UK NINO – How to get it and how long does it take to get it?

I notice that this is a wanted topic and in spite of Brexit (which apparently will not be happening), the world still wants to come here. NINO is the equivalent of our Social Security Number, and without it, you basically do not exist in the UK (England, Scotland, or Northern Ireland). You need it in order to pay your taxes and social contributions, and without it you can not work legally and you can not benefit from social or medical services. I will tell you how my experience was and the steps I took to obtain the NINO (National Insurance Number) in the UK.

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[Pentru a citi acest articol in Limba Romana click AICI]

A month ago we were packing again our luggage to move to another country. After the very useful experience in France, we were now ready to move to England, UK. After living for a year in France, we left with mixed impressions. I knew we had to move somewhere where we speak the language and where we can really integrate into society, and I believe we could not truly achieve this there.

When the expiry date of my fixed-term contract in France was approaching, I started looking for work options in England. After some promising interviews, I still had nothing safe and signed in my hand, but I did had an invitation to come for a follow up face-to-face interview that seemed 80% sure. I took a risk and quickly bought a one way only plane ticket and I came with all my luggage. I was aware that if I came only for a few days visit just for the interview and somehow it failed, I would return to Romania with the tail between my legs and depressed and it would be very difficult for to ever come back. Fortunately, the interview here went very well.

I do not recommend to anyone to come here without having secured a job in advance, but be aware that once you get here and settle down, you are more likely to find work. Most Continue reading “FIRST 30 DAYS AS EXPAT IN ENGLAND UK”


[to read this article in ENGLISH click HERE]

Acum o luna ne faceam iar bagajele pentru a ne muta in alta tara. Dupa experienta foarte folositoare din Franta, eram acum pregatiti pentru a ne muta in Anglia, UK. Dupa un an de locuit in Franta, am ramas cu impresii mixte. Stiam ca trebuie sa ne mutam undeva unde vorbim limba si unde ne putem integra cu adevarat in societate, si asta cred ca nu o puteam face acolo.

La apropierea termenului de expirare a contractului cu durata fixa de munca din Franta, am inceput sa imi caut variante de munca in Anglia. Dupa cateva interviuri promitatoare nu aveam inca nimic sigur in mana dar aveam o invitatie sa vin pentru un al treilea interviu fata in fata, cu aceasi firma ce parea 80% sigur. Mi-am asumat un risc si am cumparat repede bilet de avion doar dus si am venit cu toate bagajele la mine. Eram constient ca daca vin doar cateva zile in vizita la interviu si cumva pica, m-as intoarce in Romania cu coada intre picioare deprimat si mi-ar fi foarte greu sa ma intorc. Din fericire interviul aici a decurs foarte bine.

Nu recomand nimanui sa vina aici fara sa aibe un loc de munca asigurat, dar fiti foarte constienti ca odata ajunsi si stabiliti aici aveti mult mai multe sanse sa gasiti de munca. Majoritatea angajatorilor vor sa discute cu candidatii fata in fata si vor pe cineva care e deja in tara, neluand in considerare candidatii din alte tari. Inca un lucru important e faptul ca iti iei inima in dinti si faci acel pas inainte cu curaj. Daca stai in comoditatea din tara unde e patutul cald, si e bine aproape de mami, tati si surioara care sa te ajute, pai probabil nu vei pleca niciodata. Din pacate in Romania nu iti vei pune niciodata in valoare potentialul tau. Primul sau primii ani in Anglia vor fi grei, asta nu voi nega. Fiti pregatiti sa acceptati joburi si salarii care nu suna prea bine la inceput, dar odata ce


How to get PACS in France


PACS or Pacte civil de solidarité, is a concubinage agreement that offers the benefits of a married couple but with fewer obligations. Initially developed at the request of gay couples to declare themselves a family unit, it has become very popular among hetero couples and a popular method used by immigrants and refugees to obtain a visa or residence permit.

In France, there is a well-thought-out and subtle tactic to encourage marriage and punish unmarried young people, regardless of their sexual orientation. If you are around 30-years-old and you are still alone, you are prone to being refused having social and professional benefits, you are prone to pay much higher taxes to the state (the celibate member can have 30% of his income taxed versus 14% if you are in a couple) and at any bank you you go will have lower chances to get a credit if you are single, so many young people choose to compromise by making a PACS contract with their partners.

The procedure is very similar to marriage, if not identical, and because we are in France,  it is very complicated and involves a lot of bureaucracy. Although it practically takes 5 minutes to sign the papers, it takes months to get to that point. The starting point is the government site Continue reading “How to get PACS in France”

Cum sa faci PACS in Franta / How to get PACS in France

How to get PACS in France

PACS sau Pacte civil de solidarité , este un contract de concubinaj , care ofera avantajele unui cuplu casatorit dar cu mai putine obligatii. Aparut initial la cererea cuplurilor gay de a se putea declara ca o unitate familiala , a devenit foarte rapid popular in randul cuplurilor hetero dar si o metoda populara folosita de imigranti si refugiati de a obtine viza sau permis de rezidenta.

