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When choosing health insurance in Germany, you’re often not just choosing for yourself — you’re choosing for the family members that depend on you.

Health insurance is a requirement in Germany, but there is plenty of choice: statutory health insurance or private health insurance, of which there are dozens of providers. To qualify for private health insurance, however, you must earn over EUR 59,400 per year or be self-employed, as well as submit to a health check — which, if you have a pre-existing condition, may disqualify you.

Although expats in Germany may think private health insurance automatically means better health insurance, they are often surprised that sometimes it’s the other way around. With statutory health insurance providers such as Siemens-Betriebskrankenkasse — open to anyone in Germany who would like to enrol — your family is well protected, and you may pay far less.

How family insurance works in Germany

To ensure that everyone is equally covered, the German health care system includes stipulations for family insurance, in which dependent family members such as spouses and children may enrol at no cost with the statutory health insurance provider with whom one family member is already enrolled.

Also called family co-insurance, this is offered to a number of spouses or registered partners and children under certain conditions:

  • They must live in Germany
  • They are not exempt from insurance (e.g. they are a civil servant, a profession which offers insurance exemption)
  • They are not enrolled with any health insurance provider
  • They have no income or income that does not exceed EUR 425 per month (or EUR 450 per month if they fall under so-called marginal employment, or a minor part-time job)

Children are generally insured up to the age of 18, but this limit may be extended. Children may be insured to the following ages, provided they meet additional conditions:

  • Up to 23 years old if they are unemployed
  • Up to 25 years old if they are in school, vocational training, or participating in one of the voluntary work programmes, including the Voluntary Social Year or Voluntary Ecological Year, with some additional requirements
  • Over 25 years old if education was interrupted by military or civilian service, lasting as long as the service itself

Stepchildren and grandchildren are also eligible, provided they are dependents of the enrolee; foster children are also eligible, provided you are not caring for them as a professional. Children who are permanently disabled and must be cared for by the parents are also eligible.

This family health insurance regulation ensures that families are equally covered, and that health insurance remains affordable for all — especially if one half of the couple earns far less or does not have an income at all. Expats that have arrived in Germany due to an overseas assignment often bring their spouses — the trailing spouse — and nearly half of those spouses remain unemployed. One spouse, of course, may earn a salary above the threshold for private health insurance — but enrolling in private health insurance may be a mistake, especially considering that once you enrol with one, you cannot return to statutory health insurance unless you fall under the income threshold and are older than 55.

Statutory vs. private health insurance for families

The family insurance regulation does not apply to private health insurance providers — they are free to charge contributions for spouses and children, regardless of how much they earn (or, rather, do not earn). For families with younger children or those who wish to expand their families, private health insurance may be far more expensive than statutory health insurance.

Child sickness benefits, in which parents receive their wages if they must stay home with a sick child, do not apply in private health insurance. In addition, with private health insurance, the enrolled spouse must always pay contributions — which is especially important if one parent must take parental leave. In this case, even when wages are reduced or non-existent, the partner taking leave must pay the same contribution — which is not determined based on salary, as in statutory health insurance, but health.

For example, with private health insurance, an employed father may pay EUR 380 per month with a private health insurance provider; adding an unemployed wife and two children would require an additional monthly contribution of approximately EUR 320 and EUR 150 per child.

When enrolled with Siemens-Betriebskrankenkasse, on the other hand, the employed father would pay a maximum contribution of EUR 673.77 with no additional contributions for the spouse and children. Compared to private health insurance, insurance with Siemens-Betriebskrankenkasse in this case would save the family nearly EUR 4,000 per year.

Statutory health insurance providers may also provide “extras” for family members — with Siemens-Betriebskrankenkasse, enrolled members receive reimbursement for selected additional pregnancy check-ups and an allowance for midwife on-call services, as well as antenatal classes. Children also receive full range of preventive examinations from birth until 17 years of age; Siemens-Betriebskrankenkasse covers the costs of the U10, U11 and the J2 preventive examinations, which are generally not covered under other providers, and provides two completely covered dental examinations for children ages three to six.

