Expat News Roundup - week 47, 2012

Posted on 20/11/2012

The expat news this week includes a couple of positive stories - a welcome change from the economic doom and gloom that has pervaded in recent weeks.

This week, one news story reports that more and more Brits are looking to move abroad. Those moving to China will be pleased to hear that the majority of expats there enjoy substantially more disposable income than they did in their former counties. Meanwhile, Brits headed to Germany will have less bureaucratic work to do, with the announcement of a reduction of mandatory paperwork for EU citizens.

Further East, however, expats in Saudi Arabia may notice a reduction in job opportunities, due to new employment legislation designed to reduce local unemployment. Negative expat news cannot be completely avoided!

EU Expats in Germany Face Less Bureaucracy

European nationals settling in Germany now have a reduced level of red tape to deal with, with the announcement that “Confirmation of Free Movement” documents are to be abolished.

Although EU nationals have freedom of movement around all EU nations, all countries have the right to impose individual registration procedures. New immigrants are obliged to follow these when they plan to settle permanently in a different EU country.

New EU expats in Germany are still required to register their home address with the German authorities.

New British Expats on the Increase

A report from the British Home Office, based on figures from 2010, shows that an increasing number of UK citizens are leaving the nation to become expats.

Current figures suggest that around 1,500 people leave the UK every week to begin a new life abroad. 

The latest statistics showed Australia as being the most popular destination, followed by North America and Spain. 

Over 70% of those leaving the UK do so for work-related reasons.

Expats in the UK Pessimistic about the Economy

While increasing numbers of UK citizens look to become expats in other countries, foreign expats living in the UK have a gloomy outlook on the future.

The 2012 Expat Explorer survey has found that 36% of expats living in Britain think that the outlook for the economy is negative. Although the UK technically moved out of recession recently, it is fair to wonder whether the positive figures are due to the effect of the Olympics, and if the UK is in fact heading for a “triple dip” recession.

Despite the negative outlook, the survey reports that only 7% of current UK expats are looking to leave the country.

Expats Live Wealthy Lives in China

Figures from a new survey show that many expats in China are living comfortable financial lives, with nearly 70% saying they have more disposable income since moving to the country.

China continues to enjoy economic success. The country has recently risen to seventh in the economics league table that forms part of HSBC’s 2012 “Expat Explorer” survey.

In addition to improved wealth, 44% of expats in China also feel that the country offers a high quality of life. These figures are sure to enhance China’s continuing reputation as a desirable expat destination.

New Laws May Reduce Opportunities for Expats in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has long been a popular destination for expats, at least in part due to the fact they do not have to pay income tax.

Now, new legislation may reduce the number of expat jobs, as companies will have to pay a financial penalty if they employ more foreigners than they do locals.

Currently, expat workers hold around 90% of job roles. Meanwhile, the local unemployment rate has risen above 10%. This new legislation is intended to reduce this latter figure. Companies continuing to employ a majority of foreign staff will have to pay financial penalties.