Emigrating to Australia: what you need to know [infographic]

With good wages, a high standard of living and a laid back culture, Australia is by far the most popular destination for British expats. Here’s what you need to know before making the move Down Under:

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Ready to move to Australia? Pickfords helps thousands of expats emigrate Down Under every year. Get a quote and book your home survey today.

Canadian culture: a British expat guide [infographic]

Canada’s open immigration policy, quality healthcare and multi-sector job vacancies makes The Great White North a high-sought destination for British expats.

As with any new environment, expats will face a number of cultural differences that may jar at first, but over time will serve as a positive reminder of why you originally decided to emigrate:

Canada expat guide


With partner offices in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, Pickfords relocates hundreds of expats to Canada every year. To find out how we can help you fulfil your expatriate dream, visit our website or call 0800 019 8557.

An expat’s guide to American culture [infographic]

Offering a range of work and retirement options, the US is one of the most popular destinations for UK expats. Brits destined for the Land of the Free will enjoy a largely familiar language and lifestyle, lower taxes, cheaper food and, often, better weather.

While all this can mean easier cultural integration compared to other popular destinations, Brits will inevitably encounter a degree of culture clash while stateside. Here’s a few things to look out for:

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With partner offices across the States, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, Pickfords relocates hundreds of expats to the USA every year. To find out how we can help you fulfil your expatriate dream, visit our website or call 0800 019 8557.

Emigrating to Spain: what you need to know [infographic]

With great food, a laid back culture and, of course, fantastic weather, Spain is one of the most popular destinations for British expats. Whether you’re emigrating for work, retirement, or just a change of scenery, there are a few things to arrange before making the move to Spain:

 

Emigrating to Spain

What paperwork will I need?

Within three months of your arrival, you will need a “Número de Identidad de Extranjero” (‘NIE’) identity card and a “Tarjeta de Residencia” residency card.

An S1 form is vital should you require medical treatment. You will need to sign the “Padró Municipal d’Habitants” register at the local town hall.

When applying for any of the above, make sure you have proof of your previous residence, proof of having ceased residence there, a copy of your work and residence permit, and your passport.

What should I do about finances?

It is best to set up a Spanish bank account and be able to prove how much money you have in your British account. When you come to transfer your assets, Pickfords’ foreign exchange service can help you move your money safely and securely.

You can still receive your British state pension while living in Spain, as long as you inform the  Department of Work and Pensions of your move.

Can I take my pet with me?

Certain pets are allowed in Spain with a European Pet Passport. Appropriately vaccinated and microchipped pets should be able to travel without being placed in quarantine.

Pickfords’ pet shipping service will arrange all the details of your pet’s relocation.

What will happen with my belongings?

Pickfords provides a complete packing and removal service to Spain. We carefully pack your goods in the UK, collect them from your home, transport everything to Spain and arrange delivery and unpacking at your Spanish residence. We also provide goods storage in the UK or Spain if required.


Ready for your move to Spain? Get a quote or book your home survey today.

Shipping goods to Australia: an expat guide [infographic]

If you’ve found a great opportunity in the UK’s most popular expat destination, you’ll need to decide which personal effects to take with you.

When planning what to move to Australia, you should be aware of the various taxes and duties applied to certain goods, as well as the accompanying paperwork that ensures the smooth transition of your belongings through customs.

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Tax-exempt goods

It is possible to claim duty and tax exemption for goods such as clothing, books, furniture, appliances and sporting equipment, subject to certain conditions:

  • You are a returning resident or intend to take up permanent residency
  • You can prove personal ownership and use of your items for at least 12 months prior to departure

Taxable goods

Certain goods are subject to duty and taxes regardless of length of ownership. These include:

  • Alcohol and tobacco products
  • Vehicles and vehicle parts
  • Commercial goods intended for resale
  • Goods purchased from overseas while in Australia
  • Goods which were bequeathed to you.

Paperwork

You will need to submit the following forms, certificates and other paperwork to customs ahead of your shipment:

  • An Unaccompanied Personal Effects (UPE) statement
  • An Evidence of Identity (EOI) certificate, along with your passport  and Australian Citizenship certificate or birth certificate
  • Photo ID (passport or driver’s licence)
  • A list of all goods included (e.g. a packing list)
  • A delivery order from the shipper

Transporting your goods

When you’ve decided which goods to take with you to Australia, Pickfords is on hand to pack your belongings, collect them from your UK home, book the freight transport (whether by air or sea), and arrange customs clearance.

In Australia, your goods will be delivered at a mutually convenient time by our overseas partner.

Our Move Managers know the challenges of relocating to Australia. They will provide expert advice and guidance when shipping your goods.


