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Family Sponsorship in Canada & US

Family sponsorship canada
Dec 0

Posted by in Immigration


Canada’s appeal as an immigration destination has been increasing over the past two decades, with a total of 284,387 people immigrating to the country Between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020. (Source – Statista)

In 2020, 36,125 sponsored spouses or partners and 2,480 sponsored children became permanent residents in Canada. (Source – Statista)

canada flag

What is Family Sponsorship?

The Family Class Sponsorship Program allows adult citizens or permanent residents to sponsor a relative for immigration to Canada, reuniting families. Unless the person being sponsored is legally residing in Canada, such as with a work or study permit, the person being sponsored must live outside of Canada.

A sponsor must be at least 18 years old and a citizen or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or permanent resident of Canada. Unless the sponsor is a Canadian citizen who is currently residing abroad and intends to return to Canada once the sponsored individual arrives, the sponsor must live in Canada.

For Family Class applications, the Canadian government mandates payment of sponsorship and application processing fees. In addition, every sponsored relative who is not a dependent child must pay a “Right of Permanent Residence Fee”; this is the sole fee that will be refunded if the application is withdrawn or denied.

How does Family Sponsorship for Canada work?

A Canadian citizen or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or a permanent resident of Canada, aged 18 or older, can sponsor certain family members to become Canadian permanent residents via the family sponsorship programs.

Those family members can live, study, and work in Canada with permanent residence.

Who Can I Sponsor

  • Spouse
  • Common-Law Partner
  • Conjugal Partner
  • Dependent Children
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, granddaughters or grandsons who are orphaned, under 18 years of age, and not married or in a common-law relationship
  • Accompanying relatives of the above main applicants (for example, spouse, partner or dependent children).
  • One relative, related to sponsor by blood or adoption, of any age, if the Canadian sponsor does not have a living relative who can be sponsored instead and you (the Canadian sponsor) do not have a relative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident or a person registered in Canada.

Who Cannot Be Sponsored<

Other relatives, such as brothers and sisters over 18 and independent children over 22 cannot be sponsored except in exceptional circumstances. However, if they apply to immigrate under Express Entry they may get extra points for adaptability for having a parent in Canada.

Financial Support

To be a sponsor:

  • You and the sponsored relative must sign a sponsorship agreement in which you agree to support your relative financially.
  • From the date they become a permanent resident, you must offer financial assistance for a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner for three years.
  • You must assist a dependent child financially for ten years or until the child reaches the age of 25, whichever comes first.

United States (US)

In fiscal 2019, nearly 710,000 people received lawful permanent residence in the U.S. through family sponsorship.
Family sponsorship is the most popular route for people to obtain green cards, accounting for almost two-thirds of the over one million people who receive green cards each year in recent years.


How does Family sponsorship for the US work?

Individuals in the United States can sponsor their family members to immigrate to the United States through Family-Based Sponsorships. The Immigration and Nationality Act permits foreigners to immigrate to the United States if they have a family member who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

A petition by a US Citizen for a spouse may be completed by one of two methods:

Consular Processing:

If you are outside of the United States, you may apply for an immigrant visa at a US Department of State consulate abroad in order to enter the country and become a permanent resident.

Adjustment of Status:

When you are in the United States, you can use this procedure to apply for lawful permanent resident status. This implies you may be able to obtain a Green Card without having to return to your home country for visa processing.

You must obtain your visa through consular processing if you are outside of the United States.

Who Can I Sponsor

Qualifying relationships for family-based immigration fall under the following categories:

  • Immediate Relatives;
  • Fiances / Fiancees; and
  • Family-preference categories

Immediate Relatives are defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act as:

  • Spouses of US Citizens or Green Card Holders
  • Minor children (unmarried and under the age of 21) of US Citizens; and
  • Parents of US Citizens (where the US citizen sponsoring them must be at least 21 years old).

Fiancés / Fiancées are also not recognized under this category but may apply for their own non-immigrant visas under the K1 category.

