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Les Calvert


New Zealand 2

New Zealand has seen its house prices leap in the final quarter of 2014, at the same time as sales increased by 24.2% year-on-year. The strongest December for sales since 2006 came as national median house prices rose to $450, 000 – $23, 000 up year on year, but a slight drop from November 2014. In Auckland the median price hit a new record, of $678, 000.

To put those figures in perspective, New Zealand’s median price rose 5.4% over the whole of 2014, compared with 9.8% over 2013, and whole-year sales were down by 7% on 2013.

‘The data for December shows very strong sales growth compared to 12 months ago,’ says Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) CEO Helen O’Sullivan. It’s also ‘a much higher level of sales than we would normally expect for the final month of the year,’ traditionally a slow month, Ms. O’Sullivan went on.

Over the last couple of years New Zealand has experienced a real estate boom, but that is increasingly confined to Auckland, while prices in the rest of the country have moderated. As the national median price rose by 5.4%, a modest rise on the country’s 3.1% GDP growth, Auckland’s prices skyrocketed, rising by 13%, more than four times the rate of GDP growth. That money has to come from somewhere, and it’s not coming from a similar growth rate in the New Zealand economy as a whole, so where is it coming from?

The answer to that question can be found in the title of the NZ Property Investment & Building Guide. Produced as a joint effort by the Panmure-based Chinese firm MultiMarketing and Auckland construction and industry publisher Mark Graham, the Guide offers assistance to Chinese seeking to invest in New Zealand. While some look further afield, the vast majority of these overseas investors are buying properties in Auckland.

One result is that housing in Auckland is now among the most unaffordable in the world, accelerating past Los Angeles, Toronto, New York, Perth, Boston and Brisbane, according to the 2014 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.

Auckland is home to a quarter of New Zealand’s population, so the risk of a property bubble is serious – as the University of Canterbury’s architect in residence and urban commentator Tim Nees says, ‘the effects of a bursting bubble are a risk not just for Auckland but for the whole country.’

What might bring New Zealand’s soaring housing market crashing down to earth? Westpac chief economist Dominic Stephens points out that some of the more local supports have a time limit. ‘Low interest rates are driving prices up at the moment, but they are not going to last forever,’ Mr Stephens opines, adding, ‘the same thing with the Canterbury rebuild – that’s not going to be stimulating the economy forever, [and] the population boom won’t last forever.’ When local economic drivers stop pushing, will overseas investors feel the sag and pull out too, bring New Zealand house prices crashing down?

London 2

As debate hots up over whether Britain should remain in the European Union, a survey suggests that British manufacturers are overwhelmingly in favour of remaining a part of the European Union.

There has been much talk for some time as to whether or not Britain should stay or leave Europe but with manufacturers backing staying this is a massive boost to the pro-Europe campaign. The Europe Union offers many significant advantages to member states, including trade benefits and financial support, but the United Kingdom has always tried to maintain a certain level of independence from Europe whilst garnering as many benefits as possible such is the case with the monetary union of the Euro, of which the UK has always refused to enter.

Many EU sceptics claim that being a part of the European Union undermines Britain’s sovereignty, opens up the country to unwanted immigration and forces the country into adopting otherwise unneeded economic policy but pro-Europe campaigners say that it hugely boosts the British economy through mutually beneficial trade links and offers greater security to the continent as a whole both politically and financially.

The manufacturer’s organisation EEF recently produced a survey in which they found the 85% of those polled would vote to stay within the European Union whilst only 7% would choose to leave, despite recent financial troubles within the bloc. Of those who were polled, it was firms with greater than 250 employees who most favoured remaining in the EU with a whopping 90% of them opting to stay. This is quite an impressive amount considering that EEF represents over 6,000 companies. The survey, which was carried out in August, polled around 160 of these.

Despite production slowing across the EU recently, it would seem that manufacturer’s still consider it beneficial to remain a part of the union as Britain has seen a resurgence in recent months and looks on target to pick up the pace soon.

Commenting on the poll’s findings, Terry Scuoler of the EEF said:
“Despite the continued problems in the Eurozone, manufacturers remain overwhelmingly of the view that our economic wellbeing is inextricably linked to the EU and, we must stay in membership.

