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Top 3 reasons to give up citizenship

US citizenship passport

Many people around the world give up their citizenship for various reasons. Let’s look at the top reasons for giving up your citizenship and taking up citizenship of another country.

This article is not about a particular country’s citizenship such as US citizenship or UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, France or Singapore.

US citizenship passport

In this article, we will look at some of the countries where people are rapidly giving up their citizenship, and reasons for it.

Before that, let’s appreciate that the prospect of giving up citizenship divides people in two categories:

1. The emotional ones

2. The practical ones

The emotional ones: Many people I have spoken to are emotionally attached to their citizenship. It is a sign of their identity, or part of their identity. Giving up citizenship, is like renouncing your parents, one person told me. Another said, citizenship is a privilege. It is something to be proud of, and should not be traded for anything.

In the emotional category, there is one minority extreme – the disgruntled emotional. They are so politically fed up of their country that they would give up their citizenship at the first opportunity.

The practical ones: This article is largely about this type. These pragmatic wanderers would consider the pros and cons of giving up their current citizenship for a more favorable nationality. There’s little or no emotional bond with citizenship for these people.

Here we will not discuss the emotional reasons for keeping or renouncing citizenship.

Here, we will only consider reasons that practical people are considering for renouncing their citizenship.

1. Tax

This one applies to the US citizenship.

Americans are giving up their citizenship in record numbers. About 10 years ago, only 500 US citizens gave up their citizenship. In 2013, that number was SIX times as high – at 3000, according to International Tax Blog.

Why? Because the United States probably the only country in the world which taxes its citizens wherever they live in the world. So, a US citizen could be living in Italy for 20 years, and could still be expected to pay US tax on income earned outside the United States.

This is not the case for most countries. For example, if you are a Brit living in Canada, you will have to pay only Canadian tax, not UK tax. You will not be taxed twice. This is not the case for American citizens.

When the global economic recession peaked in 2008, the US administration decided to come down heavily on tax evaders. The US government wanted to crack down on Americans storing their wealth in Swiss bank accounts.

As a result, they wanted to know the overseas assets and bank account details of all American citizens.

While this was intended to stop tax evasion, the crack-down affected honest American bank-account holders too.

Many Americans have now started to renounce their American citizenship. In fact, the queue for renouncing the US citizenship in Switzerland is so long that there’s a waiting list, according to a media report.

It is felony under the US law if an American citizen living abroad fails to pay US tax on their income overseas. The US government has treaties with most countries for extradition of US citizens from other countries if they fail to pay tax to the US government.

Wait. It gets worse. There is the 2010 enactment of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

Under FATCA, many financial institutions outside the United States will need to report to the IRS (American tax department) the account details of the US citizens.

Uncle Sam has made it hard to escape the IRS.

Obviously, the easiest solution for many non-resident American citizens was to give up their American citizenship, rather than pay double tax.

2. Marriage and divorce

Most foreign nationals who marry an American citizen choose to take up American citizenship. In doing so, they renounce their existing citizenship. This is because the United States requires a person to go on oath ‘renouncing’ their original citizenship. However, the US administration does not explicitly seek the person to give up their original citizenship.

This is another reason why people give up their original citizenship and become “naturalised” citizens of the United States. If you were not born a US citizen, then you can acquire U.S. citizenship through naturalization.

For naturalization, you must be A. 18 years of age or older, and B. a permanent resident of America for five years. Spouses can apply for US citizenship after three years of marriage to a US citizen.

However, spouses may fall out and marriages may end. In such instances, a spouse may want to leave America. The US government allows naturalized citizens to retain American citizenship, even after they leave America and reclaim their original citizenship.

But a spouse may consider giving up US citizenship, so as to avoid paying taxes to the US tax department, on income earned outside the United States.

3. Travel

This is the third most common reason for giving up your existing citizenship.

Many people have a love for travel, and would be keen to make at least one overseas trip a year.

However, if you are a citizen of a country from Asia for example, you will need visa to visit most countries popular with tourists.

visafreePassport

But citizenship of certain countries give visa-free entry to most countries around the world. And if an avid traveller has a choice between keeping their original citizenship with limited visa-free entries, and choosing citizenship of a country that opens visa-free doors to more destinations, the choice becomes obvious.

The countries that offer visa-free entry to 170 countries or more, are:

  • The United Kingdom, Sweden and Finland. (visa-free entry to 173 countries)
  • The United States, Germany, Denmark and Luxembourg (172 countries)
  • Belgium, Italy and Netherlands (171 countries)
  • Canada, France, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Portugal and Spain (170 nations)
News Work Abroad

10 best NZ companies to work for

Jobs in New Zealand
Overland Footwear is the best company to work for in New Zealand. IBM Kenexa Best Workplaces in New Zealand survey reviewed 243 companies in New Zealand.

Overland was the overall winner as well as winner in the Large Companies category (those employing 400 to 749 staff) in 2013. This was the second year in a row that Overland secured the top position. Overland was a finalist in each of the eight years between 2005 and 2012.

Jobs in New Zealand

Mars NZ drives high engagement culture (Photo: Mars New Zealand)

In the Enterprise category (companies with more than 750 staff), Warehouse Stationery secured the top spot.

In the Medium-Large Workplace Category (150-399 employees), Mars New Zealand was named the best company to work for.

In the Small-Medium Workplace Category (50-149 employees), Giltrap Audi secured the top spot.

In the Small Workplace Category (20-49 employees), Kellog New Zealand got the top honours.

Flight Centre has been a finalist in 10 out of the last 11 years.

TOP 10 WORKPLACES IN NEW ZEALAND

  1. Overland Footwear, fashion footwear retailer
  2. Warehouse Stationery, stationery, technology, art and craft, copy and print, and office furniture retailer
  3. Mars New Zealand, FMCG food manufacturing
  4. Giltrap Audi, luxury car retailer
  5. Flight Centre, international travel agency
  6. VTNZ, vehicle testing and repairs
  7. FMG Advice and Insurance, insurance and financial advisors
  8. Leading Edge Communications, sales channel management company (primarily telecommunications)
  9. Southern Cross Health, health insurer provider
  10. Trade Me, online selling and auction site

What drives these companies?

Employee engagement and participation is the common theme among the companies that are most sought after by job seekers in New Zealand.

Sanchia Yonge, IBM’s GM Smarter Workforce for Australia and New Zealand says, “Year on year we’re seeing more businesses in New Zealand viewing participation as a critical tool to help determine the drivers of business performance.

“The Best Workplaces Survey uncovers the best New Zealand organisations that are creating a Smarter Workforce; one that attracts the best talent, understands their employees and empowers teams.”

Immigration News

Policy should encourage migration

As New Zealand gets ready for the next election in a few weeks, it is no surprise that discussion around immigration is warming up, and enticing comments against ethnic communities are used to get political mileage, in an attempt to ride the xenophobia wave.

Labour says its immigration policy will target people who can make the strongest contribution to New Zealand regardless of ethnicity or country of origin.

The policy recognises the strong and positive contribution immigration has made and continues to make to our country’s development, says Labour’s Ethnic Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff.

Highlights of Labour’s immigration policy:

  • Encourage high-wage migrants: ensure that the immigration system promotes a high-skilled high-wage economy rather than exploiting cheap labour
  • Drive migration away from Auckland: reward skilled immigrants who live in the regions, where their skills can unlock growth
  • Promote settlement services: seek to reduce the numbers of migrants on temporary visas for long periods
  • Refugee support: increase the number of refugees New Zealand accepts
  • Restructure Immigration department: reform the operation of Immigration New Zealand where necessary
  • Protect workers’ life: prevent exploitation of new migrant workers

Recently, the ruling National-led government announced an extra $5.6 million over the next four years to help new refugees during their first 12 months in New Zealand.