Fiancés/Fiancées (K-1)

The K-1 visa allows a fiancé(e) of a US citizen to visit the country with the intention of marrying the US citizen and adjusting his or her status while in the country. Because it is often difficult for the fiancé(e) of a US citizen who is visiting the US to demonstrate non-immigrant intent, the K-1 allows the fiancé(e) to enter the US to marry the US Citizen (3 months after entry) and then remain in the US while his or her status is adjusted at the nearest USCIS Office.

Family Preference Categories

Preference Categories apply to family members who are not immediate relatives. The Visas are subject to annual numerical limits:
First Preference: Unmarried sons or daughters of US citizens over the age of 21.
Second Preference: Spouses of Green Card holders, unmarried children (under 21) of permanent residents.
Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of US citizens.
Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult (21 years or older) US citizens.

Canada Launches Hong Kong Pathway

Jul 0

Posted by in News

Canada Launches Hong Kong Pathway that will Attract Recent Graduates and Skilled Workers with Faster Permanent Residency

On February 04 2021, Minister Mendicino announced that Hong Kong residents will be able to apply for new open work permits beginning on February 8, 2021. Valid for up to 3 years, these permits will allow Hong Kong residents to gain valuable employment experience and make significant contributions to Canada. Hong Kong residents must have graduated with a Canadian post-secondary diploma or degree in the last 5 years, or hold an equivalent foreign credential. A post-secondary diploma program must be a minimum of 2 years.

Hong Kong residents currently in Canada temporarily, including visitors, students and workers, can apply online from within Canada. Those applying from abroad remain subject to current travel restrictions and may not be able to come to Canada at this time, unless they have a job offer or meet a travel exemption and comply with all public health requirements.

In addition to open work permits, the Government of Canada continues to implement 2 other pathways to permanent residence for young Hong Kong residents, which will be available later this year. The first will be for Hong Kong residents with at least 1 year of work experience in Canada and who meet the language and education criteria. The second will be for Hong Kong residents who have graduated from a post-secondary institution in Canada; who can then apply directly for permanent residence.

Eligible spouses or common-law partners, as well as dependent children, can also apply for a study or work permit, as appropriate.

These measures apply to Hong Kong residents who hold a Hong Kong special administrative region (SAR) or British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) passport.

An exemption to the 12-month bar on a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) for Hong Kong residents has been implemented meaning that some individuals who were previously ineligible may now get another, updated assessment on whether they can stay in Canada.

For more information on these new pathways and to find out if you are eligible to apply, contact us by phone at: 403-261-6890 or by email: info@hansen-company.com

March 17, 2020 Notice to Public

Mar 0

Posted by in News

In view of the ongoing COVID-19 situation we would like to inform all existing clients and the general public that Hansen & Company and our affiliate FingerCheck Plus will remain operating during regular business hours:

Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM;
Saturday: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM; and
Sundays: CLOSED

How to Prepare for a Job Interview Abroad (Infographic)

Mar 0

Posted by in Skilled Immigration

Preparing for International Interviews – First Steps

  1. Before starting an international job hunt, the first thing you should do is check that your passport is valid and in-date. This will save a major headache should a potential employer ask you to travel at short notice.

  2. If you are applying for roles in a non-English speaking nation, then you should consider attending some language lessons to boost your proficiency. This will also help you to feel more confident during the job interview.

  3. Many employers seek out candidates’ social media profiles ahead of meeting them. If your social media profiles are public, be sure to set them to private. Alternatively, you can make them “employer-friendly” by removing any inappropriate content. It is also a good idea to spend some time optimising your LinkedIn profile.

Illustration of a video call job interview

How to Prepare for A Remote Job Interview

Advances in internet and telecommunications technology means that it has never been easier to communicate across the world. As such, it is now common practice for organisations to use video chat to interview candidates. Don’t expect a remote interview to be easier than a face-to-face interview. The interviewer will expect the same level of preparation and quality as they would if you were right in front of them. You should also dress professionally as interviewers will expect you to dress appropriately for video calls.