“It makes no sense to disengage from our major market and it remains fanciful to think we can just pull up the drawbridge and walk away with no consequences.”

For further information please visit the site below and fill in the very short form and make sure you enter the code ZIP87 in the “Information” field. This will put you in touch with the correct person. http://openaeuropeancompany.com/general-pages/contact-us.html


When the global economic crisis hit Portugal in 2011, it hit hard and had devastating effects on the nation’s economy and employment rates but out of adversity a new breed of Portuguese entrepreneur has arisen and could be pushing the country towards a new tech boom.

So dire was the situation in Portugal at the time that the government had to negotiate a bailout package of 78bn euro ($103bn; £62bn) with the European Union in exchange for slapping the country with highly restrictive austerity measures. Portugal’s economy was in the worst recession the country has seen for forty years.

One of the effects attributed to the recession and the austerity measures put in place is the perilously high jobless rate which has almost doubled since 2008, shooting up from 7.6% to 14.1% in June of this year. This lead to many young people being out of work, with the situation being far worse for those aged 15-24 as one in three is out of work, and struggling to find employment despite many having qualifications.

With an inability to gain employment elsewhere, the country has seen a boom in entrepreneurship in recent years as people consider turning towards start-ups and launching their own businesses. One such area that has really taken off is engineering graduates and techy types turning their hands to app development and other digital projects.

Such is the current trend for entrepreneurship in Portugal that many start-up incubators have sprung up in order to nurture emerging business opportunities and provide office space or support for these new companies. The Portuguese government has also seen fit to place its faith in these start-ups, despite coming off the back of austerity measures, and has created an investment body called Portugal Ventures which will invest 20m euros of public funds into start-up firms.

Portugal managed to pull itself out of recession in 2013 and now looks like it might be on an upward curve towards success as the country looks to build itself up again. Despite this, unemployment remains high in the country and skilled labour comes relatively cheaply because of this. With strong trade links with Spain and being an integral part of the European Union, Portugal could provide a great opportunity to invest in or try a start-up of your own.

Open a European Company specialise in all aspects of international company formation.

For further information please visit the site below and fill in the very short form and make sure you enter the code AIP76 in the “Information” field. This will put you in touch with the correct person. http://openaeuropeancompany.com/general-pages/contact-us.html

New York - Times Square

Visiting New York is something many millions of people do but it is also a very popular place to live and work and has some great attractions for those looking at doing so.

There are five New York boroughs:

Manhattan is the smallest borough, coming in at 23 square miles, but has the highest population density. With tourists attractions such as the Times Square and the Empire State Building it is the heart of New York. It is also a hub for creative institutions, such as NBC, along with banking ones like Wall Street.

Brooklyn, once considered the poorer suburb cousin of Manhattan, is a more spacey and quiet existence. Now offering such delights as Coney Island, a prime view of the Manhattan skyline and a great restaurant scene it has attracted more than 2.5 million residents to live there.

The most northern New York borough, and incidentally the only part of the city on the mainland,  The Bronx is mainly a residential area but is also home to Yankee Stadium, the New York Botanical Garden, and the Bronx Zoo.

Queens is, without a doubt, the sportiest location in New York with the National Tennis Center hosting the U.S. Open and Citi Field home of the New York Mets. It also has acres of green space at Flushing Meadows.  The most ethnically diverse of all the boroughs it is also home to New York’s two biggest airports, LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy.
The most suburban area of New York takes you away from all the hustle and bustle of the city as it is devoid of a subway connection and instead has to be reached by a twenty minute ferry ride from Downtown Manhattan; however the trip does have some amazing views of the Statue of Liberty. Staten Island has the smallest residential population of any other borough of New York making it that little bit calmer than the rest of the city.


A great amount of people, including foreign workers, seek employment in New York every year. Salaries in the city tend to be much higher than other places in the country but then so does the price of almost everything. Jobs are mainly available in the service industries or large overseas banking and finance companies. Give yourself an advantage by having previous relevant experience, a master’s degree, or a second or third language. Help is available from recruitment agencies and head-hunters, who work personally to find your dream job.


