Moving To: Japan – Everything You Need to Know Before Moving Abroad

From delicious cuisine, diverse landscapes and captivating ancient culture, it’s not hard to understand why so many people from around the world are choosing Japan as their new home. For most, the prospect of relocating to Japan would be incredibly exciting. However, the thought of moving abroad and then settling into a completely new culture can be extremely stressful; and the task of relocating can be huge itself.

With over 30 years’ experience in the industry; the team at Galleon International provide a range of corporate relocation services to ensure that both the employer and the employee are prepared for the moving overseas process. For the employee moving abroad, Galleon is able to support and guide them through the international relocation process by providing useful cultural information and local contacts.

 

Take a look below at the local knowledge that our overseas agents and partners in Japan provided us:

 

1. Visas and Legal Requirements


Regardless of your nationality, the visa process is the same for all individuals looking to relocate. All you need to do is apply for the visa relevant to your stay at the nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate General in your home country. You will need to bring with you: a valid passport; visa application form; a photograph and a Certificate of Eligibility.

While it may sound like an easy process, the Certificate of Eligibility (a certified letter from a Japanese person i.e. an employer who guarantees to support you financially) can be hard to obtain.

 

2. Cost of Living


Depending on your location, company and lifestyle, the cost of living in Japan can be extremely varied. For example, in Tokyo, renting costs can be expensive; averaging anywhere from 40,000 JPY (£288) to 150,000 JPY (£1,082) per month. Plus, most Japanese flats are rented unfurnished, so you may need to purchase cooking appliances and living room furniture before moving in. These extra costs and investments will be worth checking out before you sign any rental agreement.

 

3. Healthcare

In Japan, individuals are required to carry their own health insurance. Therefore, employees often enrol in a company health insurance plan where monthly contributions to medical insurance are deducted from their paycheck. However, in some cases, the government will cover 70% of the treatment such as prenatal care; disease control and screening exams.

 

Do you still have some questions about moving to Japan? Why not get in touch with the team at Galleon International, a renowned international removal company. Give us a call on 01708 868 068.

An International Relocation Guide to Malaysia

When faced with the idea of moving overseas, it’s no surprise that people are terrified at the thought of moving to a new country with an unfamiliar culture – and potentially a different language. This is particularly true when employees are told they are relocating to Malaysia; a country not far from Singapore and Cambodia.

However, as soon as they arrive on Malay soil, they realise there wasn’t much cause for concern. Malaysia has a diverse culture with a mix of Malaysia; Chinese; Indian and European influences all over the country, meaning communication is easy as most people speak English.

 

At Galleon International; one of the UK’s leading experts in international relocation and removals, we provide a local contact to each expat as part of our moving overseas process. As such, Galleon has an extensive network of contacts across the globe to support and guide employees relocating for the first time.

 

We spoke to our overseas agent in Malaysia and here’s what they had to say about living and working in the country:

 

1. Working Permit Visas


If you’re looking to live and work in Malaysia, you will need an employment pass. This isn’t difficult to obtain; however, the company hiring you must ensure they are not hiring you for a job that could easily be filled by a Malaysian citizen. You will also need to acquire a work visa for any spouse who wishes to work while in Malaysia. Once you have lived in Malaysia for three years, you can get a ‘Residence pass’ which allows you to stay in the country for up to 10 years.

 

2. Cost of Living


Compared to Western countries and neighbouring countries like Japan; Hong Kong and Singapore, the cost of living in Malaysia is far cheaper. While cars; international school fees and imported foods can be expensive, expats will be able to find it easy to save money and enjoy a good lifestyle. For example, Malaysian food in restaurants is relatively cheap (around RM10, or £1.90 a head) if you’re happy to eat in the local eateries.

 

3. Culture


Food is a highly important part of Malaysian culture. In fact, one of their common greetings is “Have you had your lunch yet?” It is also seen as etiquette to offer your guests food on their arrival to your home. Tea and coffee are usually prepared along with some small snacks; but this isn’t allowed to be eaten until the host says so. As a guest, you are expected to sip the beverage and taste the food offered.

 

If you still have questions about moving to Malaysia; get in touch with our international relocation team on 01708 868 068.