All quota refugees spend their first six weeks at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre, before being resettled in five regions throughout New Zealand: Auckland, Waikato, Manawatu, Wellington and Nelson.

Core funding for resettlement services for quota refugees has remained at the same level of $7.6 million a year since 2004/05.

Labour seems keen to retain that support for new migrants as well as refugees.

“(Labour’s policy) recognises that policies that encourage immigration need to be accompanied by strong settlement programmes to enable new migrants to settle and participate fully in their new country as quickly as possible.

“These programmes include assistance to speak English fluently, to help new migrants find employment and to ensure that people can access good housing.

Most new migrants choose Auckland to settle in, as it is New Zealand’s largest and most culturally-diverse city. It also offers the most job opportunities. However, the growing number of job seekers creates high competition for jobs in Auckland.

Population growth in Auckland is also pushing up house prices, making it the most expensive city in the country for houses. It also puts pressure on limited infrastructure in roading, public transport and utilities.

Labour intends to fix this by encouraging new migrants to settle outside New Zealand.

“Labour will provide incentives in the points system to encourage migrants who want to settle outside of Auckland. This will be part of Labour’s wider policy of regional development.

“Ensuring that new migrants settle in and are welcomed to their new communities also requires active policies that promote tolerance and good race relations and understanding about cultural diversity.

If Phil Goff’s comments are anything to go by, this will be the most immigrant-friendly immigration policy that New Zealand would see in the recent years.

“New Zealand should also encourage new migrants to retain and pass on their language and culture to their New Zealand born children,” says Phil Goff

“Labour will utilise the points systems for work based permanent residency and the number of temporary work visas issued to ensure that immigration flows are not subject to severe fluctuations.

“A modest increase in the refugee quota will be implemented consistent with housing availability.

“Labour will review and where necessary reform the operation of Immigration New Zealand. It will act more vigorously to prevent exploitation of new migrant workers and to crack down on immigration fraud.

Earlier this year, the current government introduced new business visa to encourage migrants to set up high-quality businesses and create new jobs.

The Entrepreneur Work Visa operates under a new points-based system that will result in higher quality, more productive businesses, says New Zealand’s Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse. It replaced the Long-Term Business Visa, which was “attracting too many low quality applications”.

There are over 100,000 migrants in New Zealand on work visas for less than two years, while 147,000 New Zealanders remain unemployed. Migrant workers are brought in for relatively low skilled jobs on low rates of pay with deductions from their wages which leads to undercutting of the local labour market, says National’s Trevor Mallard.

“This is not fair either on New Zealand citizens and permanent residents or the migrant workers involved. That people won’t work for the wages offered is a market signal that wages in those sectors need to rise, not a reason to undercut wages.”

Why immigration is so important

New Zealand’s economic growth is intertwined with migration growth, as new migrants fuel the economy with more skills, money and cultural diversity.

After throttling migration to a halt in the 2000s, the government had no choice but to open the migration tap to revive the struggling New Zealand economy. The results are positive.In 2012-13, New Zealand’s net migration became positive – 7900 more people moved to New Zealand than left for overseas, according to the 13th annual Migration Trends and Outlook report.This was in stark contrast to the situation of a year earlier when there was a net migration loss was 3200.

Our long-term migration is expected exceed 30,000 from mid-2014 onwards.

New Zealand economy grew 3.5 per cent in 2013, and is expected to record an impressive 3.6 per cent growth this year (2014).

At such a poignant time, having skilled workforce with the right set of skills will create a strong competitive advantage for New Zealand, and this is possible through well-sourced migration.

With strong expected growth in the economy, New Zealand has already started attracting skilled migrants.

New Zealand migration highlights:

  • Net migration gain in 2012/13 following net loss in 2011/12
  • India is the largest source of skilled migrants
  • China is the largest source country of family-sponsored migrants
  • 1 in 5 international students gained permanent residence
  • Migration is expected to increase alongside economic recovery

According to a report by Immigration New Zealand, the total number of people approved for temporary work visas in 2012/13 was 144,978, a rise of five per cent on the previous year.

The Essential Skills Policy category recorded a rise for the first time (in 2013) since the start of the global economic slowdown.

India is the largest supplier of skilled migrants to New Zealand.

Of 18,156 people who received a visa under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC), the most (19 per cent) were from India in 2012-13, followed by the United Kingdom (15 per cent).

However, not all these Indians are fresh migrants to New Zealand. Most are international students who have contributed to New Zealand economy through student fees and transitioned to residence.

New Zealand’s visitors trend is also reflecting changing priorities of migrants. The UK is no longer the largest source of tourists.

China now supplies the most visitors after Australia, compensating for the lower numbers from traditional long-haul destinations such as the United Kingdom.

News Work Abroad

Less-known NZ job websites to visit

highly skilled jobs in Auckland

Most job seekers are already aware of Seek, and Trade Me Jobs – two of the most popular websites to visit if you are looking for a job in New Zealand. Both these websites publish thousands of jobs every week – and most New Zealand employers advertise on these sites by default.

However, many niche job boards, some of which are run by the government, are equally important or even more crucial if you are looking for a specialist job.

Job seekers should bookmark this page for easy reference.

highly skilled jobs in Auckland

General jobs

Auckland Council jobs

Most job seekers who come to New Zealand choose Auckland as their preferred city to settle in. It multicultural composition, moderate weather add to the attraction of living in a city with most jobs in New Zealand. And Auckland Council is the largest employer in the city, and is also known for hiring new migrants.

The careers section of Auckland Council provides an option to subscribe to their job feed, so that relevant jobs could be emailed to you. This is a good option to consider.

Jobs.govt.nz

One of the largest employers in New Zealand is the New Zealand government, and the hub of the government is Wellington. While Auckland has the most jobs in the country, Wellington has the most-paying jobs in New Zealand. The government sector is also known to have openness to hiring migrants.

Work and Income New Zealand job board

This is the job website maintained by the social benefit department of New Zealand government, especially designed for people who are on benefit and are seeking gainful employment. The website usually lists low-paying jobs, but is a useful resource for new migrants who are struggling to find a job that matches their expectations.

Jobs for new migrants

Since not every migrant is seeking a top-paying job in a glass office, New Zealand offers many low-paying, part-time or seasonal jobs that help new migrants hit the ground running and pay bills as they word towards their dream job.

Seasonaljobs.co.nz
This job board specialises in seasonal job vacancies around New Zealand in many industries.

Seasonalwork.co.nz
Similar to seasonaljobs.co.nz, this website lists short-term work especially in hospitality, agriculture and horticulture.

Working in New Zealand
This website provides a list of key employers and recruitment agencies in various specialist industries and occupations. It is a very useful research website for job seekers.

New Kiwis
This is an initiative by chambers of commerce and is designed to match skilled migrants with appropriate New Zealand employers. Register on this website if you are already in New Zealand, or intend to travel to New Zealand soon.

Workhere New Zealand
Find information on employers and recruitment agencies relevant to the occupation and industry you want to work in.

IT and telecommunications

IT jobs are the most sought after jobs in New Zealand, especially by migrants. IT jobs also pay well, and because the skills are transferable, qualified migrants tend to have a better chance of getting a job in the IT industry than in other industries that rely on soft skills.

Candle New Zealand
Candle is the largest placement agency for IT jobs in New Zealand. The website has many IT jobs to choose from.

Comspek
Compspek is particularly good for contract jobs in IT and telecommunications industry, though they also cater to permanent jobs.

Geekzone
An online technology community with an extensive job listing section.

MCC People
Browse for ICT jobs available through this agency.

Pinnacle Recruitment
An organisation providing a list of vacancies in the information technology and technical electronics sector.

Potentia
Find jobs in the information technology sector.

Searchworks Ltd
A recruitment agency specialising in IT and software engineering jobs.