But each family is different — that’s why Siemens-Betriebskrankenkasse offers personal consultants for each of its members, a perk you may not get with private health insurance providers.

When moving to Germany as a family, health insurance is often one of the first things to settle. Although you may qualify for private health insurance, it may not be the best option in the long-term — especially if you have a trailing spouse or young children.

[Contributed by Siemens-Betriebskrankenkasse]

 

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We wish you all a very happy year 2018!

We are excited to start a new year at EasyExpat and BlogExpat with new projects coming: a new forum (with Facebook login), new and updated guides, expat news and of course always more interviews.

We are looking forward to seeing you again soon on EasyExpat.com!
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Just before Christmas, and to finish this year, we are publishing for the 7th year the EasyExpat Best-of list (we skipped 2016, therefore we are compiling both years here) for the funniest or most bizarre emails we have received in 2016-17.

We remind you that EasyExpat is a list of city guides for expatriates, host a public forum for the community and free services such as job listing, classifieds, general articles on expatriation (FAQ), directory of expat websites. Apparently some Internet users did not understand it!

Enjoy.

You will understand that the goal is not to mock but just to relax and take it easy during the festive season.

Of course, spelling mistakes were not corrected but names and personal details have been replaced by XXX, or deleted. The text published is the only and full message received.

If you want to pursue this moment of relaxation and humour, please see our previous best-of:

Worst emails in English Dear Sir / Madam,
I hope you are doing well.

My name is XXX,  Yemeni nationality.
I am writing to you wondering if I and my boss can join such courses related to English learning?

My boss English skills under zero, so he can start as a beginner;  and I can join any of advanced English conversation course, but both courses should start on same time.

Could you plz reply to me ASAP, so that we can discuss this matter.

Thank you,
Hi,
Maybe you can get me on the right track.
I'm trying to find out if my father is still alive.
The last time I saw him,I was 11 years old.
Now on Christmas Eve,I will be 64.
Can you maybe help me ?
Sincerely,
RXXX
XXX
USA
PS: I am Belgium,born in Merksem.

Good day
Please I want to migrate from Cameroon to malaisia
I pleasing you to help me with all inquires necessary for a peace full journey

XXX here. I live in Calgary AB Canada. Do wish to work in your San Francisco office. Please give me the email address to have my resume sent.

Hello.pls can you guys help me with any girl over there.my cell phone number.XXX.

Hello,

My name is XXX,I have 2 Console pianos that I need to be delivered back to city from UK.I only need you to store my items at your warehouse and deliver to my apartment after storage, Which  weighs 380 Kg each and Length x width x height = 58” x 25” x 40” = 1.661cbm,2 unit will be 3.322cbm /Volume 3.26m3 and the number of shipping case is 2 and have it Stored  for 3 months at your storage facility and deliver after to my apartment after storage.
 
Note:I can only use my credit card for the payment of this service.Do your company accept credit card?
 
Do get back to me with your cost for storage and method of payment so that I can go ahead and make payment if you can be able to move the items.
 
Regards,
XXX
Hello ,i've ordered from lovell soccer website 13 days ago and they said my order has arrived to kuwait ,but honestly idont know where or when it will be delieverd ,so i would like to know if its in ur office ,so i can come and pick it up ,ref num :RU4XXX

Rental Accommodation Ursynów area of Warsaw

I am contacting you on behalf of my daughter and two other University students who are all second year student at the Veterinary Medicine at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences .

She is now looking for a three bedroom apartment for Rental Accommodation Ursynów area of Warsaw. I have looked on your web site but have not had any success.

The apartment is required for the academic year starting October 2016 and, depending on suitability, will continue until the end June 2017 or beyond.

Can you please let me have any suitable accommodation which you feel might be available at the time required.