Changing Economy in Spain Leads to Relocation Opportunities

Following a massive retrenchment between 2008 and 2013, Spain lost 9 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product in real terms. Since then, the country has recovered from economic difficulty and is transforming into a global technology centre. But what exactly has caused the massive shift in the economy for Spain?

In 2016, Spanish exports had risen dramatically with many companies selling throughout the European Union and beyond. The country’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy has instituted several reforms designed to help the country recover from its economic crisis. These reforms included reducing redundancy pay from ‘45 days per year worked’ to ‘33 days worked’ and moving wage bargaining to the company level. As a result, the labour market is more flexible than ever.

The financial system has also been addressed by closing underperforming banks that have made excessively risky property loans. In turn, public finances were reformed by cutting the country’s budget deficit.

As for technology, Rajoy has led the expansion of Spain’s fibre-optic network for high-speed data transmission; which now covers 76% of the population, the highest percentage across all of Europe.

Outside of Spain, the global economic recovery has increased demand for Spanish products and services, as well as improved traditional leading sectors in Spain such as tourism and travel.

For international relocation experts like Galleon International Moving Company; Spain’s changing economy and technology-driven agenda sees an increased demand for highly skilled workers. While the country has several leading universities and technology startups; the demand for highly skilled workers is outpacing the number of qualified employees.

Reports have shown that Spain has a number of registered unemployed workers. But the skills gap is wide for positions in this new economy. Job experts have predicted that nearly half of job openings through 2030 will require a high level of skills and qualifications. Therefore, employers in Spain may benefit from relocation programmes designed to attract and retain their new employees with specialised skills and experience.

Are you looking to refresh and re-examine your relocation policy? Why not speak to the team of international relocation experts who can advise you about country-specific employment requirements. We can help your company understand how to design your relocation policy so it supports employees moving overseas and your company’s ability to grow in Spain’s changing economy.

Get in touch with our team on 01708 868 068 for more information about our corporate relocation services.

The Challenges of Relocating Employees With Pets

With an estimated pet population of 51 million, it’s fair to say that the UK is a nation of animal lovers. However, when it comes to relocating employees with pets, your staff will be faced with an incredibly difficult decision; leaving their best friend behind or taking their pets with them.

Not only is it difficult to find rental properties around the world that accept animals. But there are plenty of conditions that stop animals from going abroad. As an international moving company with over 30 years experience; Galleon International Relocation can offer professional advice to assist you with all your pet relocation needs.

One of the main issues lies not with the landlords who might consider renting their property to a tenant with pets; but with the lease agreement. Many landlords are leaseholders and have a freehold that states “animals are not allowed.” We have seen this time and time again in many prime rental property areas such as London; Hong Kong and Singapore.

In fact, over 90% of letting agents in London are unable to offer any flats that accept pets; especially for a one or two bedroom property. Of those letting agents offering pet-friendly accommodation, some may require owners to place a larger deposit to cover the dilapidation cost at the end of the tenancy agreement.

Once you have found a property that allows animals, it’s important to check the regulations for your destination as some countries have a more complex process than others.

For example, emigrating to Australia can be difficult as the Australian Department of Agriculture requires you to follow some stringent conditions. Unlike dog; cat or horse owners, if you own fish; reptiles or small mammals, you will not be able to relocate their pets to Australia.

If your pet is on the approved list for moving overseas, they must meet certain health requirements. Dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies at least 180 days before you travel. After four weeks, your pet will also need to have the RNAT test to prove your dog or cat doesn’t have rabies.

Finally, you must have the correct paperwork for your pet. This includes:

  • An export permit for the government of your home country.
  • Import permit from the Australian government.
  • Pre-booking at the Australian quarantine centre.

If you want to find out more about relocating employees with pets; get in touch with Galleon – International Moving Company.

Over three decades, we have assisted in a number of overseas removals and relocation of families with furry friends. Our team know exactly how to make the experience stress-free for both your employees and their pets.

Get in touch with our international relocation team on 01708 868 068 to find out more about our corporate relocation services.

