You might have organised buying your home overseas a long time ago, but when it comes to Brexit there are a few things to consider before moving overseas. The requirements for living in France after Brexit have not been set in stone yet, with the latest updates referring to minimum resources. There is also some confusion regarding British expats’ French residency rights, healthcare and work in France after Brexit. In this article we hope to shed some light on some of these and to help guide you through the issues that most Brits are concerned with.

Minimum Resources Requirement

Many Brits are concerned about the number of resources they need to have to qualify for French residency after Brexit, especially for those who have limited income or are pensioners, which can be quite stressful.

The French government has recently published an Arrêté in the Journal Officiel, which clarifies what criteria officials need to consider when making their decisions. Such decisions will be based on individual cases, as the authorities will need to look at an individual’s specific situation, whether they own their home, paying mortgage or rent, or they have extra savings or rental income in the UK.

The French government will consider reasonable income anything that is in line with the French in-work benefit, the so-called Revenue de Solidarité Active (RSA) which is currently at €564.78 per month. For British couples for example, it will be fine if they both declare the aforementioned amount as their household income, without needing to receive €564.78 each. Regardless of how many people are residing in a specific household, the amount required will be the same as the minimum amount of the RSA for a single person without children. The same amount will also be the guideline figure for other applications such as those regarding the French benefit level for pensioners.

French Residency: Providing proof of your income

Not everyone has to provide proof of their financial situation when applying for residency. If you have lived in France for more than five years, you will only need to provide personal identity confirmation documents, proof of address documents and evidence of the date you arrived in France.

If you have been living in France for longer than 5 years or you are married to a French citizen, you will still need to apply for a residency card before 30th June 2021. If you lived less than 5 years in France, you would need to apply as either employed or self-employed, job-seeker, student, retired or as the family member of someone who meets the above criteria or the spouse, civil partner or live-in partner of a French person. If you are retired or financially inactive, then you will have to provide evidence of how you support yourself including recent tax declaration, any pension payments or recent bank statements. A French government website in both English and French provides more information about moving to or living in France.

Transferring Funds: Currency Exchange

If you are a British home buyer, a currency specialist such as Universal Partners FX can help you navigate the current market while taking into consideration your specific needs, goals and your budget. UPFX offers excellent exchange rates and has a record in providing tailored and dedicated customer care to thousands of customers worldwide.

When considering buying your dream home in France, Universal Partners FX can give you peace of mind when sending money overseas. If you want to schedule ahead and safeguard your funds, talk to one of their foreign exchange experts today.

 

 

Buying your home in France might mean taking up a euro mortgage if you do not have the savings to finance your dream. If you do require a loan, you should start early so you know you have the finance and can plan with confidence your expenses whether that is for the kind of property you can afford or other related costs. Starting early, means you can research and find a mortgage with a more favourable borrowing rate, rather than planning it late and compromising with something less ideal. Especially, when it comes to purchasing a property abroad, having your finances in place means that you will be a more appealing candidate to those searching to sell their house rather than if you were still looking for a mortgage.

Mortgages

Buying in France is considered a good investment due to the country’s healthy economy. If you are borrowing from a French institution, bear in mind that you will be allowed to borrow one-third of your total gross monthly income. If you do not have a stable monthly income, it will be very difficult to secure a loan, as salaried employees and especially those working for the same employer the last three years are preferred.

For a French mortgage, you can get variable or fixed rates from 1.50%-2.50% and deposit 15% to 25% of the property’s purchase price. The maximum for a repayment loan is 85% with 25 years maximum term, or 75% maximum for an interest-only mortgage and 15 years maximum term. Interest only requires the client to have a lot of assets and is more difficult to obtain. The minimum for a loan is usually around €150,000.

Fixed- or variable-rate?

While a fixed-rate mortgage might offer the security of standard and consistent payments, it is usually more expensive than a variable one whose rate fluctuates depending on the movement of interest rates. This means it can be to your benefit or go against you, making for example a monthly payment of €400 increase to as high as €600, even though this is rarer. In France, most mortgages are fixed-rate ones.

Life Insurance

Apart from getting a building insurance, which your bank might also arrange, you will also need life insurance, again also a product that can be offered by your bank. This depends of course on the lender and the value of the mortgage. Life insurance will guarantee that you can repay the loan and in some cases you might be asked to provide further documents such as a general medical examination certificate or blood analyses. If you are travelling regularly, your bank might also request to sign a document where you explain where you have travelled the last 24 months, or where you will be travelling the following 24 months, so they know your life is not threatened.

While you have the option to borrow from a UK-based bank, this won’t be easy and going to a French bank is the usual option with different banks having their own criteria.

Getting in touch with a French lender that specialises in offering mortgages to British expats might save you a lot of time and aggravation, as they will tell you exactly the requirements and help you get the best possible deal.

Use a currency specialist

Similarly, getting in touch with a specialist currency broker will also save you lots of money in the long term. Transferring sterling to euro can cost you bank fees, whereas a currency transfer specialist such as UPFX will do so without extra costs while offering you competitive exchange rates.

If you are a British buyer, and want to save money while buying your dream home in  France, now is the time to get in touch with your currency broker. A currency specialist such as Universal Partners FX can help you navigate the current market while taking into consideration your specific needs, goals and your budget.

Buying property in Cyprus has grown consistently over the recent years, with many Brits relocating in the Republic of Cyprus. While Covid-19 has hurt the market, interest in property continues as the market is slowly recovering. Paphos and Limassol, for example, are especially sought after as they offer amazing villas and luxury properties in beautiful locations, allowing Brits to enjoy the best of what the island has to offer. In such areas, foreigners constitute as much as 75 percent of the market. Last year, world famous Colombian pop singer Shakira and her famous partner Gerard Pique, who plays for Barcelona football club, bought an exclusive villa in the coastal village of Peyia in Paphos. Celebrities and Hollywood stars have for years chosen Cyprus for their vacations. Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Douglas Catherine Zeta-Jones and John Malkovich, Elton John, Diana Ross and Rod Stewart are a few of the rich and famous who chose to spend their holidays on the sunny Mediterranean island.

Why Cyprus?

With Cyprus being warm all year round, having sandy beaches, and hospitable people, it is not surprising that it has become as popular as Spain’s Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca. The big difference however is that the island offers some beautiful but affordable properties.

Home prices on Cyprus are indeed much cheaper when compared to Marbella, Spain, or the Algarve in Portugal. Whereas a villa in Spain or Portugal would be about 400,000 or 450,000 euros ($475,000 to $535,000), a villa in Paphos would be half the price. Cyprus’s coastal property prices could “range from as much as $724 a square foot in Limassol district to as little as $423 a square foot in Paphos district.”