If you have arranged a video interview, make sure that you have prepared your space adequately:

  • A quiet, distraction-free location
  • A strong internet connection if conducting the interview online
  • A landline with a consistently strong connection
  • For video calls, choose a spot with a professional, well-lit backdrop
  • Your résumé, notepad and pen
  • A glass of water

How to Prepare for A Job Interview in Another Country

When applying for work in other countries, you will need to be mindful of potential travel demands. Many employers will want to meet you in-person following the initial interviews. Before committing to an interview, find out if you are responsible for making your own arrangements or if the employer will take care of this for you. Ensure that you are clear on the arrangements such as airfare, hotel, and ground transportation. You should also establish what expenses the prospective employer will reimburse you for and what you will need to cover yourself. We also advise arriving a day early to leave time for any potential travel delays.

5 Common Interview Questions for Interview Candidates

  1. Why do you want to work abroad?
  2. Tell us about your international experience.
  3. Tell us about a time when you worked with people from different cultural backgrounds.
  4. What skills do you have that would help you adapt to working abroad?
  5. Do you have eligibility for citizenship abroad?

Learn how to write the perfect résumé for international jobs.

Job Interview Differences Around the World

Before attending an international interview, research the local workplace etiquette, culture and expectations. Showing your cultural awareness will make a good impression on prospective employers. To help get you started, we have created a handy infographic which goes through everything you need to know about attending job interviews abroad.

Read the infographic to learn how to succeed at international job interviews.

How to Prepare for a Job Interview Abroad

The 10 Most Start-Up Friendly Countries In The World (Infographic)

The 10 Most Start-Up Friendly Countries In The World-Featured Image
Jan 0

Posted by in Uncategorized

These 10 countries make it a little bit easier for entrepreneurs to get their business off the ground.

1. Japan

The Japanese marketplace has a reputation for being conservative, old-fashioned, and risk-averse. However, this mindset is beginning to change, and this has contributed to the rapid growth of a start-up ecosystem. In 2018, the Japanese government launched the ambitious J-Startup programme which aims to produce 20 unicorns or listed companies by 2023. According to the Japanese Ministry of the Economy, there are currently 10,000 start-ups in the country. Japan stands out for its sizeable expat community, its highly educated and technically advanced workforce, and strong reputation as leaders in the fields of automotive production and electronics. Some examples of Japanese start-up success stories include Mercari, Hachitama, and SmartNews.

Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo

2. Germany

“It is used to be: German business students building German companies for the German market with German investors. Now it is folks from all over the world, building global companies and backed by some of the best investors from around the world.” – Ciaran O’Leary, Earlybird VC

Germany is the world’s fourth-largest economy and the largest European economy. The country offers start-ups a favourable financing environment as well as a transparent business culture and a highly educated workforce. English is widely spoken throughout, and this makes it easier to build a multinational company and attract diverse talent. Some examples of German start-up success stories include SoundCloud, Clue, and Trivago.

3. United States

“The American Dream is still alive out there, and hard work will get you there. You don’t necessarily need to have an Ivy League education or to have millions of dollars start-up money. It can be done with an idea, hard work and determination.” – Bill Rancic, Entrepreneur

The US has a long history and a well-developed culture of entrepreneurship. In addition to Silicon Valley, there are plenty of start-up hubs throughout the country including San Francisco, Austin, New York, San Diego and Atlanta. There has been a positive uptick in the amount of funding being granted to businesses and this has contributed to recent growth in entrepreneurialism. As a result, many people are choosing to immigrate into the US with the intention of starting a business. Some of the best examples of American start-up success stories include Google, Uber, and Facebook.

4. Switzerland

Ranked as the most innovative country in the world in the 2017 Global Innovation Index, Switzerland boasts a long history of investing in research and development. The country benefits from a central location within Europe and this makes trade and recruitment easier for start-ups. In recent years, the city of Zug has become a hub for cryptocurrency and blockchain-based start-ups such as Ethereum and Dfinity, earning it the nickname ‘Crypto Valley.’ According to Business Insider, there are now over 400 companies with a presence in Zug who are members of the Crypto Valley Association.