Moving to Switzerland – Everything You Need to Know

For years, Switzerland has topped the polls for the ‘best place in the world for expats to live’. It comes as a result of many financial; technology and pharmacology sectors choosing to send their highly skilled employees here for relocation. The country’s stable economy; low crime rates and high standards of living are just some of the reasons why Switzerland is so popular with expats.

 

When it comes to your own overseas move to Switzerland; it is vital to understand the important cultural values and customs that you will be introduced to. Otherwise, you and your family may struggle to adapt to the brand-new culture and surroundings.

As an international moving company, Galleon provides a range of corporate relocation services to ensure both the employer and the employee are prepared for moving overseas. For the employee moving abroad, we have an array of international relocation experts who can provide useful cultural information and who can act as a point of contact in their new home.

Take a look at the local knowledge our overseas agents and partners in Switzerland provided us:

 

1. Housing

It may not be known to expats at the time of moving, but Switzerland is a landlord’s market. For example, in the main cities such as Zurich and Geneva, the demand for housing often outweighs the supply. There could be at least 60 applications per flat when you are searching for residential properties.

2. Visas and Work Permits

If you are currently a citizen of an EU country, moving to Switzerland is not like moving within the union. Following the latest immigration changes in 2016, there have been further restrictions put on migration from the EU. For example, the Swiss electorate took part in a referendum vote to re-introduce quotas for foreigners and privilege over Swiss nationals over foreigners in the labour market.

For those outside of the EU, it is important to start the process months in advance since it can take a while for your application to be approved by the Ministry of Labour.

3. Language

When moving to Switzerland from Europe or North America, you may not expect as much as a culture shock. However, there are more differences in Swiss culture that expats will not realise until they are there. For example, for the French-speakers the language will be the same but the culture is different. Unlike in France, people in Switzerland favour punctuality; they go to work early and head home early.

The extent to which you are affected by the culture shock depends on how much you choose to stay in your ‘expat bubble’.

Do you still have some questions about moving to Switzerland? Why not get in touch with the team at Galleon International – international removal company. Get in touch with us on 01708 868 068.

Relocating Employees: 3 Ways You Can Make Corporate Relocation Easier on Your Employees

In the moment you ask your employees to move overseas, they may be feeling a mixture of emotions. Excitement, dread and panic could be just some of the feelings going through your employees head; until the immediate flurry of logistical considerations set in.

As you prepare for the international relocation, you must make sure your employees are just as prepared for the ‘moving overseas’ transition. Moving house is stressful; regardless of the overseas move element! So it is important that your company takes the initiative to make the corporate relocation process easier on them. Not only will this result in happier employees, but you can ensure a seamless workflow transition. This means that your employee will be back to their typical workload in no time.

At Galleon International; an international moving company renowned for their personal and bespoke corporate relocation services, we have three tips for ensuring your staff have a stress-free overseas move.

 

1. Prepare Employees for Moving Abroad

As your relocating employees get ready to move into their new homes, make it as simple as possible for them to access local information. For example, you can provide them with information about the best neighbourhoods for families; what the climate is like and information on living costs. An even better way to get your employees settled into their overseas home is sending them there on a trip.

If you are unable to provide either of these services yourself, Galleon International has access to hundreds of overseas agents and partners who can provide important, local information to your employees.

 

2. Explain The Process and Your Expectations


The stress and unknown factors of moving abroad will have your employees asking lots of questions. Will you help the employee find new housing? How will the international removal of all their belongings work? Do you plan to compensate your employees for the relocation?

The key to a strong work environment is building trust through open communication. So, if you know the relocation is going to be short-term; be clear with your employee and explain your expectations for the employee’s future. The more worries you can help alleviate during the initial moving process; the more confident and comfortable your employee will feel.

 

3. Hire a Reputable International Moving Company

No matter how much time and effort your team put into the logistics of moving overseas, a professional and reputable international moving company can help put everyone at ease. When it comes to the corporate relocation side of things, your employees will feel their valuables are in safe hands with a trusted moving company. This means your employees can focus on the important bits such as finding local schools, saving for their housing costs and of course, working.

To find out more information about our corporate relocation services, get in touch with our team on 01708 868 068.