Before the pandemic, Russians and Chinese buyers were the top international buyers, with many relocating their families and acquiring European citizenship by investing in property. German, British and Scandinavian buyers, as well as buyers from Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine and South Africa have also preferred Cyprus, due to its location and its proximity to Europe.

Things to consider when buying property in Cyprus

Although some foreigners have bought houses in the illegally occupied area of Cyprus, these have usually been controversial due to the complexities and restrictions on home purchases on that part of Cyprus. As a recent article in the New York Times noted, “While European Union citizens with residency in the southern part of Cyprus can purchase unlimited properties there, others are limited to one apartment, house or plot….In northern Cyprus, the limit is four properties” but “buyers wishing to purchase a home there must confirm in advance that it actually belongs to the seller and not to a Greek Cypriot, because they may be exposed to criminal liability due to the political situation in Cyprus.”

Buyers across Cyprus should also be careful when buying a property, ensuring that the house “is free of any charges, mortgages or other encumbrances with the provincial land registry.”

When you decide to purchase a property on the island, it is usually recommended that you get in touch with a lawyer who will typically charge about 2,000 euros to serve as your local lawyer, protecting your interests and explaining the complexities of the market. When you are purchasing property, stamp duties range from 3 percent to 8 percent, depending on the property’s sale price, with the seller paying 5 percent real estate commission.

If you are considering buying your dream home in Cyprus, you should contact a foreign exchange specialist to assist you with transferring your money abroad, explain currency exchange, and hedge your funds from unpredictable currency movements. Get in touch with Universal Partners FX so you can have peace of mind when sending a large amount of money overseas. If you want to schedule ahead and safeguard your funds, talk to one of their foreign exchange experts today.

Brits buying property abroad and looking to experience that unique Mediterranean atmosphere, sun-kissed beaches, and European heritage have often turned their gaze towards the majestic Portugal. A great alternative to Europe’s overpopulated cities, Portugal has been the choice for many expats looking for their second home abroad.

However, with recent reports suggesting that Portugal will not be on the initial list of air bridges from UK, there has been a clamour from many tour operators and holiday makers alike to ensure that this is not the case come tomorrow when the list is announced. These demands may fall on deaf ears, but it highlights how Portugal is a real favourite amongst Brits as a holiday destination. This is for many reasons, first and foremost, Portugal is England's oldest ally since 1147 when English crusaders helped King Alfonso I capture Lisbon from the Muslims.

Famous for its national drink, port, beaches and dramatic scenery, Portugal is also an affordable destination, and the second best in value after Bulgaria. Younger generations have heard of the Livraria Porto bookstore in the Portuguese municipality of Porto, which has inspired the Hogwarts Library in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books, while older ones are enthralled by its rich history, being one of the oldest states in Europe.

Portugal combines contemporary lifestyle with antiquated charm, and despite the recent financial crisis, the country has managed to recover, offering expats attractive tax and residency incentives and low mortgage rates.

Buying property in some of Portugal’s most popular locations

Whether you’re looking for a holiday home, your dream property to retire to or an investment, Portugal offers a variety of properties at different locations and prices. From Algarve’s beaches and golf courses, to Lisbon’s hip neighbourhoods and Porto’s famous wineries, Brits have many choices depending on the kind of lifestyle they want to experience and their budget.

Algarve’s property developments in such resort towns as Vilamoura and Quinta do Lago are sought after and expensive. A two-bedroom apartment can be up to €360,000 while a three-bedroom villa can worth around a million. Prices might be the same in Western Algarve, but, there, life is quieter as in the fishing town of Lagos where property prices range from €200,000 to €5 million. In the booming area of Eastern Algarve, properties can be cheaper, and you can find some attractive opportunities in the town of Tavira where country villas can be around €450,000.

Lisbon’s Blue coast, Costa Azul, is one of the most peaceful areas with such fishing villages as Sesimbra and Sines, most famous for its cuisine and seafood restaurants. Here, you can find five-bedroom villas ranging from €1-3 million or a three-bedroom house for €200,000.

Townhouses and apartments in developments can be a cheaper alternative, with the latter offering communal facilities such as pools and gardens with shared maintenance costs.

Financing your dream home in Portugal

If you are not transferring funds or re-mortgaging your UK home, you will need to consider your borrowing options, such as taking a Portuguese mortgage against a property. The larger amount of cash you deposit the easier it will be to secure a loan at a reasonable interest rate. You will need to also have in mind currency fluctuation as you will be better borrowing in the same currency you will be repaying the loan.

Currency Exchange

This is why, it is important to consult a specialist foreign exchange company such as Universal Partners FX right from the start. UPFX can help you manage currency fluctuations by fixing the rate, as the final price of your home could vary significantly from the time you made your offer.

When moving large amounts of cash, it is best to get in touch with UPFX’s currency specialists where they can offer you competitive exchange rates and the best value for your money. Find out what your money is worth by giving them a call or requesting a free quote.

 

Are you looking for a new adventure? Maybe your career has forced you to relocate? Ireland, with its gorgeous green landscapes, rich history and a growing economy could be the perfect place for you – especially with the uncertainty that Brexit brings for many UK nationals. Here, Universal Partners FX provides a comprehensive guide for anyone thinking about moving to Ireland, what you’ll need to move as well as working and living in Ireland.

For expats considering moving to Ireland, the first thing that should be recognised is that the island is technically home to two nations. The Republic of Ireland, consisting of 26 of the island’s 32 counties, resides in the South. Northern Ireland, made up of the remaining six counties and is part of Great Britain, is found in the north. Despite being part of Great Britain, Northern Ireland does have its very own devolved government and is not governed by the United Kingdom. Generally, when people speak of Ireland, they are often referring to the Republic and not Northern.

A history of Ireland

Shortly after arriving in Ireland, you will quickly become aware of its long and well-documented history, of which its residents are extremely proud. Irish history, from its historic period all the way up to modern times, is one that is characterised by trade with the international community. As you travel around Ireland, the signs and sites can be seen throughout the country, and information of its rich past can be found in museums and tours. However, the most obvious examples of foreign influence across the island are inarguably those of the British Empire. As a result of being under British reign for over eight hundred years, the remnants of colonialism can be seen far and wide, stretching from the architecture all the way to the political and economic structures of the country. An important note to remember for anyone moving to Ireland is that the British Empire and Northern Ireland can be quite a touchy subject for those that live in the south!

Places to move to in Ireland

For most people moving to Ireland, their destination may have already been decided. Whether it’s a result of work or family commitments. However, many expatriates moving to Ireland may be looking for their next job opportunity. Thankfully, Ireland is home to a choice of large cities and centres of industry that stand as excellent places to both live and work.