Top recruitment agencies in New Zealand

While most recruitment agencies list their jobs on Seek and TradeMe Jobs, it pays to register directly with an agency. This helps in arranging a meeting with a specialist from the recruitment agency.

Once you are on their file, they may be able to actively seek job on your behalf. Many times, you may be considered for a job that’s not even listed and advertised.

While the following list is not exhaustive, it covers some of the popular placement agencies in New Zealand.

Adecco  (for engineering jobs)
Advanced Personnel  (for engineering, infrastructure, warehousing and construction jobs)

Beyond Recruitment (for IT, accounting, telecommunications, engineering and government positions)

Enterprise Recruitment (for all sectors)

Fosterra (primarily for South-Island jobs in technical fields)
Frog Recruitment  (for jobs in accounting, IT, human resources and sales)

Hudson  (one of the largest recruiment agencies; has jobs in all sectors)

Kelly

Kinetic Recruitment  (for secretarial and entry-level roles in New Zealand)
Lawson Williams Consulting Group
Martin Personnel
Momentum  (for jobs in PR,  communications, finance, and bicultural employment)

OCG  (for mid to senior level positions)

Salt (for flexible and permanent positions mostly at entry level)

Tell employers you are looking

This is a new crop of websites that provides a platform for jobseekers to profile their skills and make them visible to prospective employers. These websites take out the middleman (recruitment agency) from the hiring process and puts employers in touch with prospective employees. Migrants don’t have to worry about the recruitment agency’s bias, and employers save on hiring costs.

Green Sky

Job seekersc can promote their skills to employers by creating a profile on Green Sky. This website is not only useful for seeking full-time jobs, but also a great place to find assignments as a freelancer or part-time employee.

Similar websites:

I’m Looking
JobCafe

Jobit
This is an online marketplace used by employers looking to outsource project-based work.

For more specialist listings of job websites, visit the Careers website run by the New Zealand government.

Immigration News Work Abroad

Lawyer found guilty of immigration fraud

Work visa
A former New Zealand lawyer  has been found guilty of 93 immigration-related charges at Auckland District Court.

Albany-based Richard James Martin is found guilty of forgery, giving false or misleading information to an immigration officer, and providing immigration advice without immigration license or exemption for license.

Work visa

Between May 2009 and September 2010, the 49-year-old:

  • provided immigration advice to ten families through Richard Martin Immigration Limited
  • forged lawyers’ signatures on immigration documents
  • used licensed immigration advisers employed at his company to “sign off” visa applications of clients they had never met.

Zannah Johnston, prosecuting on behalf of the Crown on charges brought by the Immigration Advisers Authority and Immigration New Zealand (INZ), said: “Licensed immigration advisers were used to sign applications because Mr Martin was unable to.

“Some would say he used the advisers as puppets for rubber stamping. Mr Martin met with each of the clients, not the licensed advisers.

“Mr Martin told clients what the requirements were, what the best times were to make applications, sent letters to the Minister of Immigration and answered questions on how to fill in forms.”

Judge Mary Elizabeth Sharp said: “I found Mr Martin to be a witness of untruth. I am satisfied that he lied throughout his testimony. Ultimately, I am afraid that I reached the conclusion that if it suited him, Mr Martin would swear black was white.”

Mr Martin has been remanded in custody pending sentencing on 1 August 2014 at Auckland District Court.

Charges against Richard James Martin

  • 37 counts of Forgery
  • 35 counts of Supplying False Or Misleading Information to an Immigration Officer
  • 11 counts of Asking for or receiving fees for immigration advice when neither licensed nor exempt
  • Nine counts of Providing immigration advice when neither licensed nor exempt
  • One count of Holding out as an immigration adviser when neither licensed nor exempt

New Zealand law requires that immigration advice must be licensed by the Immigration Advisers Authority, unless exempt. Exempt people include lawyers who hold a New Zealand practising certificate.

Mr Martin previously surrendered his practising certificate.

Immigration News

Conference to discuss migrant voting in NZ

Discussing ways of encouraging ethnic communities to vote in the upcoming elections is one of matters on the agenda for an ethnic conference in Wellington this weekend.

The annual general meeting of Multicultural New Zealand, the Federation of Multicultural Councils, will celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Eid_NZParliament1

Also on the agenda is a panel of political party representatives that will discuss policies relevant to migrant, refugee and ethnic communities, says a statement from Multicultural New Zealand.

The conference will also look at fundraising, working with volunteers, and a more topical theme – countering family violence.

Ambassador of Philippines Virginia H. Benavidez and Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown address delegates from 19 regional multicultural councils and three national councils for youth, women and senior citizens at the Wellington City Council offices from Friday 27 June to Sunday 29 June.

Also speaking at the conference are: Vanisa Dhiru (Volunteering New Zealand), Joris de Bres (former Race Relations Commissioner), Peter Dunne (United Future Party), Trevor Mallard (Labour Party), Jan Logie (Green Party), Sarah BridglandHill (Office of Ethnic Affairs), Ann Dysart (Ministry of Social Development) and Heather Newell (Foresee Communications).

News Work Abroad

How many deaths before drug laws tightened?

rp_arun_kumar_300x200.jpg

Arun Kumar migrated to New Zealand from Fiji for a ‘safer’ future for him and his family. The morning of Tuesday 10 June 2014 turned out to be his last day in the country that he chose to bring up his children in.

At about 7am, two young boys, aged 12 and 13, entered his dairy as he got ready for early customers. One of the boys fatally stabbed the 57-year old dairy-owner who is now remembered by the community as a “loving, family man”.

Arun Kumar dairy owner killed in Auckland

Only about a fortnight earlier, another migrant fell victim to a vicious attack. Philippines-born Blesilda “Blessie” Gotingco was on her way home from work on 24 May 2014.

As she got off the bus, barely a few hundred meters from her home,  she was attacked by a repeat offender. Her dead body was found by the police search team the next day.

Police arrested a 27-year old man with previous convictions, who was under supervision with an ankle bracelet, says E2NZ website.  The accused was living just 1.4km from Blessie’s home, says the New Zealand Herald.

Arun Kumar’s death has evoked angry reactions (rightfully) from the community.

“We want to send a strong message that this is not acceptable in a country like New Zealand, where people have migrated for the betterment of their family and friends. To die in such a way is really saddening,” a family friend of Arun Kumar told TVNZ.

New Zealand is always considered to be a safer place by migrants coming from civil-strife-ridden countries like Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Fiji and Bangladesh.

However, the clean and green image of New Zealand that’s portrayed to prospective migrants often underplays the crime scene in the country. While large-scale organised crime is certainly low, the violent acts of desperate people, often on drugs, claim the lives of unsuspecting migrants who are often seen as easy targets.

The police as well as justice system acts swiftly as it did in Arun Kumar’s case – the accused boys were arrested and brought to court in less than 48 hours. However, Arun Kumar’s death brings up questions about other systemic failures:

1. Did the ambulance respond swiftly enough?

I am reminded of the murder of 29-year old liquor-store owner Navtej Singh in Manukau in 2008, when the police prevented ambulance staff from accessing the dying victim, despite the offending criminals having fled the crime scene. It was alleged that Navtej could have been saved if medical help was allowed in time. A police inquiry found that the 37-minute delay was “undesirable” and cannot be justified.

2. Did the police arrive in time?

We will need to wait for the police report to be made public on this one.

3. Did the parents of the boys raise them well?

Why were the boys on the street instead of in school, and what role did the parents play in their upbringing?

The parents of both boys, aged 12 and 13, are in jail or facing active criminal charges, says a report in the New Zealand Herald. Because the boys are teens, their names are suppressed. The Herald reported that both the parents of the 13-year old murder accused are in jail, and the boy was being looked after by his grandmother. The younger boy’s father too was in police custody this month on violence charges.