In Franta exista o tactica bine gandita si subtila de a incuraja mariajul si de a pedepsi pe tinerii celibatari , indiferent de orientarea lor sexuala. Daca esti injur de 30 de ani si inca esti singur , esti predispus la privare de beneficii sociale si profesionale , esti predispus sa platesti taxe si impozite mult mai mari la stat (celibatarul plateste si 30% taxa pe venit fata de 14% cel aflat in cuplu) si la orice banca vei avea sanse mai mici de a lua un credit daca esti celibatar asa ca multi tineri aleg varianta de compromis facand un contract PACS.

Procedura seamana foarte mult cu mariajul , daca nu e identica , si pentru ca suntem in Franta , bineinteles ca e complicata si implica multa birocratie. Desi ea practic dureaza 5 minute cat sa semnezi niste hartii , pentru a ajunge acolo , dureaza luni bune. La baza e siteul guvernamental   , unde veti gasi o lista cu ce documente va trebuie daca sunteti strain sau mergeti direct la primaria de care apartineti si cereti dosarul de PACS , ce contine si o lista cu tot ce va trebuie:

Continue reading “Cum sa faci PACS in Franta / How to get PACS in France”

Prague dream vacation


Prague, a city that I always wanted to see and experience. I was always looking at the pictures of others and it seemed to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. After seeing it, I can say with all my heart that it is. The city offers beautiful landscapes, architecture, great old pedestrian squares, world class beer and bars where you can still smoke inside, and all this for prices almost identical to those in Romania.

From Romania there is no low cost direct flight to Prague, but the ticket on Czech Airlines is not too expensive, around 150 EUR per person bought a month in advance. Our 3-star hotel taken with TUI agency cost us only 121 EUR for 7 nights and not only it was very decent it also had breakfast included in the price.

From Václav Havel Airport to Prague city center take the AE (Airport Express) bus, the trip takes about 40 minutes and the ticket is bought directly from the airport counter and costs 60 Czech crowns (CZK) or about 2.3 EUR per person. I would advise to bring with you some Czech currency  in order to buy the tickets, otherwise you have to deal with the currency exchange offices in the airport that offer rip off exchange rates. You will get of at the “Hlavní nádraží” central railway station, which is a huge underground hub where you can access the buses, the subway, the S trains and especially the trams. I underline the trams because these are the main and easiest way of transportation in the city. The Czech capital is covered everywhere by tramlines, and they come every three minutes. The trams have dedicated stations and dedicated lanes, and around half of them are of the latest generation of Skoda trains. Tram tickets are found at any cigarette or food kiosk and are divided according to the length of time. A 30-minute ticket costs 24 CZK (1 EUR), and one 24-hour ticket costs 110 CZK (4.3 EUR) and can be used from the moment of validation on any line and any time you want until the expiration date.

[Read more after pictures]

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Expat beginner’s guide to moving to France


Probably many people today ask them selfs or consider moving to another country for various reasons. France is among the top destinations, alongside England and Germany for expats. They either leave due to financial difficulties and go looking for better paid work or go to take recognized studies. I’m sure in every country the accommodation process is different, I’m going to tell you how it’s going down here. France is not exactly a country that makes your life easy when you are new comer: the bureaucratic system is remarkably similar to the one in my home country Romania,  and not in a good way: it is heavy, bushy and requires a lot of running around and patience to get the essentials papers you need. But let’s start with the beginning:

  1. I am starting from the premise that you are leaving your country with a secured job already and you’re visa status is ok.  If you go to any country without a clear source of income you have a good chance that you will just wander a little around and return to your country with your tail between your legs as soon as the money runs out.  First of all , make sure you take enough cash to survive a month or two until you find decent accommodation. Without  2000 EUR in your pocket,  do not even think to head for the airport. Secondly, be sure to take your Identity Card, Passport (not necessarily in the EU, but it helps a lot), Birth Certificate in Original and be sure to make a translation and a legalized copy of it before you arrive , because here it costs around 50-60 euros to make a legal translation of this document; Marriage certificate, divorce certificate if you have , all translated, a few ID size pictures of you, and if the company will not provide accommodation (permanent or temporary) you should start to look for cheap hotels in the city. A hotel if booked in advance and for long term (one month or two) can be relatively inexpensive, costing 35-40 EUR per night.

2. A local phone number: This is the easiest step to accomplish and you will need it to complete all the next steps. We have chosen the operator  Lycamobile, which offers for 15 Euro per month  Continue reading “Expat beginner’s guide to moving to France”

Ghidul imigrantului de mutare in Franta / Expat beginner’s guide to moving to France


Probabil multi Romani in ziua de azi isi pun intrebarea sau iau in considerare sa se mute intr-o alta tara din diferite motive. Franta este in topul destinatiilor , alaturi de Anglia , Spania si Italia. Ei pleaca fie ca sunt in dificultati financiare si pleaca in cautare de munca mai bine platita sau ca se duc la studii recunoscute. Sunt sigur ca in fiecare tara procedeul de acomodare este diferit , eu o sa povestesc cam cum decurg lucrurile aici. Franta nu este chiar o tara care iti face viata usoara cand esti nou venit: sistemul birocratic este remarcabil de similar cu cel din Romania , greoi , stufos si presupune multa alergatura si rabdare pentru a obtine diferite acte esentiale. Dar sa o luam cu inceputul:

