Moving to South Africa - What You Need to Know from Those in the Know

17 December 2014


The title blows our own trumpet somewhat but we believe it to be accurate. Seven Seas Worldwide has worked with tens of thousands of customers moving abroad to South Africa, plus we have our own bases there so we know a thing or two about what it takes to make a go of it in SA.

Moving abroad anywhere is a task and a half. It's one of the most stressful things a human being can do. Now that's a fact, probably. Therefore when the decision has been made that leaving the UK for better prospects is a viable option, it's important to do as much research as possible on the country in question because the journey is a lot longer coming back.

If you're leaving the UK for sunnier climes in South Africa, it's worth noting that South Africa can still get a bit chilly during July and August, and thunderstorms are quite frequent from November through to March. Plus if you're looking to save on energy bills by moving to a warmer climate, remember some countries charge higher than other countries for electricity and gas supply anyway. Find out about your specific destination and perhaps contact someone there to work out the monthly costs.

You know what else you should keep an eye on? Local politics. We know it's not something that sends the heart racing but it's worth monitoring because these are the people responsible for passing legislation that could affect you and your rights as an immigrant. Yep, that's what you are now.

Talk to a tax advisor beforehand to ensure you're not hit with any nasty tax bills, particularly if you're buying property overseas.

Naturally, you will need to apply for a visa. To obtain any kind of visa, you will need to have a radiological report, police clearance, the cash equivalent of your airfare home and a routine medical. If you're moving to South Africa to retire, you will need to possess assets worth R20,000 a month which works out to about £1,420.

Illnesses to be vaccinated against if moving to South Africa include cholera, hepatitis A and B, rabies and typhoid. There's no NHS in South Africa so any medical treatment you receive you will have to pay for. The cost is based upon your salary and how many dependants you have.

South Africa currently has 38,000 UK citizens so perhaps one or two over there will help make your transition easier.

Don't forget that another factor in ensuring an easy transition is Seven Seas Worldwide! We operate a fantastic MoveCube service in South Africa which is proving very popular with ex-pats. The MoveCube is essentially a container on a trailer that visits your home for loading. Once you've loaded your personal belongings and treasured possessions onto the MoveCube, we will then transport them to your chosen destination in South Africa, wherever that may be. It makes this whole shipping to South Africa malarky a bit easier, which is kind of the point.

Give us a call today or get a free online quote from that big button up there.

Oh and best of luck.

Posted in: Moving Abroad, Moving Home

Make Me An Offer - Australian Property

04 March 2013


The property market in Australia got through the economic crisis relatively unscathed with house prices in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Canberra steadily rising in recent years. So as well as the weather, the health care and education systems and the quality of life, Australia also has a strong dollar. Lucky blighters.

However, be prepared for the possibility that moving overseas and the pursuit of a dream home in Oz could be a bumpy ride. Here's a few pointers from your favourite global shipping company about moving to Australia. Also a couple of shameless plugs about our excess baggage shipping, which is great for moving your stuff, or the even more fantastic MoveCube, which lets you put your whole house in a box to move it. Pretty darn brilliant for shipping to Australia, or anywhere else for that matter. How amazing is that?

Anyway.

As with the UK, if you can buy a property that, as they say, ‘needs a bit of work’ and knock the seller down on the asking price, you could find yourself with a desirable investment – particularly if you’re lucky enough to find the property in an up-and-coming area or one going through extensive regeneration. You’ll know which areas are undergoing regeneration – there will be a lot of bright colours, straight edges and hipsters in red jeans wearing non-prescription glasses. Actually maybe that’s just the UK. I digress.

Of course there’s a chance you might not be so lucky. New houses are being built all the time. (Obviously. You don’t build old houses. I digress again. Sorry.) However, not enough new houses are being built to cope with the influx of new arrivals which is pushing the prices up. A house which may have been within your reach a few years ago, may now be as far off as the Disneyland Castle.

A tip that’s no doubt obvious but worth mentioning is that you should stay close to (but not necessarily on) the coast when viewing property. Should you wish to move at a later date, you will never find a shortage of prospective buyers whatever the price.

The best way to ensure a smooth transition is to talk to your chosen bank in Oz. There are four big ones – Commonwealth, National Australia, Westpac and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group. It should be one of these from whom you obtain a mortgage, so speak to their advisers about house prices and house-buying in general in Australia.

I mean, if you can’t trust a bank, who can you trust?

Wait. Scrap that. You know what I mean.

Posted in: Moving Abroad, Moving Home

We're Going on a Trip - Emigrating With A Young Family

01 March 2013


Emigration with a young family. It’s impossible to imagine that sentence to be any more stress-inducing. ‘Emigration with a young family – and a troop of wild monkeys’ perhaps?

Nevertheless, if you’ve decided that living abroad is the best option for you and your children, it’s time to make the necessary arrangements. Here's a quick guide from your favourte excess baggage company.

An important factor when choosing the right school in Australia is seeing through the promotional material – buzzwords and glossy brochures are one thing but what can this school really offer your child? You must do the research.

