidedly uncooperative bank is closing down its Guernsey subsidiary. The reason given...
2 Dec at 6 PM

UAE arrests US expat for satirical YouTube video

An American working in the United Arab Emirates has been the first foreigner to be arrested under tough, newly-introduced cybercrime laws. A press release by the Emirates Center for Human Rights confirmed that Shezzan Cassim was arrested last April for publishing a video on YouTube depicting a satirical view of life in Dubai for young...
2 Dec at 6 PM

Wealthy expat entrepreneur escapes 5 million capital gains tax bill

A wealthy property entrepreneur and his culinary-talented wife have won a landmark case brought by HMRC over £5 million capital gains tax bill. James and Sarah Glyn sold up their £29 million of assets and moved to Monaco, believing that, as they no longer had a home in the UK, they were not subject to capital gains tax on the property...
2 Dec at 6 PM

Irish working migrants unlikely to return home

The health sector in Ireland is in a poor state, having lost many of its professionals to the lure of emigration, and those who have left are unlikely to want to return. A recent study by researchers at University College Cork has revealed that almost half of those who have emigrated since the economic crisis hit home were in full-time...
2 Dec at 6 PM

Tough new UAE rules for expats sponsoring adult dependents

Revised rules have been introduced for expats wishing to bring adult dependents such as children over 18 and parents to the emirate on residency visas. Adult dependants and the parents of expats working in Abu Dhabi have historically been granted residency visa automatically. According to an unnamed source, under the revised rules...
2 Dec at 6 PM

Expat property capital gains tax action plan

Following the announcement by the British government that those living overseas will be charged capital gains tax on sale of their UK properties, tax experts are concocting action plans to avoid liability. Although the measure, due to be announced in the Autumn Budget statement on 5 December, is nominally aimed at wealthy foreign property...
31 Dec at 6 PM

Condemnation as Putin signs law banning US adoptions

The US government has strongly condemned Russian president Vladimir Putin’s signing into law the controversial new regulation banning US citizens from adopting Russian children. Putin’s action last Friday put an end to the hopes of 52 children already assigned to putative American parents, forcing the US State Department to describe...
31 Dec at 6 PM

Expats in China to face more internet use restrictions

The Chinese government is tightening its grip on the country’s internet services, including privacy issues and laws requiring ISPs to report posters of inappropriate material. Following a further tightening by censors of restrictions on international internet access in China, new rules regarding internet usage were announced last...
28 Dec at 6 PM

One Pound Fish singing market trader forced to leave UK

Mohammed Nazir, one-time English language student turned market trader and latterly famous after his catchy ‘One Pound Fish’ song went viral on YouTube, has now been deported. Mohammed’s rags to riches and social media fame story began when he arrived from Pakistan on a student visa to study English at a London college. When the...
28 Dec at 6 PM

New Zealand deports tetraplegic man after six year battle

A 61-year old Tongan migrant who injured his spine whilst in New Zealand on a visitor’s visa has finally been deported after a six-year battle to stay in the country. Semisi Ma’afu Samui was deported to Tonga on 22 December, leaving his daughter and her family in New Zealand afraid that he will soon die due to lack of correct medical...
27 Dec at 6 PM

Riyadh Chamber of Commerce opposes Saudi 40-hour week

The Saudi government’s plan to impose 5-day, 40 hour working weeks on all Saudi private companies is causing controversy amongst members of the kingdom’s Chamber of Commerce. Head of the Chamber’s manpower committee Mansour Al-Shatri is fiercely in opposition to the proposal, saying it will reduce opportunities for Saudi workers and...
27 Dec at 6 PM

Abu Dhabi to Dubai highway affected by employment law change

The infamous Abu Dhabi/Dubai highway’s treacherous driving conditions may be permanently affected by a new law prohibiting public service workers from living outside the borders of Abu Dhabi. The length of the road between Dubai and Abu Dhabi combined with its sudden fogs and sandstorms make it one of the world’s most dangerous...
26 Dec at 6 PM