Please send any information to me at: XXX

Many thanks

Guide me that how can we start or open the christian school in india
or send me your contact number

Dear Sir

I am XXX buying Executive of XXX Group Limited company base in England. After visiting your website, I would like to build a partnership with your company.

We are interested in buying couple of the products you sell and want to place an order with you in large quantities.

Also we would be glad if you could give us an update on your stock and shipping details as quickly as possible

Please Advise!
Best Regards

I'm experienced 4 years in childcare,im interested to work in abroad any country. I'm waiting for the response.

Inquiry
Dear sir
Can we know your product prices to enable us compare and place our order, kindly confirm back to enable us send our order for further negotiation. wish to have a long term business opportunity with your esteem company
Our company is looking at a very large Amount of supply and we are being very careful not to get loads of knock off  products.
Note: Confirm if you can supply this quantity monthly. destination port Khalifa Bin Salman Port (KBSP)Bahrain

Hello,

From XXX tours, I'm XXX,and I wish to make a reservation with you for a group of 8 coming for a family Vacation/Holiday.We will like to know if you have vacancy for any fourteen days in the month of October.

We appreciate your prompt responds.
Regards,

Good morning spotahome,
I need your help please I'm looking for 2 apartments one for 2 adults and another one for a couple and little girl 3yrs.
Budget 600 minimum maximum 800 without utilities. Please next to metro, bus lines supermarkets. Term could be minimum 4 months up to long term. My expectation is for first week of September, I can visit apartments on Monday next week, today or next weekende. I could also pay in advance 3 months of rent plus deposit. This is urgent. I'm italian and renting for my family. Thanks.

hello
good day
dear sir/madam
my name is XXX, i am pakistani citizen,
i am interested business in madagascar, trading company office for nuts and spice and vegetables import export business,
please give me information also cost business licence also paper work and your services fee and my residence visa fee and how long processing time

Hallo Please send me a quote for the fees for a business visa for
Australia  All the costs application fee cost involved please

Hello,

I was wondering if you could please forward a parcel for me from Denmark to
Austria. I am trying to place an order online but the seller (Pandora
Denmark) would ship only locally, which is why I was wondering if you could
forward it to my Austrian address.

Many thanks.

Best,

Dear Sir/ Madam,

I hope this email finds you well. I have an urgent need to rent a furnished superior apartment for a family (of 4 people) on a longer period of time. We search upon a nice large apartment located in Eur area, and composed by 2 or 3 bedrooms, living room, kitchen/ dining room and bathroom(s).

Due to a shortage of time, I would kindly ask you to offer me few apartments as soon as possible. Please provide a short description, including prices.

You can also take in mind that I would be available to visit them in the forthcoming days.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

With kind regards,

Hi, I am waiting on a very important letter.  I have been tracking it and it's at the International Postal Center, probably at Incheon.  It's usually shipped to Korean Post EASTSEOUL Postal then to me...  I really need this package and with the korean holiday I won't get it until net wednesday.

Is it possible to pick up my ems package at the International Post Center or pay a service for it to be hand delivered?  I have been searching for options...

I really need this and can't wait past the weekend....

Hello , i wish you a great time filled with happiness
I am Jordanian and reside in UAE
i have sent my documents by Emirates Post to the written address for the university of Luxembourg
How can i know that my documents reached the university ?
the registered mail is XXX
the number of Dispatch is XXX
please help me
Best wishes

Dear Sir or Madam,
                   I am pleased to write to inquire if there are job openings for construction and factory workers(vacancy), which i can give you a number of very good energetic young men from Ghana to work in South Korea or where the need necessary.
This is an NGO seeking jobs for young people.

Thank you very much and hoping to hear from you sooner.

Hi,
 
We bought your products some time ago and now we would like to speak with your sales department.

Kindly forward me their email so we can begin with another purchase.
 
Thanks!
 
Best regards,

Greetings,

Please find attached RFQ (REQUEST FOR QUOTATION) for the attached product and quote us your best price and availability .