“Were the alleged offenders attending school regularly, if not where was the truancy service?” asks Phil Goff, Labour spokesperson for ethnic affairs.

“If his parents were themselves offenders what was being done to try to lead him down a different path? Why are young people able to become petty offenders without enough being done to stop them progressing to more serious crimes as in this case?”

4. What is our role as a community?

Where did we fail? Is our social system protecting ineffective parenting? Are we supporting dysfunctional families on benefits? As they say in Africa, it takes a village to raise a child. This beast (the accused) is a creation of the wider community, says New Zealand Indian Central Association (NZICA) President Harshad Patel, in a report in the Indian News Link. 

By accepting children on the streets during school hours, by supporting parents who do not look after their children and by allowing gangs to proliferate, we are breeding criminals at an alarming pace. The offender knows that human rights exist for his security,” he says.

5. The Drug Issue

The Bigger question: why has New Zealand failed to control its drug problem?

According to the Drug Foundation of New Zealand, New Zealand has some of the higher per-capita drug-use rates in the developed world.

One in six (16.6%) New Zealanders aged 16–64 years had used drugs recreationally in the past year, according to the 2007/2008 New Zealand Alcohol and Drug Use Survey.

It gets even worse – at least half of New Zealanders (49%) have used drugs at some point in their life – excluding alcohol, tobacco and even party pills.

The situation is bleak with our children – one in three children (below 18 years of age)  report drinking alcohol on more than three occasions in the past month.

One in four (24%) children of 16-17 years of age report using cannabis in the last year.

Substance abuse is a double-edged sword – it influences senses, and it creates thirst for immediate money and gratification.

Vulnerable migrants

This addiction is not only spoiling the future of a beautiful country, it is also exposing its most vulnerable communities – ethnic and migrant groups – to some of the most hideous and violent crimes in the country.

Denied equal job opportunities, migrants usually find themselves in ‘dangerous’ professions (in New Zealand):

Too often ethnic communities working in retail and service businesses were on the front line of crime, says Phil.

Sometimes, migrants don’t even need to be in a dangerous profession. Merely walking down the street could be fatal as 25-year old Indian student, Tarun Asthana, found out on 4 November 2013 after being punched to death outside McDonald’s in downtown Auckland.

In January 2014, Praveet Chahal was attacked by a bottle-wielding man on an Auckland street just a few meters away from her home. As she lay bleeding on the ground, she cried out for help, but none of the by-standers stepped in.

Indian attacked in Auckland

Praveet Chahal was viciously attacked by a stranger on an Auckland street as by-standers looked away. (Photo: Praveet Chahal)

Praveet suffered a broken nose, a fractured eye socket, extensive bruising and a big setback to her confidence. “I have never felt this violated in my entire life, for once in my life feel that my freedom has been taken away,” says Praveet in a Facebook post. The offender was on bail.

“In broad daylight (I) was attacked by an intoxicated pyscho who beat me up in front of more than 15 Fiji Indians who stood and watched the entire ordeal like they were watching some show while I screamed and yelled for help.

However, Praveet has regained her confidence and her faith in humanity. “I am still working towards bringing awareness so that people feel safe and get their independence and confidence back.

Migrants are easy prey as they are least likely to put up a fight, are struggling to adjust to new legal and cultural systems, are desperate to succeed and would like to stay out of trouble at any cost.

Police issue

High-crime areas in Auckland and around New Zealand are known to the law enforcing authorities. However, limited policing resources put our communities in these high risk areas in danger.

If the government kept cutting the budget for police in real terms that we would invite more crime by lowering the risk to criminals that they would be caught, says Phil.

“In Henderson, other shopkeepers told us they wanted a community police station and a more visible police presence in the shopping centre,” says Phil.

“They also told us that out-of-control young kids have been a problem in the community for quite a long time – kids that beat up other young people, shoplifted, pestered the public for money and painted graffiti.”

With elections approaching, the voters will have crime and safety at the top of their mind. Any government that concerns the safety of its people would stand a good chance of winning the trust and vote.

Auto Immigration Lifestyle

Too many car crashes? Blame Asian tourists

New Zealand media’s blame game seems to have one target for all problems – from rising house prices to job shortages, and the latest in the list is – road accidents.

road accidents cyclists

House prices going up? Those Asians are buying expensive houses. (Don’t ask me why North Shore, with predominantly European population, has some of the highest median house prices.)

No jobs for Kiwis? Yes, Indians are taking those qualified jobs. (Don’t ask me why there are immigrant doctors driving cabs, or civil engineers issuing parking tickets.)

And now, it is Asian drivers, particularly tourists, that have given ammunition to New Zealand media to cry foul.

In a Stuff story titled “Asian tourist drivers prompt complaints“, reporter Emma Bailey claims that “Asian tourists driving rental vehicles continue to raise alarm in South Canterbury.”

Her source? One Gerardine tow service company owner. Statistics? Three smashed up cars.

Later in the story, Emma cites six more accidents since Christmas, caused by tourists.

No official statistics included in the story.

Up north, the New Zealand Herald provides an accurate and balanced picture.

According to Sam Boyer of the NZ Herald, 558 crashes that resulted in death or injury last year involved overseas drivers. About 66% of these crashes were caused by overseas drivers.

But that does not mean those crashes were caused by driving errors that Kiwi drivers won’t commit.

Very few of those crashes were caused by errors typical of a foreign driver – new road layout, unfamiliar driving rules, distraction by scenery.

In fact, Sam Boyer says a lot of the crashes involving foreigners were consistent with errors made by Kiwi drivers too.

Sam reveals some more interesting figures: the most number of fatal crashes caused by tourists was in 2013 – just 4.2 per cent.

Last year, it dropped to 2.9 per cent.

Then why blame tourists, and that too particularly Asians? Because it is fashionable and in line with growing perception that everything wrong with the country is caused by Asians.

Instead of xenophobic media stories like the one from Emma Bailey, it could be more fruitful to identify the real causes of crashes and address those.

An online petition started by 10-year old Sean Roberts, who lost his father Grant in 2012 in a car crash involving a Chinese tourist driver, has attracted 27,000 signatories, seeking overseas driver test.

Introducing overseas driver’s test could be an option, but a cost-benefit analysis should confirm this.

One of New Zealand’s largest source of revenue is money spent by 16 million visitors every year. Introducing tourist driver’s tests would be detrimental to tourism in a country with almost non-existent public transport.

Prime minister John Key probably realises this, and isn’t too keen to introduce stricter regulations for foreigners.

“If you look at the accident rate of tourists who come and drive in New Zealand versus New Zealanders themselves, it’s pretty consistent,” says the prime minister.

Current rules for tourists driving in New Zealand

Tourists must have a current and valid overseas driver licence or international driving permit if they wish to drive in New Zealand. For new migrants who wish to live in New Zealand for more than 12 months, they need to gain a New Zealand driver licence.

Important overseas driver resources for New Zealand driving

What’s different about driving in New Zealand
Driver licence requirements

 

Business Lifestyle Money News Work Abroad

Can you save $2550 by carpooling?

The week beginning 9 June marks Kiwi Carpooling Week in New Zealand, and Auckland Transport wants to encourage drivers to consider car-pooling as an environment-friendly gesture which also saves money.

carpooling effect

I asked Auckland Transport – does carpooling really save money? Do they have any numbers to support the claim?

Auckland Transport believes carpooling helps us in saving costs of petrol and parking.

And these savings can be as high as $2550 a year.

They provided some numbers:

If two people carpooled for a 15km journey, this is what their daily costs would look like:

  • Petrol prices = $1.50 each
  • Parking cost = up to $9 per day each
  • Total daily cost = $21 for two people
  • Savings per person = $10.50 per day; $52.50 per week (carpooling 5 days); $210.00 per month (carpooling 5 days a week for 4 weeks); $2,550 per year

Yes, you could save up to $2,550 annually by carpooling, and put that saving into paying off your mortgage sooner.