1. Pornesc de la premiza ca plecati cu un loc de munca deja stabilit , daca veniti in orice tara fara o sursa de venit asigurata aveti sanse mari sa hoinariti putin si sa va intoarceti in tara cu coada intre picioare imediat cum se termina banii In primul rand fiti siguri sa va luati destui bani cash sa supravietuiti o luna sau doua pana va gasiti o cazare decenta. Fara 2000 de euro in buzunar nu cred ca are rost sa va duceti la aeroport. In al doilea rand fiti siguri sa va luati la dumneavoastra Carte de Identitate , Pasaport (nu este absolut necesar in UE dar ajuta mult uneori) , Certificat de nastere in Original si fiti siguri sa va faceti o traducere si copie legalizata dupa el dinainte sa plecati deoarece aici costa injur de 50-60 de EUR traducerea legalizata a acestui document; Certificat de casatorie, divort traduse daca este cazul ,  cateva poze tip buletin , si daca firma nu va asigura cazare (permanenta sau temporara) ati face bine sa va uitati de hoteluri ieftine. Un hotel ieftin daca se rezerva din timp si pe termen lung (o luna – doua) poate fi relativ ieftin , injur de 35-40 EUR pe noapte.

2. Un numar local de telefon : acesta este cel mai simplu pas de realizat si va va fi necesar la absolut toti pasii urmatori. Noi am ales operatorul Lycamobile , care pentru 15 EUR pe luna iti ofera apeluri Continue reading “Ghidul imigrantului de mutare in Franta / Expat beginner’s guide to moving to France”

First 48 days as expat in Marseille

[Citeste acest articol in Limba Romana – click AICI]

One and a half months ago, I was packing my baggage to go to the airport again, only this time I was not leaving to board a ship for 5 months, but to a new job and a new life. I explained in great detail why I wanted to quit sailing in the much controversial and popular own article “After six years at sea”, so after the last voyage I made the final decision to look for something to work on land. I have ill spoken a lot about our country Romania (and for good reasons considering that people are working for 300-400 EUR / month and the government is ripping you off on absolutely every step of the way!) and I have seen too many beautiful and civilized places in this world during my voyages to ever settle there, so the only option left for me was to become an expat and luck had it to be in Marseille.

Most of my  CVs were sent in English-speaking countries, especially in the UK, but since the whole Brexit phenomenon, most companies  have been reluctant to hire East Europeans. Fate decided that the lucky interview would land me in Marseille, France, a city of which I did not know much about , in a country whose language I ​​vaguely understand and speak. It was this or other positions somewhere in South Africa or Mexico so guess what I chose.

I only had sea experience on my resume so the only way to make the transition to land was to remain in the maritime business. I will not say the name of the

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Primele 48 de zile in Franta ca expat / First 48 days as expat in France


Marseille dupa 48 de zile de locuit.

Acum o luna si jumatate imi faceam iar bagajul sa ma duc spre aeroport , doar ca de data asta numai plecam la vapor pentru 5 luni, ci la un nou job si o noua viata. Am explicat foarte detaliat de ce numai am vrut sa navig in mult controversatul si cititul articol propiu “Dupa sase ani pe mare” , asa ca dupa voiajul trecut am luat decizia definitiva de a imi cauta ceva la uscat. Am injurat mult tara noastra Romania (si pe buna dreptate considerand ca se munceste pe 300-400 EUR si guvernul te jegmaneste absolut la fiecare pas!) si am vazut mult prea multe locuri frumoase si civilizate pe lumea asta in timpul voiajelor ca sa ma pot stabili definitiv acolo , asa ca singura optiune era de a deveni expat afara.

Majoritatea CV-urilor trimise au fost in tari vorbitoare de Engleza , mai ales in Marea Britanie , dar de cand cu Brexitul se cam sfiesc firmele sa angajeze Est Europeni. Soarta a facut ca interviul norocos sa ma aterizeze in Marsilia, Franta. Un oras despre care nu stiam in principiu mai nimic , intr-o tara a carei limbi o inteleg vag. Era asta sau alte pozitii pe undeva prin Africa de Sud sau Mexic asa ca ghiciti ce am ales.

Fiind doar cu experienta pe mare , cam singura cale de a face tranzitia la uscat era sa raman in domeniu maritim , nu voi zice numele firmei dar fiind in Marsilia cred ca nu e asa greu de ghicit. Asa ca imi rezerv dreptul de a comenta si implica in orice discutie despre shipping , mai ales ca acum am acces la o perspectiva mult mai generala a sistemului , nu doar de pe vapor la fata locului , voi reveni si cu detalii de la locul de munca mai tarziu.

Mutarea nu pot zice ca a fost foarte grea , avantajul de a fi obisnuit cu impachetatul la tot ce ai nevoie intr-o valiza si plecat la aeroport dar si firma a fost foarte sustinatoare si mi-a oferit o luna o Continue reading “Primele 48 de zile in Franta ca expat / First 48 days as expat in France”