Should you have any request, feel free to contact us.

Best regards,
Dear Sir/ Madame,

I would like to kindly ask you to send me some offers of flats for sale in MUNICH (lower part of Englischer Garden). It should be placed in first street (the nearest to the park).
We are looking for flat 4+1 or bigger, (around 150-200 square metres) with park view, the higher floor the beter.
Would you be so kind and send me some offers?

MeHello
I need your help, we arrive by plane on the 13th August at 23:50 and we have to go 10 boat green to Edinburgh ... what would be the cost of a taxi ride for this night ride?
Thank you very much for your helpssage:

Dear Team,
Greeting from XXX – Spain

Kindly give us your best rate for below request:
Saudi Nationality
7 Adl + 2 Chd (6, 10 yrs)

City : Munich, Germany
From 03/08/2017 (Thursday) To 27/08/2017 (Sunday)
Room Type : Any 3 Bedroom Villa Or Apartment beside Leonardo Royal Hotel Munich

Please mention the rate NET or Commissionable, VAT included or not.

Hey ! Im XXX XXX in Laayoune and Im supposed to receive a treatment from usa ! And the tracking showed me that it's in casablanca and that's the Tracking number : XXX

Can you tell me if you exchange TTD to USD?

I am hoping you can help me with a destination service rate for a new import
as below
Commodity: Used Personal effects
Origin: please, advise the best POE and POA
Delivery address: Santa Cruz 85b, Santa Cruz, Aruba, Dutch Caribbean
Weight: 400 lbs
Dims: 2 @ 23x23x22
2 @ 19x16x20
1 @ 19x15x31
1 @ 30x12x17
The total physical weight is closer to 200-250 lbs, but volumetric weight
works out to be higher

Dear Sir/ Madam,

I hope this email finds you well. The company for which I work - XXX has an urgent need to rent a furnished apartment on a longer period. We search upon a nice apartment that is centrally located and composed by 2 bedrooms, living room, kitchen/ dining room and bathroom.

Due to a shortage of time, I would kindly ask you to suggest me few apartments as soon as possible. Please take note that I am already in Rome, so I would be able to visit them tomorrow or on Wednesday.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

With kind regards

Hi Supplier,

We have a new customer than needs your product very urgent.Please confirm if this order will be ready by next month.
Please do inform me if you can make exactly the same with the right quality material and email me your latest catalogue, MOQ, delivery time and payment terms.

Your early reply is highly appreciated. Les pires emails en FrançaisCher ami, Compliments de la saison, La plupart des gens ne répondent pas aux mails non sollicités, mais s'il vous plaît, je vous exhorte à ne pas traiter cela comme tel. Je veux demander d'abord votre permission avant de vous écrire dans les détails au sujet de la proposition que je l'ai. Je plaide pour votre consentement pour me permettre d'écrire de nouveau dans les détails pour vous. Votre réponse rapide sera appréciée. Merci, Mme XXX

Bonjour,

J’ai un colis d’une antenne VSAT de 3.7 m de diamètre pesant 505 kilos que je souhaite envoyer de Dubai en Guinée Bissau, je peux avoir le délai de livraison si possible et le tarif.

Espérant une suite favorable.

Cordialement.

J'ai besoin d'un service coment obtenir mon visa pour le mexique?

Bonjour j ai besoin de connaitre si vous avez les instruments pour solon de coiffure dames

Bonjour,

Je vous prie de me faire parvenir le formulaire de visa court séjour pour la Suède.