  • Dublin – Dublin, the capital and largest city in Ireland, is the cultural and economic epicentre of the nation. Home to approximately 1.8 million people, Dublin accounts for nearly 40% of the entire population. As the considerable majority of offers on online job portals are in Dublin, the enticement of moving to Ireland’s heart is unrivalled. In addition, with superb transport links directed to the capital, it is an extremely easy place to travel in and around and to and from.

 

  • Cork – Cork is Ireland’s second-largest city and is ideal for anyone looking to find work within the industry sector. Residing in the southwest of the country, Cork remains the heart of the local industry, in particular, the IT, pharmaceutical and oil sectors. Global brands such as Apple, Amazon and Logitech all have subsidiaries and European headquarters there.

 

  • Galway – If you prefer a smaller city, Galway is a great choice. A small, coastal city in the west of Ireland, Cork is home to a large student population and a growing market for start-up companies, perfect if you’re thinking about setting up your own business. The compact city has good infrastructure and is only around two hours away from the capital along the motorway.

 

  • Limerick – A major economic hub for Ireland, Limerick is found on the west side of Ireland and is home to the Shannon Free Zone, Business and Technology Park. As a result of the appealing tax terms in this free trade zone, many international organisations opted to move to Limerick to set up shop. It is also located adjacent to one of the busiest airports in the country, Shannon Airport. Making the move to Ireland’s heartland a breeze.

 

Visas

Just like most countries, Ireland has a variety of visa options for you to choose from depending on your length and purpose of stay. If you are a citizen of the EEA, Switzerland or any country on this list, you will not need a visa to enter Ireland. Nationals from various countries outside of the EEA will require a visa, however. Even if you are the dependent if an EU citizen, as non-EEA national, you may need a visa to enter and move to Ireland if you do not acquire the respective family member residence card.

Expatriates interested in moving to Ireland will most likely need either the Long Stay Visas or Business Visas. For an overview of all visa types available when entering Ireland, as well as other important information for relocating, visit the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. The cost of applying for an Irish visa is around 60-100 EUR.

Once you move to Ireland, unless you are an EEA or Swiss citizen, you are required to register with the local immigration authority if you plan on staying in Ireland for more than 90 days. To do this, simply visit the local Garda District Headquarters where you will receive a Certificate of Registration, costing 300 EUR, which proves that you are legally residing in Ireland.

Work Permits

Just like visas, there is a choice of work permits to choose from in Ireland depending on the nature of your work and how much you will earn. In total, there are nine different types of work permits, but the most popular are:

  • The General Employment Permit – In order to be eligible for this permit, you must usually have a minimum annual salary of 30,000 EUR or in some exceptional cases 27,000 EUR. You must also have the qualifications, skills and experience required for the job.
  • The Critical Skills Permit – Formerly known as the Green Card, this permit is issued by the Department of Job, Enterprise and Innovation. You may be eligible for this permit if you earn more than 60,000 EUR per year or if your job is on the Highly Skilled Occupations List and you earn more than 30,000 EUR per year.
  • The Dependent/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit - Spouses, recognised partners, civil partners, and dependents of researchers and holders of Critical Skills Employment Permits and former Green Card permits are eligible for this permit. However, you must be a legal resident in Ireland in order to apply for this permit.

 

Living in Ireland

Before moving to Ireland, many people have an image of the ‘Emerald Isle’ that consists of a lot of rain, greenery and moderate pace in a way of life. These expectations are accurate to some extent but once you arrive you will quickly realise that the Republic of Ireland is amazingly similar to many other nations of a similar nature. It does, however, possess a number of ‘rules’ that you will need to be aware of.

The road system

In Ireland, motorists drive on the left-hand side of the road. Road conditions are generally on par with any other industrialised country and will only take a few days or so before you become normalised to the roads and countless roundabouts you are sure to encounter. Outside of the city centres, the roads can become a little trickier as a result of curvier, narrow and rockier roads.

Traffic regulations

If your stay in Ireland exceeds 12-months, you will be required to apply for an Irish driver’s license in order to keep driving your vehicle. If you are from the EEA or one of the residing states, however, you can simply exchange your driver’s license for an Irish one. The Irish driving system works off of a penalty point system, which was introduced in 2002 as a result of the increasingly high number of traffic-related deaths. If a driver receives more than twelve points, they will be suspended from driving for six months and must submit their license to the authorities. You can view the 62 offences that can incur points on your license here.

Healthcare

Ireland provides an exceptional, tax-funded healthcare system. The Health Service Executive (HSE) is responsible for providing extensive healthcare assistance to every Irish resident. The majority of healthcare in Ireland is free, however, some services such as hospital stays and emergency care do come with a charge. A good thing to note is that if your income and assets are below a certain limit, you are able to apply for a medical card or a GP visit card, which makes you exempt from certain or even all healthcare fees. If you earn about the threshold, you will have to pay to some healthcare fees.

If you have decided to move to Ireland to work for more than a year, you will need to contact the HSE as soon as possible to confirm your status as an ordinary resident. Expats coming from within the EEA are also entitled to receive certain medical services free of charge.

How Universal Partners FX can help you

If you’re planning on moving to Ireland, you will need to make a number of transactions at one time or another. Whether it’s to pay for initial accommodation fees, healthcare or to simply exchange money. When doing so, you’ll want to get the most out of your money, which can be a problem when high transaction fees and poor exchange rates are involved. Here at Universal Partner FX, you avoid all that. With zero transactions fees and bank-beating rates, you ensure a safe and secure money transfer, as well as getting the absolute most out of your money.

With our easy-to-use online money platform, you can send your money to Ireland in just a few simple steps. But first, be sure to sign-up for a personal account with us to be assigned your own personal foreign exchange specialist. To learn more about how Universal Partners FX can make moving to Ireland easier and smoother for your finances, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

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Moving to Spain

Moving to a foreign country is usually a big decision that requires a lot of planning and preparation, whether it’s a long-term commitment or a short-term lifestyle choice.

For many British expats, Spain is the ultimate emigration destination, providing the perfect terminus for those seeking a change of scenery.

Whether you’re seeking a fresh start or a place to retire to, a whole host of Brits have no problem swapping the cold, damp greys for warm, cloudless blues.

If you’re one of those Brits looking to relocate to the land of the siesta, this handy guide for expats in Spain is a must-read.

Do I Need a Visa to Live in Spain?

First things first, as is the case with any international relocation, it’s important to know the legalities of moving to your country of choice and moving to Spain from the UK is no different.

For short-term visits, British expats are allowed to remain in Spain for 90 days over a period of six months; however, if you are planning on residing in Spain for longer than three months, you will need to apply for Spanish residency.