UK expat pensioner winter fuel payments soar in 2012

Record numbers of UK expat pensioners living in sunny climes have claimed the annual winter fuel payment intended to help with the cost of gas and electricity in the cold winter months. According to figures released by the UK Pensions Minister, around 74,000 British pensioners living overseas claimed the winter fuel grant of £200 in...
26 Dec at 6 PM

High street banks making mint from expat currency transfers

International banks with UK high street branches are forcing expats and their home country families to pay through the nose for bank-to-overseas branch money transfers. International banks with branches in the UK make much advertising capital from their overseas branches and so-called advantages for expat customers, but are making a...
25 Dec at 6 PM

Dreaded US FATCA now involves at least 50 nations

The US Treasury Department is now working with over 50 countries across the world as regards sharing US expats’ personal financial details to establish tax compliance. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is expected to affect all American expats living in the selected countries, as it requires foreign banks and investment...
25 Dec at 6 PM

Gun control controversy may lose presenter his US visa

Popular CNN presenter Piers Morgan may risk losing his US work visa due to his uncompromising stance on gun control after the Sandy Hook School massacre of 20 children and six adults. Over 50,000 infuriated US citizens have signed a petition urging the US government to revoke CNN interviewer and UK citizen Piers Morgan’s visa due to his...
24 Dec at 6 PM

Falling European property prices forcing expats to return home

A recent study has revealed that, for many expats in France and Spain, the dream has faded and returning home is the next step. Results of the study, undertaken for forex firm HiFX, show that one in 10 Britons holding or living in overseas property are looking to sell up if possible. Almost 50 per cent of those planning to return to the UK...
24 Dec at 6 PM

International students stranded for Xmas due to visa delays

Film school students from overseas caught in the London Met visa controversy are stranded in London over Christmas due to delays in processing new student visas. Legitimate London School of Film students from across the world were asked by the UK Border Agency in November to surrender their passports and apply for new student visas. The...
21 Dec at 6 PM

Survey shows emigration bug infecting Israeli citizens

With emigration numbers growing fast across Europe and even in Asia, Israeli citizens are the latest to catch on to the trend, according to a recent survey. According to a survey carried out by Israeli newspaper Haartez, well over a third of respondents are thinking seriously about emigrating to new lands. The main reason seems to be the...
21 Dec at 6 PM

Belgian MPs deny French billionaire was refused Belgian nationality

As the Depardieu migration scandal rolls on, rumours about Belgium’s supposed refusal to grant billionaire entrepreneur Bernard Arnault Belgian nationality have been quashed. It takes the French to make a highly successful drama out of a crisis, with the sudden departure of actor Gerard Depardieu across the border enhancing the French...
20 Dec at 6 PM

Saudi expats fear liability for controversial foreign labour tax

Expatriates in Saudi Arabia are demanding new contracts in an attempt to avoid being held liable for the newly-introduced tax on foreign worker numbers. The Saudization foreign worker tax introduced by the Ministry of Labour last month has prompted expats to demand fair contracts which include their company’s liability for the tax as...
20 Dec at 6 PM

Portuguese government announces expat pensions to be tax exempt

In a move designed to attract more retirees to the country, the Portuguese government has announced that expat pensions will no longer be subject to income tax. Those who will benefit the most are retirees who spend at least part of the year in the country and are non-habitual residents for Portuguese tax purposes. The pension itself must...
19 Dec at 6 PM

Majority of Germans blame immigrants for serious societal problems

A recent survey has shown that two-thirds of Germans believe that unchecked migration is responsible for the problems in the country, saying the numbers are an extra burden on the economy. The survey, undertaken for the respected think-tank Bertelsmann Foundation, comes as Germany as an expat destination is on the rise. Two-thirds of...
19 Dec at 6 PM

Exotic location companies need managers to develop local talent

In spite of the current financial woes, international companies are still searching for experienced expat managers at premium salaries. A recent survey revealed that the ongoing financial crisis hasn’t dampened down demand for capable expat managers, especially in exotic locations such as Azerbaijan, Armenia and Mongolia. Emerging...
18 Dec at 6 PM