Bonjour mes chères vraiment veillée m'excusé , Je suis un maçon je cherche a partir travaillez avec vous ?
Peggiore e-mail in italianoVoglio comprare casa a Sètubal perchè voglio trasferirmi con mio marito e mio figlio. Cerco un contatto in loco che mi faccia da tramite anche con la lingua con un'agenzia di compra vendita. Siamo disposti a dare un compenso. Siamo disponibili a partire dal 7/3 al 20/03 compatibilmente con impegni di lavoro per un primo sopralluogo. Sonia 
Peor de los e-mails en españolSeñores He recibido vuestro mensaje de uds  pero creo  no era muy
dificil de vuestro lugar ya que tengo que conversar sobre vehiculos de
carga  pero necesito solo el nombre de la persona  que esta en el
Ministerio del Transporte para poderme conectarme con el  es cual es
su nombre  y su email  les estare muy agradecido de vuestra dilijencia
los saludo muy atte  auds  Basilio Kejaya  gracias

Hola buenas noches. Me llamo XXX. Me encuentro viviendo en Shanghai, soy de la ciudad de XXX, al norte de México.
Tengo experiencia trabajando con niños, enseñando español y teatro.
Me gustaría conocer si tienen lugar para mí, para dar clases en su escuela.
Tengo horario disponible.
Worst-Mails in DeutschWas passiert, wenn ich mich 1 Woche zu spaet arbeitlos gemeldet habe? Mein letzter Arbeitstag war 31/3 und ich habe mich erst mit dem heitigen Tag, 15/4 arneitlos gemeldet.
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On the fence about whether to get away this holiday?

How about if you knew that a vacation could help you live longer? Or, that it can improve your energy and reduce your stress. For some holiday travelers, though, vacation can actually increase stress. Vacations that are poorly planned, plagued with work worries, or scheduled in crowded, busy cities can actually add to your stress load.

So whether you’re setting off for a visit with family, planning a bucket list romantic trip to Hawaii, or hitting the road solo, use these tips to make sure you enjoy your time away.

Tip #1 Make Your Vacation about You

When you’re planning, think about things you’re passionate about, and that doesn’t always have to be the fan favorite on TripAdvisor. Look for things that will make the getaway more relaxing and personalized to you.

If you’re headed home for the holidays to spend time with family, be sure to carve out some time to enjoy some personal pleasures. And if you’re traveling with a loved one on an exotic adventure, remember to prioritize your needs as well as theirs.

Tip #2 Select a Relaxing Spot

If you’re searching for the perfect holiday vacation spot, choose a place where relaxation is a part of life. In other words, a trip to New York City might not be the stress relief you’re looking for. Luckily, there’s plenty of great relaxation spots right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.

Tip #3 Handling the Work Front

Before you leave, you’ll want to get things at work in order so you’re not stressing about it while you’re away.

Give Advance Notice. Give your boss, coworkers and customers plenty of notice so they have time to properly prepare for your absence.

Delegate. Make sure anything that needs handled while you’re away has been passed off to someone who will manage it for you. Good delegating is key to a great vacation.

Plan, Don’t Cram. One thing that can get your vacation off to a stressful start is working until the very last minute. You’ll need time to prepare for vacation, both tangibly and mentally. Consider taking a day off before vacation to get ready.

Tip #4 Unplug

We’re talking about more than unplugging all the televisions, computers, and other items that will zap energy while you’re gone, you should also consider powering down your phone.

When you plan to unplug, you’re actively choosing to have more meaningful conversations, to live in the moment, to see new and exciting things, and to decrease your stress.

Tip #5 Protect Your Home

The last thing you want to worry about while you’re away is a home break-in. Take these safety measures before you leave.

Don’t run your own vacation marketing plan. Sharing your upcoming vacation itinerary or posting pictures of the beautiful scenery from the beach, can alert people you’re not home.

Keep up appearances. A dark house also sends a signal you’re not home, so set light timers throughout your home. Use a vacation timer so the lights aren’t set to a specific on and off pattern. Also, ask a neighbor to take out your trash and collect mail, these are other signals no one is home.

Consider a house sitter. A loyal friend can retrieve fliers, mail, newspaper deliveries or other items that might be left outside your door. This may help hide the fact that you are away from home.