The New York housing market is even tougher than the job market. Choose the borough best suited to you and your needs first – the diversity means there’s something for everyone. Rent in Manhattan is one of the most expensive in the world and paying more than $2,000 a month for a small studio is not uncommon. If you’re a student Manhattan will be the biggest draw but families will do better in the more spacious boroughs of Brooklyn or Staten Island.


Good quality hospitals and health care centres are abundant in New York but free healthcare is not. While emergency rooms have to treat individuals in need of emergency attention regardless of their financial situation under Federal Law, private health insurance plans are usually used to manage the high fees. This may be subsidised by your employer. Maternity care is typically covered under medical insurance plans but dental insurance is only available separately. Pharmacies are usually found in grocery stories or ‘drug stores’ and supply prescription medication as well as ‘over the counter’ medication such as aspirin and allergy relief.


The U.S education system is good and offers free public education for resident children between the ages of 5 and 21. There’s also a highly competitive private school system if you can afford to pay. If you are immigrating to New York with children of school-age you’ll need to present immunisation records, proof of your child’s age, and proof of legal residency to your child’s new school. The city government ensures that all local public schools accept students that live within their neighbourhood zones but public schools are selective and often have long waiting lists. The education curriculum is state-wide and the compulsory education age is 6-16. For further education, New York offers several top universities and colleges, including NYU, Columbia, and the Julliard School of Performing Arts.

Open a European Company specialise in all aspects of international company formation.
For further information please visit the site below and fill in the very short form and make sure you enter the code AIP77 in the “Information” field. This will put you in touch with the correct person. http://openaeuropeancompany.com/general-pages/contact-us.html

Harbour Bridge Australia

The Significant Investment Visa (SIV) is a relatively new visa, having only come into place in 2013, which is designed to attract investment to Australia from High Net Worth applicants by offering a temporary visa, which can then become permanent, in return for significant investment in the country. The SIV has many benefits over other, more traditional, business visas due to its flexibility. Some of the key benefits are as follows:

  • Applicants who taking the necessary advice and precautions with their money should find it well kept in Australia with investment returns from bank cash rate equivalents to over 40%.
  • The only age restriction on the Visa is that you are legally an adult (In Australia that is 18).
  • There are no English language requirements.
  • Investment returns on an ASIC (www.asic.gov.au) approved fund will generally be safe and possibly also generous depending on the investment chosen.
  • Australia’s banks and financial institutions are amongst the safest in the world.
  • Providing that $A5 million is retained in Australia during the 4 year temporary visa period, these investments can be split between funds and/or direct investment in an Australian proprietary company (this may vary state to state and currently N.S.W does require a minimum fund investment as part of the $A5million).
  • Visa applicant does not need to satisfy Australian Immigration Dept. business skills innovation points test.

In order to obtain one applicants must firstly choose an Australian state or territory in where they wish to invest and, after doing so, need to complete an online Expression of Interest to their chosen Australian state or Territory via SkillSelect which can be found on the Australia’s Department of Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC) website.

After the state or territory nomination, the visa application will then be submitted to the DIAC. After their approval, investment of at least five million Australian dollars must be made to complying investments, a temporary visa will then be granted. This money can be moved between various investments providing that it stays at, or over, $A5million for the entirety of the four year period that the temporary visa has been granted. Complying investments include:

  • Infrastructure projects in Australia.
  • Cash held by Australian deposit taking institutions.
  • Bonds issued by the Commonwealth or a State or Territory government.
  • Bonds, equity, hybrids or other corporate debt in companies and trusts listed on an Australian stock exchange.
  • Bonds or term deposits issued by Australian financial institutions.
  • Real estate in Australia.
  • Australian agribusiness.

Whilst the 4 year temporary visa is in place, 160 days must be spent living in Australia, after which the applicant can apply for permanent residence.

For further information please visit the site below and fill in the very short form and make sure you enter the code XPCFA in the “Information” field. This will put you in touch with the correct person. http://openaeuropeancompany.com/general-pages/contact-us.html

Perth Australia

The Significant Investors Visa Scheme (SIV) has seen relative success for the Australian government in attracting wealthy foreign investors to the country in return for a visa but after recent complaints about lengthy waiting times amidst a backlog of applicants the possibility of loosening restrictions has been mooted and could well come into effect this November.