Under the Freedom of Movement Act, citizens of EU countries don’t need a visa to visit, live, work or study in Spain. Instead, EU nationals simply need to register with the authorities and get a national identity number.

However, with Brexit ominously hanging over the UK like the Sword of Damocles, those terms have become somewhat clouded, muddying the Spanish waters for Brits looking to make the journey south.

Expats in Spain After Brexit

If you are or will be an expat in Spain after Brexit, it’s important to become well acquainted with the Brexit process. The results of the negotiations are likely to have a significant impact on expats living in Spain after Brexit, so it’s wise to familiarise yourself with the latest updates.

While the exact details over Brexit and the subsequent implications are murky at best at this stage, there are a few pieces of information that have emerged with regards to Spanish travel.

If the UK severs ties with the EU without a deal, UK nationals that were officially living in Spain prior to the date the UK exits will be considered legal residents for a period of 21 months. According to gov.uk, this ruling will be enforced regardless of whether or not the British national currently holds a Spanish residency document.

Conversely, if the UK does leave the EU with a deal in place, UK nationals will be able to register as a resident in Spain under the current rules, provided they arrive before the end of the implementation period. Such expats will also have their right to Spanish residency protected for as long as they remain living there.

In short, should the UK leave the EU with a deal, travel to the EU will remain unchanged until the end of 2020. On the other hand, if the UK leaves without a deal, rules for travelling and working in Europe will change accordingly.

Good to Know

With the visa/Brexit issue covered, there’s more to life in Spain than admin, paperwork and entry documents.

To prepare you for your Spanish arrival and help you settle in once you touch down on Iberian soil, here are a few facts about life in Spain that are good to know:

Mediterranean Climate

Arguably the biggest draw for would-be expats in Spain, the toasty warmth of the Spanish climate is an attractive proposition for many Brits seeking escape from drab and damp weather of the UK.

The south of Spain is particularly blessed with sunny weather, with the Balearic and Canary Islands boasting a warm climate all-year-round. In the summer months, temperatures in Spain can even break the 40 degrees Celsius barrier.

Even when temperatures drop, the sun is a virtual constant regardless of the season and it’s not unusual for islands like Mallorca to feature sunshine even in December.

According to Spanish travel experts, SeekingTheSpanishSun.com, the five warmest winter destinations in Spain are Marbella, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Costa Tropical and Seville, with temperate highs of 16-22 degrees.

- Property Prices

While growing housing prices in Britain have made it increasingly difficult for many to mount that first rung on the property ladder, the same can’t be said for real estate in Spain.

Low-interest rates – particularly in coastal regions – make Spain an attractive proposition for property buyers.

In fact, national statistics show that there is 78% home ownership in Spain, considerably higher than the UK and notably above the EU average.

For additional help buying a property in Spain, you may want to enlist the aid of a gestor who will be able to guide you through the process smoothly.

Cost of Living

Another huge perk of life in Spain, the cost of living is lower than the UK in almost every measurable metric.

According to statistics website, Numbeo, Spanish prices trump the British equivalent across the board, with an overwhelming majority of goods and services costing less en España.

From groceries and rent to cigarettes and beer, the Spaniards have us Brits well and truly trumped.

Dining out is also cheaper, providing all the more reason to enjoy some tapas and a few sangrias with friends.

However, there are some curious exceptions to the rule, with items like cheese, beef and bananas all costing around 15-20% more.

However, it’s worth noting that the average monthly salary is also less in Spain, which does offset the price differential somewhat.

Easy Does It

Spain is renowned worldwide for its laid-back lifestyle and the slower pace of life can be a huge culture shock for those used to the hectic pace of working life in the UK.

That being said, it’s undoubtedly a welcome change for many and the relaxed approach is the polar opposite to the daily rush many of us Brits have become accustomed to.

A famous part of this calmer approach is, of course, the mid-afternoon siestas. Meanwhile, it’s not unusual for morning routines to run into early afternoon.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that the entire month of August is traditionally viewed as a domestic holiday month for most Spanish natives.

While this is great for relaxing and reinforces Spain as a fantastic destination to unwind and enjoy life, it can make things difficult when it comes to errands and admin.

As such, if you need to get something important done, it’s best to arrange your activity outside of these times, where possible.

Transferring Money to Spain

Of course, no UK expat in Spain will be able to survive very long without financial backing. As such, moving money to Spain from the UK is a vital part of the process.

Whether you’re looking to purchase a property or arrange accommodation rental, transferring funds from the UK to Spain is a necessary part of securing a place to stay prior to arrival.

Prior to doing so, it’s important to secure the best exchange rate possible. Doing your due diligence and getting the right exchange rate can provide substantial savings.

In order to ensure you get the best exchange rate for transferring money to Spain, Universal Partners FX is here to do just that.

Our safe, secure transaction process allows you to transfer money to Spain quickly and effectively with no hidden transaction fees or strings attached.

To transfer money to Spain, simply follow our easy three-step process:

  1. Register for free
  2. Secure your exchange rate
  3. We make your payment

With a 5-star rating from independent review site Feefo, we have a proven track record as a top-quality FX partner. Send money to Spain with Universal Partners FX and give your transfer trouble a siesta today.

For more advice for expats in Spain or to find out more about sending money to Spain from the UK, why not drop us a line today? Call 020 7190 9559 now or get in touch online by using the button below.

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Moving to New Zealand

Whether it’s for work purposes, living closer to family or just because you fancy a change, there are several things you’ll need to consider and plan out before moving to New Zealand. From finding somewhere to stay, to securing the right visa and the cost of living, Universal Partners FX is here to make sure you’re clued up on the ins and out of becoming a fully-fledged kiwi.

Research, research, research

The first thing that we recommend doing before you make the big decision of emigrating to New Zealand is doing as much research about the country as you possibly can. Jump online and take a look at what New Zealand has to offer and in particular if there is anything that you can offer New Zealand. If you possess certain skills that are in demand, then making the move can be a whole lot easier. The best way to find out if New Zealand is the place for you, however, is to simply visit.

Book a flight for a holiday and use it as an opportunity to experience the lifestyle, the culture, the people, the weather or to meet potential employers. The best way of knowing whether New Zealand is for you is to get up and go there.

Visa time

Once you’ve decided that New Zealand is the place for you, the next thing to do is to secure your visa and the right visa for what you intend to do after you get there. The reasons behind your move to New Zealand will dictate which visa type you ultimately choose, including the length of your stay, whether you have a job lined up already and the time needed to gather the required documentation. Some of the most popular visa types are a Working Holiday Visa that allows you to work in New Zealand for up to a year. An Essential Skills Visa for people temporarily working for a specific employer or Skilled Migrant Visa that provides people residence in New Zealand.

