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.

Moving To Portugal- Everything You Need To Know

Portugal is now moving forward from the easy week-long getaway and idyllic retirement setting and is gradually becoming the global relocation hub for young professionals. Aside from the beautiful architecture and consistent subtropical climate, the city of Lisbon provides affordable living costs and a vibrant nightlife.

If you’re considering moving abroad to Portugal, it’s important to undergo extensive research. This will help you see if the way of life will suit both yourself and relocating employees. This week, our global relocation experts have shared some vital information you need to know.

Tax opportunities

One of the major appeals of moving abroad to Portugal is the generous tax break that could be offered to you. The NHR (non-habitual resident) scheme provides new residents attractive tax benefits for the first 10 years of residency. You could be offered these benefits if:

  • You have not been a tax resident in Portugal within the last 5 years
  • Be classed as a Portuguese resident. This means to spend more than 182 days a year in the country.
  • Register as a non-habitual resident with the tax authorities.

It’s also important to note that if you’re intending to stay in Portugal for longer than 183 days, you can then become tax eligible.

Visas and documentation

when coming from outside of the EU, i.e. the USA, Australia or Canada, you can stay for up to 90 days without a visa. If you’re only planning to live there for a year, then it is recommended to apply for a temporary residence permit.

If you’re moving abroad to Portugal from an EU country, then you do not need a visa. However, if you’re planning on becoming a resident, you are required to apply for a residency document.

Living Costs

Another major attraction of Portugal is the living costs. You can expect to pay pretty much half of what you would pay living in the UK, US or Australia. For example, monthly transportation passes cost around €35 and a pint of beer roughly costs €1.50.

Do you still have some questions about moving to Portugal? Why not get in touch with the friendly team at Galleon International, global relocation experts? Give us a call on 01708 868 068 today.

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.

Moving To Canada – Everything You Need To Know

From the idyllic landscapes to thriving cities, it’s hard not to get excited when you hear about relocating to Canada. After all, the country is known for its “niceness,” making it a great place to live for you and your family.

However, as you prepare to embrace the Canadian way of life; it’s important you understand local customs and knowledge that may be different from what you are used to at home.

Galleon International’s team of international relocation experts have put together a guide that will help you when moving overseas and integrating into Canadian life

1. Weather

When it comes to rain or shine, Canada has the best of both worlds. Unless you’re living on the British Columbia Coast in the west, you will experience cold; snowy winters and hot summers as well as short transitional seasons.

For those moving abroad from a mild or warm climate, the bitter cold of a Canadian winter will shock you. A true winter in Canada can reach temperatures of -25°C so make sure you purchase ski jackets and gloves ahead of time.

2. Cost of Living 

There’s nothing quite as shocking as moving to a new city and realising how expensive rent or transportation is, so make sure you know the basic cost of living before you move.
Research is crucial. Toronto and Vancouver, particularly in the downtown areas, are relatively expensive while Montreal has low property values and low rent – as well as lower salaries.

3. Healthcare


Known around the world for its excellence, Canada’s healthcare is delivered through a publicly-funded system. However, some services are provided by private entities. A health card is issued by the Provincial Ministry of Health to each individual who enrols for the program and everyone will receive the same level of care with this card.

In some provinces, you will have to wait a few months for your provincial coverage to begin. In the meantime, private comprehensive health insurance policies are available during that period.

4. Driving Licenses

Unfortunately, the driving examination you have completed in your home country may not be valid in Canada or require paperwork in order to be converted. Even then, driving licenses are a minefield.

Firstly, Canadian driving licenses are awarded by the provinces – not the federal government. This means the individual provinces have their own driving rules and testing procedures.

Secondly, different countries around the world will have particular agreements with the provinces. Before you leave for Canada, take a look at the full rules for international licence-holders in your province. Also, make sure you have the correct documentation before you arrive.

 

Still, have some questions about moving to Canada? Why not get in touch with the team at Galleon International.

As part of our corporate relocation services, our industry partners and overseas agents are available 24/7 to provide unknown facts and local knowledge about your new home. They can also provide useful cultural information; as well as primary contact details for any services you may need while settling into your new home country.

Get in touch with our team on 01708 868 068 for more information about relocating to Canada and our international removal services.

Benefits of Outsourcing Your Relocation Programme with Galleon International

For companies who want to stay ahead of their competitors and attract highly-qualified employees, it is important that employers offer a well-designed corporate relocation programme.

Typically, employees look for a relocation programme that provides them with a wide range of benefits and services. This is to ensure that they have an easy and smooth move. Therefore, companies who can offer a relocation programme managed entirely in-house will face several challenges when they try to meet the demands and expectations of moving abroad for work.

There are many benefits when outsourcing relocation programmes to global relocation experts. So, here are five key challenges you may face and how using a global mobility company can help you and your employees:

1. Poor Cost Tracking

When managing your employee’s relocation in-house, you may run-away with the logistics of the relocation process. As a result, your programme costs are often forgotten about and ignored. Without an effective way of tracking your expenses; the costs of relocation will be hidden and cannot be effectively controlled or minimized.

By outsourcing this, your provider will be able to track and review your relocation budget on your behalf.

2. Multiple Managers in Various Locations

Unfortunately, local HR teams may have different interpretations of programmes and policies. This means that these variations can impact the benefits that transferees receive.

However, when you outsource to a relocation company; the experts will benefit from a central programme management with local and global support. Available at all times, you will receive a consistent and coherent programme that is supported in all locations, with no differences in interpretation.

3. Assignment Failure

All companies plan for a successful relocation experience for their transferees. To limit and, in many cases, eradicate potential failure, we actively encourage interaction at an early stage. Greater familiarity and local knowledge shared by destination industry partners can identify potential challenges and thus make the assignment all the more appealing; crucially lessening the burden of work facing in-house HR teams.

Companies can benefit from a specialised and unique programme if you were to outsource your relocation programme. As experts in relocation, they are able to provide you with information regarding tax issues, visa applications and compliance reporting.

 

Finally, for more information on how Galleon International can help your business with corporate relocation, get in touch today on 01708 868 068.