Auckland Transport has even provided an online cost calculator so you can figure out how much you could save – www.letscarpool.govt.nz

But what’s the biggest hurdle to carpooling? Timing. Each person has their own time to go to work and come back from work. Also, because of the location constraint, commuters are limited to consider their own work colleagues as co-passengers, which also means you would typically carpool with people you get along with.

Auckland Transport helps you with the first part of this problem – finding a car buddy.

You can visit the site to find people living and working near you who are looking to join a carpool, or talk to you friends and colleagues about setting up your own.

Just put the starting point, destination and journey date and the website will find suitable rides for you.

Already, nearly 5000 Aucklanders have signed up on the website for carpooling, which increases your chances of finding the right carpooling partner.

What if you don’t find someone that lives nearby and works near your workplace? You will need to be a bit flexible.

You don’t need to carpool all the way to work. Consider sharing a car to a central place, and jumping on a train or bus from there.

Also look at the larger picture. With more people carpooling, there will be fewer cars on the road, less traffic congestion, and less pollution.

And there is the benefit of human interaction, instead of shuffling through mundane radio stations.

Having another person in the car makes your journey more enjoyable and interesting, says Auckland Transport’s Manager Community Transport Matthew Rednall.

Need more reason to carpool? “Another benefit of having two people in the car is that you can use some transit lanes.”

Carpooling could be a good opportunity to network with other professionals which could open up doors for the next big job opportunity or business potential.

Business Immigration News

How to spot immigration scams

New Zealand is a country of dreams for many poor families in rural India, who see the Land of Long White Cloud as their escape destination from years of toil and turmoil.

Migrate to Australia

In their desperation, these migrants are willing to go to any length to secure a visa to New Zealand, a visa to their dreams.

Which makes these migrants highly gullible to immigration scams that promise quick visa to New Zealand, along with a job offer.

Such scams have resurfaced as the net migration to New Zealand is expected to grow this year.

Scammers phone Indian nationals living in New Zealand claiming to be from Immigration New Zealand. They demand payment to a Western Union account in India and threaten deportation.

What makes this scam unique is that the scammers have managed to make their calls appear to have come from the official Immigration New Zealand contact centre number.

Jarrod Rendle is concerned at the number of people being caught out by this scam. He leads the Advice, Information and Education team at the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

“The callers are quite persistent and aggressive and they have personal details of the person they are speaking to which makes the caller think it could be genuine.”

“The calls also appear to be coming from the Immigration Contact Centre number, but in fact they are not. We call this practice a caller id spoofing scam,” says Jarrod.

Immigration New Zealand first posted a warning about the scam on its website on 30 October 2013. Since then almost 300 Indian nationals have reported being called by the scammers, with reported losses of close to $65,000, according to figures from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Last year New Zealanders lost $4.8 million to scams. This year, this number has already reached $1.7 million.

How to protect yourself from falling prey to immigration scam

Knowing about the common types of scams and the typical red flags can help avoid being scammed, advises Jarrod.

Remember, banks, Immigration New Zealand or Inland Revenue will never email, call or SMS people to ask for information or money to be sent using money transfer services.

If you receive one of these calls do not pay the money. Contact the New Zealand Police or report the call to Scamwatch.

An official Facebook group by the ministry runs real-time scam alerts.

Don’t get scammed

  • If you find the call suspicious, hang up immediately.
  • If it doesn’t seem right, be cautious, double check details first.
  • Do not pay money to anyone you have never met.
  • Look after your personal details in the same way you would your wallet and other possessions. Your personal details are also very valuable to scammers, they will use your details to take out loans or run up debts if they can.
  • Warn others. If you have been targeted by a scam, report it straight away to Scamwatch, and help prevent others from becoming the next scam victim.
Immigration Lifestyle News

New to New Zealand? Know these Kiwi phrases and slang

When someone first asked me, “Do you have a brolly? It’s raining!” I was as clueless as a pirate wearing two eye-patches.

Kiwi slang can be daunting not just for new migrants but seasoned settlers.

Don’t get caught off guard at the next work barbie. (Read on if you are not too sure what a barbie is.)

Familiarize yourself with this Kiwi speak.

Maori Haka, New Zealand slang, Kiwi phrases, New Zealand sayings

Maori haka is a spectacular but daunting dance to watch, and is usually performed at the beginning of an event.

 

Understanding Kiwi terminology and sayings

Here are some of the most commonly used Kiwi words, sayings and phrases that confuse new migrants the most.

Snowed under: very busy

Anklebiter: A toddler or small child

Bach: A holiday home

Barbie: A barbecue or shortened to BBQ.

Banger: A sausage

Bicky: A biscuit, also called crackers

Bash: A party

Brolly: Umbrella

Cardie: A cardigan. Also called a jumper.

Coconut: A pacific islander (Offensive word)

Chilly Bin: An ice box for keeping beer or food cool. (similar to an esky in Australia)

Across the ditch: In Australia. Also referred to as Down Under

Curry Muncher: An Indian. (Yes that’s what they call all of you from the subcontinent.)

Dole: Unemployment benefit or social welfare payment paid by WINZ (Work and Income New Zealand.)

Dairy: A small shop in the neighbourhood. Also known as the corner store.

Fag: A cigarette. Also used as “Let’s go for a fag”, which refers to smoking.

P: refers to the drug Methamphetamine

Footy: Rugby or football. Also refers to rugby union or rugby league

G’day or gidday: It’s a short form for Good Day.

Mate: friend. It is common to call a stranger a mate.

Aye or eh: Pronounced as letter “a”, Kiwis use this instead of a question mark, to convert a normal sentence into a question. For example, “It’s hot, eh”. Also used in place of ‘what’ if the listener didn’t hear you or doesn’t understand what you are saying.

Heaps: A lot of something. For e.g., my backyard has heaps of firewood.

Hoodie: A jacket with a hood.

Jandals: Thongs, flip-flops

Speedos: swimwear

Kia Ora: Hello in the Maori language.  Propounced as ki-ora.

L&P: New Zealand’s brand of soda. Stands for Lemon and Paeroa

Oi: To get someone’s attention if someone is within sight but not paying attention

Old Lady: Used for wife or girlfriend

Old man: Used for father

On the piss: Gone out for drinking

Piss: Beer

Pissed: 1. Drunk, intoxicated. 2. Angry (He is really pissed at you)

Pom or Pommie: Used for a person from the UK

Tall poppy syndrome: This is a phrase used for commonly observed New Zealand attitude of being modest about one’s achievements.

She’ll be alright: Another trait of New Zealanders who like to get on with life and dealing with problems without whining or complaining.

Tangi: A Maori word which means funeral ceremony. Not to be confused with Hangi which is a traditional Maori way of cooking.

Haka: A Maori dance which you will usually see before the beginning of a rugby match.

Trolley: Shopping cart.

Truckie: A truck driver.

Whanau: Family

(Source: NZ Guide)

Do you know any other slang but confusing words used by New Zealanders? Share them in comments below.

Immigration News Opinion Work Abroad

OPINION: Immigration policy may stall growth in NZ

ImmigrationAttorney

 

Migrate to AustraliaNew Zealand’s xenophobia, rather its politicians’ attempt to capitalize on xenophobia, has raised its ugly head again.

This time it is Labour leader David Cunliffe, who has blamed migrants for housing crisis and has suggested putting brakes on immigration following Treasury’s prediction that net migration may cross the 40,000 mark very soon.

If Cunliffe has his way, New Zealand could curb the projected migration levels of 40,000 to just in the “zone of between 5,000 and 15,000”.