Now, if your intention is to move to New Zealand, which is the whole purpose of reading this blog, then there are two visas for you. The Skilled Migrant Visa which we’ve already looked at and the Work to Residence Visa which always provides a pathway to living permanently in New Zealand. However, there are certain conditions that need to be met to acquire each of these visas types.

  • Skilled Migrant Visa – This visa is best suited to people who want to stay in New Zealand indefinitely, have been offered a job and possess the skills, qualifications and experience that the country needs. In order to obtain this visa, however, you will need to send the New Zealand government an Expression of Interest (EOI) telling them about the skills you have the job that you’ve been offered. A points-based system will be used to asses your application, where if granted the required number of points, you will progress onto the visa application. This visa is available to peopled aged 55 and under, lasts for an indefinite amount of time and takes approximately 11 months to process. The cost of the EOI is $530 whereas the application sits at $2,710.
  • Work to Residence Visa – This type of visa is best suited to people who have been offered a full-time job and want to eventually live in New Zealand permanently. This visa is tied to a specific occupation in an area of skill shortage with an accredited employer. You’ll be able to apply for residence if you continue working for your employer for two years. Available to anyone aged 55 and under, a Work to Residence Visa lasts for a total of 30 months, costs $635 and takes approximately 2-4 months to process.

Find out about other New Zealand visa types here.

The job hunt

If you’ve made the decision to move to New Zealand without having a job lined up, finding a job whilst you’re out there may not be as daunting as you think. New Zealand’s job market has been strong over recent years, with solid economic performances a huge driving factor. The New Zealand government expects the country to need around 47,000 more workers per year going well into the 2020s, a very promising statistic for anyone looking for a permanent position in the country. The majority of the new jobs will be in highly-skilled occupations where an expectation exists that most of these roles will be filled by people from overseas countries.

Job openings will grow for virtually every area of work, but the largest increases will be seen in business services, health care/social assistance, construction/utilities and education. The chances of landing a job will be particularly high if your skills are on any of the Essential Skills in Demand (ESID) lists of skill shortages which is updated regularly by Immigration New Zealand.

The right move

Now that your visa and hopefully job is covered, finding somewhere to live is the next thing to check off the list. That is of course if you haven’t already got somewhere to live. Finding accommodation in New Zealand should be relatively stress-free. The housing market is well regulated, with options for both short and longer-term contracts, with buying a house taking only a matter of weeks.

  • Renting – Rent in New Zealand is calculated weekly, so it’s important to keep that in mind when considering the value of the rent you’ve been advertised. The average rent is around 400 NZD a week for a small home and 530 NZD for a two or four-bedroom apartment or house. Rent prices, however, will be largely affected by the region of New Zealand you choose to live in. Auckland is the most expensive city to rent in, with accommodation costing anywhere between 600 NZD to 850 NZD a week.
  • Buying – If you’re thinking of buying a property when moving to New Zealand, you’ll be pleased to hear that the process is very well organised and regulated, making it simple and fast. You can buy a house as quickly as three to four weeks and will never have to worry about any last-minute bids stealing your home once you’ve submitted your official bid. The average house price in New Zealand currently sits at around 560,00 NZD and again, is heavily influenced by the region you choose to live in.

A few very important things to note about relocating to New Zealand are the strict Customs rules, tight border controls and required documentation needed to enter the country. Firstly, all of your belongings need to be declared and inspected when you first arrive in New Zealand. The tight border controls may prevent you from bringing some of your possessions with you or may even confiscate and destroy them. Many items are considered ‘risk items’, some require permits to import and others are strictly forbidden. Bringing pets into the country is another thing you will need to prepare for with difficulties surrounding some animals. In terms of health requirements, as long as you have all your vaccinations in order, there shouldn’t be much trouble when entering the country.

Living costs

Depending on where you’re emigrating to New Zealand from, you may find the cost of living pretty similar or cheaper. Some things cost less; some things cost more, particularly if they have to travel a long way to get to New Zealand. But generally, the cost of living is comparable to many other western-style countries.

Mercer’s 2019 Cost of Living Survey listed London as the world’s 23rd most expensive city to live in, whereas Auckland was ranked lower at 89th and Wellington even lower at 114th.

The healthcare system

One of the most promising aspects of moving to New Zealand is the quality of the healthcare system. If you are ever in need of medical care, you will not have difficulty in finding a well-trained, experienced doctor, fully-equipped hospital or speedy emergency care. The healthcare system may be slightly different from what you are used to, especially if you live in the UK, with a mix of public and private services. But we try to break things down into a simpler way here.

Since the 1980s, New Zealand has had a mixed public and private healthcare scheme. Here, public healthcare is subsidised by the government, but some services may be partially charged when private providers are involved. The extensive range of hospitals treats citizens, permanent residents and some holders of work visas for free. If your work visa entitles you to remain in New Zealand for at least two years then you will be eligible for public healthcare. Non-residents can also utilise the healthcare on offer but at a cost. If you are not eligible for public healthcare in New Zealand, then it is advised to have medical insurance from your home country.

Healthcare cover

The healthcare system provides free services for prescriptions, x-rays, treatments and laboratory tests. Services for pregnant women, dental care up to the age of 18, breast exams for women ages 55 and older and general practitioner (GP) referral visits. Public healthcare also covers maternity for the entire duration of the pregnancy and up to six weeks after birth. You’ll also be pleased to hear that public health insurance also covers any accidents you may have. The New Zealand government has a ‘no-fault’ insurance scheme known as Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), which covers the cost of any accident regardless if you have applied for public or private healthcare.

Healthcare levels

There are three levels of healthcare in New Zealand; primary, secondary and tertiary. Primary healthcare covers family doctors, pharmacists, dentists and allied health which includes a number of health professionals including counselling and physiotherapists. Primary care also refers to the first general treatment of symptoms or medical concerns, such as the flu, bone fractures, or acute medical conditions. These services are provided in public hospitals and clinics and are free of charge depending on eligibility. Secondary care includes hospital services, either public or private, and specialist care and is provided by publicly-owned hospitals. Patients have a choice to access either public or private services, which may depend on preference or the availability of the services. Tertiary care includes cancer treatment, plastic surgery and other types of procedures.

Etiquette

Now that all of the essentials are more or less covered, it’s time to look at some of the general etiquettes of New Zealand that will help you go a long way on a more day-to-day basis and will help your transition go easier:

  • The people drive on the left side of the road – perfect if you’re moving to New Zealand form the UK.
  • New Zealander’s tend to not tip, so never find it rude if you don’t receive one, it’s just part of the culture.
  • Rugby and golf are very popular sports – there are more golf courses in New Zealand per capita of population than anywhere else in the world.
  • Kiwis are very similar to the British whereby small everyday encounters are often met with a polite ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’.
  • Learning a few words in Te Reo, which is the Maori Language will certainly help you settle in with some of the locals.