Arm your alarm. If may seem like the obvious, but many homeowners with valuable home security systems don’t engage them. Now is a good time to put them to work.

Taking a stress-free holiday vacation will require intent. It’s easy to get overburdened with planning, packing and work prep. It’s also easy to pack and take along some of life’s frustrations. Instead, add flexibility, a good dose of humor, a taste for adventure and a lot of patience to your list.

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Last year we published our anthology of some of the best weekly expat interviews from BlogExpat.com, with every piece prefaced with a jokey illustration. 

Through the final selection of interviews, it appeared that unfortunately a few of them could not make the list limited to 55 stories. However those stories were already illustrated. We have now decided to display those un-printed images.

Therefore we are now giving 2 readers the opportunity to win our illustrated paperback book if they guess the reference # of the only one picture that is really printed in the book amongst the 6 drawings below.

Simply respond in comments with the picture number # that you think IS in the book, and don't forget to put your email in the field so we can contact you to request your address and send you the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The response will be given on this page within the next 2 weeks... AND a new opportunity to win books will be offered at the very beginning of December!

My life abroad – A selection of expat stories

252 pages – 60 illustrations
Language: English
ISBN-13 (Paperback): 979-1093013060
ASIN (Kindle): B071HY99W9

Preview available HERE.

Kindle: $4.99 - £3.99 - €3.99
Paperback: $16 - £12 - €15

Point of sale:

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We have now fully updated our guide for Dublin (and Ireland). After London, Paris and Montreal, the guide has been fully reviewed and extended, and with 123 pages (PDF) of information you will read the most complete guide to prepare your expatriation to Ireland and to Dublin.

Dublin is internationally noteworthy in terms of its vibrancy, nightlife and tourist attractions. Furthermore, it is also the most popular entry point for international visitors to Ireland and an economic, administrative and cultural centre with one of the fastest growing populations of any European capital city.

Figures from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) show Ireland's economic growth to be approximately two to three times that of countries such as France, Germany, the UK and the USA. Another indicator called “Modified Total Domestic Demand” excluding aircraft leasing companies and imports of intellectual property has been develop and shows an increase of more than 4.5% in 2017.

You will find the usual articles in our guide to prepare your expatriation to Dublin and Ireland and manage your life once in there: Overview, Job, Passport, Visa & Permits to go to Ireland, International Removal Companies, Finding Accommodation in Dublin, Work, Benefits and Tax, Moving in, Education in Ireland, Health, Practical Life (banks, transport, shopping...), Entertainment...

You can also discuss and share experience in Dublin and Ireland in our forum.

Last but not least, you can download the full guide in PDF format, in order to read quietly and maybe to upload on your mobile or tablet PC/iPad.

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You've been on holiday in Europe this summer and for the first time your were able to enjoy mobile phone roaming rates at the same price as within your own country (assuming you live in Europe). For that, you have to thank the European Union commission which has been battling for more than a decade against EU mobile firms in order to force them to reduce their astronomical extra charges on roaming.

From 15 June 2017 call time, text and data allowances bought as part of a deal or monthly contract at home are usable anywhere in the EU at no extra charge. Similarly, pay-as-you-go customers pay the same rate regardless of what EU country they are in. So for EU members, reading EasyExpat.com at home will be the same price as accessing it while on holiday in another EU country.

Under the leadership of the European Commission, the roaming prices have melted by ...100% since 2007! Back then, receiving a call while roaming in Europe was a an extra €0.30/minute and €0.80/minute to call home.

Since Summer 2017, calls and text-messages cost no more that at home, usually included within your mobile phone package. The last little hitch is that if you call from home to another EU country, it might still be priced separately and much more expensive. Other than that, all roaming costs have been abolished across the EU and a host of other destinations and you can use your phone at no extra cost when you are abroad in Europe.

Of course the Telecom operators lobbies (including Orange, Deutsche Telekom and British Telecom) went to Brussels complaining that the coercive measures that the European Commission were adopting were leading to their ruin! The Commission remained committed but  decided to limit the ban to roaming charges when abroad initially.