Ready to move to Australia? Get a quote and book your home survey today.

Silly place names across the world

While the UK has a lot of silly place names (seriously), as an international moving company, we’ve discovered that there are places across the world with strange and funny names. Here’s a few of our favourites:

Accident

A town in Maryland, US. Residents are called Accidentals.

Banana

A settlement on Kiritimati Island, Kiribati.

 

Batman

A Turkish city, whose mayor threatened to sue Warner Bros. for the use of its name in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films.

 

Chicken

A former mining village in Alaska. Prospectors wanted to name the town after ptarmigan, a local game bird, but Chicken was easier to spell.

Cow Head

A town in the equally oddly-named Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Dinosaur

A town in Colorado, named for the nearby Dinosaur National Monument, home of over 8000 paleontological sites.

Egg

This Austrian town does not farm chickens.

Fishkill

A town along New York’s Hudson River. The name derives from the Dutch “vis kill”, meaning “fish creek”.

Good Grief

A municipality in Idaho.

Happy Adventure

A village of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. There are several theories about the origin of the name; some suggest it’s a reflection of the joyful experience of the first settlers finding such a welcoming environment.

Inexpressible Island

A small island in Antarctica, so named for the inexpressible misery experienced by explorers stranded there in a snow drift in 1912.

Jam

A city in Iran, capital of Jam County; also known as Jām-e Jam.

Kissing

A municipality in Bavaria, Germany. The surname Kissinger (as in Henry Kissinger) means inhabitant of Kissing.

Lizard Lick

An municipality in North Carolina. In 1998, Nintendo held a prelaunch event in Lizard Lick for Yoshi’s Story, an N64 game featuring a reptile named Yoshi who can extend his tongue over long distances.

Mango

An Italian municipality in which no mangoes are grown.

Nameless

This region of Jackson, Tennessee, does in fact have a name.

Ogre

The principle town of Ogre District, Latvia. The town’s name means ‘eel’ in Russian; named for the nearby Ogre River in which many eels used to reside.

Poo

A small town in India, also known as Pooh.

Santa Claus

This city in Georgia includes the street names Candy Cane Road, December Drive, Rudolph Way, Dancer Street, Prancer Street, and Sleigh Street.

Satans Kingdom

A region of Franklin, Massachusetts and Addison, Vermont.

Taylors Mistake

A locality in New Zealand, thought to be named after an incompetent sailor who mistook the bay for nearby Lyttleton Harbour, his captain having thrown himself overboard in an alcoholic fit.

Useless Loop

A small town in Australia, named by a French explorer who found its harbour entirely blocked by a sandbar.

Wagga Wagga

A city in New South Wales, Australia. In the Wiradjuri aboriginal language, the name is thought to mean ‘the place of many crows’.


Pickfords moves customers from the UK to Banana, Kissing, Ogre, and everywhere else on this list. Click here to contact us or get a quote online.

How to prevent the expat blues

There are many great reasons to move abroad. But like any major life decision, there are also potential downsides. Get ahead of these possible drawbacks by following our top tips to avoid the expat blues and make your overseas experience a positive one:

Video chat regularly

You will inevitably miss friends and family when moving abroad, especially in your first few months. Be sure to regularly catch up with loved ones on Skype or FaceTime, even if it means occasionally waking up early or staying up late to beat the time zones.

Take a few home comforts

It’s good to immerse yourself in the local culture, but make sure you have access to a some home comforts to prevent homesickness. These could be your favourite snacks from back home, some classic British box sets, or your entire iTunes library.

👉 If you’re already abroad, Pickfords unaccompanied personal effects service can bring a piece of home to you, whenever you need it.

Journal your experience

It can be easy to loose sight of why you’re abroad. Make a daily habit of documenting your time there, whether by video diary, a personal blog or paper journal. Read or watch back old entries every now and then to see how far you’ve come.

Practice, practice, practice the local language 

Learning the local dialect is the best way to feel at home in your host country, and constant practice is the best way to learn. Start with a tutor or a quality language app before your leave the UK. Keep up the lessons when abroad if possible, but more importantly, immerse yourself in the language every day by talking with the locals.

Budget

Handling a foreign currency and experiencing different living costs can become overwhelming. Make sure you understand the exchange rate, and keep a strict budget that covers everything you need, as well as the occasional treat.

👉 Whether you’re about to move or are already settled in, manage your money safely with Pickfords’ foreign exchange service.

Get involved

To meet new people with shared interests, join as many clubs and activities as you can. Hanging out with other expats is OK, but get to know plenty of locals to really help you feel at home.


Ready for your move overseas? Contact Pickfords for expert international packing and removals. Click here for a quote or find out more.