Sending money

Now, with all of these things in mind, you may be required to transfer money to New Zealand at one point or another. Whether it’s buying a property, paying for a visa or ordering goods for when you arrive. But when you do, the last thing you want is to pay extra cash to the bank at a mediocre exchange rate on top of the already huge list of things that you’ve done and will need to do. With Universal Partners FX, you’ll never have to. Here, we offer bank-beating exchange rates that you can secure in advance, with absolutely no transaction fees. Simply sign-up for an account to access our easy-to-use online money platform and send your funds quickly and securely. Visit our page below to learn more about how we can help with your money transfer when moving to New Zealand.

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For more information or if you have any further questions about how Universal Partners FX can help make emigrating to New Zealand easier, be sure to get in touch with one of our currency experts today.

Moving to Dubai

Starting a new life abroad is a dream scenario that poses a wealth opportunity and endless possibilities. For many, the destination of choice for that restart is the beautiful country of Dubai.

Dubai is one of the most popular cities in the United Arab Emirates. So much so that Dubai has one of the largest percentages of expats in the entire world.

In fact, an incredible 80% of Dubai’s population is comprised of expats, which is great news for Brits looking to relocate.

However, moving to Dubai is no small feat. The application process can be a laborious task, while there are numerous cultural differences to keep in mind as well.

To keep the culture shock to a minimum, we’ve created this guide to help make your move to the “City of Gold” a truly priceless experience.

Dubai Visas

Once you’ve made up your mind and your heart is set on moving to Dubai, the next step is identifying the relevant visa to apply for.

As a rule of thumb, there are four primary visas that apply for expats looking to relocate to Dubai. These are:

Dubai Employment Visa

Arranged by your employer, this visa allows you to enter the country for work purposes once the appropriate work permit has been issued.

Dubai Dependant Visa

Designed for those whose partners or parents are already residing in Dubai, this visa permits entry to spouses and offspring.

- Dubai Student Visa

For those looking to enrol in Dubai university, a student visa is required to allow you to legally study in Dubai.

Dubai Investor Visa

As the name suggests, this visa is exclusively for expats looking to invest in companies based within the United Arab Emirates.

 

In order to complete the application process, there is also an extensive amount of paperwork and admin required, including the provision of passport, educational documentation and subsequent attestation of certification.

In addition to the above, the visa process also requires a compulsory health check. Once this has been completed, you will be issued with an Emirates ID Card which confirms your eligibility to work and remain in the UAE.

Money in Dubai

The designated currency of Dubai is the AED, which stands for Arab Emirates Dirham. This is also commonly abbreviated to Dhs or DH. 

Much like British currency, AED banks notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 50; however, unlike British currency, they also extend to 100, 200, 500 and 1000.

As of writing, £1 sterling is the equivalent of approximately 4.75 United Arab Emirates Dirham, meaning a single AED equates to roughly 21p.

Good to Know

While the population does have a large contingent of foreign immigrants, it’s important to remember that Islam is still the national religion and the codes and conventions of that religion are rigidly enforced.

As such, there are notable restrictions on various aspects of daily life that are deemed perfectly acceptable in the UK. A notable example of this is clothing and what is deemed as acceptable clothing in the UK may not be viewed as the same in Dubai.

While the dress code in Dubai is quite liberal in comparison to other UAE destinations, outlandish attire may land you in trouble. These restrictions are particularly evident when it comes to female clothing, with significant exposed skin a risky fashion choice.

Alcohol in Dubai 

Drinking laws are considerably different in the UAE, with stringent alcohol restrictions in place. While the drinking age is 21, you can only drink in approved venues which hold a relevant alcohol license (typically hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs).

For tourists, it’s an offence to buy alcohol from an off-license; however, a 30-day tourist pass can be obtained by completing a form and signing a declaration that states you will follow UAE alcohol rules and regulation.

For residents, in order to purchase alcohol, you must hold a UAE alcohol license. Alcohol licenses are available to non-Muslim UAE residents of 21+ and allow the cardholder to buy, consume and store alcohol at home.

Alcohol licenses can be obtained online or in-person at select alcohol retailers across Dubai. These cost AED 270 (roughly £57) and take approximately three weeks to process after application. The license itself is valid for a year and needs to be renewed annually for continued use.

Crucially, it’s illegal to drink and/or be under the influence of alcohol in a public place and British nationals have been arrested and charged in the past for such a misdemeanour. That includes the beach too.

Driving in Dubai

While Dubai does have its own metro connecting most parts of the city – which will be music to the ears of many relocating Londoners – driving in Dubai will be a goal on the list of many would-be expats.

Luckily, for those already in possession of an existing UK driving license, driving in Dubai is relatively easy to arrange. UK drivers are able to convert their UK driving licenses to a UAE driving license.

To do so, all you’ll need to do is visit Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authorities. Once there, you’ll be asked to submit a series of documents (including original license, Emirates ID, etc.) and pay a set fee to complete the transfer.

Once mobile, Dubai residents will also find that fuel costs are considerably cheaper than they are domestically in the UK and it’s not unusual for a litre of petrol to cost around 40p in UK money.

Transferring Money to Dubai

During the moving process, you are probably going to need to send money to Dubai to pay for goods and services; including living necessities such as accommodation, various license fees, etc.

At Universal Partners FX, we can help you to transfer money to Dubai quickly, easily and hassle-free. Best of all, our swift online process includes no hidden fees or nasty surprises along the way.

If you’re looking to send money to Dubai, all you need to do is follow our simple three-step process:

  1. Register for free
  2. Secure your exchange rate
  3. We make your payment

Our services are available 24/7 and regulated by the FCA. We’re even backed by a 5-star rating from independent review site Feefo, giving you further peace of mind from those in the know.

For more information on how to send money to Dubai quickly, safely and securely, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 020 7190 9559 top speak with one of our experts or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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Moving to Singapore

For many people, moving to Singapore is something they can only dream of. The lifestyle, the quality-of-life, the city, the food. There is so much that makes Singapore the perfect place to pack your bags and leave to; which is why so many people do.

Singapore is an efficient and clean Asian city that possesses much of the charm from the days it was a British colony, whilst at the same time offering a cutting-edge, advanced environment that attracts so many from overseas. Located on the southern tip of Malaysia, it has developed into one of the most important finance and trade centres in the whole of Asia, making it one of the wealthiest places in the world and one of the most popular places for expats to live and work.