5. United Kingdom

Did you know that seven out of Europe’s ten VC funds are based in the UK (Source: TechNation)? The UK is home to 37% of Europe’s total unicorn companies. There is a wealth of talent to choose from, with 2.1 million people working in the British digital tech economy. Despite shaky Brexit negotiations and an uncertain future, the UK start-up ecosystem has not stopped producing innovative companies such as Revolut, TransferWise and Perkbox. Start-ups in the UK benefit from the largest English-speaking population in the EU, easy access to European markets, and a highly-educated and technically-qualified workforce.

Canary Wharf in London, UK

6. Canada

Canada offers entrepreneurs a robust support system with its ever-increasing group of start-up organizations, events and initiatives. The country has six top innovation regions – Toronto-Waterloo, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Quebec City and Edmonton. Canada has excelled in a number of specific sub-sectors including:

  • Fintech
  • Life science and health
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Big data and analytics
  • Advanced manufacturing and robotics
  • Gaming
  • Blockchain
  • Cybersecurity

Canadian start-ups also benefit from a strong talent pool, favourable foreign exchange rate, easy access to the US market, and R&D tax credits. Some top Canadian start-ups include Hootsuite, Shopify, and Kik.

If you would like to learn more about business law in Canada, get in touch with our Corporate Lawyers today.

7. Sweden

In 2015, the Wharton School of Business dubbed Sweden a “unicorn factory”. A Creandum study noted that between 2000 and 2014, Sweden produced 263 exits valued at $23.7 billion. Sweden boasts vibrant start-up hubs in Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg. The Swedish talent pool is well-educated, multilingual, and has a high level of technological literacy. While taxes in Sweden are expensive, they do mean that there is a strong social welfare safety net which allows entrepreneurs to take bigger risks. The country’s small domestic market forces start-ups to think internationally from the start. Some inspiring start-up success stories from Sweden include Spotify, Klarna, and Mojang (the creator of Minecraft).

8. South Korea

Since the 1960s, South Korea has seen steady growth and it is now the world’s seventh largest exporter and the 11th largest economy overall. South Korea’s start-up ecosystem is booming, with the total number of start-ups growing from just 2,000 in 1999 to 30,000 in 2015 (Source: The Vanguard). Start-up investments are also rising steadily. In 2017 2.38 trillion was invested in start-ups, growing to 3.42 trillion in 2018. In 2019, the government announced its ambition to bring this figure to 5 trillion by 2022. In 2018, the government launched a regulation “sandbox” that would allow start-ups to apply for a 2-year waiver from the rules to test their products in the market. Examples of successful start-ups from South Korea include Coupang, Bluehole and L&P Cosmetic.

9. Australia

According to the 2019 StartupBlink Startup Ecosystem Rankings, Australia is the fifth most start-up friendly country in the world. It also boasts the fifth highest rate of female entrepreneurship in the world. Between 2016 and 2017, start-up investments grew faster in Australia than in Europe or the USA. There are many start-up government grants available at Federal and State levels. Australia’s start-up ecosystem offers plenty of opportunity for immigrants. 57% of start-ups were founded by immigrants or their children and 20% of the start-up workforce is comprised of international talent (Source: Business Insider). Some top examples of Australian start-up successes include Canva, Atlassian, and Airwallex.

10. Singapore

This small island state was dubbed a “start-up paradise” by Entrepreneur magazine in 2018. With its a highly convenient location, Singapore offers a gateway to the nearly 600 million people living in the Southeast Asian region. The government offers positive support to start-ups through innovative policies and significant subsidies. Singapore has a well-developed start-up community with over 100 incubators and accelerators, as well as more than 150 venture capital investors. Some of the most successful start-ups from Singapore include Grab, Garena, and Lazada.