Therefore, with the exception of calls from home to other countries, EU customers can now enjoy a sort of United States of digital Europe with same-cost mobile calls and data downloads irrespective of which EU country they are in. Other non EU countries such as Switzerland, Norway, Andorra, Monaco  and even the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man have not been included yet by all the mobile phone operators, so you better check before travelling. As it depends on the operator and the deals, sometime even Iceland, Turkey and Morocco, have been included amongst popular holiday destinations. The UK operator Three, for example, now offers free roaming to 60 destinations including most of Europe, and even Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the US.

All 28 EU member states are subject to the ban on roaming charges. This currently includes the UK, though its position may be negotiated once it leaves the EU. Things might change after the Brexit, but politically it might be difficult for UK operators to re-introduce charges. It will be a matter for the government and regulator Ofcom to discuss what would happen post-Brexit.

Customers who exceed the limits of their contract or allowance while roaming will also not be charged any more than the wholesale caps (the prices operators charge each other when their customers use other networks when roaming in the EU):

  • 3.2 cents per minute of voice call, as of 15 June 2017
  • 1 cent per SMS, as of 15 June 2017
  • A step by step reduction over 5 years for data caps decreasing from €7.7 per GB (as of 15 June 2017) to €6 per GB (as of 1 January 2018), €4.5 per GB (as of 1 January 2019), €3.5 per GB (as of 1 January 2020), €3 per GB (as of 1 January 2021) and €2.5 per GB (as of 1 January 2022).

Reviews of the caps will be made by the end of 2019.

Last but not least, in order to prevent consumers all moving en masse to the cheapest EU provider, it says that customers have to be “normally resident” or have “stable links entailing a frequent and substantial presence” in the member state of that roaming provider. Therefore, if you spend several months using roaming in another country you may find your service is suspended.

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Article sponsored by AGS

Moving valuable items like art or treasured timepieces require a strong know-how with a specific logistical finesse. AGS Movers is an expert in international removal with nearly half a century’s experience and we’re specialists in moving valuable items.

Art and all other valuable items need special attention and specific packaging. There are three major categories for valuable items:

  • Arts and statues
  • Prints and Paints
  • Trinkets and other valuable items
Packaging is essential

These goods have artistic, monetary and sentimental value and need to be protected. There are various packaging methods available including; customised packaging, wooden packaging or an isothermal crate. Your removal company will advise you as to the best solution for your specific items. In some cases customised packaging will need to be created.

There are many elements that needs to be taken into consideration before packing can proceed including the value, volume, weight, fragility and transportation of the items. Your removal company will need to be disciplined and professional in order to determine the best option for your precious belongings. It is also important to note that accidents cannot be prevented. It’s thus recommended to always have additional insurance should something go wrong.

Pieces of art are not like any other furniture and their packaging are generally subject to restrictions. These rules can change depending on the destination country. For this reason you should always consider an international removal company that has a presence in your specific destination country, and is aware of the particular rules about art importation. The main requirement is the customs declaration that changes according to the country and is usually taxed. Other elements can include:

  • In order to prove that your items are not from illegal trafficking, you will have to declare the value or titles of your belongings.
  • A transfer permit for your collectors’ weapons.
  • To allow your valuable items to move within the European Union, you will have to obtain a certificate from the Cultural and Communications Ministry. For other countries, it might be an export authorisation.
Import and taxes

As mentioned previously, these items are generally taxed which can change according to the country or your personal tax status. If, for example, you’re a French resident, you can be exempted under the income tax law. Furthermore, if you can prove that you obtained the valuables as an inheritance or if you have imported it by yourself, you can also be exempted under the tax law.

It should also be noted that in some countries the importation of certain art is prohibited. For example, if you import nude art into Qatar, the customs officers will seize your belongings until the end of your expatriation. Someone has previously imported nude paints from the sixteenth and seventeenth century and the customs officers in Qatar considered these paints as pornography.