With more than 90 per cent of applicants for the SIV being from China the government are looking at ways of easing restrictions for visa applicants from that country in an attempt to further the success of the SIV in the hope that the scheme will eventually bring in around $A6billion more to public coffers.

Finding a comfortable balance is the main priority for the Australian government as they look to make the most out of the financial gains brought in by immigration without making it too easy for undesirables to slip through the net. This coupled with China’s recent crackdown on funds being transferred out of the country does not make any forthcoming decisions easy for the Australians and it looks like easing restrictions on the SIV is their best course of action.

By the end of June, just 286 visas had been approved compared with 1,497 “expressions of interest”, according to data from the Immigration Department. And with At least 20 percent of applications are either withdrawn or rejected, largely for want of more disclosures on the sources of funding; officials are looking at fixing these problems as rapidly as possible without compromising security or the validity of the scheme.

The new rules are likely to clarify the source of funding for an SIV application thus making it easier for applicants and immigration lawyers to know what information they should be providing. A timeframe should also be put in place so that applicants know exactly how long they have to provide the correct evidence and applications themselves can be processed much more efficiently and at a far quicker pace.

The number of applications are set to rise after Canada cancelled a similar program this year, saying it “significantly undervalued Canadian” permanent residency. Wealthy Chinese are also being attracted by struggling southern European economies that include Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Portugal who have similar schemes with their ‘Golden Visa’ set up.

With China emerging as the prominent economic superpower of the moment, more and more wealthy individuals are finding investment and property opportunities abroad and the SIV scheme looks like the perfect opportunity to both diversify assets as well as affording them the opportunity to seek western education for future generations of their family as well as the possibility of moving to another country.

For further information please visit the site below and fill in the very short form and make sure you enter the code XPCFY in the “Information” field. This will put you in touch with the correct person. http://openaeuropeancompany.com/general-pages/contact-us.html


If you’re moving to an EU country from outside the European Economic Area, you’ll find that having a job waiting for you makes things easier when it comes to visa applications. That’s still decided within the EU on a country-by-country basis. France will require you to apply for the visa and residency permit that matches the length of your pre-agreed contract with your employer if you’re moving there to work, for instance.

If you’re moving from within the EU, though, things are different. You have the right to remain in your new country automatically – but finding a job there won’t necessarily be easy. And there’s another group of people who don’t often get a look-in in guides of this kind, who have the right to remain in their new country, but don’t have any kind of employment set up. That’s the husbands and wives of employed immigrants. So if your partner has a job all set to go in Berlin or Madrid and you’re packing your bags and wondering what you’re going to do when you get there, this guide is for you too!

After all, it’s quite likely that when you move abroad with your partner, you’ll have to downshift or even drop your own career for a while. That might be for the duration of the move – or it might be for a couple of years, while the family finds its feet in your new country.

After that period, you’ll find yourself looking around your new country for employment opportunities. Unlike your partner you haven’t come across with a job to land in. And you’re up against the fact that in many countries, there’s an unspoken rule: we hire natives first. Who can blame them? But it still leaves the new arrival out in the cold, until you develop a strategy to get around it.

Self Employed in Europe

One option is to become self-employed. It’s often easier to find people who will deal with you direct for your skills, knowledge and expertise, than to find business owners or HR managers who will give you a job – especially over the heads of natives. Being self-employed comes with its own trials, depending on the country you’re resident in and the sector you go into. People classed as ‘artisans’ in France, for instance, will find themselves in an inexplicably high tax bracket compared to other self-employed people. But by and large, it’s not beyond anyone with management-level skills to become self-employed.

First, figure out what you have to offer. What do you love? What do you know? These questions would apply to any career advice – but remember, in your new country, you’re already a rarity. If you’ve been conscientious and learned the language in your new country, you can look for translation work, either translating documents or interpreting. There’s always plenty of this kind of work available. Other talents or interests might signpost the way forward – in a world where people make six figures on YouTube anything’s possible, so if you have a passion for restoring classic cars, historical reenactment, 80s fashion, French New Wave cinema or 1920s prints, look at what you can do to turn that into an income stream.