Read the infographic below to discover the 10 most start-up friendly countries in the world.

the 10 most start up friendly countries in the world infographic

Click here to learn more about our business and corporate law services.

Freelancing Abroad: The Ultimate Survival Guide

Freelancing Abroad Ultimate Survival Guide
Sep 0

Posted by in Skilled Immigration

Our infographic guide looks at which professions are most suited to international freelancing and offers advice on how to stay on top of it all as a travelling freelancer.

The Rise of International Freelancing

A laptop and an internet connection are all that’s required for many jobs these days, as such many people have the flexibility and freedom to finance their travels through online freelancing. In fact, the international freelance economy is booming and there are plenty of opportunities to be found no matter where you are in the world.

Sunglasses, laptop, phone, and notepad on a pink desk overlooking the sea

10 Freelance Jobs You Can Do Abroad

There are some professions which are ideally suited to freelancing. Typically, these roles can be done online from anywhere in the world. Some examples include:

  1. Online Tutoring
  2. SEO Content Writing & Blogging
  3. Digital Marketing
  4. Journalism
  5. Graphic Design
  6. Software & Web Development
  7. Photography
  8. Sound & Video Editing
  9. Interpretation/Translation
  10. 3D Modelling & CAD Design

Where to Find International Freelance Jobs

Online marketplaces are the most commonly used way to find international freelance jobs. These are websites that enable employers to connect with freelancers who are looking for work. Some examples of popular freelance marketplaces include Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer. You will be competing with other freelancers, so you may need to charge low rates until you build up a solid portfolio. Reviews help to build credibility, so always ask your clients to leave a rating once you have completed a project.

When leveraged strategically, social media can be a great way to attract new business. Firstly, you will need to ensure that all your social media bios have up-to-date information about your services and include a link to your portfolio. To build awareness of your services and to position yourself as an authority in your field, engage in relevant online groups and forums.

Once you become more established, client referrals can be another excellent way of finding new work. In order to generate referrals, you will need to build a strong relationship with your clients. You can increase the likelihood of getting a referral by:

  • Sending a thank you card for any referral someone has sent you
  • Promoting your clients on your own social media
  • Following-up & keeping in touch with clients

10 Time Management Tips for Travelling Freelancers

How can you find time to enjoy your travel adventures while still maintaining and growing your online business?

  1. Communication: Before taking on a client, be upfront about what they can expect from you and set clear boundaries around your working hours.
  2. Stop Saying Yes When You Want to Say No: Know when you are at capacity and learn how to politely but firmly say no.
  3. Establish a Routine: Treat your work like any other job and establish set working hours. Define a clear work-life balance and try not to think about work during your time off.
  4. Automate Processes: Sign up to a good project management system that can automate as many menial tasks as possible.
  5. Get Professional Help: If you have a lot on your plate, consider hiring a virtual Personal Assistant (PA) to take care of time-consuming admin.
  6. Download a Time Tracking App: Use an app to monitor how much time you spend on work so you can ensure you don’t go over agreed-upon hours.
  7. Travel Slowly: Book long stays to give yourself plenty of time to work and enjoy the destination without sacrificing your sanity.
  8. Take Breaks: Self-care is important for good mental health. Avoid burnout by scheduling in lots of little breaks from work throughout the day.
  9. Find A Productive Working Space: Whether you decide to work from your accommodation or in a co-working space, make sure that the environment is quiet and has reliable access to the internet.
  10. Plan Ahead: Meticulously plan out your work and travel ahead of time to prevent last-minute scrambling.

Learn more about working freelance in another country, by checking out the below infographic guide.

Freelancing Abroad: The Ultimate Survival Guide

Liked this? Read our infographic, “The Best Places to Live as A Digital Nomad”.

How to Write an International CV (Infographic)

how to write an international cv
Aug 0

Posted by in Skilled Immigration

Applying for work abroad? Read our guide to learn how to write an effective CV for international jobs today.