An expat destination

As a result of its safe, modern and welcoming culture, expats from all over the world move to Singapore each year in huge numbers to both live and to work. Offering high-quality education, low priced homes and strong levels of security, it has become an ideal place to move permanently and raise families. The standard of living is notoriously high with healthcare facilities being rated second-to-none and low crime rates making it a safe place to explore day and night. With such a huge influx of expats in Singapore, you’ll never be too far from expat groups and clubs for a variety of nationalities, making your transition to life abroad an easy one.

So, if you’re planning on becoming one of the many Singapore expats, here are a few of things you will need to keep in mind before making the move, whether it’s for a short-term or long-term stay.

Getting the right visa   

Before you can jet off to start your expat life in Singapore, you’ll need to apply for a visa and the right visa at that. The length of your stay and the reasons behind your move will ultimately determine which visa type you will need to apply for. One thing you’ll be glad to hear, however, is that visa requirements in Singapore are mostly based on salary, making it a much simpler process than most other countries.

  • Permanent Residence Visa – This visa is for expats who are planning on making the Lion City their long-term home and comes with a number of benefits including lower education fees, ability to purchase public housing and participation in the social security system. Expats can apply for permanent residency in Singapore under the Professionals/Technical Personnel and Skilled Workers Scheme (PTS) pretty much as soon as they acquire their P, Q, or S Work Pass
  • Work Permit Visa – There are different types of work permits for Singapore, which are determined by your purpose and length of stay. Your monthly salary will also determine the type of Employment Pass you’ll need. Generally speaking, Employment Passes apply to those who earn at least 3,300 Singapore Dollars (SGD) per month, and work visas are designed for workers with a lower income.

Expat jobs & career opportunities

If you are highly educated and/or have a strong level of work experience, you will find job opportunities in Singapore far easier to come by. However, the level of competition is fierce as Singaporeans are themselves well-educated. It is recommended that if you are planning on moving to Singapore, either short or long-term and are not transferring with your current employer, you should have a job lined up before you arrive.

Once you have arrived in the country, networking may the best way to land yourself a job, with a significant amount of people finding work through who they know as opposed to through job advertisements. For expats specifically, there is a substantial amount of jobs available in the finance and banking sectors, as well as the electronic, IT and shipping industries.

Finding accommodation

With a visa and job hopefully lined up, the next thing on the Singapore expats list is to find somewhere to stay or live. Your choice of accommodation in Singapore may depend on your citizenship, so as an expat, you will be limited to the type of housing you can buy and the conditions of your stay.

Singapore citizens are able to buy new public housing and get financial help to buy a home, while permanent residents can only buy resold public housing and are not eligible for financial assistance. Before you can become a permanent resident, however, you are classed as a foreigner and will only be able to rent a flat or a room from a local landlord.

  • Renting – Unless you are planning on buying property in Singapore, which, due to a shortage of real estate and land for expats, can be very expensive, short-term rentals might be the best solutions. The average price for temporary rentals in Singapore differs depending on how central the property is, its size, facilities, special services, and more. A one-bedroom apartment in the city centre, for example, could cost 2,645 SGD. Whereas a one-bedroom outside the city centre could cost 1,511 SGD.
  • Buying - Understanding how to buy a property as a non-resident in Singapore can be complicated, but as long as you understand the rules and regulations on non-nationals purchasing properties, the process should be smooth. Research has shown that the most expensive properties in Singapore’s 28 neighbourhoods varied in price from 1.4 million SGD to 110 million SGD. Whereas in the cheapest neighbourhoods, the top prices went from 200,000 SGD to 2.2 million SGD. Read our guide to buying property abroad here to learn how to prevent exchange rates impacting your purchase.

Cost of living

One of the main attractions for expat life in Singapore is the very high standard of living, however, this can come at a price. In Mercer’s 2019 Cost of Living Survey, Singapore was rated as the third most expensive region to live in the world. Expats who are looking for living conditions similar to what they experienced in their home country, may find that the cost of living is very high in comparison. As well as house prices which have already been discussed, alcohol is also taxed at a high rate along with cars. Foods and groceries are reasonably priced with local stalls and shopping malls offering very cheap dining options.

Language

The official language of Singapore is Mandarin Chinese; however, English is the most common language which is used for business and trade. School generally teach students in English but will also expect children to learn Mandarin as well. Other common languages include Tamil, Malay and Cantonese. An additional thing to note is that many Singaporeans speak a language that has come to be known as Singlish; a mixture of English and other languages. This can be difficult for English speakers to understand but on the whole, they seldom experience any real problems communicating with people in Singapore.

Climate

As Singapore lies close to the equator, it enjoys a tropical climate with no sharply divided seasons. It possesses a year-round temperature as well as high humidity and large levels of rainfall. The temperature can range from 22 °C-34 °C, with humidity levels capable of reaching 100% with increases in rainfall. Singapore’s hottest months are June and July, with its monsoon seasons coming in November and December.

Facts every Singapore expat should know

  • In Singapore, you are required to pay tax in order to own a television.
  • There is a restriction on which breeds of dog you can bring into the country.
  • There is a limitation on the number of animals you are allowed to own depending on the type of building you live in.
  • Left-hand drive cars are not allowed in Singapore.
  • You may drive in Singapore using your own license from your native country for up to one year but after this period you will be required to convert to a Singapore license.
  • It is warmer and drier in Eastern Singapore.
  • Public holiday range from the Christian holiday of Good Friday to Vesak Day; a Buddhist holiday.
  • Singapore also has its very own National Day during which it celebrates Singapore’s independence from Malaysia on 9 August 1965.

Sending money to Singapore

Working or living as an expat in Singapore, you’ll most likely want to open a local bank account in order to receive your salary in SGD. However, if you want to send money back to your native country, or even make a payment into your Singaporean bank account from outside the country, you should pay particular attention to your foreign exchange needs.

Making an international payment through your bank to a Singaporean bank account could incur additional transaction fees, which you’ll most likely want to avoid. In addition to the extra cost, you could be given a poor exchange rate, which will impact the amount you’re getting for your money on the other end of your transfer. Fortunately, with Universal Partners FX, you can receive an extremely competitive exchange and zero transaction fees, getting your expat life in Singapore off to the best possible start. Simply sign-up for a free account with us today to get started.

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For more information on how Universal Partners FX can help with your expat life in Singapore, be sure to get in touch with one of our foreign exchange experts today.

Moving to the USA

Arguably one of the most popular countries in the world, the USA has long been a destination of choice for many globetrotters and travellers worldwide. Unsurprisingly, this fact also extends to Brits looking to relocate outside of UK shores.

Heralded as “The Land of Opportunity”, the USA poses many exciting possibilities for those looking to emigrate to the US. However, moving to the US is no small feat and requires a great deal of planning, preparation and paperwork.