Not everyone wants to be self-employed. Even if you have the skills, discipline and motivation, many of us get much more from our careers than something to do and financial recompense for doing it. If you’ve moved to another country with your partner, you might want to step back into your old career or return to working life, with its opportunities for socialisation and integrating into life in your new country. For many of us, that’s actually the most important part of work!

With that in mind, then, how should you approach the workplace in your new country? It depends where you are, but often the cards will be stacked against you because you’re not a native and jobs are scarce. Think of it as another question on the hirer’s mind: you always have to complete applications, write CVs and attend interviews thinking of the answer to the unspoken question, ‘why should I hire you?’ Now you have to answer the question, ‘why should I hire you instead of Sven/Jean-Marie/Francisco/Rolf/etc?’ Go back over your CV with that in mind. You stand out already – you’re the overseas candidate.

What can you do so your skills and experience make you stand out in a good way? Some professionals make their living inducting other professionals into the job markets of their new countries. Money spent here might be a sound investment; so might volunteer work in your sector, or attending open events where you’ll get the chance to network. If your skills are scientific or medical, there are options for conversion to German qualifications, for instance, or to have your overseas qualifications recognised – but again, there are hoops to jump through. In the case of Germany, recognition is often tied to a job offer from a German institution!

If you’re looking at reentering the academic system, you might find that your qualifications aren’t automatically recognised. There’s no EU-wide system of automatic recognition, so it’s done country by country. You might find your qualifications formally recognised but downgraded, making you have to study at a lower level than you’re qualified for in your home country even if you’re from the EU.

For those who are ready to apply for jobs, two major hurdles remain: work culture, and what we could cal ‘CV culture.’ For instance, if you’re from the USA, you’re probably used to a CV that’s quite tightly focussed on work and education, with some extracurricular material in there to speak to your personal qualities. In Germany, though, a CV isn’t complete without a recent picture and a few words about your family, as well as disclosure of your marital status and the number of children you have. Being unprepared for this kind of difference will mean your CV will be automatically rejected. Get it right and your foreign-ness might start to look like a virtue in the eyes of potential employers.

Having made your CV acceptable and been invited to interview, be prepared for surprises. In some countries work starts at 7 and then finishes at 2PM, only to recommence at 4 or 5 for several more hours. If you show up at a Swedish office at 4PM on Friday in a suit and tie, there will be no-one there to explain to you that in their work culture, every day is dress-down day. They will all have gone home at 2PM to get ready to spend the weekend away.

In Spain, agreement in business deals is easily reached – commitment to a timeframe and specific deliverables is not so smoothly arrived at. That’s not an individual being evasive, it’s the normal mode of doing business. In Sweden, by contrast, yes means yes – and 10AM means 9:55. Being late is seriously rude there, but Italians might not even notice a couple of minutes here or there, and being concerned about it yourself won’t mark you out as professional, jut strange.

Thorough research of your new country’s work culture by talking online or in person to other ex-pats and taking nothing for granted is the best way to avoid making faux pas, but you will make some: be prepared to laugh them off with good grace.


Being a tourist or a backpacker makes you pretty visible. When you go to a Spanish town famous for its art or its architecture and stand about taking photos and soaking it all up, you stand out from the crowd of locals going about their business. After all, at home you don’t go around looking at the local landmarks or craning your neck to see the statues in your town. It’s familiar. You might appreciate it; you don’t usually photograph it.

When you’re a tourist, that’s OK. It’s expected. Many of the locals you see around you will have been tourists themselves in other places, after all. But when you switch from being a visitor to being a resident, you need to change some of your habits. It’s like when you’re at someone’s house: if you’re a guest it’s different from when you move in.

Not managing that switch quickly or well enough can stand in the way of becoming at home in your new home, and if your goal is acceptance, you need all the help you can get. Avoid these nine howlers and you’ll be well on your way to being un espanol verdadero!