Mobile millionaire expats prefer shares and real estate investments

A recent survey claims that wealthy expats with mobile lifestyles are ignoring alternative investments in favour of more traditional real estate and share trading investments. The survey of ‘Internationally Mobile Wealthy Individuals’ and their investment habits was carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and focused on those...
18 Dec at 6 PM

Gallup poll reveals expat locations with empathetic residents

A recent international study of emotional wellbeing by global pollster Gallup could help pinpoint expat destinations with ‘emotional’ locals. The survey was undertaken as part of a study of behavioural indicators and their effect on general wellbeing across the world, and was sparked by a recent trend amongst world leaders towards...
18 Dec at 6 PM

British family face NZ deportation as father has cancer

A British couple and their three children who emigrated to New Zealand some six years ago are facing deportation after being refused residency as the father has a brain tumour. Paul and Sarah Crystal, originally from Evesham, and their three children aged 7, 15 and 17, have lived in New Zealand since 2006, when Paul took on a job in the...
18 Dec at 6 PM

Shoura Council fights for repeal of expat worker levy

The Saudi Arabian Shoura Council has come out against the recently-introduced expat worker levy, saying it will result in a disastrous rise in the cost of living. The expat worker levy, passed into law earlier this month, forced private Saudi companies to pay an annual levy on each foreign worker employed in excess of the number of Saudi...
14 Dec at 6 PM

South America and Asia likely for high wage increases

Recent research reveals that, due to the continuing effects of the economic slowdown, South America and Asia are likely to see the highest salary increases during 2013. A report by global management consultancy Hay Group states that Latin America will lead the league table with an average increase of nine per cent, fueled by Venezuela,...
14 Dec at 6 PM

Survey measures multinational immigrant quality of life in US

A recent survey of over 20,000 multinational expats settled in the USA has revealed that most immigrants have no regrets over their decision to leave their home countries. The 2012 Expat Sentiment Survey report, commissioned on behalf of VIP Communications Inc, stated that 94 per cent of immigrants believed they had made the right choice,...
13 Dec at 6 PM

French PM derides Depardieu for migrating to Belgium

France’s Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, is seriously displeased with French movie star Gerard Depardieu’s recent tax-avoiding move just across the border to Belgium. Describing the star’s exit to the Belgian border town of Nechin as shabby, the PM made it clear that he disapproved of Depardieu’s attempt to avoid higher taxes,...
13 Dec at 6 PM

Report states many Saudi companies have paid expat tax

According to a recent report, some 30 per cent of Saudi private companies have been forced to pay the recently-imposed levee on foreign workers. As the controversy over the Ministry of Labour’s highly unpopular Saudization tax rumbles on, a report in the Arab News estimates that a third of private sector firms in the kingdom have...
12 Dec at 6 PM

Expat concerns over slow UK recovery fuel overseas investments

Expat investors are increasingly looking to their local economies’ investment potentials due to concerns over the UK’s slow recovery from the financial crisis. A survey undertaken on behalf of Lloyds TSB International has revealed that just seven per cent of expat investors have confidence in the UK economy over the next half year,...
12 Dec at 6 PM

Canada seeks experienced expat tradespeople for permanent residency

Canada is opening the doors to thousands of skilled expat tradespeople by speeding up the visa process and offering permanent residency. The country’s booming industries are desperate for skilled tradesmen and women, and are about to announce a new scheme offering permanent residency to those able to meet the needs. Canadian Immigration...
11 Dec at 6 PM

Twitter users meet Saudi Minister over expat worker fines

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Labour met recently with Saudi and expat Twitter users after the announcement of vastly increased fees for private companies who employ more expats than Saudi nationals. The announcement of the fines caused an explosion in comments on Twitter by both Saudi business people and expat workers, prompting minister...
11 Dec at 6 PM

Malaysia scales up welcome for expats and their families

In 2013, Malaysia’s government will set up an Expatriate Services Division (ESD) aimed at encouraging overseas workers and their families to set up home in the country. Highly-skilled and entrepreneurial applicants for the new scheme will find simpler visa regulations based on a similar and highly-successful Singaporean initiative known...
11 Dec at 6 PM