Whatever your reasons for moving to the USA, if you’re serious about upping sticks and heading Stateside, there are a number of things you’ll need to get in order before you do.

US Visas

In the post-9/11 landscape, national security in the US is understandably a very delicate and serious subject. Naturally, the United States Government is very cautious about who they allow to come into the country and, as such, moving to America requires a lot of due diligence.

The very first thing you need to consider when moving to America is getting a visa. Visas allow you the legal right to live, work and stay in a foreign country and the “Good Ol’ US of A” is no exception.

That being said, there is no “one size fits all” solution to travelling to the US and visas can be muddy waters to navigate, particularly when you stumble across tourist-related entry like the Visa Waiver Program and ESTA or student-related academic admin like the F-1 or M-1 visas.

With several different variations of the US visa to choose from, it’s important to know exactly which one applies to you before you begin your application. As a general rule, there are two primary forms of visa that are applicable to those looking to move to the USA.

- Nonimmigrant Visas

If you wish to move to the USA to work temporarily, the nonimmigrant visa is probably the one for you. That being said, according to the US Department of State, there are over 20 nonimmigrant visa types for those travelling to the US temporarily.

The US Government doesn’t issue work visas for casual employment, so a nonimmigrant visa application will often need to be accompanied by correspondence between your prospective employer and

For additional information on which nonimmigrant visa may be applicable to you, check out the following information from the UK US Embassy.

Immigrant Visas

Commonly referred to as a “green card”, immigrant visas are typically applicable to those looking for permanent residence in the United States.

While the entry criteria can vary, common routes of qualification include an offer of permanent employment from a US company or sponsorship from an existing family already stateside.

However, while possession of a green card does grant permanent residency in the United States, it doesn’t allow you to stay in the US indefinitely. Even if you are authorised with a green card, you will still be required to renew it every ten years in order to maintain your status.

That being said, once you have lived in the US for at least five years, you may be eligible to apply for US citizenship; however, this naturally comes with a long list of terms and conditions attached.

Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

In addition to the above, there is a third, less common option that is applicable to a small minority of those in the UK looking to apply for a US visa – namely the Diversity Visa (DV).

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is open to those from countries where there are historically low rates of US immigration and involves a random selection process.

The program itself is limited to just 50,000 annual entries, distributed among 38 countries in six geographic regions. No country can receive more than 7% of the DV allocation in any one year.

While UK citizens are generally excluded, those from Northern Ireland are not. Additionally, there are also possible exceptions if your spouse is a foreign national.

While the above information is a handy overview to follow for your, be sure to check with the official US Embassy & Consulates for the most up to date details at the time of your trip. Meanwhile, for more information on the types of immigrant/nonimmigrant visas available, visit the Travel.State.Gov for the full rundown.

Moving to America Checklist

Sadly, the application process for moving to the US can be a notoriously lengthy and frustrating process, meaning plenty of waiting around and prolonged periods of transitional purgatory.

Even after you have overcome that sizeable hurdle, don’t begin baking that apple pie and belting out the “Star-Spangled Banner” just yet – there is still plenty of work to do before you touch down on American soil and wave “Old Glory” with pride.

Accommodation

Before you can begin living the American dream, you’re going to need somewhere to live full-stop.

While this can be done online, relying on web images and second-hand accounts isn’t always the best course of action – especially when it comes to permanent accommodation.

As a stopgap, you may want to arrange temporary accommodation to live in when you arrive. That way, you can check out potential permanent residence in person before you commit to a property.

Social Security

Another thing you will need to address once you arrive in the USA is an application for a social security number.

An SSN is a nine-digit number issued to you by the US Government that’s used to keep track of employment details, such as earnings and years worked.

If you have a US work visa, this process can’t be done in advance; however, it can be arranged easily in person at your local Social Security Admin office once you arrive.

Health Insurance

Unlike in the UK, healthcare in the USA is privatised. As such, health insurance is required to cover the costs of any treatment you may require during your stay.

It’s not unusual for employers to contribute towards US health insurance costs, so be sure to check with your employer if they have you covered before you take out any unnecessary additions.

Moving Possessions

If you are planning on taking many of your homely possessions with you, arranging transport for these items before you leave will be a necessary part of the process.

Naturally, this process will depend largely on what you plan on taking with you and your living arrangements once you arrive. Having a three-piece suite shipped over in a cargo freight to a hotel probably isn’t a good idea.

That being said, there are plenty of services online that can ship over boxes and suitcases full of smaller items. Better still, a lot of cargo companies will also handle customs clearance for you, which can make the process considerably easier.

- Driving

Driving in the US is a lot more than just getting used to using the other side of the road. In fact, for UK ex-pats, it’s going to unsurprisingly involve even more paperwork.

While short-term visitors may be able to get away with their UK driving license accompanied by an International Driving Permit for rentals, UK citizens taking up permanent residence in the US will be required to get a driver’s license for the state they will reside in.

For additional information, check out the relevant state page on the Department of Motor Vehicles website for further details.

- Tying Up Loose Ends

While upping sticks and disappearing into the night may seem like a memorable way to make an exit, leaving without notifying the appropriate people can be a costly error.

To avoid accruing unnecessary bills for services you haven’t used long after you leave, be sure to sever ties with the relevant channels. Pay up your bills, inform any service providers and close any accounts you no longer need.

Money in the US

Like any big relocation, one of the main factors you will need to take into account when planning your move to America is how you plan on handling your money before and after.

Setting up a bank account in the US before you arrive can be a mammoth task to add to an already mammoth list. As such, it’s probably an avoidable chore you could do without and one best left for when you arrive.

In the interim, you will probably need to send money to the US before you leave, whether you’re paying for services, accommodation or simply transferring funds to a loved one on the other side.

Luckily, this is one part of the process that is refreshingly simple. With the help of Universal Partners FX, you can send money to the USA quickly, easily and hassle-free.

Our easy-to-use system allows you to achieve a safe, secure transaction in a swift and cost-effective manner. No hidden transaction fees, no strings attached.

To transfer money to the US, all you have to do is follow our simple three-step process:

  1. Register for free
  2. Secure your exchange rate
  3. We make your payment

At Universal Partners FX, we know that moving to the US is no easy feat and we’re more than happy to do the hard work for you when it comes to transferring money to the US.

Backed by a 5-star Feefo rating, you can rest assured that, with us, your money is in safe hands, leaving you to concentrate on making your American dream a reality.

 

For more information on moving to the US or to find out more about sending money to America, why not drop us a line today? Call 020 7190 9559 now to talk with one of our expert advisors or get in touch online by using the button below.

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