1: Learn to Time Your Meals

In Spain, there are three main meals. Breakfast is taken tiny and early. If you’re used to a full English, you’ll have to cook your own – and tolerate your neighbours’ looks of mystification at your foreigner’s ways. You’ll typically find a Spanish breakfast being taken at between 7 and 10 AM, though some places have a ritual where they eat a small breakfast very early and a second slightly larger one about 10 or 11 AM.

That’s a good idea if you can manage it, because lunch – la comida – isn’t going to be served until mid-afternoon. It’s not uncommon to eat lunch at 4 in the afternoon. The upside is that when it is on the table, it’s huge; lunch is the Spanish meal, the way dinner is the meal in many other countries. All business grinds to a halt and a huge, sometimes multicourse repast consumes the nation. If you’re not used to it, you can expect to feel very sleep afterwards. The final meal of the day can be served anywhere from 9PM to midnight, and usually consists of light meats and snack type foods: omelettes, fish, and so on. If you show up at a restaurant at 7PM, you’ll find shut doors, if you’re unlucky – or funny looks and leftover lunch if you’re lucky. Learning to eat Spanish is about adapting yourself to a national rhythm just as much as it is about learning to tell the difference between salchichon and chorizo!

2: Courtesy is a Minefield

In English there is one word for another person – you. In Spanish there are two: Tu and Usted. Tu is for friends, family, close acquaintances, and equals. Usted is for showing both social distance – someone you don’t know very well – and respect.

Sounds simple.

But if you call the wrong person ‘Usted,’ you’re showing distance where they might not perceive any. Call an esteemed work colleague ‘usted’ and you might be making an insult of a courtesy, by denying membership of your professional fraternity. Looking quizzical and copying what everyone else does will get you through most of it, but this is really one of those things that only attentive familiarity can teach.

3: Watch Your Dress Sense

This is one of those ‘guest/resident’ things. We’re all so used to seeing coastal resorts swarming with other scantily-clad holidaymakers that we don’t necessarily think twice about it, but the reality is that many Spanish people consider that kind of dress socially unacceptable. Some family groups are even pressing for stricter beach dress codes. The general rule: the more rural the area, the more conservatively you should dress, but if you take your level from the Spanish people around you rather than the tourists you’ll be making the right choice.

4: Smoking in Public

Spain used to be a very smoky country. Since 2011, though, all that’s changed and it’s gone in the opposite direction. The list of places you can’t smoke in Spain includes bars and restaurants – in fact, any enclosed public space, which isn’t unusual in Europe. But it also includes smoking near hospitals and schools, as well as appearing on TV smoking (in case you were planning on doing that!). Walking down the street smoking could get you into social trouble even if it doesn’t get you in trouble with the law, so look for a bit of open space before you light up.

5: The Price is not the Price

Spain is a haggling culture. If you’re from Germany, or Britain, or America, that’s a bit of a shock. That’s because in those countries, the price is the price. Trying to haggle the price down is insulting, and most people won’t budge much on their initial offer. In Spain, though, things are very different. There’s a two-tier system. In shops, don’t haggle. In markets, bazaars, or with street traders, haggling is half the fun – and essential to being a proper Spaniard. So learn how! That means getting a feel for when you’re haggling and when you’re being rude, a subtle distinction that has t be learned by experience.

6: Get Used to Spanish Driving

Spanish driving is a competitive sport that keeps threatening to become a contact sport, or seems to. Newcomers are best advised to stay out of the fast lane unless you want to be the subject of the ire of another driver. There are a few dirving laws that are becoming more common worldwide but still might not be in force in your home country, including the requirement to restrain all pets, mandatory seatbelts and even a ban on listening to in-ear music, allowing Spanish drivers to concentrate all their energy on the accelerator!

7: Tipping Point

Tipping isn’t particularly common in Spain. It’s not like America where tipping is totally mandatory. But it is a tipping culture, so you need to be aware of when you’re supposed to tip and when you’re not. If you’re new in town, err on the side of generosity; it’s expected of all English speakers because Americans tip.  Watch out though: your American tipping habits might get you into trouble too. In America, it all adds up, so small tips are OK. In Spain, it doesn’t work that way, and tiny tips won’t cut it. Go for 10% at least!