Whether you’re looking for work at home or abroad, it’s common knowledge that when it comes to writing CVs, a cookie-cutter approach simply won’t work. No matter where they are based, today’s employers expect individualized résumés that highlight the candidate’s work ethic and meticulousness.

According to The Ladders, recruiters only spend 6.25 seconds examining each candidate’s CV. First impressions never get a second chance, so it’s important to ensure that every little detail is correct. This is especially the case when writing a CV that is intended for international use.

Illustration of four different CVs

Writing an International CV

If you are firing off CVs to jobs around the world, you may find that what is considered a high-quality CV in your home country may not enjoy the same level of success when sent abroad. One reason for this may be that your CV does not adhere to the cultural norms and conventions of your chosen country.

What Can You Do to Boost Your CV’s Chances of Success?

Before applying for any job abroad, you should bone up on the job market and workplace culture in that country. Investing time and effort into doing your homework should improve your CV, impress employers and boost your odds of making it to the interview stage. If you are finding it difficult to get information online, then you could get in touch with a of a career advisor from that country.

What CV Elements Stay the Same the World Over?

Whether you’re applying for a job in Dubai or Dublin, you will always need to include the following information in your CV:

1. Your name and contact details
2. Your qualifications and skills
3. Your work history

Should You Call It a Resumé or CV?

In general, the term CV” is preferred in Europe and Latin America, whereas “resumé” is mostly used in North America and Asia. However, the two terms tend to be used interchangeably in the UK and Australia. If you are applying for jobs in the US, then it’s important to be aware that a “Curriculum Vitae” is a longer document (up to 20 pages) that is typically written by researchers, educators, or academics.

Average CV Length

As a rule, employers across the world prefer CVs that are shorter in length. A two-page CV is usually the max that an employer would accept. However, in some countries such as Saudi Arabia, Germany and Greece it is acceptable for highly-experienced candidates to submit longer documents of up to five pages.

Should You Include A Photo?

Convention as to whether or not you should include a photo of yourself on your CV differs a lot around the world, so it’s important to find out this information before ever setting pen to paper.

When to Use A Photo

Employers in many nations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America expect candidate photos. If you are submitting a photograph to an employer, invest in professional photography. Remember, you can use this on your LinkedIn profile as well.

When NOT to Use A Photo

There are a number of countries (the UK, Australia and Ireland to name a few) that have anti-discrimination regulations in place which prohibit the inclusion of photos with CVs. This means that any CV that includes a candidate photo will be immediately tossed.


Personal Information

The US, UK and Australia have strict anti-discrimination and privacy laws for employers. As such, candidates are discouraged from sharing personal information such as their age, marriage status and parental status. Employers are also discouraged from asking about these details during job interviews. However, this is not the case in many countries around the world. For example, in the Middle East it is considered standard practice to include your gender, nationality, date of birth, marital and parental status on your CV.

Getting the Language Right

If applying for a job in a country that speaks a different language, prepare two copies of the CV – one in English and one in the language of the employer. Ask a native speaker to review the document for errors. If you are applying for a position in an English-speaking country, you’re not off the hook! Find out if the recipient uses British English or American English and then amend your application accordingly.

Learn more in our infographic guide, “How to Write A Resume That Crosses Borders”, below.

If you are in the process of firing off international job applications and would like to learn more about how to write an international CV, then be sure to scroll down to our infographic guide below.

Liked this? Read our infographic, “Everything You Need to Know about Finding a Job Abroad”, here.

Moving Abroad With A Family (Infographic)

Moving Abroad With A Family-Featured
Jul 0

Posted by in Uncategorized

If you have a young family and are planning to relocate to another country, there are a number of extra factors you will need to consider. Our infographic contains a handy list of 18 top tips to help make the move abroad that little easier for all the family.

How To Tell Your Kids About Your Plans to Move

In terms of timing, try to inform your children of your plans to move as soon as possible. This will give them plenty of time to process the news, prepare for the move and to say their goodbyes. Choose a moment when everyone is relaxed, and you have enough time to explain the situation.