Cunliffe wants “enough new migrants to fill our skill gaps but not so many that it overwhelms our housing market or the ability of our schools and our hospitals to cope”.

How convenient! Has he done research to learn about the number of migrants serving in New Zealand’s healthcare sector?

In the case of hospitals, he seems to be forgetting that without migrants as staff at all levels, they would gradually grind to a halt, says the NZ Herald columnist Brian Rudman.

It reminded me of the early years of 2000s, when net migration was as high, and there was a wide-spread feeling of resentment against migrants – Asians specifically, as they look and sound different.

However, those were the times when New Zealand economy was growing at a record rate of 3% to 3.5%. Individual incomes were high; people had steady jobs and spending rate was comparable to most developed countries.

We don’t have the same scenario now. The leading economies of the world haven’t recovered from the historic recession, with no clear signs of better days ahead.

This is a time to make the most use of available resources and bat on, so that New Zealand economy is able to create a distinct competitive advantage on global platform, despite its geographic remoteness and small market size.

This is possible by attracting the best talent from around the world in face of growing competition for talent from bigger economies like the US, the UK, Canada and of course, our fortunate cousin Australia.

Instead, policymakers like Cunliffe are busy finding ways to protect the sentiments of homegrown Kiwis, and ride on the anti-migrant wave.With elections around the corner, and poor voter perception, Cunliffe seems to be trying everything he could to revive his campaign.

However, let’s not politicize the issue.

If Asian population is expected to hit 800,000 in another decade, then it should be seen as an opportunity, not threat.

Let’s not drive skill-based migration, which benefits a few cities like Auckland, at the cost of other regions.

Auckland is a major winner from the government’s skilled-based immigration policies, says analyst Rodney Dickens of Strategic Risk Analysis Ltd.

“Wellington and Canterbury benefit to a moderate extent, while Canterbury benefits form the rebuilding-related skill-based policy.  All other regions are double losers as a result of the skilled-based immigration policies,” says Dickens in his latest report (PDF).

“Skill-based immigration policies would appear to be great at ensuring the largest group of immigrants, excluding Kiwis returning form OE, offer skills that fit with the evolving economy.

“However, the evolving economy and the skilled-based immigration policies both favour large urban centres over other centres.  This is having a significant impact on regional economic growth, retail spending, residential building and house prices.

“Restricting where immigrants can live would be self-defeating.  In time many skilled immigrants would end up filtering to the major urban centres even if they were originally restricted to living in provincial towns and cities.”

Dickens recommends an immigration policy that puts less emphasis on skills and gives more importance to hard work.

“If the criteria were relaxed to include hard-working people with lower formal
qualifications, it would create a more balanced playing field from a regional perspective,” argues Dickens.

“If this were done it would allow regions with smaller urban centres to better compete in part because they offer much more affordable housing costs compared to income levels than the large urban centres.”

“It would allow regions with cheaper housing costs to compete for immigrants on a much more equal footing with regions dominating new economy job creation.”

Immigration News Work Abroad

Can I keep Indian passport after becoming NZ citizen?

Many Indians in New Zealand continue to hold Indian passports after becoming New Zealand citizens – either out of ignorance or willful intention (claiming ignorance).

work visa new zealand

The Indian High Commission in New Zealand has appealed to such Indians to surrender their Indian passports.

“Of late, many cases have been coming to the notice of this High Commission where the applicants have not surrendered their Indian Passports within three years of acquisition of New Zealand citizenship,” says the announcement on the High Commission’s website.

“In some cases, the applicants have gone even further and used the Indian passports for travel after acquisition of foreign nationality.”

People often confuse PIO status with dual citizenship. This is not true.

The Indian Citizenship Act 1955 does not allow dual citizenship.

It is a serious offense to retain Indian passport after acquiring citizenship of another country.

The Indian Passport Act 1967 says:

“Holding Indian passport/acquiring Indian passport/travelling on Indian passport after acquisition of foreign citizenship constitutes an offence under the Indian Passport Act, 1967, and attracts penalties.

The Government of India has prescribed imposition of penalty on a graded scale, depending on number of trips made on Indian passport after acquiring foreign nationality, for the violation of Passport Rules and retention of Indian Passport for more than 3 years after acquiring of foreign nationality.”

If you have violated the above provisions, then you will need to surrender you Indian passport and pay appropriate penalty to the Indian High Commission in New Zealand.

The Wellington-based High Commission has no authority to waive off such penalties.

Like any other law, the Indian Citizenship Act as well as Passport Act does not pardon such errors on account of ignorance of law.

If you have acquired New Zealand citizenship, you are required to cancel your Indian passport without delay to avoid higher penalties.

The Indian High Commission website contains a table that shows how much penalty you would be expected to pay.

Besides, if you haven’t surrendered your Indian passport, you will find it difficult to get visa for your dependent children. Indian origin parents with New Zealand citizenship will need to provide evidence of cancellation of Indian passport, for obtaining visa for their minor children.

Once you surrender your Indian passport, you will travel on your New Zealand passport and may need a visa to visit India. To avoid this hassle, many New Zealand citizens of India origin opt for a PIO card.

How is PIO card different from dual citizenship?

Beginning September 2002, India introduced PIO scheme of people of Indian origin living outside India.

The PIO card is like a long-term visa. With PIO card, which stands for Persons of Indian Origin, you don’t have to apply for a visa to visit India.  Valid for 15 years, The PIO card scheme enables a person of Indian origin, up to the 4th Generation down, as also spouses of such persons to apply for and obtain a PIO card.

The PIO card is given to up to 4th generation down. So if your great grandparents were citizens of India, you are still eligible for a PIO card.

Even spouses of PIOs, who may not be of Indian origin, are eligible to obtain a PIO card.

However, India specifically excludes citizens of its neighboring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and China, and those of high-risk countries like Afghanistan and Iran from obtaining a PIO card.

 Benefits of a PIO card

In addition to visa waiver, PIO card offers many other benefits:

  1. All foreign nationals (including foreigners of Indian origin) visiting India for more than 180 days (whether for study, research or employment) need to register with the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) within 14 days of arrival. PIO card holders don’t have to register until 30 days prior to the expiry of the initial 180-day period in India.
  2. PIOs can buy, hold, transfer and dispose of immovable properties in India. This applies to residential as well as commercial properties.
  3. PIO children can study in India’s medical colleges, engineering colleges, IITs, IIMs under the general categories like resident Indians.
  4. There are special counters at the immigration check posts for PIOs.

PIOs however don’t get voting rights, cannot contest elections for any political position in India, neither are they allowed to buy agricultural land.

How much does a PIO card cost?

PIO card fees is NZ$695 for adults, and it is valid for 15 years. If your New Zealand passport expires before the expiry of your PIO card, you can still travel on your existing PIO card which contains old passport number. However, India’s Bureau of Immigration advises to have necessary endorsement of the new passport from the competent authority on their PIO cards “to avoid any inconvenience”.

Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) status

OCI status is given to those Indians who once were citizens of India (or were eligible to be Indian citizens), and have now surrendered Indian citizenship in favor of a foreign citizenship. OCI is different from PIOs in that PIO card is also issued to spouses and children even if they were never a citizen of India.

Immigration News Work Abroad

These 10 CV mistakes may cost you a dream job in NZ

Your resume is your first step at a prospective employer’s door. Vaibhav Gangan shares common resume mistakes to avoid.

CV writing tips

Top 10 resume writing tips (Photo: The Italian Voice)

In this age of information overload, getting the job you desire is not as straightforward as it used to be, even if you have the required skills and qualifications. Companies are looking for solution-providers, not just highly-skilled individuals.

While writing your resume, please keep in mind these CV tips and avoid these common mistakes.