It is important for you to select a certified removal company with prestigious accreditations by international organisations such as FIDI, LACMA or IAM, in both your actual and destination countries. A removal company with these accreditations will offer a unique service for your art removal with the best organisation skills to safely transport your beloved belongings.

With 129 locations in 83 countries, AGS is ready to serve you on both sides of your removal!

Request your free quotation online now or visit www.agsmovers.com for more information.

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Article sponsored by AGS

A relocation is a very exciting experience for you and your family but it can also be a very stressful time for your children. AGS Movers relocates more than 70 000 families every year and understands the pressure a move can put on the entire family. Here are a few tips to help your kids understand and adapt to the new changes.

Keep them updated

Don’t wait until the last minute! As soon as the decision has been made to relocate, your children must be the first ones to know of the future relocation. Children have a very active imagination and can create stories easily. And, depending on their age, they might be confused and misunderstand the reason for the relocation.

Don’t hesitate to talk to your kids about the reason and keep them informed of the removal process.

Push them towards the new adventure

A relocation can be a huge adventure. A new place, meeting new friends, finding a new secret hideout, adapting to a new environment or a new school can be very challenging for your little ones. However, this challenge could be either frightening or exciting.

Always talk about the relocation as a positive experience and the fun your kids will have at your new home. Reassure them about the new friends and new adventures they will have.

Get them involved in the removal

Let your kids be part of the relocation in their own way by packing their own boxes and sorting their own goods. Some removal companies have special boxes for younger kids to pack their toys. Allow them to get involved to fulfill their own experience and expectations.

Try to protect them from any negative aspects of a removal. Kids are able to feel when you’re stressed. Take this into consideration and try to hide it by always reassuring them of the positive aspects of the move.

Allow them to keep in touch with their old friends

Your kids will probably miss their old friends the most. Their friends have shared so many incredible adventures with them, shared in their imaginary worlds with superheroes and princesses on the school playground. Make plans to keep in touch with their old friends either via Skype or Facebook. It’s important for them to know that they will not lose their friends forever. Children are very resourceful and know how to adapt and move forward. As soon as they make new friends at your new location, they will reduce the contact with their old friends.

Every child has his or her own personality and these tips are general guidelines. Ultimately, you’re the best one to know how to guide your little ones through this adventure.

With 129 locations in 83 countries, AGS is ready to serve you on both sides of your removal!

Request your free quotation online now or visit www.agsmovers.com for more information.

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Since 2011, BlogExpat.com has been a public voice for many expat bloggers through regular interviews published on the website. With hundreds of stories available, this book is an anthology of some of the best stories, with every piece prefaced with a jokey illustration.

The book is now available as a Kindle Edition! 

(Read with Kindle, iPad & Tablets, mobile phones …) 


Read below what some of the readers said about “My Life Abroad”:

“This book is full of entertaining stories about the actuality that people from different countries experience when living out of their home comfort zones. A fun compulsive read!
Ms J. Matcham - Amazon

“As a person who spent most of his career abroad, working in many different countries, I really enjoyed reading this book! I felt so close to many of the stories that these expat are sharing with us.”
Patrice - Amazon

“Great book about expats all around the world. Each individual story is enlightening and triggers more curiosity towards the visited country. I am expat myself and find so many things in this book really true.”
ppravier - Amazon

“This is more than an individual story. It is the story of us as people and the world we live in today.”
Amazon

“Many of the stories are fun, thoughtful and well worth buying a bookmark for.”
Jack Scott, Author

My life abroad – A selection of expat stories

252 pages – 60 illustrations
Language: English
ISBN-13 (Paperback): 979-1093013060
ASIN (Kindle): B071HY99W9

Kindle: $4.99 - £3.99 - €3.99
Paperback: $16 - £12 - €15

Point of sale:

 

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