When breaking the news, tell them why you are relocating and when you plan to move. Don’t forget to tell them why the move is exciting, but don’t make any promises you can’t keep. Encourage your kids to ask questions and if you can’t answer something, involve them while you research the answer.

Family Life Index 2016

Before You Relocate

Make an effort to involve your children as much as possible in your moving preparations. Listen to their opinions and include them in decisions about accommodation and school. Be sure to encourage them as well to learn about the language and culture of their new home. For younger children, consider using pictures, stories and games may to tell them about their new home.

Settling In & Making Friends

Routine is important for kids… especially when moving to a country where everything is new. When relocating, try to hold on to a few home comforts (e.g. blankets, toys, bed linen). It’s also a good idea to make an effort to keep up family traditions and routines.

Help your kids make new friends by arranging playdates and parties. If your child attends an international school, enrol them in extracurricular activities so they can make friends with local children and learn the language and culture.
Two young girls doing schoolwork

Finding a New School Abroad

According to the 2016 Internations Expat Insider Survey 32% of expats send their children to an international school. International schools are great because they offer English-laguage instruction and follow a globally recognised curriculum – thereby ensuring continuity of education for your child. On the other hand, international schools are very popular among expats and as such you may have to endure long waiting lists and expensive fees. What’s more, international schools are not an ideal choice for a long-term move as they may make assimilation more difficult.

52% of expats choose to send their children to a local private or state school. These tend to be much cheaper and easier to get into than international schools. Going local is a good option if you are emigrating permanently, as they allow your child to become friends with local kids and develop their language skills. However, the unfamiliar language, culture and teaching methods may make your child feel like an outsider. Another key point is that any educational qualifications they attain may not be transferable should you decide to move back home.

Top Tips for Choosing a School Abroad:

1. When choosing a school, don’t forget to factor in the proximity of the school to your home and workplace.

2. Research local state schools by consulting with individual schools, fellow expats and with families who have children currently attending local schools.

3. Thoroughly research how your choice of school will affect entry into third-level education.

The Best Apps for Living & Travelling Abroad (Infographic)

May 0

Posted by in Uncategorized

Planning on emigrating? Why not download one of these top apps to develop your language skills, make friends and stay safe.

Woman in café looking at her mobile phone

Best Language Learning Apps


A great language learning app for beginners, Duolingo offers 85 different language courses in 24 languages. This app uses microlearning techniques to break down lessons into bite-sized chunks and claims that just 34 hours will give you the same level of education as one university semester. Duolingo’s game-like language lessons provide a variety of exercises to perfect your reading, writing and listening skills.


More advanced speakers seeking a step up may want to try out Tandem. This free app supports almost 150 different languages. Tandem helps you develop conversational skills by setting you up with an exchange partner who is a native speaker of your chosen language. Pairings are set up according to shared interests to ensure that you will never run out of things to talk about. Users can also arrange 1-to-1 practice sessions with “Tandem Tutors” who are certified language instructors.

Top Maps & Navigation Apps


If you intend to use a car to get around, you may want to think about supplementing Google Maps with Waze. This app pulls together real-time, crowdsourced information from locals about traffic accidents, road conditions, police, hazards and more. The app will then automatically reroute your journey to avoid any disruptions.

Moovit: Public Transit

Understanding the ins and outs of public transport can be hard when you relocate to a different country. The Moovit: Public Transit app helps users plan their train, subway, bus or bike trips across 1,400 cities around the world.

Three people looking at their mobile phones while waiting at a train station

Best Apps To Meet People


When you move to a new country it can be difficult to make friends. The free app MeetUp not only helps users meet new people, but it also allows you to explore your new home. Through the app you can join or create groups based around certain interests (e.g. “Motorcycle Riding” and “Ghost Tracking,”) and arrange relevant outings and activities.


Much like MeetUp, CitySocializer helps bring people together in certain urban areas such as New York, London and 30 other cities. This app lets users discover and join in with group activities happening in their area. You can create groups with similarly-minded people and organise social outings.