Mistake 10: Being vague

Is your resume full of flowery words, adjectives and adverbs that say a lot and mean nothing? Be specific. Give examples. Mention figures and statistics. Don’t write “improved sales“, say “grew revenue by 8% by increasing sales from 180,000 units to 248,000 unites in financial year 2014.

Mistake 9: Beating around the bush

While writing opening statement/career objective, don’t be shy to say which position you are applying for and why you are suitable for that position. State the obvious up front. Don’t leave the recruiter wondering why he should hire you. Again, be specific. List the skills and experience that are directly relevant to the position you are applying for.  In fact, don’t bother writing an objective. This usually doesn’t add any value to the recruiter. Use that space to write your summary as mentioned above.

Mistake 8: Grammar errors, sloppy style and spelling mistakes

Check for typographical errors and spelling mistakes. Remove unnecessary exclamation marks and other symbols. Don’t use special characters. Don’t use multiple colors and multiple fonts. Keep it simple in formatting as well as language. Since you have written and re-written your resume many times, you may not spot some errors. Get someone else to proof-read your CV.

Mistake 7: Sloppy style and inappropriate tone

Review your resume as a third person. Is your tone style lazy? Does the passion show through your tone?  Is your resume easy on the eye? Use bullet points. Avoid jargon (yes!). Don’t use acronyms which are specific to your current company. For e.g., “Delivered SIP project while meeting TPA deadlines.”

Mistake 6: Whistler

Don’t list hobbies and interests that are irrelevant to the position applying for. For example, whistling as an interest is not important unless you are applying for a music teacher’s position.

Mistake 5: References

Should you include references or not? Unless you are applying for graduate jobs, or entry-level jobs, references are not needed at the application stage. There is no need to say “references available on request”. Of course, certain employers specifically ask for references with CV, in which case you should provide references that are ready to endorse you. Make sure you have briefed your referees.

Mistake 4: Passive

Some CVs are so passive that recruiter almost stops reading after the first few lines. This happens especially when the candidate is low on self-confidence, or shy to express achievements. Your resume should reflect your achievements, and you can legitimately boast of your work here. List the specific challenges you faced and the results you achieved, and how your work helped your company.

Mistake 3: Personal information

A recruiter is rarely interested in your marital status, date of birth. You can leave out these details.

Mistake 2: Getting adventurous with structure

There’s a widely-accepted structure for CVs and resumes around the world. Stick to it and don’t re-arrange sections randomly. The most popular template of a CV/resume includes, in this order: professional summary, education, experience, skills, awards/achievements, professional accreditation, and interests.

Mistake 1: Generic resume, and resume without cover letter

This is the most common and most suicidal mistake that could cost you your dream job – sending the same CV to all recruiters. Your resume must be tailored to the specific job. I don’t mean window-dressing your CV or adding false information there. Far from it. In fact, you should be honest in your CV. However, you must customize your CV to highlight those skills that are directly relevant to the job you are interested in. Which also means leaving out all those details that are not important for the job.

Do you have any other tips that you would like to share? Please use the comment section below.

Resume writing tips from Seek

  • Keep to the employer’s submission requirements – .doc, pdf, docx, rtf
  • Brief is best – more details about your current or recent jobs, less about the past
  • Clear, straightforward text – make sure everyone can understand it
  • Use one font – formatting matters and easy to read makes you stand out
  • Put contact information at the end – not the start or middle
    Highlight specific skills – relevant to the job you’re applying to
Immigration News Work Abroad

Moving to Australia? See how your living exp will be affected

Expenses in Australia can catch new migrants completely off guard. This guide provides useful tips to consider before moving to Australia.

AustraliaAsylumSidney

Many career professionals jump on the bandwagon of moving to Australia without putting pen to paper and consider living expenses in the new land.

Those considering moving to Australia should keep in mind the salary levels and their relation to monthly household expenses. This is even more crucial for those moving with young kids, as medical expenses can take away a big chunk of take home salary.

With taxes going up in Australia, the disposable income of many Australians is adversely impacted.

The main factors to consider before moving to Australia – average salary, household expenses, transportation expenses, education, and most importantly, medical expenses.

Average salaries in Australia (in AUD)

  • Operations manager $80,000
  • Accountant $55,000
  • Graphic designer $48,000
  • General manager $97,000
  • Office manager $55,000
  • Retail store manager $46,000

(source: Payscale.com)

Average house rent in Australia

The rental prices vary dramatically across Australia, as the following figures show. These figures are as of January 2012, and with changing economic scenario, it may work out cheaper to have a mortgage than to rent in 2014, in some parts of Australia like Canberra. (Source: Workin In Australia)

  • Darwin $550
  • Sydney $500
  • Canberra $500
  • Perth $400
  • Brisbane $380
  • Melbourne $360
  • Adelaide $340
  • Hobart $320

Average house prices in Australia

Again, these are June 2012 figures, but provide a good indication on house prices throughout the country. In some cities in Australia, you may find owning a home cheaper than renting one.

  • Sydney $555,000
  • Canberra $495,000
  • Melbourne $490,000
  • Darwin$472,000
  • Perth $460,000
  • Brisbane $415,000
  • Adelaide $370,000
  • Hobart $350,000

Medical expenses in Australia

This one expense is often under-estimated by new migrants. After all, who would imagine falling sick? However, cost of healthcare is very high in Australia, and if you are not a citizen, permanent resident, or hold a certain visa, you will not be eligible for Medicare, and will have to pay medical bills.

  • Visit to GP – $70 of which roughly half is paid by Medicare
  • Visit to a specialist – $155, of which Medicare will pay $69
  • Visit to dentist for one filling – $175 of which Health fund reimburses $98

Health fund is private insurance, independent of Medicare.

 

Immigration News

2 Pakistani women murdered in Auckland

In what could possibly be a case of domestic violence, two women of Pakistan origin were found dead in a house in West Auckland, New Zealand.

Police arrested a 52-year old man from the same house who is believed to have phoned the police and informed them about the double murder of the pair – possibly mother and daughter. The police have not yet confirmed whether the man is a suspect in the incident.

Detective Inspector Greg Cramer told the Stuff website the Police weren’t looking for anybody else in relation to the murder of Pakistani women, one aged in her 40s and the other in her 20s.

Police believed the three to be related, “but until formal identification has taken place we can’t say”. A autopsy would take place tomorrow morning.

Some of the neighbors told media the family was very peaceful and they rarely heard any fights.

 

Immigration News Work Abroad

NZ slashes duty-free tobacco limit by 75%

New Zealand will reduce the duty-free allowance for cigarettes from the current 200 cigarettes to just 50.

In an attempt to make New Zealand smoke-free by 2025, the government will lower the duty-free allowance for international travellers visiting New Zealand, from the current 200 cigarettes to 50 cigarettes.

This brings New Zealand in line with similar regulations in Australia. The new duty-free tobacco limit is forecast to raise $50 million in extra revenue annually. These changes will help to eliminate cheaper avenues for smoking, which are out of step with recent government initiatives

The new limit of 50 cigarettes will apply from 1 November 2014. If the New Zealand Associate Minister of Health Tariana Turia had her way, she would have removed the duty-free allowance completely.

Smoking causes up to 5,000 premature deaths in New Zealand every year.

“It is an anomaly that on the one hand we’re increasing the price, and on the other hand we’re offering a duty-free allowance on 200 cigarettes to every adult arriving at our borders,” says Associate Minister of Health Tariana Turia.

The price differential between retail tobacco and duty-free tobacco will continue to grow with two further 10 per cent increases in the rate of excise scheduled over the next two years, says the minister.

“I considered recommending that the duty-free allowance be removed entirely, and although that would be consistent with the Government’s goal of making New Zealand effectively smoke-free from 2025, it would not be practical.

“Completely removing the duty-free concessions would mean that smokers, who might have a packet or two of cigarettes on them when going through Customs, had to either dump them or declare them and pay duty. If they did neither, they would risk prosecution and seizure of the goods.