Freemasons expansion in Asia due to expat interest

The ancient society of Freemasons is surprisingly alive and thriving in Asia as incoming expats look for a professional association to help them settle in and do business. Freemasonry, a supposedly secret society dating from the late 16th century, is seeing a revival in Asian countries as new expat blood arrives from the West and displaces...
11 Dec at 6 PM

Survey shows financial crisis has little effect on expat jobs

Notwithstanding the present-day tough economic situation, the number of expat executive employees around the world has seen no reduction, according to a recent survey. The poll, conducted by consultancy Pedersen and Partners, revealed that although salaries and benefits in the sector had increased threefold, fewer than 20 per cent of...
7 Dec at 6 PM

Expats with green cards may fall foul of FATCA

The US Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act, (FATCA) will compel all US taxpayers to inform the IRS of overseas earnings and investments in their annual tax return, but expats holding green cards may also be liable. Many expats working in the USA may not realise that holding a green card will soon drag them into the FATCA net, forcing them...
7 Dec at 6 PM

QROPS small print under covert investigation by HMRC

Although the UK’s income tax officials have kept quiet over the policing of the expat pension scheme known as QROPS, indications of possible international audits are surfacing. Last spring, literally hundreds of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes, (QROPS) were deleted from the HM Revenue and Customs lists. Since then, several...
6 Dec at 6 PM

AU$ rate sends Asian students to US and Britain

Asian students looking to study abroad are rejecting Australian universities in favour of US and British educational institutes due to the strength of the Australian dollar against Asian currencies. According to HSBC Global Bank’s Graham Heunis, although the Australian lifestyle is particularly attractive to young Asians, they are...
6 Dec at 6 PM

British companies trend towards expansion overseas

Recent research has shown that almost 50 per cent of British companies looking to expand are choosing overseas locations as key regions for their future growth strategies. A survey by healthcare firm Expacare has shown that not only are British businesses looking to establish or strengthen already existing overseas footholds, they are...
5 Dec at 6 PM

Saudi fines for expat workers to cost companies billions

Over the next year, fines levied on Saudi companies for each extra expat worker hired over a certain level are expected to cost billions. The controversial new laws, announced recently and due to come into effect within the month, apply to Saudi companies which hire more expat workers than locals. Over the next year, companies affected are...
5 Dec at 6 PM

British kickboxer extradited to Thailand on murder charge

Leo Aldhouse, the first ever suspected criminal to be extradited from Britain to Thailand to face charges, will be tried for murder at Phuket Provincial Court.The extradition treaty between Thailand and the UK was signed in 1911, but has never been used until now, with Thai Police Colonel Sinard Ajhanwong noting that previous requests to...
5 Dec at 6 PM

Police suspect more bodies connected with Phuket murder

Koh Samui and Phuket police involved in a hunt for the killer of an expat businessman in Phuket are investigating a number of possibly-linked unexplained disappearances in the holiday island region. Hungarian Peter Reisz, 47, was found stabbed and battered to death on Phuket earlier this week, with an arrest warrant now issued for Moshe...
5 Dec at 6 PM

Corporate expats in Malaysia welcome new ten year visa

Leaders of expat corporations in Kuala Lumpur are welcoming the Malaysian government’s new initiative grating ten-year residence status to foreign talents. According to Talent Corporation Malaysia’s CEO Johan Mahmood Merican, over 1,000 Residence Pass-Talent (RP-T) visas have been approved to date. Johan confirmed the success of the...
3 Dec at 6 PM

Asian bank regulation results in call for compliance professionals

The move within Asian banks to regulate in a similar way to the US and Europe is likely to prove a blessing for compliance and risk-management professionals looking for fresh fields and pastures new. The high demand for professionals with risk-management experience is the result of Asia’s rush to catch up with the West and avoid the...
3 Dec at 6 PM

Local Chinese talent proves competitive for expat workers

In spite of threats to their jobs from local upcoming Chinese talent, most expat workers in China are determined to retain their jobs and lifestyles. A recent survey by the Association of Executive Search Consultants revealed that, despite competition from up-and-coming Chinese executives, the 72 per cent who have been employed for over...