Competition for places in Australian schools is high, so it’s perhaps a good idea to find out about the schooling first before you start shipping overseas and picking your ideal home. There’s no point finding the three-bed of your dreams, only to find that a jet is the sole method of transport to the nearest school.

It may be worth your while to speak to a relocation management company in Australia that deals specifically with helping expats find their footing, as they may very well help set up meetings with the right people regarding your favoured schools - headmasters, administrators, those sorts of people. If you are relocating for an employer, remember to ask about financial packages as some companies do offer to contribute to educational fees.

Oh and let’s not forget a top class company that's an expert in international relocation, to move your stuff from A to B for you!

Posted in: Moving Abroad, Moving Home

Job Interviews In Australia

27 February 2013


Job interviews can be scary but they take on extra weight if you’re trying to get a job to start a career in another country. This blog from the experts in excess baggage shipping, Seven Seas Worldwide, hopes to relieve you of that extra scary weight. And ship your stuff for you of course, but that's not the focus right now.

If you’re moving to Australia from the UK or the United States, you will at least be sharing the same language as your potential employers (barring one or two local idioms that may have failed to cross the Indian Ocean) but it’s important to know what to expect as Australian employers are just as conscientious as anyone else - despite the nation’s famously laidback reputation, so put those Foster's adverts at the back of your mind. Actually, put them at the back of your mind regardless; they're awful.

You’re lucky enough to be living in the digital age. Seriously, you’re tremendously fortunate, we can’t stress this enough. Do you realise how amazing that is? To just type something into a search engine bar and receive billions of pages on the subject in question? It’s incredible. And with that in mind, surely a little research on your employers won’t go a miss. Hit up their official website, find out about their business, think about how you’d fit into the company dynamic and how your talents could be successfully employed there.

Take a notepad and pen in with you. Your interviewers will usually tell you a bit about themselves and the company so it’s good to jot down any relevant information that you can refer to later. It's best not to use your phone as a notepad. No matter how you style it, you'll always look like you're texting. It always looks a bit rude. Try not to do it.

Perhaps at the end of the interview when they ask if you have any questions, you can fashion a question from your notes. It’s good to have a question than not have one. We don’t need to explain why, do we? Thought not. Let’s move on.

It’s important to be friendly, assertive and, if you can, funny. Throwing in the odd joke or humourous observation during the interview could make all the difference. After all, a sense of humour is important to the dynamic of any team you’re working in. If you don't have a sense of humour, then we can't help you. You've probably given up on this blog post by now anyway. Good luck.

Oh and dress smartly. It doesn’t matter what the job is, you need to show you care enough to make an impression. This will work wherever you're going for a job actually, not just when you're moving abroad to Australia or wherever.

That’s it really. Make sure your hands aren’t clammy before shaking theirs and go get ‘em. And let us know how you get on too.

Posted in: Moving Abroad, Moving Home

Bite Me - Australian Spiders and Creepy Crawlies

15 February 2013


One of the most off-putting factors about moving abroad to Australia, visiting Australia or generally relocating overseas in that part of the world for many is the presence of spiders. Here are the facts: Yes, some of them are big. Big and crawly. Yes, some of them are poisonous. However, no one has died from a spider bite in Australia for over 30 years. So if you can get past the size thing, you’ll be fine. Having said that, make sure you don’t get on the wrong side of a Funnel Web spider because it’s one of the deadliest spiders in the world. If you suspect you've been bitten by one of the forty different species of Funnel Web spider, make a quick dash to A&E. Signs that you’ve been bitten by a Funnel Web Spider are…well, they’re unpleasant so we won’t post them here. Just do the A&E thing and get some antivenom down you.

Unless you’re Bear Grylls or some other alpha male show-off with a TV show, a Black Widow spider will leave you alone. If you tinker with its nest or provoke it in any way, it will bite you on the hand. From then on, you better put your affairs in order and delete your browser history because you’re not going to be around for long. Or get some antivenom. Actually, do that first.

Although arachnids have not been responsible for any fatalities in Australia for decades, snakes remain a deadly menace, and it’s these unforgiving inhabitants you need to be most wary of. Australia is home to 7 species of the 10 most poisonous snakes in the world. Among the most feared are the Eastern Brown snake, the Australian Tiger snake and the not-at-all-misleadingly named ‘Death Adder’.

Then there’s the jack jumper ant. To put it bluntly, these things are vicious little b*****s. They’re venomous, scavenging carnivores and are responsible for more deaths in Tasmania than sharks, snakes, wasps and spiders combined.

For more information about Australian spiders and other deadly (and frankly, unlikeable) creepy crawlies, these links are quite handy:

http://www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com/australian_spiders.html

http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/view-image.htm?index=0&gid=11893

http://www.scribd.com/doc/11585526/Lethal-Ants-of-Australia

And we haven’t even touched on the enemies lurking in the surrounding seas. But that’s for another blog. In the meantime don't forget we can handle shipping to Australia for your excess baggage and all kinds of other stuff. It's what we're here for, after all.

Posted in: Moving Abroad