“Either way, it would have potentially created considerable compliance costs for Customs in processing passengers at busy airports. Consequently, the Cabinet has agreed to reduce, rather than remove, the allowance.”

“It makes sense for us to match Australia’s duty-free limits for tobacco, given that nearly half of all our inbound passengers come from, or via, Australia.”

Along with the reduction in the duty-free concession, tobacco will be removed from the gift concession that currently allows gifts sent from overseas to be free of duty and GST in New Zealand, providing they exceed no more than $110 in total value.

Budget 2014 will include additional funding for New Zealand Customs Service of $2.7 million in 2014/15, and $420,000 in the following years to assist with implementation of the new rules.

New Zealand duty-free limits for tobacco

  • New limits effective from 1 November 2014
  • The duty-free tobacco allowance for passengers arriving in New Zealand will fall to 50 cigarettes, or 50 grams of cigars or tobacco products – similar to Australia. Currently passengers arriving in New Zealand can bring up to 200 cigarettes, 250 grams of tobacco, 50 cigars (or a mixture of all three weighing up to 250 grams) into New Zealand free of duty and GST.
  • Tobacco products sent to New Zealand as a gift from abroad will no longer be eligible for the $110 duty-free gift allowance. This means all gifts of tobacco products sent to New Zealand will now be subject to excise duty and GST.
  • What if you are carrying more than the allowance? As under the current rules, passengers carrying more than the new limit will need to declare this, and pay the relevant duty and tax on the excess amounts, or forfeit these excess amounts at the Customs controlled area. If passengers fail to declare dutiable goods, the goods will be confiscated and passengers may be prosecuted.
  • The changes to the traveller’s duty-free tobacco allowance will not affect outgoing international travel. Outgoing passengers will still be able to purchase duty-free tobacco from New Zealand duty-free stores in accordance with the overall limits specified by their destination country.

 

Immigration News

Canada celebrates Asian Heritage Month

 

migrate to Canada

Baljit Sethi has made significant contributions to racial harmony in Canada.

When Baljit Sethi left India for a better life in Canada in 1972, the term ‘multiculturalism’ wasn’t mainstream.

Finding her feet in a foreign land wasn’t easy. Not only faced with a language barrier, but also cultural limitations, Baljit decided to help other immigrants, and find herself in the process.

Baljit understood that newcomers could not become part of their new communities without multicultural programs and the active promotion of racial harmony.

She founded the Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society of Prince George, which provides settlement services to communities in Northern British Columbia.  She worked to encourage interaction between immigrants and the population of Prince George, the benefit of which was felt across northern British Columbia.

Her tireless work over 40 years had given Canada the programs that continue to be used across the country to promote multiculturalism and equality.

A strong advocate for immigrant women, her contributions have been recognized with the Order of British Columbia award.

She is one the many Asians that have shaped the history of Asians in Canada. To commemorate Asians’ contribution, Canada is celebrating Asian Heritage Month throughout the country.

Canadians get an opportunity to understand and celebrate the contributions of Canadians of Asian heritage.

The concept is not new to North America. Asian Heritage Month has been celebrated in the United States since 1979.

In the last few years, Asians in Canada have started to celebrate their culture in May every year.

It was in 2001 that Canada officially adopted the motion proposed by Senator Vivienne Poy to designate May as Asian Heritage Month.

 

News Work Abroad

2 Indians charged in Canada for job fraud

Two Indians are among three people charged by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for the unauthorized employment of foreign nationals.

Following a three-month investigation, the CBSA’s Criminal Investigation Division charged Brampton-based 31-year old Kumar Gautam and 29-year old Nancy Gautam of unauthorized employment of foreign nationals.

It is alleged that the accused employed a number of foreign nationals who were not authorized to work in Canada.

The individuals and companies charged are: Kumar Gautam, Nancy Gautam, Shane Burrows, Logan Moving & Storage Inc., Shane’s Moving & Storage Inc. and EBS Transport.

“The CBSA is committed to supporting the employment of those authorized to work here in Canada and ensuring that employers abide by our laws.” says Goran Vragovic, Regional Director General of CBSA, Greater Toronto Area Region.

Business Money News Work Abroad

NZ job market strong

highly skilled jobs in Auckland

highly skilled jobs in Auckland

Good news for job hunters and those seeking a change of job. The number of job listings on the Trade Me Jobs site has increased by 21% year-on-year.

The website had 50,000 roles listed in the first quarter of 2014. The growth in jobs is in all major locations in New Zealand.

Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury are seeing positive growth, says Peter Osborne, head of Trade Me Jobs.

“With more roles being advertised, Kiwis hunting that dream job are looking well-placed to consider their next career move.

Trade Me analysis  is in line with similar report from Westpac McDermott Miller (PDF file) which found that employment confidence is at an all-time high since the recession.

“The New Zealand job market is looking very rosy.”

Highest salary jobs are in Auckland

The Auckland region remains the powerhouse of the national job market, said Mr Osborne. “The City of Sails saw a 20% boost in job listings when compared to the same period last year, with central Auckland and Manukau experiencing significant jumps in year-on-year growth.”

For the first time, average salary in Auckland is higher than Wellington. In fact, those working in central Auckland could expect the highest average pay of the country, taking home an average annual salary of $72,302. This was ahead of previous leader central Wellington ($70,234), and New Plymouth (61,143).

Canterbury job listings were up 24% on the same time last year, with Christchurch city’s available roles also ticking up 24%. “It’s been a long process, but the rebuilding efforts in the area are still the primary motivators for activity in the employment market,” says Peter.

Jobs in Auckland Jobs in New Zealand

IT guys highest paid in New Zealand

“The need for skilled IT workers is reflected in the sector’s dominance of average pay packets,” Mr Osborne said. “Four of the top five are filled by IT architects, IT sales, IT project managers and IT managers, all taking home an average pay packet between $128,000 and $134,000 a year.”

Sectors seeing increased listings this quarter when compared to the same period last year included IT sales (up 166%), journalism (up 156%) and retail department manager roles (up 131%).

Peter says there was plenty of opportunity for employers too with recent research commissioned by Trade Me Jobs finding that 45% of employees were willing to relocate for a new job. “Employers should be confident there are plenty of potential candidates willing to consider the right role even if they’re not on the doorstep.”

More than half of employees (62%) cited better pay as their primary motivation for considering moving to a new location, but other factors included being made redundant, career development and a desire to relocate. “With the surge in job listings, now is a good time for anyone contemplating that next great role to put their thinking into action.”

Peter says Wellington was recently revealed as the most desirable New Zealand destination to head to for a new job. “We saw 18% of respondents choose the capital, while the Bay of Plenty was next with 14% of the vote,” he said. “The job market in Wellington is in good shape for new arrivals, with a 26% tick up in advertised roles on a year ago.”

NZ jobs by sector

Surprise down south

“We saw a huge lift in advertised roles in Southland, with a 41% increase,” he said. “We saw good growth in agriculture, trades, and healthcare. Jobs out on the pasture aren’t in short supply either, with advertised roles for farming up 113%.”

The number of roles advertised in the Taranaki region also lifted significantly, up 16% on a year ago.

Mortgage forcing employees to look for greener pastures

“As mortgage rates rise, so too does the desire for a better pay check at the end of the week. With perceptions of job opportunities markedly improving, and recent signs that firms are looking to step up their hiring efforts, it’s becoming a job hunter’s market.

“High salaries in IT are great for people working in those sectors, but research has also shown they are among the least likely of professions to move roles. Combined with a real skills shortage, this can only mean that IT professionals will continue to dominate the high salaried roles in the foreseeable future and in contrast to many other sectors the industry will find it increasingly difficult to land good, experienced IT staff.”