Best Safety & Personal Security Apps

Prey Anti-Theft: Find My Phone & Mobile Security

If you are worried about crime in your area, you may want to try out Prey Anti-Theft: Find My Phone & Mobile Security. This app boasts a comprehensive selection of anti-theft tools and features specifically designed to protect your phone, laptop and tablet. For example, if your device is lost or stolen you can use the app’s GPS tool to locate it. If your device is stolen, the app will place a security lock on it, rendering the device useless to the thief. Prey also generates reports that can be used as police evidence if reporting on a crime.

TripWhistle Global SOS

TripWhistle Global SOS gives users access to over 70 different emergency numbers, local emergency police, fire, and ambulance phone numbers for 196 countries around the world. If you find yourself in an emergency, the app will provide important information to emergency respondents such as your street address and GPS coordinates.

For a handy overview of all the apps listed above, take a look at this infographic guide below.

The Ultimate Guide to Expat Mental Health (Video)

Maintaining good mental health abroad
Feb 0

Posted by in Skilled Immigration

There are now over 66.2 million expats worldwide and this is expected to reach 87.5 million by the year 2021. Research has found that expats are 2.5 times more likely to experience anxiety and/or depression than domestic workers. So why is this?

What Are the Top Expat Stressors?

In 2015, Internations conducted a major international survey which identified the top expat stressors:

  • 52% said they miss their personal support network
  • 40% worry about their future finances
  • 26% struggle making new friends
  • 26% struggle with the language barrier
  • 22% suffer from culture shock
  • 15% say their loved ones are unhappy with the move
  • The most common expat problems - infographic

    How to Maintain Good Mental Health While Living & Working Abroad

    Expats work an average of 13.4 more hours than people doing similar jobs at home. Try to avoid overworking and prevent burn-out by switching off the “24-7 business mentality.” Establish a clear work-life balance by not bringing your work phone home and by not checking your email on weekends. Instead, use your free time to socialise and to participate in healthy activities.

    Working abroad can be isolating, so be sure to dedicate time to making friends. Don’t shy away work events and network groups. Try out apps such as MeetUp to connect with new people.

    Make sure to schedule in time for chatting with your loved ones who still live in your home country. Take the lead on communicating with home and plan regular one-to-one interactions through Skype, social media or on the phone.

    In addition to all of the above, don’t forget to look after your mental health. You can do this by limiting alcohol consumption, getting 8 hours sleep every night and by exercising and eating healthily. What’s more, learn how to recognise the signs of stress and work hard on developing stress management skills.

    Male professional with stressed expression looking at laptop and charts

    Preparing to Move Abroad

    Just 6% of expats are concerned about mental health before relocating. However, taking some simple preparatory steps before you set off can make a big difference to your mental health down the line.

    Research can really help to ease the relocation process. While reading up on your new home, don’t forget to look into ways of making friends, the work & social culture, methods of contacting home and potential stress outlets.

    It’s also important to check in with yourself and know your limits. Keep a journal to help record and recognise your stressors. Get educated by familiarising yourself with the warning signs of stress, anxiety and depression.

    Finding Support Services Abroad

    The number of mental health workers per 100,000 persons ranges from less than 1 in low-income countries to over 50 in high-income countries. It can be even more difficult to find a counsellor that speaks your language. One excellent resource is the International Therapists Directory which contains contact details for English-speaking therapists, counsellors, psychologists, and psychiatrists in more than 50 different countries. Alternatively, you could ask for a referral from your embassy, HR Department or even other expatriates (particularly medical professionals).

    If a face-to-face service is not an option, you may want to consider e-counselling. These are online services that allow you to connect with specialists in your home country via video-chat. Just be sure to check that the counsellor is licensed and look into the services’ privacy policies.

    Video: The Ultimate Guide to Expat Mental Health

    To learn more about how to look after your mental health during a move abroad, take a look at our video below.