Expat News Roundup - week 49, 2012

Posted on 04/12/2012

This week’s expat news begins with two stories from Asia, both relating to employment. In China, high-level job roles are becoming hard to come by due to competition from local executives and multicultural expats. The news is good throughout Asia, however, if you happen to work in risk management, with something of a job boom underway in that sector.

Meanwhile, British expats have two good pieces of news from Southern Europe. Portugal has clarified its tax exemption laws for expat pensioners, and a new air route has been announced that will make life in Mallorca seem even more attractive to those who require fast access to the UK.

Heading East, wealthy individuals considering how to invest their capital now have another new residency visa option, this time coming from Australia.

Expats Face Local Competition for Jobs in China

Expats in China are likely to find increasing competition in the job market over the coming years.

China Today reports that local workers, who have important cultural knowledge and are typically bilingual, are gaining an increasing number of executive roles. The paper states that the majority of expats believe it’s difficult for foreign workers to gain high-level roles, with 42% believing natives are favored.

With China continuing to enjoy economic strength, the nation is sure to attract expats from all over the globe. However, even in a developing economy there are only so many jobs to go round.


Expat Compliance Workers in Demand in Asia

The global economy continues to struggle, and job opportunities are harder to come by in many countries. However, those working in risk management and compliance will be pleased to know that there are plenty of vacancies in these fields for expats in Asia.

The Telegraph reports that while many banks are laying off staff, an increase in regulation in Asia means that many financial institutions are in need of trained and experienced compliance professionals.

Recruitment site eFinancial Careers reports that there have 22% more adverts placed for jobs of this nature during 2012.


Portugal Clarifies Tax Exemption for Expat Pensioners

The Portuguese government has approved legislation that allows retirees to live in the country without paying local income tax on their pensions.

The new law is, in fact, a clarification of an initiative launched in 2009, part of Portugal’s “non habitual” tax residence scheme. The scheme is designed to attract high net wealth individuals to the country where they will spend and contribute to the ailing economy. Sadly, the implementation of the law has been inconsistent, and many expats are engaged in frustrating discussions with the tax authorities to establish their position.

Whether this refreshment of the law will be any more successful remains to be seen.


Easy Australian Visas for Investors

Money may not buy happiness, but it does seem to help buy locational freedom.

Australia is the latest in a long line of countries to offer a visa initiative to wealthy individuals willing to invest.

Prospective expats with AU$5 million to invest in certain funds, bonds and projects can now qualify for a new “golden ticket” visa. This grants an individual with four years of residency, after which time they can apply for a permanent visa.

Other countries offering similar schemes to high net worth expats include the UK, Portugal and Canada.


New Spanish Budget Route Ideal for UK Expats

UK expats on the Spanish island of Mallorca will have a useful new travel option from next year, thanks to budget airline Vueling.

The Spanish airline is launching a daily flight to London Heathrow from the island’s capital, Palma. This restores a direct Heathrow connection to the island for the first time since 2009.

Mallorca is one of the Spanish Balearic islands, which together are home to nearly 25,000 British residents.