8: Sort Your Finances Out

Sorting your finances out is boring, and you’re not moving to another country because you want to do more boring chores. But getting your paperwork in order is what will allow you to become a real citizen of your chosen country. If you’re not an EU citizen you need to get your visa in order. Your application will need to be backed up by a sponsorship letter from your employer.

You should consider taxes too. Spain offers expats a special flat tax rate of 24%, but you need to apply for it within six months of arrival. If you’ve just moved to a whole new country, you’re going to be pretty busy, but find time for this, and it will save you serious time and money.

9: Take a Break from Shopping!

Outside of major cities it’s pretty normal for Spanish shops to close all afternoon – form about 2PM to about 5PM. The shopkeeper is eating their main meal of the day, and might be arranging for a siesta too. That’s normal; knocking on the window for service isn’t. It’s considered incredibly rude. In a tourist, it might be forgiven because of ignorance, but from a Spaniard, or someone who’s trying to become one, it’s a mistake.

Figuring out how to get along with your new neighbours in your adopted country is a big part of getting the move right. Use these tips to help you get it down!

Nazare, Portugal

Golden Visas are gaining in popularity across European countries because of their flexibility and relative ease to gain and they see an almost instantaneous access to EU markets due to their requirement for investment. Portugal is at the forefront of this movement with a scheme running for about 5 years aimed at attracting foreign investors into the country due to the massive economic boost it has provided them with so far.

The Golden Visa is granted for an initial year and then further prolonged every two years which also allows for uninhibited travel between all EU countries in the Schengen areas.

There are several different schemes that vary for Investors, Entrepreneurs, Students and high qualified workers and all require minimal basic requirements to be fulfilled such as a minimal stay in the country of seven days in the first year of the visa and a further fourteen in the following two. You also need to have no criminal record and be older than eighteen.

The most popularly pursued route is the option of investment with the Portuguese government offering a residency scheme which gives  who spend 500,000 euros on a property in the country, the right to live in Portugal. After six years on the scheme applicants have the right to apply for Portuguese citizenship as well offering further incentives and opening up greater investment opportunities.

Investment options don’t have to come in the form of property however as other options include investing one million euros in capital, such as corporate shares or cash in a bank for five years, and investing in a, or starting your own, company that creates ten permanent jobs within Portugal. All of these options are available providing the investment doesn’t come from a country that is a fiscal island. If investing via a company it is possible to do it through a foreign one providing you can prove you own the majority of said company.

For more information on immigration into Portugal or anywhere else in Europe visit http://www.immigrationintoeurope.com/ or contact us at info@immigrationintoeurope.com quoting the reference tu78

“Nazare 001″ by Markus Bernet – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nazare_001.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Nazare_001.jpg

Ayres Rock

To apply for a Skilled Visa your skills must firstly be in demand. This is rarely a problem because skilled labour is always in high demand but people often find it is the specifics that often trip them up when applying for this type of visa.

The Australian government has a list of skilled labour jobs that the country is in need of called the Skilled Occupation List (SOL). This list contains very specific positions that the Australian government deems the country in need of but that does not mean you should worry if your occupation is not on the list. There is also the Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL) which sees individual states of Australia sponsoring jobs they feel are needed in that area.

In the case of both the SOL and CSOL it is not necessary that you have worked in any of the specific occupations listed as your skills will have to be assessed by the Australian Government anyway so as long as your current skills are transferable and relatable to one of the positions listed you can still be accepted for a visa however it may be best to look for more generic jobs rather than a purely vocational one. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) even offers a search facility that allows for people to input certain skills and qualifications to see what positions come up which can be found at http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Previousproducts/1220.0Search02006?opendocument

In most cases formal qualifications are required however in some positions a certain level of work experience will also be accepted however, this will be explicitly stated in the search findings in a manner such as “The entry requirement for this occupation is an AQF Diploma or higher qualification or at least 3 years relevant experience.” Make note of the use or in the sentence. It is only listings with this stipulation that will accept those without qualifications.

Of course, success with these applications cannot be guaranteed but by following the steps of making sure that you have the best skillset for the jobs needed or the closest possible as well as the relevant work experience certainly stands you in good stead for the application process.


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